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NorthernIndianaReefer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey TFT, here's is my long procrastinated build thread! While i'm waiting for my house to finish building I had some ideas on how I want to rebuild my 125 gallon tank. I Have been wanting to build a custom stand for my tank for awhile now. So with me and my fiance waiting to move it was only right for me to start planning the new custom stand build (Maybe an excuse, but im going to have to drain the tank for the move anyways, why not throw a nicer looking stand under it! :thumbup:) So anyways here's my tank now. The stand is built from pure MDF (scary huh?) and the reason why there is a door missing is because it fell off lol, as you probably know or have found out MDF basically crumbles when it gets saturated with water. What a good idea to make a fish tank stand out of it!:confused:.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So next I began planning my new build. I did all the sketches and planning on a program called Google Sketchup http://www.sketchup.com/. I HIGHLY recommend sketchup, it amazing and best of all, it's FREE!

They have very helpful tutorials on the site and it really only took a couple hours before I felt comfortable starting the model.

Here's the sketchup model of my stand.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Forgot to mention that in addition to the new stand I also ordered two Evergrow it2080s led's to replace my 3x175w Metal halides/ 2- 80w t5s. Jayy, A member of TFT started a group buy for everygrow led's so we all got good deals on some killer LED's. Thanks JAYY!!!!:beer:

Also instead of having the sump under the tank in the stand I plan on plumbing it into the basement which means ill need a bigger return. Which is why I bought the REEFLO Dart/Snapper Hybrid from HELLENWHEELS. Thanks Hellen for the great deal!
So If anyone needs a MAG 12 or a 72" 3x175w Metal halides/ 2- 80w t5s by Hamilton tech (I think) let me know as they will be for sale soon!
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Back to the stand, I just wanna first start off by saying I have almost 0 experience in the woodworking field but I figured with enough planning and researching I would be able to get it done.
I did 99% of my shipping at Menard's and lowe's. Menard's IMO has better quality plywood and woodworking materials. SO since I was planning on painting my tank white I decided to go with a paint grade birch veneer plywood -$39.99 for a 4x8 at Menard's. I started with getting 3 knowing I would eventually need more later in the project. While I was there I got little things as well such as screws and titebond II wood glue etc.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I didn't have to buy any tools because my dad has everything I needed and more!:thumbup:
Here's really all the tools I used throughout the whole thing.
1) Circular Saw
2) Miter Saw
3) Jig saw
4) Power sander
5) Drill
I think that's it. One thing that would have been nice is a finish nail gun and a paint sprayer.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
With all the materials I needed I decided to start the build. With me being such a newbie with woodworking I measured and remeasured everything I did. I had all the measurements before hand because everything on my Sketchup model was drawn to scale.
I cut down one of the 4x8s to the size I needed with a circular saw and a straight edge clamped down. Before I made each cut I used a razor blade to trace when I was going to cut, this reduced the amount splintering of the veneer, I highly recommend doing this and also use a sharp blade for the saw. The is going to be the face.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let me know if you guys can view the images.
Then I again used the circular to make the cabinet cutouts, again using the razor blade method reducing veneer splinter. The cutouts were 31" x 21" so I could use 16"x22" cabinet doors. After I made the cutouts I glued and screwed 2 vertical 2x4s and 1 horizontal 2x6 from the back.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
In order to make the cutouts with the circular saw I had to plunge in the wood being careful to get as close as I could to the corners. Later I finished it off with a jig saw. I don't know that id recommend doing the cutouts like this, there has to be an easier way, perhaps a plunge router. I did all the cutouts like this and it worked, just took along time.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Next I cut the sides, glued and screwed. I was relieved that I didn't have to make any cutouts this time. I just butted the face against the side because I knew that the fluted casing molding would cover the seam anyways.
side view.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Next, I cut the back, glued, PREDRILLED (so the edge of the plywood didn't split), then screwed. Making sure to drill the screws past the plywood to be filled with Elmer's wood filler and sanded later.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
If anyone has any questions let me know. I'm trying to include every detail as i'm sure there are more noob woodworkers out there besides me!:lol: I know i'm probably missing things but feel free to ask.

