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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I decided to build my own since I could not find anything I truly liked. I love the minimalist *insert expensive name brand here* cabinets but hell if I am going to pay $600 for a 48" cabinet. My wife would strangle me, not to mention I am not a baller like that.

I downloaded some blueprints, they were in Russian, I translated and converted from metric.. yeah, the numbers did not work out as planned and there was a lot of "how in the hell is that off by that much?!" moments. On the positive side, unlike many of my DIY or mechanic adventures when I work on my car I still have all my digits and there were no calls to the EMT or trips to Centra Care for emergency medical help. More amazing not one band-aid was expended in the process of building this!!

I did not take a whole bunch of pics because no one wants to see wood being cut and sawdust so there are just a few I took. As I progress through the next stages nearing completion I will take more.

EDIT:
I completed the cabinet for the most part today. All I have left is to hang the doors then some light sanding to even all the edges then drill out the holes for power etc, add my light DIY idea and then finally the exterior.

I did use 2x2's on all the 6 main stress points and I climbed up on it and did the jump test. Rock solid. It is leveled perfect on all sides so double bonus for me.

I am going to mount a power strip inside and away from view and I have a nifty idea for interior lighting too!

My vision for the light fixture, I will get metal conduit and have it bent to a 90 degree angle then attach it to the back panel of the cabinet so I can suspend the lights above the tank, there will be two of them. No idea yet on the light but tossing around the DIY route. I've never messed around with LEDs from scratch so I may deviate from that and it might be more than I want to bite off to be honest.

The updated pics are below the originals.

Weekend Progress:

All cut up and waiting for assembly


The jigsaw puzzle is beginning to take shape


Mostly assembled, need some additional supports added before I flip it to finish assembly


Level on all sides, bonus!!


I built the interior frame after partial assembly, I know I took the hard route but it wasn't that much extra work for me at least. I am overbuilding it by adding the 2x2 supports on top of the 1x2 frame. I just didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the 1x2 frame and after I had it in there I went back for the 2x2's. I will add them to all the corners and center brace as well. Once that is complete I will flip it and work on the doors. Hopefully I will have that done this week. I have classes Thursday and Friday so I probably won't get back to finish this [STRIKE]until the weekend[/STRIKE] until sometime next week. I forgot, it's grandmas birthday this weekend and we will be out of town.

I am not sure how I am going to face it since I have never worked with laminate and buying a sheet and winging it worries me. Plus it involves another power tool that can increase the odds of that trip to the ER that I have so skillfully avoided so far. Suggestions?

Thursday's Progress:









My light fixture idea:



I had it centered in the room but the wife overrode that and centered it to the hallway which is about two feet to the left of where I had it originally. She wanted me to go with some crazy color to match the room decor but I nixed that right away. It's neutral gray and minimalist, no freaking handles, no pretty colors. Period. End of discussion.

More updates as I progress.
 

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Is this cabinet for a 55, 75 or a 90?
If the cabinet is for a 55, it will probably be sturdy enough, but if its for a bigger tank, I don't think it can handle the weight.
Yesterday I build a basics cabinet for my 40 breeder and used 2x4s an a lot more wood.
weight of a 55 is 200kg water +50-100kg gravel and rocks 600+ pounds.
75 is 300kg water +75 -150kg gravel and rocks 750+ pounds
90 is 400kg water +75-150kg gravel + rocks 1000+ pounds
 

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How thick is the material for the back and side panels? You can get by with smaller dimension lumber if those will be your main support. Then if the front center support is sound that gives you the added support there. You need to be sure it wont sway sideways and collapse.
Most DIY stands are over engineered. Many of the store-bought, low-end stands are nothing more than 1/2"-5/8" particle board and they last for years as long as they stay dry.
 

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Indeed, as long as this doesn't rack it will probably be fine. Even though the walls are fairly thin, they extend over quite a length. The one change that you're doing that I would agree with entirely is adding the 2x2 center brace to the front.

