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Old 09-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #1
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DIY Canopy

i've been trying to get some basic measurements for my 125 canopy. I'm a novice builder and the one i've built i have used all the wrong woods. If you could what type of wood did you use and what measurement did you use in your build? If you have any rough draft blue prints i'd love to take a look to see how i can rebuild and restructure my original build. Heck i'd pay for your plans thats how much i like the canopy.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:15 PM   #2
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diy aquarium canopy - Yahoo! Search Results
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:18 PM   #3
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I broke this post off the other thread and started a new thread.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:31 PM   #4
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Best bet would be to go with a stud grade 2x4 for the frame. Depending on your skill level only use a veneer of "good wood".

One bit of advice I would make (from when I did carpentry work) would be to get a good waterproof poly-u or other type of water sealer for the underneath and make sure it is dried outside before putting it on your tank. This makes sure the wood has been sealed as well as the sealer not leeching out chemicals.

One thing you DO NOT want to use is pressure treated lumber. The type of stuff you would use to build a deck. There are a ton of nasty chemicals in them that you do not want inside your house, let alone in close proximity to your tank.
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:57 PM   #5
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Stud grade 2 x 4? That seems a bit more than you need and could really make that thing heavy as a son-of-a-gun... The one time I built a panel over frame style canopy, I used furring strips which are roughly 1 x 2 and I swore that I would never do that again!

I understand the desire to overbuild stuff for the sake of durability, but they really just need to be a box with some form of decorative/finishing trim...
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Old 09-01-2009, 12:58 PM   #6
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A canopy can be as simple as a plain box, or as fancy as you can make it.

Wood to use:
Solid hardwood is the best, but will be pricey & you will need a fair amount of woodworking skills to get good results. <Or you pay $$$ for pre-dressed hardwood.>
Solid pine would be a good material for beginners. Available in many different dimensions & reasonable, it is also easy to work with. Avoid glued jointed panels/pieces. The glue is not water proof, & might separate unless you seal perfectly.
Stud grade spruce is reasonable, but you will have to spend time going through the stack to find straight/unblemished pieces or own a jointer/planer to dress the wood. <I usu. get 2x6's & then cut/plane them down to size ... for a canopy, I made the frame with ~1" thick stock.>
Exterior grade plywood or furniture grade plywood can be used, but be sure to seal all edges & faces or it will de-laminate.
Avoid particle boards/chipwood/hardboard, etc ... they will absorb water & swell & breakdown. Also avoid any pressure treated wood products, <Arsenic & cyanide in chemicals ... kill fish!>
Whatever you use, make sure you seal the finished canopy well. I use 3 coats of exterior poly. Marine spar finish is another option. <Better, esp. if you have SW.>
You may also consider plastic/acrylic panels for "skin". I used 1/4" acrylic panels for my lids, looks good & I can also see my fish from the top.

Measurements:
Make your canopy so that the inside dimensions are bigger than your tank's OUTSIDE dimensions. Then have cleats inside the canopy so it will rest nicely on top of the tank. I make the canopy about 1/4" bigger all around so there is easy fit & no worry of pinching with wood movement, etc. With a lipped canopy like this, it cannot shift & fall off the tank, plus the lip covers the plastic trim of the tank. <My canopy looks better than the plastic!>

The height of the canopy depends on the lights you have inside. Make it taller than the lights so that there is a couple of inches (at least) between the light bulbs & the water surface. If you use MH or other hot lights, you will need to allow room above the lights for air movement & room for fans & cooling equipment. <Hot lights mounted directly on wood surface = fire hazard!>
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:07 PM   #7
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oops, my mind has been on making stands not canopies... my bad....

For a canopy can get away with a 1x4 or 1x2... A 1x2 though would be a bear when fasting with screws or nails due to splitting... Best bet with the thinner woods is to use a drill and a small bit to make pilot holes.

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:14 PM   #8
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Hey great advice....I used a cheap plywood as per directions from a DYI search on yahoo... i also your pine wood boards(about 10 bucks a Piece for the siding.)...let me clarify I'm Novice but not all the way new..lol..my wood selections is very new things of that sort..such as i used a pine board to make my canopy hatch door and it was good for about 3 days the it bowed creating a 1 inch gap on each end of the board??? I was so mad
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Old 09-01-2009, 01:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JPKeenan View Post
oops, my mind has been on making stands not canopies... my bad....

For a canopy can get away with a 1x4 or 1x2... A 1x2 though would be a bear when fasting with screws or nails due to splitting... Best bet with the thinner woods is to use a drill and a small bit to make pilot holes.

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Old 09-01-2009, 01:46 PM   #10
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so i need to create the frame using 1x2's see the diy blueprint intrstruc i used said to nail the wood board on the outside together...although i wasnt to keen on that i didnt know any other way....thats primarily my question. what would do i use and how do i contruct a solid nice canopy..the DYI i researched obviously cost me over 100 bucks and its a piece and so i'd rather be able to post pics and get prof. advice from fellow fish folks
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