So I got my cabinets at http://www.cabinetdoorsandhardware.com/ for like $55 bucks! plus like $20 shipping. Of course you can make your own but like I said my woodworking skills are non-existent. Plus you can't beat $55. they do not custom make doors so you will have to plan around what doors they have in stock. I got 4 x16",21.5" soft maple sanded doors. Ill show the pics of them a bit later.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
In order to make the cutouts with the circular saw I had to plunge in the wood being careful to get as close as I could to the corners. Later I finished it off with a jig saw. I don't know that id recommend doing the cutouts like this, there has to be an easier way, perhaps a plunge router. I did all the cutouts like this and it worked, just took along time.
Looking good so far. Is this a finished project or post as you build?
Are the spaces above the doors going to be active drawers?
I recommend to incorporate drawers if you can. Nice place to stow
things that fit from foods to test kits and what nots.

To do those cut outs a table saw works same way too, maybe faster
just the curf end is opposite with what you have to finish with the jig saw
or carpenters hand saw of sorts. I'm not the best with a circular
so I use a radial arm saw, and crank the head/blade down into the wood
and use as a table saw for the longer cuts, shorter cuts drill a pilot for the jig saw. Good luck, I like your drawing, nice goal :thumbup:
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
By the way they came in 3 days and they Drilled my holes for my hinges for $1 a hole, Very happy with that. < I promise I don't do sales for this place!:lol: My fake drawer fronts were custom made by an Amish dude in my area. (One of the many Amish woodworkers around) For $26! Not bad either! They were also maple and sanded smooth. The dimensions on those are 5"x32" and I got 2 of them.
 

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Hydro-Dynamic
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13,149 Posts
Oh and those ReeFlow pumps are very weak when head height comes into play ;)
If you do use it for the return, be positive the bulkhead has 2" ID and 2" PVC is
what you use. If you cannot do 2" bulkhead, two 1.25 or 1.5" ones ran into a sanitary
sweeping wye upsized to 2" will suffice. Do not under size the inlet. 2" or bust.
It is unusual for most bulkheads to be 2" ID for the run of the mill sump.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Looking good so far. Is this a finished project or post as you build?
Are the spaces above the doors going to be active drawers?
I recommend to incorporate drawers if you can. Nice place to stow
things that fit from foods to test kits and what nots.

To do those cut outs a table saw works same way too, maybe faster
just the curf end is opposite with what you have to finish with the jig saw
or carpenters hand saw of sorts. I'm not the best with a circular
so I use a radial arm saw, and crank the head/blade down into the wood
and use as a table saw for the longer cuts, shorter cuts drill a pilot for the jig saw. Good luck, I like your drawing, nice goal :thumbup:
I actually just got done painting. Just needs a few touch ups. Still need to put the access panel on too. The drawers are fake, because the 2x6 header was in the way, but id like to have active drawers. But without the sump im going to have so much room for all the junk. Thanks!
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh and those ReeFlow pumps are very weak when head height comes into play ;)
If you do use it for the return, be positive the bulkhead has 2" ID and 2" PVC is
what you use. If you cannot do 2" bulkhead, two 1.25 or 1.5" ones ran into a sanitary
sweeping wye upsized to 2" will suffice. Do not under size the inlet. 2" or bust.
It is unusual for most bulkheads to be 2" ID for the run of the mill sump.
This is actually something that I wanted someone to chime in about. My tank/ sump in NOT drilled. Hopefully this will not be an issue. I do know that the reeflo pumps are not pressure rated pumps and they lose pressure fast, which is why I used the calculator. Everything looked fine and it said i had plenty more flow than I needed, but i am still a bit nervous. i was planning on using 2" PVC for inlet and 1.5" for outlet. And Drilling through the floor.
 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hokay so after I got the sides all in place I started on the top. Cut it to size then glued, predrilled again, and screwed it down. The edge of the plywood will later be covered by 1x2 poplar so no need to worry about that.

Then I decided to go ahead and get the bottom in. I cut it and supported in by 2x4s going from one side to the other just in case I end up putting a sump down there, it will support the weight. The bottom is flush with the bottom cabinet cutout.

 

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·

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NorthernIndianaReefer
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824 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I decided to take a break from the bottom and start on making the face for the top. UGH the dreaded cutouts. I think Japonicus is right, the table saw may have been faster; Either way it worked!

This cutout took by far the most time because I measured and remeasured way too many times. I knew that if i screwed up you would definitely be able to tell because its the cutout for the tank. The access panel above it was quite as important, as the access panel door will cover the cutout. Again I used the circular saw for this as well.

 
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