As far as facing it goes, is the wood smooth enough to prime and paint it? It could save you a whole bunch of time, money, and effort.
 

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Is this cabinet for a 55, 75 or a 90?
If the cabinet is for a 55, it will probably be sturdy enough, but if its for a bigger tank, I don't think it can handle the weight.
Yesterday I build a basics cabinet for my 40 breeder and used 2x4s an a lot more wood.
weight of a 55 is 200kg water +50-100kg gravel and rocks 600+ pounds.
75 is 300kg water +75 -150kg gravel and rocks 750+ pounds
90 is 400kg water +75-150kg gravel + rocks 1000+ pounds
yeah, that wood looks really tiny. can you reinforce it more or is it too late? depends how big the tank is too.




If you had the tools and could produce a fully bonded seam in the corners on 1/2" plywood sheeting in compression it would be plenty of support for even a 125g tank without any other supporting materials.

I'm supporting a 110g tank on a DIY stand made from 3/4" fir. Wood is underestimated. The only lumber used larger than 1x12 shelving was the routed 2x4 frame for the top and base edging.
How thick is the material for the back and side panels? You can get by with smaller dimension lumber if those will be your main support. Then if the front center support is sound that gives you the added support there. You need to be sure it wont sway sideways and collapse.
Most DIY stands are over engineered. Many of the store-bought, low-end stands are nothing more than 1/2"-5/8" particle board and they last for years as long as they stay dry.
FYI filling two 75g tanks with sub and scape materials they only held 63 gallons of water filled to the rim.
55g tanks with 1.5" of sub only hold about 43g.
 

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Believe it or not, some people enjoy building things.

I really like the stand!

It's different than most of what I see, and it looks like you got all the angles perfect. (I always end up doing a lot of planing.:icon_bigg)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I did a lot of searching for a stand I liked, I even hit IKEA thinking maybe there was a IKEA hack I could do but nothing. The closest stand would have set me back $160 and I would have to settle for something not quite as tall and would still need bracing so this was much cheaper.

The MDF is 1/2" all around and I really decided to beef up the support on the corners and middle because I did not want the MDF to bear the brunt of the weight. Distributing the weight along the four corners and center front and middle with the 1x2's made me feel better but then I went off the deep end and decided to go overboard with the additional 2x2's you see on the back corners.

I will eventually have them on all four corners and center front and back. With all that weight staring my formal living room waiting to come crashing down I opted for safe over sorry. It really does not weigh a lot believe it or not.

I climbed up on a chair this evening and stood on it, tried to rock it and it stood fast. Granted I do not weigh 500 lbs and I do not expect my tank to be rocking even if everything in it at once decides to 'get it on' in some ridiculous fish orgy. Once I have it completed I will climb up once more and give it the jump test. So long as I don't lose my balance and fall off, that final test will make me feel better.

To answer the question why I did not go with a sturdy dresser or small table.. well, this is going front and center in a hall where everyone who comes over will see this tank. My wife was not thrilled at the thought to begin with so telling her I was going to stick a dresser in the main hall and formal living room would have resulted in a not so nice discussion and a trip to the spare bedroom where I would have been banished for a few days. :)

Thank you for all the comments and feedback all, I really appreciate it. Once I complete it I will update pics.
 

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Most DIY stands are over engineered.

One thing that always stuck with me after reading it is that most DIY stands are actually UNDER-engineered… and OVER-built to compensate!! :smile:

This stand looks great OP. Additional bonus is that it’s probably do-able for you and the wife to lift and carry around without much hassle if you ever need to drain the tank and move it somewhere else.

