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Old 09-25-2003, 02:06 PM   #1
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DIY Lighting Questions (Re: construction materials)

I realize there are a ton of posts on DIY lighting but I have some questions that I haven't found answers to.

I was wondering what people use for actually constructing the hood...Stuff like wood type, paint/finish, tools, etc.

I have a 33 long which is about 48 inches wide and I would like to build a canopy that would allow me to feed without removing the hood. ANy suggestions?

Also, it's going to be an unplanted Cichlid tank, so I only need light for fish viewing.
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Old 09-29-2003, 12:05 PM   #2
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I use "architectural grade" pine boards for my smaller light fixtures (like those going on a 10 gallon tank)

for larger fixtures, I use plywood, usually birch veneer.

if I bother to paint, i've got Rustoleum "arts and crafts" indoor/outdoor latex in semigloss black and highgloss white

tools; hand saw + mitre box, mitre saw, circular saw, drill, screwdriver, framing square, angle iron, clamps and a recent addition of a small table saw

for your needs, I'd build a canopy that is split 60 / 40 and the front 40 is hinged to fold up and over the back 60, allowing for feeding and simple maintenence. you can buy a cheap under-cabinet light and mount them to the "back half" of the canopy... a pair of 15 watt lights should work well for a fish only tank

HTH
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Old 09-29-2003, 12:53 PM   #3
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Excellent!

Thanks for the info. I currently have a 36" strip "mounted" on top of my tank. I have to put this one on hold until I build a stand for a new 65 gallon tank. The current setup works fine but I think I will build something respectable in a couple of weeks. I recently discovered Aisle 18 in my local Lowes which contains all of the smaller project-like cuts of wood. Stuff like 1 by 6, smaller pieces of plywood, etc. Pretty much everything that isn't construction grade studs and 8 foot sheets of plywood. Aisle 18 makes me very optimistic!

I really need to get my hands ona mitre saw or a table saw. I think that would make it much easier to get straight cuts than using a circular saw...

Thanks again for the info justDIY.
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Old 10-03-2003, 12:08 AM   #4
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Table saw! alright that will make things a lot easier.

I try to figure out my needed sizes and get the HomeDepot guys to cut as much as possible.
For hoods and most other stuff I prefer 1/2 inch one good side ply. Or 3/8 but that is starting to get floppy in longer pieces.

Finishing/painting, ya, I keep meaning to do that.
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Old 10-03-2003, 06:08 AM   #5
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Table saw? Sears is having a pretty good tool sale right now. I'm thinking you can get a pretty decent tabletop model 10" table saw for less than $150. Might want to check them out.
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Old 10-03-2003, 09:34 AM   #6
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I made my first hoods with a jig saw and a drill. Now that was fun trying to cut stright with a hand held jigsaw.

When I made my first hoods I used cheap 3/8" plywood. Knot holes and all. Hey I was on a budget.
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Old 10-03-2003, 12:37 PM   #7
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loganj, I was refering to JustDIY's post where he mentioned a recent addition of a table saw. That does sound good will have to take a look at Sears.
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