Aquarium stands - Page 4 - Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources
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post #31 of 34 Old 10-25-2008, 06:29 AM
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Kritas, the joints that you drew at first are definitely weaker than he ones that Winnydapoo has drawn for you. The big difference in strength comes from you cutting the notch in the horizontal frame members. By notching the horizontals, the support of the vertical member is only given to the top part of your horizontal beam. That makes the horizontal beam unable to carry as much weight. To easily understand the strength loss, think of how weak that horizontal beam would be if you cut away all but the last 1 or 2 mm and then let that carry your weight. What you are doing is less extreme so the strength loss is also much less but it is very real.
I usually build my stands with smaller outside frame members but brace them internally with what are called 2 x 2 boards, they measure about 40 mm by 40 mm. I know that sounds small but I do not cut away anything from the support. What I do is put a thinner board onto the outside of the legs as both the decorative surface and to provide support to prevent the stand from moving sideways and collapsing. It takes a little more lumber but is a very strong stand. Mine end up with a tank on top and another on the bottom so they need to be quite strong. I never use MDF because I worry too much about water problems. Some of my stands use plywood at what you would call 15 mm thick and others I make the shelves out of nominal 1 inch lumber which is only really 3/4 inches thick (19 mm). Neither one looks as nice as the MDF but both of those solutions will take a major water spill during tank maintenance without weakening at all.
On the rare occasion that I build a stand with an enclosed bottom, I tend to use panels made from a thin sheet of plywood. I am talking about very thin material at only 6 mm thick. It is plenty strong enough to hold in all the things that you hide under a tank, is easy to finish and will provide an amazing amount of support to prevent the stand folding up due to any sideways forces, like a kid leaning on the stand or a slightly out of level floor.
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post #32 of 34 Old 10-26-2008, 01:47 AM
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So are we going to get progress shots?
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post #33 of 34 Old 10-28-2008, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Yeah I know, I made an unintended mistake in my drawing, thats not how its getting jointed together...

Winnydapoo, regarding progress shots.... lmao, what progress? All I have so far is just the timber lengths cut to size... hehe, i've been working on constructing my frog tank, so it might be a while

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post #34 of 34 Old 11-13-2008, 11:45 AM
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Pine is fine, 2 X 4s or framing studs cost about $2 for a 2" X 4"X 8'. for a large stand use 4 X 4's for the legs. I am almost finished building mine I spent $105 at home depot for all the materials including stain, hardware, side panneling, and a 1 inch thick solid pine table top 52" X 21" that was $35 itself. To just build the frame I would have only spent $40 but I want mine to look more like a piece of firniture. keep in mind pine tends to warp over time, if you want somthing that will last a long long time use a harder wood like oak, poplar, yellow pine. but prepare to spend big $$$. I have also used 3/4" HDF to build a stand, its probably only okay to use for 55 gal. or less. HDF and water do not mix well, basicially it turns into sawdust, so it must be sealed with a sturdy coat of paint. But a 4' X 8' HDF only cost about $30 + $25 for screws, glue, and paint and that should be enough to build a stand. Main thing to watch out for is make sure it is flat, level and sturdy. Unless you are an archetect, rather than try and calculate how strong to make it, just try to go way overkill. Also I have learned google sketchup (free download) is a great tool for these kinds of projects.
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