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Old 04-07-2004, 06:25 PM   #21
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Imperatorfan had some questions in a PM. I thought I'd answer in the thread just in case anyone else is in a similar situation.

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The 180 will have a lot more weight, thats for sure! I really want something that large but we don't have room in the great room for it in this house. We decided that we had to stay with a 4' wide tank.

Here's a useful link to aquarium sizes and weights.
http://www.alysta.com/books/fishtank.htm

According to that, you're looking at roughly 6' by 2' footprint and over 2,100 pounds to support.

I was able to find data on the mechanical properties of kiln dried red oak, but I don't have any comparison to plywood. I do know from experience that plywood will not support as much weight. How much of a difference is it? I don't know on something this large. I know from experience on 45 gallon and under that plywood is plenty sturdy. That may or may not mean that it would work for a 180.

What I do know is that Oceanic and All-Glass make stands for 180 gallon aquariums. Take a look at the way they are constructed and use that to guide your design. I'll bet they are made out of 3/4" material and they hold up just fine.

The reason that they do is because they are commercially constructed and are perfectly square (and plumb). Look at the way that they are braced internally to prevent the long 6' sides from bowing out. Look at how the corners are constructed. I think you mean to double up the 3/4" plywood. If you double the material up, make sure that you get an even coating of wood glue to bond the inner and outer sheet together. In my opinion, that would be a good alternative to 4x4 construction as long as the stand is well constructed.

Some DIYers can make near perfect cuts and some can't. You know your capabilites and what tools you have available. Use that to help guide your design decision. If there's any doubt, go for heavier construction.

Now, how would I tackle this? Frankly, I would be worried about that size of an aquarium on 3/4" material. The idea of doubling up on 3/4" material seems to be a real winner to me. I think you'll end up with a sturdy and professional looking stand. It is going to be more difficult to pull off because the jointery is critical. On a Garf stand, it isn't as critical (within reason).

The modified Garf design is proven, so I can't not recommend it. I really do not like pine 2x4s and 4x4s because they have a tendency to warp, cup, and twist. However, on something this size, I would be inclined to overlook that shortcoming. Notching the 4x4 uprights so the top frame of 2x4s will interlock is very easy to do, but time consuming. You can do it with a circular saw and a chisel. Those are both very common tools.

I would then line the inside of the cabinet in plywood (birch or oak veneer if you like) to hide the pine framing members. Of course you should determine your sump requirements, if any, and ensure that the interior will accomodate.

Whatever you decide, please share your thoughts with us. Start a building log so we can all see new and creative solutions to this common DIY item.
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Old 04-09-2004, 11:56 PM   #22
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I've been making cabinets and doors like this for a good 15 years. I guess that means that no matter how much you do this type of stuff, you still make mistakes. Well, at least I always do

I thought I'd share this one with you. I changed the design of the stand a couple times and I guess I never updated the doors to match. I caught that error after the first cut. Then I proceeded to measure again and figure the size wrong again. So, I called it quits for the night. Tomorrow these will look much better!

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Old 04-10-2004, 01:52 PM   #23
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hehe minor oopsie... actually... if you could find a way to block seeing directly through that gap into the stand.. i think it would make creative kind of "handle" rather than having to mount hardware... even though it's a goof... it's still 10 times better than anything I could come up with.
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Old 04-10-2004, 03:40 PM   #24
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This is more like it!



The pieces are just dry-fitted here for the picture. Right now, all three doors are clamped and glued. I should be finishing the stand this week if all goes well!
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Old 04-10-2004, 10:17 PM   #25
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:36 AM   #26
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Looking great!!
Keep up the good work!!

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Old 04-15-2004, 11:57 PM   #27
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So, the lengthy process of finishing has begun. This is Minwax Oil stain in Golden Oak. Two coats of poly next. Thats going to be a chore!



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Old 04-18-2004, 01:37 AM   #28
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The cabinet is finally finished. The top will have to wait until my travelling for the next 3 weeks is done. For the top, I have decided to do a DIY concrete top. There's a lot of great information on making kitchen countertops in concrete. That ought to be a good challenge.

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Old 04-19-2004, 01:23 PM   #29
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Simply put; Beautiful work. Now that the weather around here is finaly starting to get a little nicer... perhaps I'll get my rear in gear and get back to work on my little stand.
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Old 04-19-2004, 11:30 PM   #30
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Shartkbait, we've said several times before ... but I've got to say it again. Excellent woodwork. Are you talking about a concrete hood or a concrete slab to replace the granite that you originally talked about doing?
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