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Old 05-17-2008, 08:57 AM   #11
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Step 9a: Attach the sides and front

Glue and nail with 1” finishing nails, the sides and fronts. Make sure to keep the nails fairly close to the edge of the ply so that the top and bottom trim, corner moulding, and hinges will cover them up. It’s a good idea to plan where you want your hinges now, and then nail the front outer pieces accordingly.

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Old 05-17-2008, 08:58 AM   #12
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Step 9b: Attach the sides and front

When attaching the front center ply, I recommend nailing only the top and bottom, and then clamping it down with a piece of scrap until it is dry. This will help to reduce the number of nails that will need to be covered up later.

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Old 05-17-2008, 08:58 AM   #13
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Step 10: Time to add a decorative look

Cut one 55” piece, and two 17” pieces from each of the two 8’ 1x4s. This will leave two 8” inch pieces remaining, do not throw them away as they will also be used. Select one 55” piece, and two 17” pieces from what you have cut and mark them as “bottom”. Mark the remaining five pieces as “top”

**OPTIONAL** (depending on the look you want)

With a router, cut a decorative edge of your choice on the top outside edge of the three pieces marked “bottom”. Make the same router cut on both the top and bottom outside edges of the five pieces marked “top”.


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Old 05-17-2008, 08:59 AM   #14
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Step 11: Cut and attach the trim

Cut horizontal 45-degree angles on the trim pieces. It is best to start with the front, measuring each piece and test fitting several times along the way. I also recommend cutting each piece a bit longer than necessary, then shaving a small amount off at a time until you achieve a perfect fit. A good number of clamps will be very helpful during this process. Note that on the top, the two short pieces are used to wrap around the top, therefore they need only one 45-degree cut. Also note that there is no wrap around on the bottom, therefore the bottom sides also need only one 45-degree cut.

Once all of your pieces have been cut and fit properly, its time to attach them all. Starting with the bottom, glue, clamp and nail with 1 ” finishing nails. Sink the nails a bit below the surface, as they will be covered up with filler or stain crayon when completed. Once the bottom is complete, repeat the process for the top.

**IMPORTANT** when affixing the top trim, you will need to allow enough overhang to cover the plastic frame of your tank (1 ”) plus the thickness of your padding material. In this case, I have allowed 1 5/8” overhang (1 ” for the tank frame, plus 1/8” for the cork).

If using wood filler, fill your holes now and remember to sand the filler and refill if necessary once dry.


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Old 05-17-2008, 09:00 AM   #15
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Step 12a: Creating the doors

The doors are made by creating a frame from the 1x3s, with a plywood center. Make a measurement of the height needed for the doors (the distance between the top and bottom trim, minus 1/8” for clearance) and the width needed (distance between outside front and center front legs, plus 1”). Cut these pieces as necessary and router as desired.

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Old 05-17-2008, 09:00 AM   #16
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Step 12b: Creating the doors

Once these pieces are cut, it will be necessary to cut a ” groove along the inner edge of your doorframe pieces in which the ply center will be seated. This can be done with a router table, but is much more easily accomplished with a Table Saw if available.

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Old 05-17-2008, 09:01 AM   #17
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Step 12c: Creating the doors

Once all of the doorframe pieces have been cut, routered, and grooved as required, it’s time to cut the center of the doors. The measurements for these two pieces can be obtained by measuring the inside edge of the grooves cut in the previous step.

Once the pieces are all in order, assemble and glue the doors. Framing clamps are handy for this step, but if not available, a square will suffice. Use the wire brads to tack the center panel in place and provide added strength to the doors. Make sure to wipe up any glue that might seep out of the seams.


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Old 05-17-2008, 09:01 AM   #18
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Step 13: Wrapping up the construction process

While the doors are drying, measure the distance between the top and bottom trims at the two front corners and cut the corner molding accordingly. Glue it in place and clamp it down. Again, Make sure to wipe up any glue that might seep out of the seams.

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Old 05-17-2008, 09:02 AM   #19
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Step 14: Sanding, and lots of it.

It’s now time to go over your project with a bit of sandpaper. Check and sand every inch of your routered cuts with both the fine, and the extra fine sandpaper. Go over the corner joints, any sharp edges around the entire project, and just for good measure, have a few passes over the face of the trims as well.

By now, the doors should be fully dried. Repeat the same process for each of the doors.

Ok, you’ve been working hard thus far. It’s time for a quick break. But first, grab a scrap of 2x4, tip the stand back a bit and prop it up. Now set the doors in their place. Grab a chair, and an ice-cold beer (lord knows you deserve one), and sit back and revel at your accomplishment.


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Old 05-17-2008, 09:02 AM   #20
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Step 15: Adding a bit of color.

All right, break time is over, and just because we’re done building, doesn’t mean the work is finished. It’s time to add a bit of color to this masterpiece. First, wipe down the entire project with a clean dry cloth to remove any dust from the sanding. Grab your stain of choice, and start staining. Have several rags close by and a foam paintbrush in hand. Apply a nice heavy coat of stain to the to the backside center of one of the doors. Wipe the panel down with a rag to soak up any excess stain, and be sure to get in all of the grooves. Now go on to the backside of the outer frame of the door. Complete the same process and then move on to the backside of the other door. Follow up with the front side of both doors and then go on to the stand itself. Continue doing small sections at a time, apply, then wipe, apply, then wipe. Remember, haste makes waste. You’re not running a marathon so take your time and do the job right. Keep in mind also that you don’t want to apply wet stain to a section that has already dried; otherwise you’ll end up with visibly darker spots. An even steady pace is the key. It should take about 2 hours to stain the entire project. Keep an eye out for runs and when you’ve completed the staining, give the project a Twice-Over to ensure you haven’t missed any drips or runs in the stain.

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