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Old 05-08-2004, 01:55 AM   #1
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Stand to accomodate multiple tanks

I've recently contracted a dose of MTS and acquired a used 20 and 30 gal from a friend for a good deal. Rather than build two separate stands, I was thinking of building something with multiple levels so I could have the 30 on the bottom and the 20 on top, and possibly even wide enough to accommodate more tanks in the future. One idea is to build the GARF stand that's 40x24x24" for the bottom tank and put the 30 gal on it. Then I'd build another top frame that's 40x16, attach legs at the corners, and set it on top and toward the back of the bottom stand. The 20 gal would then sit on this top stand. Since both tanks are 12" wide, I could have the 30 gal on the bottom toward the front of the stand so I could access it easier and the top stand would only partially straddle the back edge of the tank. My concern is that the top stand would not have enough middle support and that the bottom stand is doing double duty on the weight load. Any comments or other ideas?

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Old 05-08-2004, 02:29 AM   #2
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Not really envisioning what you just said, but... Build the stands like you would any other stand, and then just connect them together. You can make one stand higher than the other or what have you. Put in more support beams if you're worried.

I'm thinking of these types of stands... is this what you're thinking of?
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Old 05-08-2004, 04:07 AM   #3
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If the two drawings you have are side views, then the one on the left is sort of what I am thinking. However, I want the top stand to partially straddle the back of the tank on the bottom so that I don't have to build the bottom stand quite so deep. In fact, I may go only 20" deep instead of 24" on the bottom, and 14" instead of 16" on the top. The problem with the design is that it eliminates the possibility of adding vertical support for the top shelf at it's midpoint, so I'm concerned that the top shelf won't be able to handle the load.

Also, what would be the pros and cons of using Formica for a surface?
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Old 05-11-2004, 02:33 AM   #4
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A couple tips... make sure the 2x4's you use are as straight as possible. The lumberyard here seems to have crap, so my frame seems to want to have a slight twist to it. I'm sure there's a way to straighten things out, but I can't seem to get it to set flat without putting weight on the opposite corners. Also, the old adage of "measure twice and cut once" has plenty of merit as I have found out!

Any comments or help from those more "constructionally inclined" would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 05-12-2004, 01:17 AM   #5
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I wouldn't worry too much about a middle support at the top. If you look at the garf desigh, you can have a 4 foot tank & still need one center support, so you don't need a center support for a 2 foot long tank.

How to straighten out crooked lumber.... The short answer is DON'T. If you force crooked 2x4's to go straight in your constructions, there will be internal stresses that increases your chance of the whole thing shifting & going crooked in the future (wood will expand & contract over the season & even if you get all the forces balanced when you build, the wood movement can throw everything out of kilter!)

The only way to true up lumber is with planing. You can do it with a hand plane, but that is a skill for the master woodworker. I use my jointer instead. First you true up one face, then you true up the adjacent edge to exactly square. Then you run the piece through a table saw, with the trued face down, trued edge on the fence, to get a parallel edge. Finally, you run the board through a thickness planer to get the last face parallel. This is a lot of work, but is the standard way of truing up lumber for furniture. <That's why dressed lumber costs 2-3 times that of rough & the size is smaller than quoted >

For 2x4's, easier to choose perfectly square/straight pieces from construction grade material. I won't look at the econo-grade stuff - too many knots/ warps, etc. But if you spend a bit of time going through the pile, you shopuld get some pretty good pieces.

For the garf stand, I think anything within an eight of an inch is adaquate. Fine furniture making will demand pieces to be within 1/16 - 1/32" or better.
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multiple tanks, stand, tan

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