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Old 07-28-2005, 02:58 PM   #1
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First DYI project EVER, don't have any equipment. Mistake?

I want to build my own 55g stand and canopy. I have never attempted to build anything and only have the basic equipment(hammer, working space, thats about it!). I can follow detailed instructions well, but the GARF plans are not detailed, so I am a little worried. Is it worth even attempting? I can get what I want for about $200 at the lfs, but building it myself would be kind of fun. Any feedback would be great...
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Old 07-28-2005, 03:42 PM   #2
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My husband and I just built a garf 55 gallon stand. All the material for just the stand came out to about $100. We also spent another $50 for a circular saw. We already had a drill, some clamps, and a level. You can get away with building it with just those tools, but truthfully, if I had been able to find a stand that would have held my old 30 gal tank turned 'fuge for $200, I would have jumped on it.

It was a lot of fun to build the stand, though. I recommend seriously fiddling with the garf plans. The design will hold a lot of weight, but on a 55 gallon scale, doesn't have a lot of room underneath. Figure out how much storage room you need/want, and build around that, instead of the tank size (One bit of advice I read AFTER building was to double the storage room you think you'll need. I've since found it to be good advice.). Also, add inches all around so that you don't have to put the tank in exactly the right spot.

Good luck!

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Old 07-28-2005, 04:49 PM   #3
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So I will need a saw? Can HD or a place like it just do it for me when i buy the wood?
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Old 07-28-2005, 05:01 PM   #4
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HD starts charging for cuts after the first one in the wood if Im not mistaking.
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Old 07-28-2005, 05:41 PM   #5
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Lowes does 2 cuts for free, after that it's 25 cents a cut.
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Old 07-28-2005, 06:12 PM   #6
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yeah... lol this guy cut like 30 cuts for me and he didnt charge
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:13 PM   #7
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typically, how many cuts would there be to build a stand and canopy?
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Old 07-28-2005, 07:44 PM   #8
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Unless my math is wrong, you'll need at least 16 cuts just for the stand.

Using GARF's calculator (for exact dimensions) you need:
4 - 2x4x48 -- 2 cuts
6 - 2x4x10 -- 6 cuts
6 - 2x4x(height) -- 6 cuts
3/4" plywood for top -- 2 cuts

This doesn't include sheathing it in 1/4" to make it look pretty.

The DIY sticky has a link to a nice set of plans that includes a cost estimate. According to them, it'll cost about $150 (if I remember correctly) to make a stand.

At this scale, it's really not any more cost efficient to build verses buy. Obviously there are reasons to do so, and I'm all for DIY, but I think in this case you're better off just buying a set.
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Old 07-28-2005, 11:23 PM   #9
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i built my 55 stand for almost 70bucks, that included, 2x4 neccessary for construction w/ 2 extra, 1/4 ply, 8feet of trim (alittle less), stain/polyurthane mix and door hardware hardware, and the 3/4" ply on top, i had some 1/2" ply left over from another project, and i used for that for sump area.

you can always 'rent' tools at walmart, or if you have a harbor tool and frieght in your area you can get a circular saw for 10-15, and any extra tools at dirt low cost.
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