Wood dimensions for custom 55g - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 10:07 AM Thread Starter
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Wood dimensions for custom 55g


I just ordered a custom aquarium in OptiWhite (yey! 1st one in opti ) with the dimensions L48xW20xH16. And I was planning to do a simple and sleek stand.

My question is, would 2x2" be sufficient if I have center braces?
Or is there any other "configuration" I could use with 2x2" that would work and be safe?
The shell will be MDF sheets from ikea, and only screwed/glued/magnetted (pretty sure thats not a word, but think you get what I mean :P) on, so it will have no load-bearing only get the stand more rigid.

Really wanted to use 2x2" as it is easy to fit and make a clean look when its square, I could of course use 3x3" but thats really expensive here in Norway, about 11$ pr meter (40") when 2x2 is like 4$ pr meter.
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 10:57 AM
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Most people opt for 2x4" here in the states. It makes things a bit easier at times. I'm sure you could make it work, but I would price out 2x4" if you could.

Also, wood is expensive there!

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 01:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the reply.
I know most do 2x4". As I have seen very little on using 2x2" I am asking for more information. 2x4" is the cheapest actually, because its the most common here.

Yes, pretty much everything is expensive here -.- the stand in total will be about 250$, would be the same price if I used plain MDF from the woodshop, inlcuding paint/lacker/finish. So I just decided to go for Ikea cabinet shells and doors, looks better and all the work is already done.

The reason I want to use 2x2" is that I find symmetric materials more esthetically pleasing, and is easier to fit everything together in my personal opinion.

Last edited by Malakian; 02-18-2015 at 01:13 PM. Reason: More info
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 04:34 PM
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It is easier to use screws/nails with 2 x 4 material than with 2 x 2 material. And, a 2 x 2 frame has almost no resistance to racking loads - side to side loads, which tend to cause the frame to collapse. But, if you use good wood glue to attach sheet goods (MDF, plywood, etc.) to the frame, 2 x 2 is certainly strong enough. The two things the frame has to do are: support the weight of the filled tank, and prevent any twisting/or other distortions from side loads.

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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-18-2015, 10:43 PM
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I tend to use a lot of 2x4s and 2x3s, I imagine 2x2s would work, but like Hoppy said, their isn't as much room for fasteners, so you have to plan your joints pretty carefully.

Also, a 2x2 will flex a lot more then a 2x3 on end, so you'll need more vertical supports under the horizontal pieces, but that's a pretty minor concern.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 01:48 AM
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2x2 could be used but I'd use mortise/tenon joints, half laps and/or bridle joints and glue and forgo fasteners totally. Any of these joints could be pinned with a dowel to resist any type of pullout.
With properly executed joinery there is no problem.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-19-2015, 01:59 AM
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No doubt the wood supply may be totally different for you but when wood shopping here, I would not even consider 2X2. The common 2X2 here is not much more than rejects. Once the ties are cut off the bundle they warp so bad that I hesitate to even use them for lightweight framing behind sheetrock.
On 2X4, I can sort the stack and find lots that look good. I do have to do some sorting to find the straight ones. My method for this is to lay two alongside each other. If they are in contact the full length, I turn one over and if straight they are still in full contact. If not, I know one is crooked and I reject it.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 02-25-2015, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all the feedback and good tips. After readong this, ill just go for the 2x4, as it will be alot more fool proof :P Done quite a few DIY, and even worked a couple of years in a woodshop, but still don't trust "self-made" to the same degree as fabricated. No reason to why, just that if things go to shait, I have someone to blame

Bump: And yeah, when you mention it, I also remember the 2x2 sorting to be horrible here too. 2x4 is better but still only like 1 in 15 that can be used, as they usually get all relocated by customers and end up in a mess of a pile. The staff not tidying them up and yea..they get crooked as s**t. If its a fresh *stack* though its a joy, usually only the first outer layer thats slightly crooked.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2015, 12:04 AM
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I don't trust my eyes to tell me when wood is straight so I use a different method. Rather than sighting down the edges, I lay two alongside each other to see if they touch for the full length. If so, I then turn one over so that the other sides are touching. In this way , I can spot even a 1/4" of in an 8' stud.
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