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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally had some time to start an aquarium stand and document the build. I decided to build one for a 40 gallon breeder tank that is 36" x 18". I wanted something really nice that can be put into my guest bedroom eventually so I chose solid 3/4" black walnut lumber.

If anyone has read any of my posts regarding stands, you already know that I feel most people who post here over build. Before I get blasted, there is nothing wrong with over building, it just isn't necessary.

So to start, you need a pile of boards that you can cut into components for the face frame and side panels:



once you have the board selected, and shaped into the correct size pieces, it's time to build the face frame. I am a huge fan of Kreg pocket hole screws to secure my joints, so that is what I use:






The next photo shows the front side of the completed face frame:



Notice that there aren't any visible fasteners. (Note: I use wood glue at all joints!)

With the face frame complete it is time to build the side panels. I do not like to use plywood when I am using any wood that I do not plan to stain or paint, so I use a frame and panel method, kind of a modified shaker style. The next photo shows the dados that I routed out to accept the 3/8" panels.



And now the panels. I used my thickness planer to make the solid wood panels 3/8" thick:



I assemble the side panels the same way as the face frame using pocket screws. Here is a photo of the outside of one of the panels:



Next I attach the sides to the face frame. I use pocket screws again.



Now it is time to create the base (inside the cabinet). I use a simple scrape wood frame as shown here:



The frame is attached with brad nails. Now for the base, I like to use melamine because it is kind of water resistant It is attached with brad nails as well:



Next I add the upper back support. This is scrap wood as well as it will not be seen once the stand is complete:



Well, I only had 4 hours to work on the stand this weekend, so that is as far as I got. I will be working on it again next weekend and will continue the post then. If you have any questions or comments, I will try to answer them as they are posted!

Cheers!

RBFG
 

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I'm sure as a cabinet builder, you have a source for solid wood cheaper than most of us but have you got a top of the head cost estimate. Solid walnut went out of my price for tank stands long ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Solid walnut bought from a retail hardwood store costs about 5.75 per board foot. To put that into perspective, Oak hardwood costs about 3.95 per board foot and pine is about 1.29 per board foot. (There is aprox. 11 board feet in this project costing about 65.00)

However, I am using walnut for no reason other that I have it left over from another job I did a while back.

The panels are a different story, I had several walnut trees cut down and milled into lumber a few years ago, and am using that air dried local wood. So its cost was only what the millwright charged me, 0.50 per board foot :D

This project could have been made from any wood and all of the steps would remain the same!
I think the grand total for the project after drawer slides and hinges will be about 120.00!
 

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I think the grand total for the project after drawer slides and hinges will be about 120.00

Does that include the planer, joiner, tablesaw, bandsaw, thickness sander, benchtop tools, and the dedicated workspace you have to turn trees into fishtank stands? :lol:

Seriously though, nice build...I'm a bit of a woodworker myself, and am finishing up the last few details for my 110 gallon stand. I'll definately be on the look out for progress pics!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well geez dacjr, you had to go and throw all that in....but....I don't have a bandsaw or thickness sander :lol:

The garage is mine the rest of the house is the wifes.....except the office/current fish room. But I am currently building an external fish room so she will stop complaining about the lack of office space....lol

The new room will be a dedicated 8' x 16' should hold about 30-40 tanks of varoius sizes! Probably about 3-4 months before it will be complete I can't wait!
 

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nice....I forewent my woodshop for apartment living. I manage the service side of the community, and, as a perk get to live rent free. Seemed like a good idea at first, but, considering all my shop tools are in storage, I'm not so sure anymore...fishkeeping kind of fills the void, but ****....the thought of building my own stand kind of marries my new passion with the old.
 

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Hi redblufffishguy

I appreciated the comments I got from you when I built my stand and hood for my 75.

I know you are a pro stand builder but it just creeps me out to see a stand without good ole 2x4 supports.

Beautiful wood btw.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Upthecreek: I have never built a stand using 2 x 4's unless it was an econo stand that had no front or back and used 2 x 4 for the legs. I built hundreds that way, but never did like the look of them.

Wait until you see what I use for tank support on this one, I am using a unique way to hold the tank, it should help to prove my point about the strength of wood!
 

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I am looking forward to your pics. Here is a pic of the stand and hood I completed. Its the one on the left. I made it to look like the Oceanic stand in the middle.

Of course if you like a more fancy look it would be easy to get some nice scrolled trim to outline doors or tank perimeter with... and maybe paint the insets a slightly different color.

http://picasaweb.google.com/Bikinguy/20 ... 7386996322
 

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Wow, very impressive so far redblufffishguy. Looking forward to seeing more!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Day Two of the build. I didn't much time to work on the stand this weekend, in fact only a couple of hours. So this is what I got done:

First I added the cleats that the tank is going to sit on. And only because I read this board and know "overbuilders" would be concerned, I added the 4 vertical supports (two on each side) seen in the photo below.



Next I installed the drawer slides. Because there wasn't a rear center support, I improvised a block to hold the rear of the inner slides:



I built the drawers next and installed them:



And lastly for the day I created and installed the top trim. This trim, plus the cleates lowered position will give the inlaid effect and will hide the plastic trim on the tank.



All brad nail holes will be filled after sanding. Almost there, really all that is left is to build the doors and drawer fronts. That will have to wait until next week. Let me know if you have any questions.

RBFG
 

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Man that's looking good RBFG, can't wait to see the finished product! =D>
 

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That is a truly beautiful stand, I'm impressed. I'm about to move back home to my tools after 3 years bouncing around other countries, and I'm going to get back into fishkeeping and woodwork at the same time! I don't think I'll pull off anything quite like that though.

I just wanted to comment that I completely agree with you on all of the overbuilding. I'm an architect, and when I consider that 2x6 studs on 24" centers can hold up a whole house (with plywood sheathing doing most of the work), a 500lb aquarium shouldn't need a whole lot of lumber. I'd actually be much more concerned about cross bracing than the wood being able to hold the weight... although in your case those side panels seem to be doing the job just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Justflow..

Did not get a chance to get out to the shop last weekend, I hope to complete the build this weekend and get water in the tank soon after!

I'll keep you posted.

RBFG
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here's the latest post on the build....

I decided to fancy it up a bit and make cope and stick doors. To do this I needed to fire up the shapers. The first two photos show the cuts each shaper make:




The next photo show how the two pieces fit together:



and one with the panel inserted followed by one with the door completed:




everything was sanded and the first coat of finish was applied. I chose to use a brush-on polyeurathane. Had never used it and thought what the hech something new.... goes on really easy, although you have to be very dillagent and watch for drips for about 15 minutes atfer the application. Here are a few shots of the first coat:




More to come next week.....I hope to finish next week and get water in the tank!

RBFG
 

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Absolutely beautiful grain on that wood!! Really looking forward to seeing the stand done when you are able to get to it.
 
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