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twin 125 project

This is a discussion on twin 125 project within the DIY Aquarium forums, part of the TFK Resources category; --> It is perfectly stable enough to hold my 110 and i usually estimate about 10 lbs per gallon even though its 8.35 when you ...

Old 09-08-2007, 04:39 PM   #11
It is perfectly stable enough to hold my 110 and i usually estimate about 10 lbs per gallon even though its 8.35 when you add in rocks and such.
I was a little inebriated last night and now that im reading that sentence it doesnt really make sense. I meant that water weighs 8.35 lbs per gallon and that i usually estimate 10 lbs per gallon when you add in rocks and decorations. Though as beetle put it, you really cant estimate too much so the more weight you allow the stand to hold the better!

Definitely looking forward to seeing your progress since i am doing the same thing.
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Old 09-09-2007, 09:36 AM   #12
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Ok everyone is talking about making the world's strongest stand here, way over built. Hands down. One 2x4 upright can generally handle 2,400lbs of downward force. That would mean that one 2x4 36" long should hold the entirety of this tank. As a reference I will say that my 125g is help up using nothing more than 1/2" furniture grade MDF board with only 2x2's in the corners. There has never been a mishap and I have a 36" long 28" tall door right in the middle of it all on both sides (F&R) of the stand. Not a single 2x4 or 4x4.

My 400g stand was built using only 2x2's spaced about every 24" and skinned with 1/4" furniture grade oak plywood (cabinet type wood) came built this way from the manufacturer of the tank. Not a single 2x4 or 4x4 to hold up 400g of water.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:46 AM   #13
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I know what you mean. If you want to see overbuilt, have a look at my cabinet! I used 4x4's for the corners, 2x6's for the around the top and 2x4 bracing at the bottom! Thing is so heavy. But I thought: better overbuilt than underbuilt!
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Old 10-09-2007, 06:04 PM   #14
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ALLLLRIGHTY THEN! after many wasted days off, sitting around doing nothing [cause my stupid old roomate wouldn't get his crap outa my garage!] i'm finally off to the races. picked up 25, 96" two by fours on monday and got to cuttin em up today. i went ahead and did most of the frame cutting for both stands. the "frame" cut list goes...

13... 36"
4 ... 74"
14... 17"

that's per tank mind u. i will still have to cut the vertical braces, which i didn't include in the drawing for clarities sake. i also got 2 boxes ceramic coated 3" wood screws, and some framing equipement. hopefully i'll have at least one together by next week. derned if a job doesn't screw up the fun!!!
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Old 10-09-2007, 09:28 PM   #15
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Put some glue between the pieces. It is amazing how much stronger everything will be. If you have the patience pre-drill your pieces. If you over size the piece that the screw head rests upon you will get a tighter fit than trying to run a screw through 2 pieces. Trust me you'll see that a free spinning screw in the first piece allows the screw to draw the second piece in closer. I just built a quick (1 hour total) 36" tall stand for a 55g the other day. If you glue it you will be amazed at how much stiffer it feels the net day. I used the "gorilla" glue as it sets up better if there is a slight gap than carpenters glue will.
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:56 PM   #16
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allright guys and gals. 2 good days in the garage have yielded all 4 top/bottom frames for both stands, the lower deck of 1 stand, and 1 side connected on 1 here's how it went...

this is how i made the outer rim, top and bottom for both stands. these pieces are glued and double screwed. i used liquid nails 'heavy duty'. i wasn't going to bother w/ glue till cafe mike suggested the stands would be much more rigid/solid. mike had me sold on Gorilla glue over wood glue to help fill in the gaps, where the wood doesn't meet perfectly, do to sawing imperfections. i found the Gorilla glue to be a bit on the expensive side at 5 bucks for a small bottle, so i chose the liquid nails which is about 3 bucks for a larger tube, and is dispensed w, a caulk gun.

this is a sweet lil gadget that clamps wood at 90 degree angles. if u use it right it will make a perfect square. i bought 4 of them at around 8 bucks a pop. if u suck w/ wood like i do, then this is money well spent! they're made by Bessy and i found them only at Lowes hardware. home depot didn't have them or any equivelant product.

this is how i set up to do the drilling and screw install. all holes are pre-drilled [again at cafe mike's suggestion] to provide tighter clamping and it also helps keep the wood from splitting. i believe the drill bit is a 3/16 [i will double check that next week]. the ceramic wood screws i bought are performing flawlessly thus far. not one split screw. they are #8, 3" phillips II pine screws, for interior and exterior.

here's the site foreman...making sure it's done right the first time! {back to work daddy!!}

thank God the old roomy left this behind. it made cutting the 2x4's a breeze.


we move on to the center frame supports. i set these up using a piece of small scrap 2x4 from the earlier cuts. u have to pull the scrap wood out to install the clamps, so hold the crossmember in place w/ ur fingers while intalling the clamp....then do the other side. once bothe clamps are in place, lift the frame up and rest it on ur knees while u are kneeling[if ur to cheap to buy or build a table like me] ...then check the fitment of the scrap 2x4 from the bottom. u want a tight fit, but not so tight that the scrap piece doesn't slide in and out w/ relative ease. [trust me on this tight means extra sanding...i'll explain later.]

