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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
55 Gallon w/Internal 10 Gallon
by Robert Rasco

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Once you have all the trim cut, adjust the angle on the miter saw to 45 degrees to cut your miter joints. Lay the trim on the door to verify the correct lengths, it should look something like this now.

Wood Rectangle Composite material Flooring Hardwood

After cutting the miter joints, check fitment and recut any pieces that may not fit together flushly.

Rectangle Wood Hardwood Wood stain Flooring

Next, I glued and nailed the trim to the doors. By doing this first, I gave up any chance of getting a squared inside routed corner. If you route the inside edges of the trim prior to nailing on, you can achieve a square corner. NOTE: The only thing holding the 1x10" boards togethor is the trim, you can choose to glue or add boards to the backside, but I chose not to, and my doors are very sturdy.

Now you can go onto routing the edges of the doors. Keep in mind that routers are extremely high torque and are very high in RPMs, so depending on the grade and quality of the wood (especially 1x2"), there is a possibility of the trim splintering when routing. When it comes to choosing a bit, there are dozens of choices to choose from. Beveled out, beveled in, rounded, rabbits, and more. I chose a traditional type of bit, not sure what it is called. Also, make sure that you dont use a bit that is longer than the trim is deep. This middle picture shows the rounded vs squared corner. Compare the inside corner to the outside corner.

Rectangle Wood Floor Hardwood Composite material

It is now time to mount the trim. I wanted the top trim to conceal the black trim on the tank itself. To do this, you must have a 1 ½" lip to the top. The top trim will be made from the 1x3" pine. Since these board measure 2 ½" wide, we will need to allow 1" of the board to be mounted to the side. I cut the 2 side pieces first, measuring the depth of the stand plus ¾" to account for the depth of the front trim to be added. You must also do this for the front trim, but 49" plus ¾" for each side piece, so 50 ½". To get the lip right, I just clamped the trim flushly from the top onto 2 pieces of scrap 1x2" since it is already ¾" deep, x2 makes it 1 ½". I also used miter joint so there would be no visible cuts. I then routed the top edge of the trim. You cannot route the bottom of the trim or you will not be able to attach it to the frame. Once you have fit all the trim, nail into place. Since the length of the opening for the tank to fit is 49 ½", and the tank is only 48" long, this will allow for ¾" between both sides of the tank and the trim. I have not yet, but am contemplating installing pieces of scrap 1x2" to fill this gap.

Table Wood Rectangle Desk Flooring

Moving onto the lower trim, using the 1x2", follow the same concept as the top rails, except you don't have to worry about creating a lip to cover anything. Once again, I used a 2x4 underneath to get a flush fit on the bottom. Measure, cut, miter, route and mount.

Wood Natural material Rectangle Wood stain Hardwood

Finally we get to mount the doors and see what this puppy will look like. The only requirement to mounting doors is to ensure proper spacing and to ensure that they cover the gaps you created for the doors to cover. First measure and mark where your hinges will be mounted to the doors. Then screw them in. Next, using various scrap pieces of wood, create a spacing pattern that will look and function good with the design. This will create a consistent spacing between your doors. You want to try and stay as close to the ½" overlay as we planned earlier. I basically grabbed scrap wood and stuck them in between the doors and said, "Okay!" Make sure they cover the entire gap and are even with each other. I used (2) 1x2"s on the bottom of the lower doors, (3) 1x2"s and (1) ¼" MDF between the top and lower doors. When mounting the top doors, I used another 1x2" to ensure the door was level with the bottom door. Then mark where your screws will go, and screw them in. Make sure the hinges come with long enough screws to tap through the ¼" of plywood, and into the 2x4s.

Wood Wood stain Floor Flooring Office ruler

The doors are now functional! YAY!

Furniture Wood Table Rectangle Shelving

Window Door Wood Rectangle Flooring

These next steps are all optional. I chose to put door clasps and handles on the all of the doors. These will help keep the doors shut. They can also be used to keep small children out, or you can opt for child proof clasps as well. Although, my clasps take me a bit of effort to get open. Handles are merely for looks, as they are not necessary. Depending on the size of the bolts provided, drill a hole slighlty larger than them so the handles can be screwed in from the back of the door. I used different types of handles for the different size doors. This was just out of personal taste.

The construction phase is now over. Take a look at your masterpiece and be proud you still have 10 fingers. At least, I hope you do! Oh yeah, and a great looking stand to put your 55 gallon tank on.

Cabinetry Drawer Wood Dresser Varnish

You can also choose to stain and waterproof your stand. I have chosen to. I stained mine Colonial Maple. Starting with the inside and working my way outside from top to bottom once again. This is where it comes in handy to have most of the internals stained, it will save you a few cricks in your neck. If you decide to waterproof as well, I would recommend removing all the hinges and knobs as they will not be easily cleanable like when staining. The sealer will coat and stay on top of them.

You're DONE! Congratulations and enjoy!

Next, I build the hood!
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