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Discussion Starter · #1 ·


My journal for a new riparium, http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/tank-journals-photo-album/97010-45-gallon-rimless-riparium.html includes a pic of the tank I picked up on Craiglist, with a not-so-great stand, for $100. So, I want to build a better looking stand, that will blend in well with the existing entertainment center which will be right beside this tank. Above is the sketch for what I will make, starting tomorrow, I hope.

The stand will be made of birch and birch plywood and will be stained a light reddish color to match the entertainment center as best I can.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Another great Hoppy project! This looks a lot like your other stand you had made for your 40+ gallon tank that you took down for your 65. Just an observation.

Cannot wait to see it!
Yes, this is very similar to that other stand, made the same way, but different wood and size. The biggest differences are that the top will be made slightly differently, and the doors will be frame and panel doors. It's like baking bread - once you find a good recipe, why not use it again?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Will you be building your own doors or going with pre-built? Doors from http://www.ameradoor.com/ seem to be very reasonable.
I always try to reduce the cost of this hobby any way I can, so I will make my own. I have made doors enough times not to be intimidated by doing so. It really isn't that hard to do, unless you want an ornate profile on the frame pieces, or want raised panels. Then you need a router table and 3 Hp router, preferably. But, for this I will just use simple recessed panels, made of 1/4" plywood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I like to use just yellow "carpenters" glue, like Titebond, to make things like this. Yesterday I rediscovered the problem with that at this time of year. Titebond doesn't bond tite when it is colder than about 60F. My first glue joints didn't set up at all in an hour at about 55F. I finally brought the parts inside, where it is warmer. This is an annual problem for me, one that I always manage to forget during the hot summers. Now, I just have to remember how I manage to work around this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If it's above 45, it'll set overnight. I've been there.
I have had weak joints that way, but in any case, the temperature was around 40F last night. So, I just glued another joint, and carried the assembly into the house, with a pipe clamp holding it together, and it is setting very nicely. I also keep the bottle of glue inside, to keep it warmer. When things are going well I only wait about 30 minutes between gluing on new pieces. Titebond sets strongly enough in that time to easily resist my handling of the assembly. But, only in warm weather.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·

This is the glue-up to make the top, 8 boards, laminated, end glued, and slightly overlapped. The 8 drywall screws just hold it together as the glue dries.


Next, I used the old, ugly stand to mark the new top shape for sawing out with an electric jig saw. Because my top corners will have 1/2 inch radius rounding, I had to make the top a half inch bigger all around. Later, I will use a belt sander to smooth the cut edges and slightly adjust the curvature to fit the line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)


The bottom frame is done, laying on top of the top frame, both ready for some belt sander, and router work.

Today my wife pointed out how strong the fumes from Titebond glue are. I had never noticed that before, since I enjoy that smell. Has anyone else noticed the strong smell? I've used that glue for several years, but never considered it to be a strong smelling substance.

EDIT: I just recently switched to Titebond II from original Titebond. From the MSDS for Titebond it looks like neither one is at all toxic, but only Titebond II is noted to have a slight odor. So, I will have to switch back. (Or let my wife move away) I'm still curious about whether anyone else has noticed this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·


Yesterday I found that my HD didn't have any 3/4 birch veneered plywood, so I had to change my plans a bit. Instead of using the plywood to support the tank, I'm using a frame of 1 x 4 Poplar to do so, with a 5.2mm birch/maple plywood cover over it. This will be cheaper too, and a bit more fun to make. Progress is shown above.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
With the stand upside down, gluing the front vertical pieces on.
With the stand right side up, gluing the bottom horizontal piece - the shelf - onto the vertical pieces. It is cold enough now that I used a hair dryer to warm up the wood before gluing, and periodically as the glue dried, to be sure it sets up well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·


The basic frame done. Next will be a "pedestal" for it to sit on, probably only 3/4 inch high, but maybe 1 1/2 inches high. Then the skin of 5.2 mm plywood. And, finally the doors.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
The top and bottom pieces are double thicknesses of 3/4 inch thick birch and/or maple. I used a 1/2 inch round over bit, with a guide bearing on it, to round the top and bottom corners, after I used a hand jig saw to cut a radius on the front corners and shape the bowfront profile on the front edge of the top. I had to use a random orbit sander to finish off the profile. My "big" router is only a 1 hp router with 1/4 inch collet - a cheap Skil plunge router. I also have a second hand little trim router that I use most of the time for smaller bits. The secret for making low powered routers work well is making the cut in 2-3 passes, a little wood removed each pass.
 
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