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Old 06-06-2004, 08:41 PM   #1
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180 Gallon Tank Stand - Build Log

I finally got my tank in and I'm ready to get started. Thanks again to everyone who provided advice and got me back up to speed after taking a number of years off from marine aquariums. This 180 stand that I've started has gone through at least a dozen design changes since I began sketching it, including some recent ones while wandering around Lowes trying to pick out lumber (don’t you hate that). I originally wanted to do a 3/4 oak plywood stand and had everything planned when I finally decided that it would be a little too challenging for my equipment/ability. Now that I've started, I'm glad I changed my mind. Not only did I switch to 2x construction, but I kept ratcheting up the plans until I finally ended up with 2x6's with some 2x8's and 10's thrown in for good measure. The tank weighs a ton ... and it looks like the stand will weigh as much if not more. But that's not bothering me ... better safe than sorry.

Here's my first set of pics. Hope some of you benefit from this like I have from everyone else's pics.

The tank ... finally!!!


Started with the 2x6 frame - this is where to edge of the tank will sit


Then I put up the inside legs (it sure would have been nice to have a level surface to build on)


Used biscuits to attach the outside legs


Outside legs


Sorry if some of the pics are crappy. I'm just figuring out the wife's digital camera.

More to come ...
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Old 06-06-2004, 09:49 PM   #2
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Beefy!!!!!
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Old 06-07-2004, 12:02 PM   #3
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Looking good so far. I'm very handyman-challenged, so could you please explain what a biscuit is?
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Old 06-07-2004, 02:24 PM   #4
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A biscuit is a flattened piece of maple that expands when exposed to water. A slot for the biscuit is cut on the two pieces of wood that you want to join. The biscuit fits quite tight in the joint as it is, and when the glue is applied, the biscuit expands making the joint very strong.

You can think of the biscuit as a super dowel. Plus much easier to use.

Jim
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Old 06-07-2004, 07:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Beefy!!!!!
... and then some. When I picked up the tank and started to actually feel the amount of weight I was going to be dealing with, I went back to the drawing board. I know it's serious overkill .... but there's just about zero chance of having it fail and there was not much difference in price to step up to the larger 2x's

Quote:
Looking good so far.
Thanks dsmalls ... and thanks for the explanation yaksplat. One additional comment ... I only used the biscuits cause a friend of mine had a biscuit cutter to lend. Dowels or even toe nailing (w/ srews) would have been sufficient for what I'm doing. I had access to it so I figured, what the heck. It does make really strong joints. I'm going to be using it to combine solid oak pieces that I'll use to make the front face. It should be really helpfull there.
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Old 06-07-2004, 11:48 PM   #6
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Are you using solid oak? Or oak ply with solid oak trim to cover the exposed ply?

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Old 06-08-2004, 07:21 PM   #7
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Are you using solid oak? Or oak ply with solid oak trim to cover the exposed ply?
I'm using nothing but solid oak on the front. I'll be using 3/4 oak ply for the top, sides, and bottom deck. I've been looking around in HD and Lowes for oak crown and base, and man is it ever expensive. My trim cost is going to be equal to my 2x cost and more than my solid oak cost. But I think it's going to be worth it. I'm going for a real formal cherry finished furniture kind of look. Please stay tuned for an @$$ load of questions on staining.

Here's some more pics of progress:
I attached the 3 middle legs

different angle

and put on the top frame

side view

then some cross bracing and the 2x frame is pretty much complete.


This thing is solid as a rock. My neighbor came over and he's convinced it could survive a small missle strike. What do ya'll think?
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Old 06-11-2004, 11:53 AM   #8
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Making more progress ...

Built the two door frames that will sit flush in the frame face

Here's the doors test mounted onto the frame

The doors were a bargain. Four 11"x25" unfinished raised panel oak doors for $72 (shipping included). Here's the place
http://www.cabinetdoorsandhardware.com/default.asp

here's where I started the left side of the face

I had some real trouble with trying to keep the pipe clamps from making the end boards rise up due to the pressure ... so I fixed that problem when I attached the right side

I bet the more professional do-it-yourselfers are choking on the cinder block method. What can I say, it did the job.

Here's a shot of the completed face.


A couple of tips. If you're going to use solid red oak, get the best ripping blade that you can. If you use a regular blade or a dull ripping blade it will burn the wood as it cuts. Then you'll have to go back and sand. Makes for double work and there's always the chance of ending up with rounded edges when you try to sand a 1x.
Also, I started sealing the 2x frame with Helmsman Spar Polyurethane (I probably spelled that wrong). This stuff is reacting with my heavy duty liquid nails. The poly on the wood is drying but the poly on the liq nails is staying wet and it looks like its dissolving some of the liq nails.
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Old 06-17-2004, 09:01 PM   #9
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I managed to get some more work done over the weekend. Putting the red oak wrap on the tank went very quick, but now I'm getting into the trim work and it's turning out to be real slow going and tuff. On the plus side, it's starting to come together and I can see what the final products going to look like.
Pics should be better ... I got an early fathers day gift ... Minolta S414.

The next step was attaching the face to the frame. You can see how the recessed doors are going to work here.

Then I cut out the floor. This wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The circular saw, a tiger saw (reciprocating), and a coping saw made this real easy.

Here's a look at the floor from underneath. 2x6's will support the fuge which I'm guessing will be around 65 gallons.

Then the top

Here's the last pic that I took. I put the vertical fluted trim on here. I couldn't find this at the local DIY stores so I decided to route it myself. It came out good but took about 3 hours, a couple beers, and plenty of fowl language. If I had to do it over, I would wait for the millwork stores to open Monday. Hope you can see it ok in the pic.
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Old 06-18-2004, 09:52 AM   #10
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Excellent photo log. Thank you for sharing with us.
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