My DIY ADA Stand design.. comments? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 09:43 AM Thread Starter
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My DIY ADA Stand design.. comments?

So I'm gonna eventually upgrade my 30 gal to a ADA 75P because i want the rimless look and a bit larger size. Instead of paying the insane price for an ADA stand, I figured I would build my own. I've been playing with google sketchup and built a 3D model of the stand design.

Since I've never built a stand before and am not a structural engineer or carpenter of any kind, I thought I would get some feedback on the design and tweak it as necessary. I modeled the design very closely to Jason Baliban's but with slight variations for extra support (I think? or maybe I'm just overdoing it).

Below is a shot of the stand at a slight angle. This is before any "laminate" is put on. The white boards are basically 3/4" plywood (not sure what kind of wood? any suggestions?). It will all be covered in a black/charcoal laminate once done.

This is a shot with the doors open looking straight in. I have a center support built from a piece of 3/4" plywood with the middle portion cut out like Jason Baliban's design. You can also see that I've extended the supports that he uses to the full length of the sides and back. The supports at 2x2's and pieced together like a standard frame would be. The back corner vertical supports are 2x4's, that will over-extend the joint between the frame pieces. Again, a suggestion on what kind of wood would be appreciated.

Here's a shot at the inside looking up to see the top frame and the center support's cutout...

SO there you have it. Please comment on this design and let me know what you think. Since I based it off Jason's design, I believe it should be very sturdy. Please suggest a kind of wood to use. Thanks in advance.

EDIT: here's a photo of the entire setup. 75P tank, DIY Light stand modeled after Tom Barr's design. Light is TBD. Stand has been "laminated" black, holes cut out the back for tubing and cables and hooks put on the doors for tools.

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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 11:51 AM
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There are a few links here showing the same build. Looks good to me.

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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 04:15 PM
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If you search through Tom's site you can find the actual cut sheets / blueprints on ADA style stands.

If you can't find it I can host the pdf somewhere.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 04:39 PM
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 04:54 PM
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Tips on working with MDF since I've seen negative posts about using it as a material around Aquariums.

1 word. SHELLAC

Prior to applying your contact cement for the laminate put two coats of cut down (2 parts shellac to 1 part denatured alcohol) shellac on all flat surfaces and three four coats on all edges. Lightly sand the edges with 200 or greater sand paper, or steel wool, and apply one last coat to the edges (this will get rid of the fuzz).

This will help seal the mdf against moisture while also allowing you to only have to use one coat of contact cement to bind the laminate.

The bottom. Put a coat of paint or clear coat poly on the bottom. I like to use a sheet of heavy felt stapled (stainless) to the bottom. On the back of the felt use Scotch guard.

The inside. HD sells a flexible pvc sheeting in white that is great for the interior of the cabinet. Use kitchen caulk (white) for corners. Attach in the same manner as your laminate with contact cement.

Once your laminate is on and your edges are filed. If you find you have a glue line from the contact cement you can dye a nice seam. 1 tablespoon black dye (waterbased) to 1 tablespoon denatured alcohol. Very lightly dab a rag in the dye and rub into the joints, you need very little, this goes a long way. Clean up with denatured alcohol. Obviously use a dye closest to your laminate color.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-19-2008, 06:16 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the quick replies guys. Hmm.. MDF. I know ADA uses MDF boards, but while sleeping on it, i may go a different route than the laminate and end up painting the stand instead. TO match the rest of the furniture in my living room, I'll probably add a decorative molding around the top and some nice handles.

MDF is cheaper than a high quality plywood right? .. but it seems like a lot more work to seal it properly. Maybe wood with some paint and stain/lacquer is the way to go for me. But we'll see. I need to go window shopping....
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 12:13 AM
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Take a look at my post called "brushed stainless DIY ADA stand". I built the stand using 3/4" plywood and then covered it with brushed stainless steel laminate.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 10-20-2008, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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yea, i saw your thread. Looks very nice, though your pictures doesn't show much of the angles to see how you constructed the frame. It seems very similar to what I have though, except you decided to use metal brackets as well and did not have a middle support. I'm not sure whether I absolutely NEED the middle support or not, but I think it's better to have it than not.

Thanks for the replies guys.
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