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55 Gallon w/Internal 10 Gallon
by Robert Rasco

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I then decided to stain the frame and inner shelves before going any further. This made it a million times easier to finish staining the inside once the siding was installed. I would highly recommend staining the frame and shelves at this point. I started at the top and worked my way down to keep running stain from getting on already drying coats.

As you can see, wood stain makes a world of a difference when it comes to appearances. It is not required to stain wood, but I would atleast seal it to prevent water damage. Needless to say, water will undoubtable come in contact with the stand, its an aquarium stand.

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You are now ready to cut and mount the top shelf. Cut (3) 15x24" sections from the sheet of MDF. The same exact sizes as the first two shelves, only you will not have to notch these. I actully placed the sheet of MDF on top of the stand and drew my lines to ensure that each piece would fit flushly. I used the same principle here as well, first the outer 2 sections, then the middle section. Glue and nail into place.

Wood Table Toy Rectangle Hardwood


It is now time to add the siding. I started with the sides because I wanted the front and back siding to overlap the edges of the side siding. Take one sheet of 2x4 pine ply and line up the bottom and one side and clamp into place. Since the stand was sitting on 2x4s, I also set the siding sheet on 2x4s before clamping to level the frame and siding out. Now mark the edge around the frame. Using this method over measuring will ensure a flush fit all around the frame.

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Once cut, sit the frame up on the opposite side, to allow for easier installation. Apply glue to frame and nail siding into place. Then repeat for other side. Next, sand around the edges for a smooth finish.

On to the back. Using 2 of the 2x4 sheets of pine ply, apply the same concept to the back of the stand. Since we will be using the full 24" of width of the sheets, you only need to cut it to match the height of the frame.

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Since I am using 2x4 sheets, and the stand is 49" long, either way that you position the sheets they will require an additional 1" strip down the middle. If you are using 4x8' sheets, this can be avoided by cutting one sheet to fit the entire back of the frame. I also laid the stand on the front for easier mounting. Once again, glue and nail into place. I intentionally cut the strip a little big then sanded down to size to ensure a snug fit.

You should now have a frame with surrounding siding. Now lets cover up those unsightly 2x4s! Despite my diagram, this did not play well with 2x4 sheets of ply. Once again this has to do with the stand being 49" wide. So instead of cutting (3) horizontal and (6) vertical front siding pieces. I cut (3) vertical and (6) horizontal. On the center vertical piece, I cut it 5" wide. This had to do with the length of the 4' whiteboard that I used for the doors. And of course, once they are all measured and cut, apply glue and nail. I did not lay the stand on its back this time, instead I used a clamp to hold the piece in place as I nailed. Once all the siding is installed, give it a nice go around with the sander to make it all nice and smooth.

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Wood Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood Flooring


Time to build some doors! First off measure the openings that need to be hidden by the doors (the cubbys). My dimensions were, 19 ½x18" and 19 ½x8". Since I was using 4' 1x10" to construct the doors and the true width of these boards was 9 ½", they were perfect to run horizontally for both the top and bottom doors. I cut them across at 20 ½", making my door dimensions 20 ½x19"(top), and 20 ½x9 ½"(bottom). This will make my doors overlap the gaps by ½" all around. Once all of the lengths are cut, clamp together and sand to even them out.

Now, take the 1x2" whiteboard and get ready to cut some molding trim. Since I was planning on routing the trim, I wanted to miter the edges togethor to create a nicer look. Measure the 1x2" using the edge of the already cut 1x10". Door length is 20 ½", so you will need (2) 20 ½". Door height is 19", so you will need (2) 19". Apply the same concept to the lower doors as well.

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