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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I built a DIY canopy for my 125G. There are two top pieces (each half the length of the tank) that lift up and fit inside of the sides of the canopy. Everything was fine after first putting the canopy on the tank, but the next morning the wood had warped considerably. I had painted the inside of the tank with the anti-mildew paint that you would put in a bathroom. I thought that was enough to seal the wood (I have it 3 coats). The outside of the canopy has 4 coats of water based polycrilic. I am not sure if I inadequately sealed the wood, or perhaps it is just the wood itself? It is 1/2" mahogany.

Any ideas? I think my fix will be to go with a one piece 3/4" wood. Any suggestions on a wood that is good with moisture? Or a better sealer than what I used?
 

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The same thing happened to me. The wood is exposed to moisture 24/7. After you stain it, it must be sealed in Varathane or some other Polyurethane sealant to prevent warping. Every surface, top and bottom needs two to three coats.

I'm not sure if Varathane is available in the US under that name but this is what to look for.

http://www.rustoleum.com/CBGBrand.asp?bid=12
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yea thats what I put on the top (except it was minwax brand). I thought the paint I used on the bottom would have the same effect but clearly it didn't. I will try it again and put the polyurethane on both sides.

The one problem is that the canopy isnt exactly square because thats how I always end up making things. So I will need to cut some slightly trapezoidal pieces to reaplce the bowed ones. But that is a completely different problem, lol. After making my own stand and canopy I have defintely decided to retire from making anything out of wood - it has to be the absolute worst building material!!!

Thanks for your help!
 

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I did a quick fix on one of my canopy hoods that was getting lots of mildew and wood rot. My solution was to glue peel and stick floor tiles on the inside of the hood. The tiles didn't stick well so I used some Elmers glue on them also. This tile idea has worked great and it's been about 6 months now. The inside of my hood looks fabulous now also. It's Better than new.
 

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If you take the canopy off the tank and let it dry out the wood may un-warp, you could then seal it better without having to rebuild anything. For future reference, ply wood is more stable because the grain orientation is staggered for each ply. Plywood edges are usually kind of ugly so you have to consider that in construction but it isn't something that can't be overcome.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I will try that. It can't hurt.

I am pretty sure the wood I have is similar to plywood with a mahogany veneer on top - because the sides of the wood have the ugly layering you mentioned. I was actually planning on only replacing the top of canopy - and not the sides since they are not warped. The inside of the sides are still only painted with mildew proof paint and I am hoping that is enough to keep them from any structural damage?
 

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It may be that the two different types of paint/varnish on opposite sides of the top is adding to the warpage...maybe try using the same protection all the way around...my 2cents
 
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