I’m mid-construction on a 40 breeder stand, and not only is the 2x4 frame pretty hefty to lug back and forth but once I throw on all the oak skin I think it will be nigh impossible for me to do anything that doesn’t fit into the schedule of someone else available to help me carry it inside and outside!!! No garage or basement so all woodworking and staining requires trips outside, down and back up a flight of stairs, on good weather weekends…I am hoping against hope that next weekend is 3 sunny days in a row and I can do all the final assembly/staining/finishing…
 

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This looks like WAY too much work! :eek:

Why not just get a sturdy dresser or small table at a yard sale or goodwill? Is this a guy thing?


Julia
how very sexist, and lazy, of you. Perhaps one day you too can enjoy the feeling of building something with your own two hands instead of attempting to belittle someone else who has put in the hard work on a beautiful piece of furniture.
 

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It looks really nice. I agree, most prebuilt stands I have seen are all the same or way too expensive. You did a great job. I would be interested in seeing the tank progress.
 

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This looks like WAY too much work! :eek:

Why not just get a sturdy dresser or small table at a yard sale or goodwill? Is this a guy thing?


Julia
how very sexist, and lazy, of you. Perhaps one day you too can enjoy the feeling of building something with your own two hands instead of attempting to belittle someone else who has put in the hard work on a beautiful piece of furniture.

I agree. I'm a girl and I love to build things. From aquarium stands to computer desks, and other home renovations, there's such a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction knowing that you did it yourself and you built something that's perfect to your standards and exactly what you wanted it to be.

The stand looks great, demonr6. Can't wait to see it finished with the tank filled and scaped!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I agree. I'm a girl and I love to build things. From aquarium stands to computer desks, and other home renovations, there's such a feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction knowing that you did it yourself and you built something that's perfect to your standards and exactly what you wanted it to be.

The stand looks great, demonr6. Can't wait to see it finished with the tank filled and scaped!
Thank you!

I am still working on it and have a ways to go. I have been out of town and took some classes after work last week that had me too busy plus after work sometimes gets hectic with r/l but I am hoping to get a few hours in it this week.

I hit a bit of a roadblock last week with the hinges. I want inside euro hinges but the way it is built, both frameless and frame type hinges won't work in my application so I have to rethink the front frame build out. More research time I guess. I will update though when I have some more progress.
 

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I decided to build my own since I could not find anything I truly liked. I love the minimalist *insert expensive name brand here* cabinets but hell if I am going to pay $600 for a 48" cabinet. My wife would strangle me, not to mention I am not a baller like that.

I downloaded some blueprints, they were in Russian, I translated and converted from metric.. yeah, the numbers did not work out as planned and there was a lot of "how in the hell is that off by that much?!" moments. On the positive side, unlike many of my DIY or mechanic adventures when I work on my car I still have all my digits and there were no calls to the EMT or trips to Centra Care for emergency medical help. More amazing not one band-aid was expended in the process of building this!!

I did not take a whole bunch of pics because no one wants to see wood being cut and sawdust so there are just a few I took. As I progress through the next stages nearing completion I will take more.

EDIT:
I completed the cabinet for the most part today. All I have left is to hang the doors then some light sanding to even all the edges then drill out the holes for power etc, add my light DIY idea and then finally the exterior.

I did use 2x2's on all the 6 main stress points and I climbed up on it and did the jump test. Rock solid. It is leveled perfect on all sides so double bonus for me.

I am going to mount a power strip inside and away from view and I have a nifty idea for interior lighting too!

My vision for the light fixture, I will get metal conduit and have it bent to a 90 degree angle then attach it to the back panel of the cabinet so I can suspend the lights above the tank, there will be two of them. No idea yet on the light but tossing around the DIY route. I've never messed around with LEDs from scratch so I may deviate from that and it might be more than I want to bite off to be honest.

