View Full Version : DYI Stand Plan, how is this idea?

05-16-2015, 08:18 PM
I have a 75 Gal tank that I am building a stand for. I attached a quick picture that I did in paint, because for the life of me I can't figure out how to use sketchup.

What I was planning to do is build the stand deeper (front to back) than my tank is. I was going to sheet the top in plywood and then drill 1" holes and run my plumbing down into the sup below. This way I can have the stand tight against the back wall and most of the plumbing is hidden within the stand.

From the picture below:

- All joints will be secure with pocket holes and screws.
- The tank will set on the portion between the bottom black line and the blue line.
- The small section at the top of the picture will be behind the tank and I want to run the plumbing down through there.
- The bottom frame will be the same at the top frame.
- The frames will have lot of support via 2x4 uprights.
- The upper frame will be made of 2x6, the bottom will be 2x4
- Uprights will be 2x4

Is this all fine?

05-16-2015, 08:37 PM

05-16-2015, 08:42 PM
Looks good to me. I would use 2x6 joist hangers at the ends of the blue line, and glue and screw everything with PL Premium just for some overkill.

05-16-2015, 09:07 PM
cool, thanks

05-17-2015, 03:08 AM
if you are going to have doors below you might want to double up the front joist.also i have been building a lot of stands and you don't really need 2x6.2x4 on edge is fine.carry all your jack joists with studs to support the top.get rid of the blue joist and just drill your holes through the plywood.all your green jacks will carry the weight

05-17-2015, 03:38 AM
What's the need for the double joist at the front?

05-17-2015, 02:05 PM
Monocus is correct. With a 75 gal, 48" tank, 2X4 is fine. But being a contractor and seeing literally 100's of studs a week, I certainly would want to personally chose those that I would use. I can't believe the crap their allowed to sell.
I would also lose the Blue joist as it's really not necessary and just complicates the design.
Just make sure when you're laying out the joist spacing that one isn't where your holes in the tank are. And keep the joist to no more than 16" centre's.
I personally don't like using pocket screw for anything structural. If the stand is being skinned or covered in any manner, those screws will be hidden anyway. In any floor joist application, if you can end nail ( through the rim joist at 90 degrees into the end of the joist) you don't need hangars.
As far as doubling up the front rim joist, it potentially has it's merits. In the back, you're more than likely going to skin it or even put a stud midspan to help carry the weight. But in the front, if you have a sump, you may not really want anything preventing you from slipping a sump in there or at the very least have a support that's removable so you can do so. The limit there though is (if that's why your putting it in there) you really shouldn't remove it while the tank above is full. It's only on set up, before the display is filled, that it can theoretically be safely removed.
In this case, a stand builder may decide for extra insurance, and to help strengthen that front support, instead of putting a stud mid-span, to double it up.

05-17-2015, 03:56 PM
in the back i put studs every 16 inches,but i dado them out so they are removable and can be easily be replaced.the double joist in the front helps carry more weight if you are putting doors on the front of your stand

05-17-2015, 04:08 PM
Sweet, makes sense. Thanks for the help.

05-17-2015, 06:26 PM
Spend lots of time picking your wood. Look for cupping, warping, twisting. If you have a table saw, run it through one side, then shorten the fence and run the other side for more square edges. 2x4s tend to have rounded edges. Check out the beginning of my build thread to see what I did.
Good luck!

07-01-2015, 01:17 AM
Im definitely not going to dissuade you from over building it, a strong stand is a good stand, but this is one I built a while back and it was seriously over built. Remember that most commercial stands are only plywood, and they hold up. Some well chosen, straight (as best you can find) 2x4's and you'll be fine. You have a solid start there (no pun intended).
I should note that the final build had a center brace in the back and one in the middle of the top surface. I used a 1/2" plyboard top and bottom which really made it solid, and skinned it with 1/4" ply.

07-01-2015, 03:33 AM
I want to do the top, front, back, and sides in plywood. Maple or birch depending if I'm staining vs painting.

