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Re: [APD] Water, water everywhere -- or - Can the Stand stand the water and still stand

You *can* get the stand dry, which you should do right
away. open doors, lift up floor panels -- expose the
materials to air as much as possible and it should dry
within a day depending on humidity.

You probably have nothing to worry about but you're smart
not to merely assume so.

Is the stand made of wood or particle board? It might make
a big diff. 

Wood: When wood swells from moisture, the cells and thier
stiff wall become squeezed, the most squeezing is across
the grain (the width changes much much more than the
length. And the cells retain much of the squeezed shape
when the wood dries out -- this is a primary reason drying
wood develops cracks parallel to the grain an one cause of
warping. When one side of a board takes on moisture and the
other side of a board doesn't, the cells on one side get
squeezed.  When the board loses the moisture, the side that
got the moisture will try to "shrink" down, causing the
board to cup. Often you can see this on the boards on
wooden decks and patios -- it doesn't matter if the tree
growth rings are curving up or down (there are myths in
both directions), the side facing the rain is the one that
wants to cup.

The warp might be reduced or exagerated when the wood dries
-- it depends on the individual piece of wood, how the
cells are arranged, how they are squeezed -- wood is never
uniform (which is why it's so beautiful). However, in any
event, you're unlikely to get all of the original shape
back. If after dried, the trim still blocks the doors, the
easiest thing will be to decide which, trim or door, can be
sanded, stained and refinished and look least obvious. I'm
betting on the bottom of the door. Another alternative if
there is space at the top between door and top trim is to
raise the doors a little. To do this you can unscrew the
hinges from the cabinet, fill the screw holes very neatly
with wood dough after masking off any area that won't be
covered by the hinges. If after filling the holes, any wood
dough protrudes from the holes, sand it down but be careful
to not sand any area that will show. Then drill new pilots
holes slighty higher than the old ones and reattach the
doors. You'll need to fill the old holes in several
appllications because the wood dough will shrink when it
dries. Don't use the water-based wood dough, espeically if
you have particle board -- enough with the water already!

One thing you can do to reduce the amount of moisture the
wood will take up in given amount of time -- or at least
slow the absorbtion process -- is to coat the inside as
well as the outside with good quality urethane.
Solvent-based (i.e., Mineral Spirits-based) based urethane
works best at imepeding moisture into/out of wood but you
don't want to use it with a tank of live fish above. Next
best choice for impeding water is so-called Water based
urethane, like "water-based" paints is has for its liquid
vehicle ethelene (and or propylene or plypropylene) glycol
based (and a complex of other chemicals), which is much
less obnoxious than mineral spirits. In fact, polyproylene
glycol is a key ingredient in artifical flavorings like
vanillin. [Weird fact: polypropylene glycol tends to taste
like whatever it is mixed with.]

Next best choice is acrylic. Lacquer is a bad choice, and
Shellac? Forget about Shellac; it's water soluble. 

P-board: If the stand is made of particle board, things
might be dicier depending on how much damage has occured.
Ordinary particle board losses its sturctural integrity
when it gets wet. It tends to swell, spall and fluff. Once
the particles are separated they no longer hold together
even when they dry. Take a screwdriver or similar object,
known in the trade as "metal pointy thing" and see if the
affected area is soft or easily flaked when dry. If not,
you should have no problem. If it's soft or flaky, then
it's a question of how much of each damaged panel is
damaged. Particle board has terrific compressive strength
and you could probably cut away several inches high and
several feet wide at the bottom of a panel except for
several inches at the the ends and the panel will hold.

If the water damage shows only on one side of a panel, even
better. If the damage is extensive, replacing the panel is
usually not an easy option since particle board furniture
is usually 'carcass construction' (the basic structural
elements are the body panels themselves rather than an
underlying frame) rather than frame construction. But you
can lend support by adding material -- for example add some
framing behind the affected panels. Also, you can apply a
second panel on the inside so that it bears the weight and
transfers the weight down to the bottom member.

One other thing, If you use a "water-based" finish and the
surface is particle board, then apply the coats thinly so
you don't have a lot of water (well, mostly alchohols)
getting into the particle board.

It's hard to know the damage without seeing the damage in

Hope that helps at least a little,
Scott H., who several times has sworn he'll never forget to
check for leaks again!
--- Rachel Sandage <rachelsor at hotmail_com> wrote:
> On Monday I did a major cleanout of my CO2 reactor and
> all the filter 
> tubing, and when I put the CO2 reactor back together I
> did not do it quite 
> right. I did not notice the small leak until this
> afternoon. The bottom of 
> the tank stand was completely soaked, and the wood trim
> on the front had 
> warped enough to make one of the doors difficult to open
> and close. The 
> stand is an All-Glass tank stand, supporting a 72 gallon
> All-Glass bowfront 
> tank -
> http://www.all-glass.com/products/stands/index.html for a
> photo.
> That stand is holding up an awful lot of weight. Assuming
> I can get it dried 
> out, what's the prognosis for the stability/durability of
> the stand? I don't 
> think the floor underneath got wet, so with luck dry rot
> and mold will not 
> be an issue.
> -Rachel, who will NEVER forget to check the reactor ever,
> ever again. 

S. Hieber

-  -   -   -   -   -   -   -
Amano Returns
to the AGA Annual Convention
Nov 2004 -- Baltimore

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