Can i use this type of wood for a stand? - The Planted Tank Forum
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:13 AM Thread Starter
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Can i use this type of wood for a stand?

Can i use GRN Douglas Fir wood 2x4s for an aquarium stand?

If not, what should i look for? What should i avoid?

Thank you
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:15 AM
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:22 AM
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Can i use GRN Douglas Fir wood 2x4s for an aquarium stand?

If not, what should i look for? What should i avoid?

Thank you


Walk into any fish/pet store and look at what the stands are made of. That should answer your question.


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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 01:37 AM
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Yes

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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 02:36 AM
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I would not recommend using GRN Douglas Fir. This is wood that has not completely dried, and as it drys it may be subject to warping.

Usually you want a stand to be as stable as possible. Use the "good stuff". It's not going to be that much more, and your stand will be a lot more stable. Keep in mind that your not going to be getting that much material. 3 or 4 pieces, at most, should make any normal tank stand.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 02:37 AM
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Dave what section of the wood would you think to warp?


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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 05:25 AM
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Dave what section of the wood would you think to warp?


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The whole thing?

Coming from a family of carpenters, do not use GDF for a stand... Outdoor furniture, studs that are really anchored in place (quickly after releasing from the pallet), etc. are fine applications.

GDF is not a very dense wood, it absorbs moisture very quickly, and just isn't a good choice for bearing that kind of weight in combination with staying straight and level.

If you really decide to do this, make sure you take a moisture meter with you and get the straightest, dryest pieces you can.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 11:14 AM
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Can i use this type of wood for a stand?

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Originally Posted by natemcnutty View Post
The whole thing?

Coming from a family of carpenters, do not use GDF for a stand... Outdoor furniture, studs that are really anchored in place (quickly after releasing from the pallet), etc. are fine applications.

GDF is not a very dense wood, it absorbs moisture very quickly, and just isn't a good choice for bearing that kind of weight in combination with staying straight and level.

If you really decide to do this, make sure you take a moisture meter with you and get the straightest, dryest pieces you can.


Do you actually do it or do you just have a few carpenters in your family?

I mean you do realize that almost all wood will have moisture in it when new? Ever shot down a treated 2x4 when laying out the walls of a house on a slab? The amount of water is ridiculous.

Also an aquarium has weight distribution on the corners. Ever wonder why you can put a aquarium on four cinder blocks and be good to go? I mean unless you advise against that because you come from a family of concrete workers? Perhaps engineers?

Stands that are recommended for aquariums to keep the warranty - even up to 120g (probably more) - are made of 1/2" pine and staples... Not 4x4s and engineered beams.


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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 12:39 PM
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As long as you glue it, screw it, brace it and shim it i don't see an issue.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 02:24 PM
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Do you actually do it or do you just have a few carpenters in your family?

I mean you do realize that almost all wood will have moisture in it when new? Ever shot down a treated 2x4 when laying out the walls of a house on a slab? The amount of water is ridiculous.

Also an aquarium has weight distribution on the corners. Ever wonder why you can put a aquarium on four cinder blocks and be good to go? I mean unless you advise against that because you come from a family of concrete workers? Perhaps engineers?

Stands that are recommended for aquariums to keep the warranty - even up to 120g (probably more) - are made of 1/2" pine and staples... Not 4x4s and engineered beams.


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Douglas Fir is unique among all softwood species in that it is naturally dimensionally stable, having the ability to season well in position. Many builders prefer to cut, nail and fasten Douglas Fir in the "green" or unseasoned condition, allowing it to air dry during construction. There is a reason they keep it that wet... to keep shape from the mill.

I have lived in the Pacific Northwest all my life, and we have just a little bit of Douglas Fir here, lol. I've worked with it often, and it can be a very beautiful wood. We've made a few incredible entertainment centers from it. My concern is not the fir, it's the green part.

True green is 40% water content or more, and there is a really high chance of warping. It may be ok depending on how he builds and supports it, but I'm saying what it might dry out to could be pulling on itself in a way that makes the legs unstable (wobble, not level, more pressure on one board). The larger the stand, the more worried I'd be about it.

I may be the first in three generations to not do it for a living (mostly custom cabinets, doors, trim, etc), but that doesn't mean I haven't spent my time in the shop
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 02:30 PM
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Finally someone who speaks from experience!!

The trend seems to be use as many 2x4 as you can and overbuild everything but it's honestly not necessary. I don't think many realize just how strong wood is, especially when screws are used.

But honestly, can you say that this wood is any different than any other 2x4. Yes the water content may be higher but for an interior application I cannot see it being a bad choice.


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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 03:24 PM
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Finally someone who speaks from experience!!

The trend seems to be use as many 2x4 as you can and overbuild everything but it's honestly not necessary. I don't think many realize just how strong wood is, especially when screws are used.

But honestly, can you say that this wood is any different than any other 2x4. Yes the water content may be higher but for an interior application I cannot see it being a bad choice.


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It is a bit different. Look for KD (kiln dried) studs which can still be douglas fir and typically arent much more expensive than the green stuff. Green wood will dry out after you build something. Wood that dries will shrink. That means after a few weeks, months, years, your stand could develop large gaps at the joints; legs could end up being slightly different lengths, etc. Kiln dried studs also tend to be straighter right off the shelf making it a bit easier to pick out good pieces to buy.

Also, wood is strong. Glued wood is strong (er). Screws are weak. Screws shear. Glue 2 pieces of wood together at a right angle and try to break it apart. Now do the same using screws instead of glue. You'll be amazed how strong wood glue really is......some say its actually stronger than the wood itself.

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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 06-23-2016, 08:22 PM
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I would highly recommend DF. Nice to work with, nice color (imo). I wouldn't use the GRN stuff. Maybe it would be fine, but KD isn't much more, especially for the quantity used in a tank stand.

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