both clamps in flip on side and install the screws. i didn't use glue on any of the internal crossmembers, because the glue would just wipe off when i wedge them in. i may go back later and pump some glue in the excessive gaps.

after doing the 2 outer/ internal crossmembers, it's time for the middle crossmembers. i measured 37" inches and drew a mark...then remeasured from the other side to be sure, and then did the other side of the frame the same way. this is pretty much the same procedure as the last set of crossmembers, except we are doing 2 at a time w/ 4 pices of scrap wood to set the gap. the scrap 2x4's are of course split at that 37" mark.

here it is half way set. now tip and screw.

and this is what we have so far. keep in mind i am doing 4 of these...each step i explained i did the same time and way on all 4 decks [lets call em decks for confusions sake] if u were just building 0ne stand, u would of course only need two of these.

after completing all 4, i busted out the sander and leveled the crossmembers so they were'nt sticking out either above or below the main frame. this would make for an unlevel surface on the bottom and also on top where the tank rests. some 60 grit on a sheet sander did the trick fairly quickly. if u know someone that can mill these w/ a lathe...that'd be the best thing to do.

now to connect top and bottom. this is the most crucial step, which i couldn't finish today so i'm not sure how i'm doing so far. i set 2 decks up and then laid a vertical support through each end. the measurement u see being taken must be "exact" on both ends. here's where the crossmembers being to tight on the vertical becomes a problem. it is very difficult to move the decks and the vertical around if it's to tight,thus screwing w/ ur measurement. i had to do some sanding here as mine were to tight. once i got them where i could move them around, i remeasured again and remeasured after that. then i added glue to the ends of the vertical on one and bottom, and let it tack for a few minutes. then i drilled my holes, but only installed the inside screws. i still wanted to be able to move the other side around a bit, and that is difficult if all of them are installed. then i went to the other side and did the same procedure. again the measurement must be the same for bothe sides. even a lil off could exaggerate the angle that the tank sits, making for an unlevel stand. [in retrospect, i may have been better off building the vertical frames first. haven't thought that all the way through yet.] i then finished all the screwin and gluin.

this is how the stand sits as of now. i clamped a 2x4 to the other side[shown in pic] in case it were to get bumped or something before i can get back to it.


here's a cheapo template i made outa one of the clamp packages to keep my screws uniform. i did the same thing for the crossmembers, only using half a sheet like this w/ 2 equal holes. just placed it over the pieces to drill/screw and mark w/ pencil or pen.

i did get the bottom deck top started today. this is one of the more mentally taxing phases of the project [save the design itself]. fortunately it doesn't have to be perfect. this piece must be installed before the back verticals are installed. for the lower decks i bought a single sheet of 3/4" plywood and had them cut at Lowes...20" x 74". for those that don't know...Lowes and Home Depot can cut wood for u far more accurately than u can do at home. the first few cuts are free. i didn't pay any extra to have them cut these. the best part about this is i could actually fit them in my car after being cut.

instead of trying to measure out all the internal cuts, i just mocked up the frame on the plywood, and drew around it. then i went back over it w/ a right angle to straigten up the lines. the cuts were made w/ a jigsaw. i only got 1 done today. i will use this piece to template the lower deck topper for the other stand. this is the piece the 55g will sit on.

post cut

cutting the center...i did the same for the middle area, and made my first known mistake. i cut both sides the same way...forgetting that the back of the stand only has one external support. no biggie though. again this piece is underneathe the stand, so it won't be seen. this may be a good thing anyway...i do need access to the lag bolt, to remove and install the 55g tank. i think i'll just cut a piece of plywood from my left overs to cover the opening. that way i can stash stuff under here too. like my secret pleco fruit salad recipe or something..????

that's all today folks...update again next week or week after.
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Old 10-16-2007, 11:44 PM   #17
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the template pic that didn't come out.

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Old 10-17-2007, 09:26 AM   #18
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Looks good so far, only thing I am wondering are you supporting the top? If it's just a 2x4 against a 2x4, screwed together, then all the weight of the tank is ONLY supported by the screws. What you really want is for the top frame to rest on the 2x4's or 4x4's that way all the weight is directly translated down the legs and to the floor. Maybe this is already how you're doing it but I just wanted to check!
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Old 10-17-2007, 06:53 PM   #19
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that's the plan jsm. i wasn't sure how i wanted to do that when i did my cuts, plus i would have run outa wood, so i'm waiting till both frames are done, and then i will "stack" them, as u suggested. i didn't draw those into the diagrams, because it would have been confusing to look at.
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Old 10-17-2007, 08:27 PM   #20
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Cool, sounds like you know what you're doing! Good luck with the rest of the build!
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