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Old 04-09-2004, 11:38 PM   #1
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Wood

i am going to be making a top for my tank to hold my new PC lighting for my 46 bow. but i was wondering what is the best wood to use for the the unit? just pine? and how do i make sure that no water gets in the wood and rots it away.
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A 46 gal bow front (Soft coral) reef tank with a 10 gal sump. And a 30 gal (SPS and Clam) reef tank hooked up to the sump of the 46 so they share water.
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Old 04-10-2004, 12:19 AM   #2
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you seal the wood, just like you would for a deck, fence, ect. you seal the wood after you have assembled your unit and happy with it's construction. you can use a few different products for the sealing process, i like polyurethane a lot for this sort of work, others like thompson's water seal, and others like tung oil. it's really personal choice, and what you can [and can't] afford.
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Old 04-10-2004, 10:38 AM   #3
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Pine wood is fine or you can upgrade to birch if you want a hardwood. Birch may look at little nicer. Either way you can find a polyeurathane based stain that you can use to match to anything you like. Oh yeah, you can save some dough if you get the plywood, not sure if you meant plywood or solid hardwood.
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Old 04-10-2004, 11:48 AM   #4
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well i am going to be painting the out side black. i would like it to look like the stand that i have so it will not be made out of plywood. it will be made out of 1x4 for the out side faceing.
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Old 04-10-2004, 01:21 PM   #5
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well there are many different grades of plywood, there are crappy grades that are used for applications where they won't be seen (in large wooden beds) but provide strength and others have a the grain pattern and color of their 1x4 cousins, but in a long 2ft x 4ft board.

since you're painting the hood anyway, you won't see the grain. so i think choosing to use the plywood (but of a higher grade) would be completely ok for this project, and if nothing else should be alot cheaper than a bunch 2x4 and alot less cutting involved too.

whatever you choose though, make sure you seal every square inch of the hood after assembly. choosing a stain and polyurethane mix is a good idea, but i feel alot more comfortable using straight poly, for sealing (the inside of the hood only) then using the mix for the outside.

just my personal opinion though
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Old 04-11-2004, 12:43 PM   #6
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If you're painting then definitely go with plywood, I still like the 3/4" birch its real strong, usually a smoother better finish than pine, it will also stand up to bumps and nicks better than pine, you can get it in 4'x8' sheets and smaller at most Lowes and HD's.
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Old 04-11-2004, 01:22 PM   #7
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my other probelm is that it is a bow front. bending the plywood would not be as easy as bowing a 1x4.
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Old 04-11-2004, 10:06 PM   #8
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Bending the plywood is just as easy as any other wood. Where you want your "bend" you will want to cut into the wood 1/3 the thickness of the wood. Depending on how much bow you need will determine how far apart the
"cuts" will be from each other. I suggest that you practice on a scrap piece before doing the actual cuts for your top.

HTH


Mike
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