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Ok, so my 180 stand is coming along nicely, thought I'd share with the site. First thing I did was decide what I wanted it to look like. Then it was a lot of drawing and planning (my roommate thinks I have ocd
) with lists of all the lumber I would need, etc. This definately saved me some money (not so much on the 2"x4" but definately on the birch and poplar that I'm using for the cladding).

Top and bottom frames are identical 72" by 24":



Here it is partially assembled, with a 3/4" plywood floor installed and uprights. I purchased a 4'x8' piece of plywood and am using it for the floor and top of the stand:



Here with the top frame on:



Here notice the additional 2"x4" piece added to each end for extra stability. It made a big difference (I had a little bit left over):



Here it is with the plywood top installed:



So for those of you who are wondering, it will have 3 doors on the front, with 2 on the right that open up completely to allow EASY access to the inside. It will make more sense as I finish it and you see the pictures
.

The stand should be finished this upcoming tuesday or wednesday and I'll post pics as it progresses.

Lyle
 

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Just a suggestion....
I would double up on those 2 x 4"s, especially in the corners just to be safe.
A 3/4" minimum plywood top too.

I built a DIY stand for my 200gl and wanted to make sure it was strong enough.
When I filled the tank the first time, there was a lot of "creaking and snapping" noise coming from the stand as it settled into place.
I was shitting myself, as the tank was DIY as well, but it all worked out well and the tank has been up and running for over a year now.
I just have to install doos on the stand now
 

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The plywood is 3/4" and I've seen plenty of large tanks with 2x4s for support, so It shouuld be fine. We shall see
The creaking and snapping is normal as the stand settles down with the weight on it.
 

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Great....Good luck with your stand.
However, depending on where you're puting it can present problems with leveling.
Despite the tank seeming level before the water goes in, doesn't guarantee it will be level once it's full...It tends to be different once the stand settles into place.

It took me quite a few fill-ups and drainages before I got my tank leveled the way I wanted it...Not only because the wood you buy isn't always perfect, my basement floor isn't either...

Unlike a metal stand, it's not as easy to level a large custom wooden stand once your tank is filled up.... When you get it level, you'll enjoy it even more!

Buy or make some shims to place where needed and keep checking the level on all (4) corners as your tank starts to fill.

Once it's done, you'll never have to worry about it again.
 

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nice have been thinking of doin the same thing next time i get another tank. it really pisses me off that sometimes the stands cost more than the tanks.
 

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the stand looks good so far . cant wait to see when your all done it .
 

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Did some more work to it today, should be finished tomorrow evening barring any problems.

First thing we did was cut the 1/4" birch for the front and sides today. This pic is of the good side, using masking tape along the cut lines to minimize damage (along with a 77 tooth blade):



A lot of the work today was sanding everything flush to ensure a good fit of the cladding. This pic was right before he remembered that this was my stand and I should be sanding:



Here we have a piece of 7/16" Oriented Strand Board that the birch is being glued to...test fitting, before yet more sanding:



Finally the stand on its back while the glue sets:



The OSB is mostly to allow enough thickness in the doors to use the european hinges. They have to be sunk into the door, and with just 1/4" birch and 1/2" poplar, it would be cutting too much material out of the door for my liking. I'll post pics of the hinges tomorrow so that may make sense then.

As for the stand being level, it won't be TOO critical because a layer of 3/4" foam is going between the 3/4" plywood and the tank to help it level out. The stand is pretty level right now, with one corner up a little, but it will settle down to level when it has weight applied (I hope). You can see the foam in the last picture making itself useful.

The stand should really come together tomorrow and will be lots of pictures. Sorry todays aren't really that exciting, just gives some perspective on the less interesting aspects of building a stand.
 

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I was just wondering what you are using as fastners and why you decided to go with the joints you used? I built a tank stand for a 55 gallon recently and I am currently making a 150 gallon tank and matching stand. I choose to use a differnt yet I believe more common and in my opinion more secure joint but that may be because I work construction and the bulding process is probibly different. I was just wondering why you chose your method of joints because I can still fix mine if I am doing it wrong. Also, I did mine on the cheap (it was for my friends dorm room) and simply wraped the 2x4's in a black cloth. Simple but it looks good if anyone was trying to cut some cost out of a homemade stand.
 

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Looks good. Should probably add some corner support like the other guy mentioned. Would suck to level tough or crack. Here's some pics of the 300 gallon stand I just made. That's a 120 sitting on it!
 

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The reason I chose the joints as I did was it just seemed to be the best combination of stability and strength. I looked at a lot of diy stands and this seems to be the preferred method. Here are some more pics of the last 2 days work. Couple more days and it'll be done!

Here are some pics of the European hinges that we decided on...I had to go exchange the ones I initially purchased:







The front piece of Birch after gluing before we cut the doors out. We installed it, then crawled under and marked for the hinges on the door side, then attached the hinges to the stand itself:



After cutting out the holes for the doors:



Some shots of the doors after cutting, installing and aligning...this was the most challenging and frustrating part. It has to be RIGHT ON to open properly:









The foam going between the stand and the tank, just in case you want to see it:



More work to be done on Tuesday, but it should be mostly done at that point. We are going to attach the pieces of trim that go up and down after filling the tank to let the stand settle so they fit correctly.

Enjoy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
OK, so we finished up as much as I want without filling the tank to compress the stand. All that is left now is to do all the trim that goes up and down and the door trim...I don't want to end up with doors that don't open, etc. Hearing a little bit of creaking, less than I thoght we would. 0 problems.

I filled it up half way and let it sit for half a day, then got impatient and filled it up the rest of the way. I also tested all my filters, lights, heater, etc to make sure it all functioned.



Nice and level in all directions.



Looks good under our alcohol shelf...might have to put that up in the new house as well.



I'm letting it sit like this until next friday, when I'll put the rest of the trim on the stand and doors, then we are staining it in the new garage once we move on Feb 15th. Pics of course to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
lol well I don't know about "at it's best" but I am careful and patient, which makes up for a lot.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Stand has stopped creaking, seems compressed...I'm emptying and adding the rest of the trim on my next day off as planned, which unfortunately is late next week. Gives it plenty of time to finish compressing if it wants to do any more.
 
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