What thickness do you recommend?

Screw the plywood or nail it?

07-01-2015, 05:10 AM
The only 2 cents i will say, is that you may want to consider fir 2x4s and not spruce. Fir is much less likely to deflect

07-01-2015, 07:26 AM
i use 3/4 birch as it is only 37 dollars a sheet and stains up well,maple doesn't take stain well and is about twice the price.the sides i usually use 1/4 rotary mahogany-23 dollars a sheet

07-01-2015, 02:55 PM
I want to do the top, front, back, and sides in plywood. Maple or birch depending if I'm staining vs painting.

What thickness do you recommend?

Screw the plywood or nail it?

1/2" on top is more than enough. If you're using the 2x4's then 1/4" sheets on the back and sides are easiest to work with and keep the weight down. Screw the 1/2" down and use finishing nails for the back panel. Either could work on the sides, depending on what sort of style you're going for.
Add a good coat of KILZ waterproofer inside and seal the inside panels (at least a couple of inches up from the bottom panel)to prevent water leakage/damage later on. This will save your floor too. No matter how hard you try something will spill, overflow, splash etc.

07-01-2015, 06:32 PM
I've seen one neat rick but haven't tried it myself. You take a small V chisel and make an incision to lift up a piece of the plywood with it where you want to place a finishing nail. Tap the nail in and then add a dap of wood glue on top of the nail and fold the piece of ply wood pack into place. Sand a bit when dry. The nails are completely hidden. Myself I prefer to use screws on the sheeting and then glue a piece of matching wood molding over top of the heads. You can get some really nice molding that really make the stand look like a piece of furniture rather than a plywood box.

07-01-2015, 11:04 PM
Here is what I did for my recent upgrade. 2x4 studs, top and bottom plate. 2x6 joists and rim joist. 1/2 oak sheeting for the sides and 5/8 pine for the top. Before applying sheeting to the top I power planed the crowns out of joists and checked everything with a straight edge to ensure that the top would be flat. Framing was assembled with 3" deck screws and sheeting applied with 2-1/4 deck screws (its what I had on hand, they didn't need to be that long). Then I finished everything off with oak baseboard, chair rail, panel moulding, crown moulding and casing. I stained (two coats Mission Oak) and Varathaned (two coats semi gloss) all of the trim laying flat before cutting and fastening (an attempt to avoid run lines and drip marks). The finish trim was installed with brads and a bit of wood glue, I then filled the nail heads with putty. I sort of wish I had made the bottom of the stand a little 'bolder' to mimic the top but other than that I'm pleased with how it turned out.




07-02-2015, 04:55 AM
Looks good.

I was going to stain it, however now I am leaning towards white paint.

07-02-2015, 06:07 PM
Plywood type: I was checking out plywood and I figured between maple, oak, and birch that maple would be the most expensive. However maple was $55 per sheet 3\4", birch was $73, and oak was $79. Should I just go with maple?

07-02-2015, 08:23 PM
shop around on your prices.your birch seems really expensive.i get my birch at rona or windsor for $37 a sheet,mahogany at $50,oak $80.and depends on the type of maple.(all 3/4)again maple does not take stain well

07-02-2015, 08:27 PM
This was at HD. What's the best if we are painting.

07-02-2015, 08:34 PM
doesn;t matter about your top as it will be covered.the sides i use 1/4 mahogany door skins-very tight even grain

11-08-2015, 02:38 AM
I'm currently building a stand for a 75 gallon and went with RocketEngineer's design, on reefcentral (http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1169964).

I attached a photo of mine so far. It's sturdy as **** and I'd say doesn't need the plywood to stay square. It has tons of strength where it's needed, is efficient with materials, and the 2x6 runs give more room for the opening because a center support isn't needed.

I'm going to put 1/2" plywood on the top and I have 1/4" birch plywood for the sides. I was tempted to do teak to match our mid century furniture but I couldn't find Danish teak.