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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay so started my DiY canopy today. Like to point out I am a Aviation Electrician, NOT a carpenter.

plan was to use 1 1/4 beams to build a frame, and then use .5x1' beams to to install/ make a lip that my canopy would then sit around as well as on the lip. then using 1x8's to build the walls with a lid hinged that will open up 3/4 of the lid.

I started it, and all went well, until i realized that I couldn't do a full solid bea along the back for the frame, and would have then have to frame it That was going well, or so I had thought, anyways Turns out not perfectly straight wood combined with a 1/4inch short beam ended up with me making it into kindling, regardless I am not deterred and will be starting back up again tomorrow using simpson ties to frame it up.

One thing to note is when u do see the final product you will notice it is rather sturdy, I am military and will be moving 3-4x in the upcoming years at minimum so I am building for the durability.

Thats the tank as is just chilling with some fish in it.




A few to show the idea with the lip and frame.

Thanks guys and stay posted for Tomorrows update.
 

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Hey a fellow aero dude :thumb: I had a work related injury some years back, :roll: Eastern was still flying :roll: and while on the mend got a degree in aeronautics, A&P lot of avionics credits with radar endorsement. Fantastic stuff, that.

Watch those teko or simpson strongtie connections or whatever they are called now. they have zinc that can leach out if in contact with water splash. Is that A.C.Q. treated material in the last pic being used on the canopy?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, the Treated wood is just part of my saw horses, and the simpson ties are going to be sealed under latex with the trest of the stand, but good looking out on the zinc.
 

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I thought that it looked like the bench support, 2 x 6 is rather huge for a canopy.

Sealing those straps is a good idea in the canopy :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ya, don't get me wrong, I intend for it to be rather sturdy, but i think 2x4s and 2x6s would be a little bit of overkill
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
UPDATE:

Ok I finally got around to geting back to this. for those that knew my water paramters finally all settled, I had a random spike.

Ok using the simpson ties, and NO WHERE NEAR straight and level wood, I got the first part of the frame all put together, and am putting the vertical braces installed prior to me having to make a run to Lowes to buy my new router bit, and some misc hardware and another peice of wood. Hopefully by thursday I'll be painting the wood.

Any lighting suggestions, I am going with a sized T-12 bulb.

R/




Rocks are holding it level, There is a 23 degree twist in the wood, so I am working on fixing that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quick update

Finished the Vertical stabs today and did the width support beams for the top, as well as the back support beam to rest the lid on, Ran into a snafu with the front top support beam being WAY too twisted to work with, so need to run to the store tomorrow to get a better shaped piece of wood.

Tested out the fit it slides just how I envisioned it, tomorrow hopefully wrap it up and prep for painting. Stay tuned.



 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ok Another update.

Real quick last night got the entire frame set up and puttied, and everything, only thing that wasn't done is sanding and installing lid/light fixture.

I ran into a slight problem, I changed my plans from using 1x8s to 1x12's as I thought it would look better covering a larger portion of the tank to conceal the water level, and seeing as it wasn't going to affect my overall profile of height I thought it was a good way to go.

After I had the paneling and corner moulding on I measured out the piping on my stand and sketched all my lines to install piping on my canopy using my router..

Well after one line, and 1 putty job later I decided that wasn't meant to be, and just decided to go with nice smooth walls.

Today should see me sanding and installing lid and painting.







Overall its coming along rather well. just much more intensive than I thought it would be.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Its coming along, just fine tuning the swing door, and painting the inside tomorrow, hopefully late tomorrow, first thing sunday morning it will be on and ill be taking a break, hope your all enjoying so far.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK, Finally Last update with the completion photos.

Heres the Lid and the frame of the canopy sitting prepped and ready for painting



This is the Front view.



Got the outside and the Lid painted, installed the Piano Hinge, as well as the handles, and heres the view of that



To prevent light from seeping out of the hinge line I installed a support beam which would serve two purposes, one prevent light seeping out, and two, support the lid hinge some. I also used that support hinge to install the lighting assembly.





Then I painted the inside ultra bright white.

sorry no pic of that.

Then I went to install it, and I ran into my biggest issue.

While the Canopy FITS the tank, I had to move the tank two inchs out of the corner.

Lets do some simple math, Sand=150lbs, rocks 150lbs, tank empty 150lbs, 130 gallons of water.....+stand at 75lbs...

So I had to drain a LOT of water, remove all the rocks to move the stand the needed amount and then put everything back in, and redecorate the tank, but thats Ok as I really like the way it turned out now.

Also if you note, in the earlier pictures the lid and canopy were a perfect fit, I am not sure what happened, but now the fit isn't as perfect I am hoping over time it warps itself back to a good fit.

I went with 1 Plant/aquarium light from Lowes for like 7$, and then i got a coralife 50/50 Actinic bulb, Anyways here we go

For all those that followed I hope you enjoy. I know I am happy with how it turned out, just wish its profile wasn't so much bigger than the stand and tank.

Wrap up of final pics..













 

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moisture and heat are combining to cause the bottom side of the lid to expand while the top side does not. The paint you used was probably not water proof (few truly are) This condition will most likely persist, but could dissipate once the lid gets more uniformly saturated with moisture.

drying out the lid and re-painting the inside with some epoxy or marine grade enamel could help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I used interior/exterior acrylic based paint for the inside, so I think it should be good, not positive though, I did use exterior water resistant paint on all surfaces, I hope it resolves, if not we will see I suppose. thank you though.
 

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I wonder if making the hinged lid in two sections would help? Two small sections may not show as much warp as one large section? I'm not a carpenter either :lol:
 
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