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Old 06-12-2003, 02:16 PM   #1
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stand design, which is better...

a lot of diy stands and those commerically produced have a 'hollow' top, with only framing to support the tank on it's plastic edges ...

I assume this only serves to reduce cost and weight of the stand? wouldn't a solid top, even it most of it is not supporting the tank directly, benefit the stand by increasing ridgedity

I'm considering building a new stand to support my current 30 gal and perhaps down the road a new 55 gal (or bigger depending on budget )

the method I used to build the stand for my 29 gal is a slightly modified version of the plans found at

http://users.rcn.com/reef101/diystand.html

I used 2x4 studs for the whole thing, without any cabnitrey finish ... plus plenty of big 'ol steel screws ... I'm sure it can hold a lot more than that 29 gal can throw at it...

so I was planning on building a 48" x 24" x 36" model, using 2x6's for the top shelf, doubled up on horizontal spans so I don't have any legs getting in the way of the middle, and to make sure it could hold a car if need be ... I also plan on a solid top and bottom, so it can support a variety of tanks ...

I'm going to put the old 30 gal on the bottom, and build its lights inside the 'top' ... leaving the top shelf open for whatever I can afford down the road

any thoughts or comments would be appericated
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Old 06-21-2003, 12:13 PM   #2
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Good plan to me, let us know how it works
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Old 06-25-2003, 04:44 PM   #3
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The problem I see with the stand in the link in the first post is that the weight of the tank is supported by the deck screws that hold the 2x4's together, rather than the 2x4 legs. If it is skinned with 1/2" plywood as in the diagram, it'll be ok as the plywood will support the weight of the tank. If it's not skinned, it won't be very strong.

A friend of mine used to build 4' stands similar to the one in the diagram. The difference was that his 2x4 legs were on the outside of the top and bottom supports instead of on the inside. These stands got wobbly after a while. My fix was to wedge a piece of 2x2 in between the top and bottom supports at each corner.

I'll be building a 6' stand here soon. The frame will be 2x4, with tank weight being supported by 2x4 supports directly on top of, not screwed to the side of, 2x4 legs. The skin will be cherry plywood with 1/2"x3" cherry planks for trim.
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Old 06-25-2003, 06:15 PM   #4
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Cost is definately an issue with the open top, but another thing to consider is that the bottom on the tank has edges, so the tank is not flat on the plywood. I wonder if the water would condensate between these layers since they would not be able to vent and cause damage to the stand. If you want a solid top, I would cut square holes in it to vent that "dead" space. When I've thought about doing this, I think I would use 4x4 corner posts instead of 2x4. The cost would be minor, but the surface area carrying the load would be doubled.
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Old 06-25-2003, 07:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bearfan
...I think I would use 4x4 corner posts instead of 2x4. The cost would be minor, but the surface area carrying the load would be doubled.
To make the legs, I use two 2x4's, joined together in an L shape, when looking down from above. This allows each board of the top support to rest on the 2x4 legs.
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Old 06-25-2003, 08:30 PM   #6
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brainstorming?

ok, ok, good brain-storming stuff here!

fasteners:
how about 3/16th" (or 1/4"!) carriage bolts instead of deck screws?

legs and support:
L shaped 2x4 legs, supporting the four corners of the top shelf ... how would I support the bottom shelf 2-3 inches 'up' off the floor ...

I'd like to have "legs" to level, to make up for cheap 2x4's that are never perfectly straight ...

single 2x4 center support for the rear 4ft span? (would like the front span un-obstructed so I can view two display tanks) (would supporting the back but not the front create unequal stress?) ...

Would 2x6's for the top shelf be overkill (I'll probably get a 75 or 90g, but dream of one day having a 120g)

my current 29gal stand has the legs exactly as pictured in the original link ... I also used copious amounts of glue and screws (more than that diagram details, I also used drywall not deck screws) ... the stand is over a year old now and shows no signs of wobbles, but I guess a year isn't a "long" period of time

----------
solid vs open:
the current stand for my 29gal has a solid plywood top shelf ... I haven't noticed any water damage the two times I've taken the tank apart for moving ... also, the tank sits on a piece of clear vinyl sheet (window insulation), which covers a box-board 'pad' which covers the plywood

-------

96 įF here today ... good thing the A/C in my new places works good! 8)
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Old 06-26-2003, 10:27 PM   #7
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Carriage bolts would probably loosen up, just like they do on bedframes and headboards.

I'm going to use 2x4's, wood dowels, water resistent carpeter's glue and deck screws for my 125 stand skeleton. It'll be skinned in Cherry wood for aestetics.

You can support the bottom shelf with a support identical to the top tank support, made of 2x4's.

You can find true 2x4's. You must look down them lengthwise on the 2" edge. Hold the end right under your eye and look down the entire length of it. You'll see if it's true ot not. You'll have to rifle through a few of them to find perfect ones.

When I built my 75 stand years ago, I use a single 2x4 for the length of the tank, allowing full viewing of whatever is underneath. For the 125 stand, I'll slap an extra 2x4 in the middle.
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Old 06-26-2003, 11:15 PM   #8
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Attached is a pic of my buddy's stand design from years back. The dotted lines are where I inserted 2x2's into the inside corners of the L shaped legs to cure the wobbly problem. This allows the weight of the tank to rest on solid wood, rather than relying solely on the deck screws to support the weight. Use some carpenter's glue on the 2x2's before inserting them and the strength of the L shaped legs will also help support the tank's weight.

The slats on the bottom of the front pic are 1x4's, cut to fit and spaced 1/4" apart just like deck planks. This looks alot better than a solid plywood base.

My 125 stand will have the top tank support directly on top of the L shaped legs and bottom support directly underneath of the L shaped legs, instead of inside of them. I'm doing this because I'm going to skin the entire thing in cherry plywood with cherry trim. I'll use wood dowels with carpenter's glue, deck screws, and metal deck corner braces to affix the wood in this manner.
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