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Old 06-30-2004, 08:27 PM   #1
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My attempt at a 55g GARF stand

Tonight I finished the frame of my GARF stand. Most of the lumber came from a stand I came across that was for a much larger tank. It feels sturdy, looks good. I just need to sheet it now and life is good. But, here's my problem. I want to put a 20g tank in the bottom as a sump. So, I made it wide enough for the tank to fit. However, I didn't take into consideration the center legs being on the inside of the frame, cutting off 3" of my space! It's too narrow.

What I'm wondering is, can I remove the back center leg, shorten it, then place it between the top and bottom frame? I'd obviously secure it with some sort of metal brackets. Would this be structurally sound enough?

Also, I put this together with 2 1/2" screws. Is that good enough?
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Old 06-30-2004, 08:37 PM   #2
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Pretty good stand.
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:09 AM   #3
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Re: My attempt at a 55g GARF stand

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Originally Posted by JeffProe
What I'm wondering is, can I remove the back center leg, shorten it, then place it between the top and bottom frame? I'd obviously secure it with some sort of metal brackets. Would this be structurally sound enough?
You are putting the legs in between the to & bottom rails, right? Since the tank weight is resting on the rails, this arraangement is actually stronger than having the legs outside the rails. The legs, however, must fit perfectly - any gaps and the top rail may sag. Depending on your woodworking experience, you can join the legs to the rails with half-lap joints (strongest next to mortise & tenon). Framing brackets will probably be adaquate, however.

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Also, I put this together with 2 1/2" screws. Is that good enough?
Did you use glue? The rails looks like they are butt jointed to the legs (the GARF design). This allows the rails to slip down the legs (much better to have the rails resting on top of the legs - but requires more advanced joinery). I won't be able to sleep nights if the only thing holding up my tank are screws. The screws might break or work themselves loose & the stand will become wobbly.

Good cabinet glue will hold a ton or more, far stronger than the wood itself. For building any furniture to last, I always use glue. The screws are there to hold the wood together till the glue set, but I wouldn't trust them to hold up an entire tank load.
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Old 07-01-2004, 12:35 AM   #4
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I'll second that glue idea. Elmers makes a really good one, but the best out there I have seen is gorilla glue.
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Old 07-01-2004, 01:21 PM   #5
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Boy was that dumb . No, I didn't use glue... I'll pick some up on the way home tonight though!
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Old 07-01-2004, 11:08 PM   #6
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Since you have to take the frame apart to add glue, you might cosider notching the middle legs & put them in like the pic:

This should give you an additional 3".
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Old 07-07-2004, 09:06 PM   #7
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Well, I half-lapped the joints for the middle two legs. I've got my space back and my sump tank will now fit. I took everyone's advice and glued all the joints/mating surfaces on the stand. Now I just need some sheeting and doors. Anyone know of a good place to get unfinished cabinet doors?
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Old 07-09-2004, 12:32 AM   #8
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Have you checked small businesses around? Do you have any Amish near by? I have purchased some rather nice things off them, always built to last near forever!

You may also want to post in the classifieds. Odd, I know, but alot of people throw out those things because they don't think anyone will want them. Just my $0.02
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Old 07-09-2004, 12:37 AM   #9
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yeah amish make really great furniture, that stand frame look like a stand i made for my hamsters cage. its sturdy as can be. btu my hamsters cage is only 10-15 lbs.


nto trying to be mean,............ i never do things halfway, i over tend to over do things alot of the time (if that is correct english of course
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Old 07-09-2004, 09:03 AM   #10
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I suppose then that if you were building your own house, you would build it out of 2x12's on 12" centers right? It would work, but be way more than adequate. Anyway, thanks for the advice on the doors.
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