To add to what I mentioned in the earlier post, the new LED flood lights are 100% painted. Even under the LED chip. What lovely engineer thought it would be a good idea to put an insulator between a heat source and a heat sink?
Anyway, on to the progress!
The perimeter of the lights will be poplar 1x10's with a single piece of half inch angled aluminum inlaid flush with the poplar, going around the bottom perimeter. It will have a satin tongue oil finish to match the stand. The joinery will also match the base of the stand, and the top of the stand, in that it will be simple lap joints.
Directly inside the perimeter is the skeleton. The skeleton is made of pine 1x2's and will rest on the outer rim of the tank. This will allow the poplar skin to rest on the outside of the tank, and covering about 1 inch of the glass. This will allow me to keep the "topped off" look without having to top it off so much.
The 1x2's make a rectangle, with a center support brace roughly at center. To make it truly centered, I'd have to measure down to 1/16th, and decided it wasn't worth it, so I just picked an arbitrary "close to center" and stuck the brace there. There are notches I cut out with the router which will allow 1/2 inch steel angle iron to rest along the length.
The dark lines going the length of the light setup is the steel angle iron. I'm using these to act as a channel for the LED flood lights to sit in. I also picked up two 100 packs of 1/16th inch thickness, 1/4 inch diameter circular rare earth magnets which will be glued to the LED lights. I now live in earthquake country, so the angle will be screwed to the 1x2's which make up the skeleton for the light setup.
In order to get the spacing correct and ensure square, I made some brackets out of four pieces of 1 inch square angled aluminum, 9 inches long. The outside corners of the 1x2 skeleton will be routered 1/16th deep on both sides. The 1 inch square will be screwed to the skeleton, and sit flush with the corner. I'll leave some feet on the end at 2.5 inches long. This way, I'll be able to place the poplar outer boards directly on the floor, and screw them to the aluminum, squaring everything true.
I put in too much play (length wise) into my design, and ended up with 3/8 inch of play on both sides:
And this is why I test fit every step of the way. So I disassembled the skeleton, cut half an inch off the length, and put it back together again:
now there's 1/8 inch of play on each side. I wish I would have thought about the brackets before making the cut though, because once I have my corner aluminum brackets in place, there will only be 1/16th of an inch of plan on each side, which doesn't leave for much wiggle room with expanding and contracting wood. Hopefully I don't run into issues with this. Any advice on this aspect would be very much appreciated.
Here are the cross members:
It was difficult getting everything lined up properly. In order to ensure accuracy, I make as few measurements as possibly, and try to make multiple cuts at once. This eliminates minute 1/32 inch differences from one cut to the next.
Also, having the notches cut out together, allows me to square things up for later cuts, like adjusting the length of the overall frame:
I'm off to the garage, even though I should be doing physics homework. More to come later!
BTW, I'm having a housewarming party next Saturday. I need the lights up, the filter pumping, MTS put in, capped with sand, and hardscape done by then. Wish me luck fellow aquarists!