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02.04.2015 admin
The following article outlines the construction of a dimensional lumber and plywood aquarium stand.
Plywood or other sheeting - The sheeting used for this project will have the most effect on final appearance of the aquarium stand. The next phase of the construction of the aquarium stand is to cover it with the sheeting of your choice. You can add other features such as shelves, lights or power strips to the inside of the stand to fit your needs. When I built my 55 gallon aquarium stand, I was a little concerned about it being top heavy.
By following the instructions below the diagram, it is very easy to work out the length each piece of wood should be cut to, so you can make a stand to fit any tank size very quickly and easily. Make sure to attach pieces A, B and D to each other very securely, and you will end up with a rock solid stand capable of supporting a very heavy tank.
Remember to use the same tape measure throughout the project to ensure accurate measurements. When purchasing molding for an aquarium stand that you plan on staining, make sure the molding wood is of the same type as the sheeting. Once again, make sure the wood is of the same type as the sheeting if you plan on staining. The doors should be of the same type of wood as the rest of the stand for staining purposes.
The height of the aquarium stand is up to you, but most commercial aquarium stands around 32 to 36 inches high. These additional 2x4s are used on each of the vertical supports to give the stand frame a flat surface.

Make sure to sand all areas of the aquarium stand before applying the finish to get the best result. To take care of this concern, I added a layer of 2x4s to the bottom of the stand and clad them with the same sheeting used to build the stand.
I looked around for a stand but could only find cheap, wobbly stands or super-expensive cabinets, so I decided to make my own. Make sure when designing your aquarium stand plan that it will not be too tall to fit in the area you have planned to place it.
This is one of the more difficult cuts that will have to be made for this project and this is where your coping saw will come in handy. Once the finish is applied, the doors can be attached to the stand and the aquarium can be placed. My father and I designed and built a very simple wooden stand which cost less than the cheap store-bought stands but was much stronger. You can make the stand and leave it as it is, or you can put planks of wood or board over the top for the tank to sit on, and planks or board underneath to spread the weight more evenly over the floor (useful if you have a rickety old floor like the floor in our aged house!).
Before purchasing the 2x4s, calculate how many you will need for the size of the aquarium stand you are building.
The length of molding needed can be estimated by looking at the aquarium stand plan for your particular aquarium size. These 2x4s should be cut to fit snugly between the upper and lower rectangles of the aquarium stand. The finish used should be designed for use with the material used to build the aquarium stand. I was going to turn it into a cabinet, but I decided I liked the look of the stand as it was, so we simply sanded it smooth and stained it a nice colour.

In order to adjust the design for the aquarium size, you would simply have to adjust the length and width of the wooden pieces. Do some shopping around but remember that this is also the most visible portion of the aquarium stand. The aquarium stand I built for this plan was higher than most because I wanted the tank to have a higher line of sight.
The photo below shows some of the modifications I had to make to ensure the doors fit the stand properly and that they had a sound location on which to attach the hinges. The rear of the stand does not need to be covered unless it is in view or if you are planning on storing a lot of items in the stand.
After the success of the first stand, we have built three more of varying sizes, the largest being for a 500 litre (132 gallon) tank. The photos that show the progress of the aquarium stand build are from my 120 gallon aquarium, unless otherwise specified.
Remember that while thicker materials are typically sturdier, they are also heavier and will add a bit to the overall length and width of the aquarium stand.
This project should take about 2-6 hours to complete depending on skill level and materials used.

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