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55 Gallon w/Internal 10 Gallon
by Robert Rasco
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Disclaimer:
First things first: Whenever working with power tools, saws and sanders you should always exercise safety practices. Always wear eye protection, gloves, and follow proper procedures while operating dangerous equipment. During the construction phase of this stand, you WILL need to use tools which could risk your safety. If safety precautions are not followed, there is a serious risk of injury or death. I will say this now, IT IS VERY POSSIBLE TO GET HURT USING POWER TOOLS! When staining/painting it is ALWAYS recommended to wear a mask and gloves to protect yourself from harmful chemicals used in paint(s). In choosing to build the following stand, you do so at your own risk. Neither I, or the host of this article shall be held responsible for the risks you take in constructing this stand. Now lets get started!

Intro:
This is the 55 gallon tank stand I designed. I personally did not want to spend the hundreds of dollars on a stand, and to have it not designed specifically for me. Instead, I spent roughly $130 on one that was designed specifically for me...and built by me.

I wanted a stand that both looked nice and functioned well. I needed it to hold my 55 gallon on top and a 10 gallon quarantine inside. It also had to accommodate my co2 injection system and xp2 canister. Not to mention everything else a true aquarist would need; food, dechlorinator, timer strip, nets, yadda yadda yadda. The lower tank could also be used as a sump if desired. It was designed to house a 10 gallon, but it will also fit a 20 gallon long, if you can get it in the doors, there is enough area for it.

I have never built a stand before, nor have I done much other carpentry before. I have built a few things, but nothing this complex. But what I have accomplished is magnificent, and I actually think it turned out much better than I could have imagined. I had decided after doing hours of research and design on my own stand that why not share it with everyone else. I reviewed dozens of stands and designs to come up with my own. What you take from this tutorial is up to you; take as little or as much info as you would like to incorporate into your own design.

Supplies:
This is a list of the tools that I have used to build my stand. Not all tools are necessary depending on the extent of what you are going to do. For example, a router is not required to build the stand, but if you would like a nice molded edge, you would need one. You also do not have to countersink screws, but this is a practice I use every time. It will help to make the edges flush without the extrusion of a screw head. Sandpaper grit is also an option, I don't have any specific reasoning as to why I used the grits I did, from a technical standpoint I could not tell you why I picked them, other than the fact that 36 will take off more, and 150 seemed about right for me to finish sand.

  • Miter Saw
  • Table Saw (I did not use one, I don't have one at my disposal, I used a JigSaw, but if you have one, I would recommend using it.)
  • Hammer
  • Drill
  • JigSaw
  • Tape Measure
  • 45 Degree Corner Clamp
  • Finish Sander
  • Sandpaper (36 grit, 150 grit)
  • Stain Brush
  • Countersink Drill Bit (Optional)
  • Router (Optional)
  • Wood Glue

Materials:
Some of these items are optional and are not required to build the stand. Like I said before, what you take from this article is up to you, you can choose to use all of the extra touches I have chosen to, or if you are just into functionality, take as little as you may need to accompany your needs and/or taste. The " sheets of pine ply can be substituted with the oak ply. They are used for the siding. I only cut my shelves from oak. Oak ply has a smoother harder finish than pine ply, making it easier and prettier to stain, but also splinters more when cutting. I was worried it would splinter the visible siding and ruin the look of the stand. I am sure there is a way to cut the oak so it does not splinter, however not having any means of doing so, I chose the pine ply.

Furthermore, you can substitute any board or sheet of wood in this design. As long as the dimensions stay the same, go wild!

  • Eight 8' 2x4": $2.17ea = $17.36
  • Two 2x4" Sheet " Oak Plywood: $5.69ea = $11.38
  • One 2x4" Sheet " MDF: $2.99ea = $2.99
  • Five 2x4" Sheet " Pine Plywood: $4.69ea = $23.45
  • Three 4' 1x10" Whiteboard: $4.49ea = $13.47
  • Twelve 4' 1x2" Whiteboard: $0.88ea = $10.56
  • Two 6' 1x3" Pineboard: $4.39ea = $8.78
  • 1 Lb Box 2 " Wood Screws: $6.36ea = $6.36
  • 1 Lb Box 1 " Finish Nails: $2.99ea = $2.
  • 1 Quart Wood Staind: $6.49ea = $6.49
  • 1 Quart Clear Waterproofing Sealant: $5.99ea = $5.99
  • Four 2 Pack 'T' Braces $1.97ea = $7.
  • Four 2 Pack Cabinet Hinges $1.97ea = $7.88
  • Two Handles of Your Choice (Top Doors) $1.97ea = $3.94
  • Two Handles of Your Choice (Bottom Doors) $1.97ea = $3.94
  • Four Door Clasps $0.97ea = $3.88

  • Total: $137.34 + Your Very Own Labor!

Design:
These images are without doors and molding.



Assembly Steps:
This is the process in which the stand must be assembled. You must install the shelving prior to attaching the next 2x4 ring or you will not be able to fit the shelves in.


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