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Re: Go ahead and build your own cabinet!
>I don't mean to be a wet blanket, but unless you are a master
>cabinet builder with all the necessary knowledge of finish joinery
>and appropriate types of water resistant fasteners and the
>specialized tools, table/radial arm saw, router, jigs, clamps,
>surface planner, etc. I suggest you purchase one off the shelf. Ask
>any excellent carpenter, the hardest project to make is a "square"
>box and that is essentially what you'll be making. Making the stand
>furniture quality will be the second hardest. While cinder blocks
>and planks may be acceptable for the fishroom, a display tank in a
>living area requires substanitally more. The amount of money for
>lumber, finishing products, plus your time (depending on how you
>value your time), in my opinion, it is not cost effective or safe to
>build one. More importantly, at best the finished product will be a
>wobbly unattractive affair, at worst it will inadequately support
>the aquarium resulting in shattered glass and water everywhere, not
>to mention dead fish. Simple butt joints, common nails and screws
>won't do the job, and unless you work in the trade every day, tight
>dovetails and good rabbet joints will be a near impossibility.
I'm sure you mean well, but this is not an all or nothing situation.
It doesn't have to be either a wobbly leaky mess or fine cabinetry.
There are many levels in between. I went to the local stores, looked
at how various cabinets were built, drew up a plan, and went at it
WITH HAND TOOLS! I now have a stand made of solid oak and oak ply,
with butt joints hidden by mitered trim, with matching canopy. The
only concession I made was to have a cabinetry shop make the doors
for me, although I could have done that myself also. My cabinet
looks very nice and doesn't wobble. Total cost, as I recall, was less
than $100. I've used it for about 10 years now. I am a
microbiologist and not a carpenter or cabinet maker.
So, to the person who originally posted, I say go ahead and make your
own, but give attention to where the weight will be distributed, and