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Old 03-12-2014, 10:21 PM   #1
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Any Carpenters in AA?

I'm just finishing up my new planted 46 gallon bowfront tank, and have realized how much stuff I have acquired to maintain the tank! Test kits, ferts, fishfood, trimming utensils, buckets, gravel vacs, tubing, suction cups, etc..

Now that the tank is up and running, I am trying to streamline it all, giving everything its own place so it stays organized and can be easily accessed when needed. I had gotten most of it sorted out, until I saw my jumbled pile of testing kits, tubes, color/drop charts etc..
I was first thinking of a drawer or basket I could toss it all into, but me being the neatfreak that I am, could not live with sorting through it all every time I need to test!

That kinda made me think 1st about the plastic container the API master kit comes in, then I thought about a pic I saw in Old Scales Album of what looked like a 2x4 with holes drilled to fit a test tube into, and labeled for each test. That led me to this concept(pardon my photography skills(lack of!):
http://www.aquariumadvice.com/forums...1&d=1394669407

1st a quick explanation of what i drew up:
The pic is a top view of the 2x4 I was using, the left side would be the back/ right side is the front. The black squares are where the test soloution bottles would sit in 1 in front of the other for the tests with two indicators.
I started with the idea of cutting out a neat little form fitting slot like the master kit has, then reality set in... I'm not that crafty... I then decided to do a square that both bottles would fit in.
In front of each square I drilled 2 holes- 1 for the test tube to stand up-right in while testing, and the other is to glue a dowel rod in, that an empty test tube can be placed upside down on to dry, and keep it from rolling onto the floor for me to step on...
I also considered a cut between the bottle and tube holders for the color charts to slide into, but that will be the last thing I will do.
Now that you know my plan, I need a little guidance on how to complete it. I drilled the holes for the tubes by taping my drill bits(on a power drill) 1/2 an inch from the end, and stopped drilling when the tape reached the wood, easy enough right?

Well unfortunately that was also my plan to drill out the spots for the soloution bottles a 1/2 inch deep for the bottles to sit in, and from the pic you can see it didn't work out that well. It was impossible to keep the holes even, and to the same depth!
Apparently my arm is not a suitable replacement for a drill press.
Now, short of going out and buying a complete workshop, what will be the easiest way for me to knotch the black areas out to a 1/2 inch depth with very limited tools(meaning no drill press)? I would like them to be fairly uniform and as smooth as possible. And, What tools would I need to accomplish this? Let me know if you need any clarification on any of this and thanks in advance for your help!
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Old 03-12-2014, 11:50 PM   #2
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Let me see if I can get you to see a different approach. You're thinking a carve-out from a one piece. Think multiple part components. Think a thin 1/2"x 3" bottom board. A 3/4" high x 1" thick separate board on the front edge as the test tube holder. This board is slotted on the edge towards the bottle holders 1/8" deep. Then small square wood pieces as dividers making the spaces for the bottles. Then a thin board slotted for the other side of the bottle spaces. You can slot cut using a table saw with the blade raised above the table deck only the depth of the slots you need to cut. The test tube board can be screwed into the base board from the back side and the other pieces glued together and down to the base board. I hope I'm explaining it enough to give you the idea. OS.
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Old 03-13-2014, 12:46 AM   #3
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Following this post.
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Old 03-13-2014, 01:13 AM   #4
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I think I'm picking up what you're putting down here OS! Essentially use "three" pieces of wood:
Piece 1 would be on the front, thick enough to drill holes for test tubes/dowel rods, with the slot cut on the bottom of its backside that the middle piece would adhere to so the bottom of both pieces would sit flush on a surface.
Piece 2 would be a thin piece I would use to adhere small rail like pieces creating the side dividers for the bottles, that when attached to piece one would put the front label of the test soloution against the back of piece one.
Piece 3 would be the same height as piece 1, and only serve to retain the bottles from falling off the back of piece 2. It would attatch to piece 2 the same way as piece 1 in reverse.

Are we on the same page? Same book?? If so, brilliant and you get 100% credit! If not, you still get all the credit for pulling me away from thinking I could do this with a 2x4 and inadequate tools! I will put it to the test tomorrow and post a final result. Thanks!
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:11 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawkins409 View Post
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Hawkins, welcome aboard! 2 questions for you- are you in NE Kansas? Do you have a drill press I can come use? LOL!

Glad to see you on the thread, after seeing how you mounted your PH controller and all your power, in Ricker's Co2 thread, I was inspired to get things neat and tidy!
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Old 03-13-2014, 06:36 AM   #6
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Yep! We're exactly on the same age. There are some pretty awesome wood glues out there now a days also. OS.
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:18 PM   #7
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I am close... Wichita. I don't have a drill press, though. I'm super excited to see how you get things organized, especially your test kit. I think I have OCD! Haha. I have my under the tank mess looking better than it was originally, but I'd really like to see ideas on how to get it crazy organized.

People "trick out" their cars, car stereos, engines etc. Do people do that with test kits, supplies, filtration systems, etc. I see lots of potential on this...
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Old 03-13-2014, 02:31 PM   #8
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Good call OS! Think that's a great idea! Op a quick way to make a depth stop on a drill bit. Drill the desired size hole in a 3/4 block, than cut block to say 1x1, slide block onto drill bit and take it in place at the desired depth spot on bit and tape in place with electrical or painters tape, not much to look at but dies the trick
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:36 AM   #9
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Well I didn't get it finished, but made some progress. I found some smooth-finish pine for "crafting" at lowes today. Thought this might work best for me, due to a lack of tools!
I picked up 1-1/2x6x24, 1- 1x2x44, and 3- 1/2x2x24 pieces, a 7/16 dowel rod, and a tube of Liquid Nails. Around $16 for it all!
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Old 03-14-2014, 01:49 AM   #10
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And the pics are upside down... Stupid Kindle Fire! Not sure how to fix, but hopefully you can see one is a front view and the other is the top.
I ended up using the 1/2 x 6 as a base then used some 1/2x1 as the backing to the bottles, and side dividers. The 1x2 I cut to full length and drilled 1/2 inch holes to hold the tubes for testing on the front, and drilled 3/8 inch holes to put the dowel rods in on the back.
Hope to get it glued and painted tomorrow!
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