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Re: DIY tank stand advice

Erin Poythress asked about building a tank stand.

For a small tank (5-10-15-20 gallons): If you have the
tools to swing it, use mortise and tenon joints to join the
legs to the rails.  3/4" wood about 3"-4" wide work well
for the rails.  Use 2"x2" for the legs, with a 1.5 degree
taper and attached to the rails at 1.5 degrees.  This will
give give support and happens to follow the typical angles
for shaker design.

For larger tanks, you can build a simple frame using 2"x4"
lumber.  Make a top ring and a bottom ring.  For each ring
attach the wide side of a 2x4 to the narrow side of
another, making a t-shaped (in cros section) member.  Join
these members with 45 degree cuts at the end to form a
rectangular ring the size of your tank.  Join the top and
bottom rings with vertical 2x4s.  These vertical posts can
be placed with the wide side or narrow side facing.  But
narrow side facing will be stronger.  The posts give you
vertical rectangular spaces.  Fill in the side spaces and
the two outer spaces in the rear with plywood.  If you have
a router, relieve the edge of the 2x4s so the plywood will
fit in flush -- the plywood will ad substantial rigidity to
the entire assembly.

You can join everything with yellow wood glue, using screws
to "clamp" the wood until the glue dries.  Countersink the
screws and fill them with wood putty or remove them after
the glue dries and fill the holes.  The screws really won't
be lending any strength after the glue dries.

Use biscuits if you can -- if you don't, that's okay, it's
probably overkill.  With 4 posts front and back, the stand
should easily hold a 200 gallon tanks.

Cover the frame with whatever you want -- wood panels,
raised panels doors (very fancy) or curtains.

There are other methods -- for example, using particle
board panels to make the case, with a skeletal frame or, if
you are very good with your joints, without any frame. 
Coat the particle board on all sides with polyerethane.  As
long as particle wood stays dry, it is very strong.  IT
melts when wetted.

Contact me offline if you want some clarification or other

Hope that is some help,
Scott H.

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