big box unfinished base cabinet - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 03:31 PM Thread Starter
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big box unfinished base cabinet

Has anyone used one of the big box store unfinished sink base cabinets for a stand? I'm setting up a 50g and am thinking about using one. Would probably reinforce with an inner frame of some sort.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 08:05 PM
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Kitchen cabinets are about 24 inch front to back, so that might be hard to make look good, unless you do some trimming to reduce that 24 inch dimension. Some bathroom cabinets are shallower, if you want to look at them for possibilities. I would certainly add a solid back panel to either one to get enough racking resistance, and a center front support if the cabinet is 4 foot or wider.

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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 08:14 PM
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If you are going to the point of finishing, and reinforcing, why not just build one?
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 08:16 PM
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Cabinets tend to be designed to fit against the wall and screwed to that wall, making the wall one of the main elements. That allows them to use really cheap thin wood which is often barely fastened together. Often small staples are used. Unless one moves into some of the higher quality/ higher priced items, the strength would be a question to me.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-02-2016, 11:29 PM Thread Starter
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all good points.

I picked one up. Yep they are pretty cheap with lots of little staples, but I think it will work. Part of my thinking is they can't be any worse than some of the crap that is sold as a dedicated stand.

I'm going to essentially drop a 2x2 frame into it and screw it through the sides and cover that with 1/8 oak plywood. Then put a solid top on it and use brackets to tie it all together.

When not build from scratch?? It's Mn, my garage takes forever to heat up and I don't want to pull out all the tools! Trying to take the quick and easy route....which of course always comes back to bite [email protected][email protected]!!

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 03:35 PM
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Winter in Ohio never got too warm for me, either!
You can make the cabinet work, though. But rather than mechanical like nails, screws, I like glue and clamping with only a few fasteners. Fewer holes to patch and hide on the outside. There are some really good wood glues that cure pretty fast and will hold as much as the wood fibers do. In your case, I might look at some of the construction adhesives in a tube that are used for winter work. Just don't use too much so that the clamping makes it run out all over?
I like using a full length piece of wood like a 1X2 for adding a top if the top is thick enough to hold a screw well. With 1X glued to the sides, top put on and glued, I add just one or two screws for confidence that it will stay forever. Up from the bottom to be out of sight. The 1X will help add strength to the sides also. Sometimes that top rim board looks like a cat might break it! Sometimes the old houses I've remodeled were so crooked that cabinets would never fit the walls but there are lots of ways to cheat them to looking right and holding up long term.
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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 03:41 PM Thread Starter
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Winter in Ohio never got too warm for me, either!
You can make the cabinet work, though. But rather than mechanical like nails, screws, I like glue and clamping with only a few fasteners. Fewer holes to patch and hide on the outside. There are some really good wood glues that cure pretty fast and will hold as much as the wood fibers do. In your case, I might look at some of the construction adhesives in a tube that are used for winter work. Just don't use too much so that the clamping makes it run out all over?
I like using a full length piece of wood like a 1X2 for adding a top if the top is thick enough to hold a screw well. With 1X glued to the sides, top put on and glued, I add just one or two screws for confidence that it will stay forever. Up from the bottom to be out of sight. The 1X will help add strength to the sides also. Sometimes that top rim board looks like a cat might break it! Sometimes the old houses I've remodeled were so crooked that cabinets would never fit the walls but there are lots of ways to cheat them to looking right and holding up long term.
Thinking along those same lines, a combo of screws and adhesives should shore it up pretty good. It's a balmy 27 degrees today so going to go out in the garage and take a good look at it.

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 03:57 PM
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Sorry bout that!!!
We got down to 38-40 and I'm not about to go out till it warms up! I'd have to shake the dust off the coat first!
Check my attitude next July, though?

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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 05:12 PM Thread Starter
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Actually I'm PO'ed about the weather...I can't get my fish house out!!!! Could not get it out last winter, first time in 25 years! Might be year two of that!!! I get stir crazy about January if I can't get out on the ice...

Now back to the cabinet....I was thinking about this all wrong...I was going to reinforce on the inside...well, after sitting on the throne and doing my best thinking....our house is kind of 50's craftsman style....I put this window in a couple years ago..and it dawned on me...

Put the boards on the outside and make it look craftsman....here is a picture, but imagine this style on the OUTSIDE of the cabinet.

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Last edited by ichy; 11-02-2016 at 12:29 AM.
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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
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took about 30 minutes to measure up and knock out all the stiles. Going to glue down the panels with wood glue so I can sand before putting the frame over it. By doing this, I have lots of places to build the pine 1x3 inner frame and attach it to the oak to really strengthen this up. So far I have $150. into it. Sure you can buy one for that, but I think this is going to look better and be much steadier when done. Besides its all about the DIY right...even if it costs 10X!! LOL

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Last edited by ichy; 11-02-2016 at 12:29 AM.
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 07:48 PM
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Sure you can buy one for that, but I think this is going to look better and be much steadier when done.

This is called the Ikea effect, believing something is better, because you had a hand in the construction.

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-03-2016, 08:58 PM Thread Starter
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This is called the Ikea effect, believing something is better, because you had a hand in the construction.
But I'm NOT just assembling, I'm actually putting in more pieces and know how to build the frame to support the weight, so no, not just an Ikea affect.

I 100% guarantee you this is better than a press board Petco stand.

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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 08:45 AM
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I only learned it on last week's Q.I. :P

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-04-2016, 04:04 PM
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Generally on window trim the stile rests on the rail. On a cabinet the opposite is true.

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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old 01-10-2016, 06:44 PM
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Any updates on the build?

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