I built the interior frame after partial assembly, I know I took the hard route but it wasn't that much extra work for me at least. I am overbuilding it by adding the 2x2 supports on top of the 1x2 frame. I just didn't get a warm and fuzzy feeling from the 1x2 frame and after I had it in there I went back for the 2x2's. I will add them to all the corners and center brace as well. Once that is complete I will flip it and work on the doors. Hopefully I will have that done this week. I have classes Thursday and Friday so I probably won't get back to finish this [STRIKE]until the weekend[/STRIKE] until sometime next week. I forgot, it's grandmas birthday this weekend and we will be out of town.

I am not sure how I am going to face it since I have never worked with laminate and buying a sheet and winging it worries me. Plus it involves another power tool that can increase the odds of that trip to the ER that I have so skillfully avoided so far. Suggestions?

I had it centered in the room but the wife overrode that and centered it to the hallway which is about two feet to the left of where I had it originally. She wanted me to go with some crazy color to match the room decor but I nixed that right away. It's neutral gray and minimalist, no freaking handles, no pretty colors. Period. End of discussion.

More updates as I progress.
I did a lot of searching for a stand I liked, I even hit IKEA thinking maybe there was a IKEA hack I could do but nothing. The closest stand would have set me back $160 and I would have to settle for something not quite as tall and would still need bracing so this was much cheaper.

The MDF is 1/2" all around and I really decided to beef up the support on the corners and middle because I did not want the MDF to bear the brunt of the weight. Distributing the weight along the four corners and center front and middle with the 1x2's made me feel better but then I went off the deep end and decided to go overboard with the additional 2x2's you see on the back corners.

I will eventually have them on all four corners and center front and back. With all that weight staring my formal living room waiting to come crashing down I opted for safe over sorry. It really does not weigh a lot believe it or not.

I climbed up on a chair this evening and stood on it, tried to rock it and it stood fast. Granted I do not weigh 500 lbs and I do not expect my tank to be rocking even if everything in it at once decides to 'get it on' in some ridiculous fish orgy. Once I have it completed I will climb up once more and give it the jump test. So long as I don't lose my balance and fall off, that final test will make me feel better.

To answer the question why I did not go with a sturdy dresser or small table.. well, this is going front and center in a hall where everyone who comes over will see this tank. My wife was not thrilled at the thought to begin with so telling her I was going to stick a dresser in the main hall and formal living room would have resulted in a not so nice discussion and a trip to the spare bedroom where I would have been banished for a few days. :)

Thank you for all the comments and feedback all, I really appreciate it. Once I complete it I will update pics.
lol, wow! love the way you tell the "story" especially the part about the wife's color suggestion and the possibility of being banished it all made me laugh. Nice looking stand so far btw.
 

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Is this cabinet for a 55, 75 or a 90?
If the cabinet is for a 55, it will probably be sturdy enough, but if its for a bigger tank, I don't think it can handle the weight.
Yesterday I build a basics cabinet for my 40 breeder and used 2x4s an a lot more wood.
weight of a 55 is 200kg water +50-100kg gravel and rocks 600+ pounds.
75 is 300kg water +75 -150kg gravel and rocks 750+ pounds
90 is 400kg water +75-150kg gravel + rocks 1000+ pounds

I built a stand for a 230 gallon reef tank out of nothing but 1/2 marine plywood and some fancy trims and hinges. I kept the front back, and two side gable underneath the outer diameter of the tank and built the top slightly over sized. Other than a few braces to keep the shape back to front, and one support down the front opening it was basically open all the way through. I didnt use any timbers, or lumber at all.

Right now, I have a 90 gallon sitting up top of a piece of granite which is supported by two particle board night stands. I have the 2 gables of each night stand going from the granite, straight to the floor with not other pieces. Evenly distributing weight over all supporting gable (side, front, back panels) is most important.

Even for large aquariums timbers and lumber are not necessary if you displace the weight over upright outer panels. And considering most tanks have an outer trim which the tanks sits of, bracing the bottom panel of glass isnt necessary. Now, the 230 gallon panel was flat with no outer trim, so that one I did put a couple 3 inch wide pieces of the plywood on end to help with the weight.
 
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