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Stand Construction
This project is as much about the fun of DIY as it is about the final result. So I decided to try my hand at woodworking, and build my own tank stand. In the end, I probably could have bought about three pre-made stands with what I invested in tools and materials. But this was a lot more fun.

I got the structural plans for this stand from the excellent auto-plans-generator at fishandtips.com, which I highly recommend as a starting point if you're interested in building a stand. I started with 4x4 fir lumber to create the frame. Its heavy as hell and probably overbuilt, but remember that 40 gallons weighs around 450 pounds. Staying on the safe side with the construction isn't a bad idea.

Aquarium stand frame

The plans are fairly straight forward, without a lot of complex joints or anything that requires special tools. Here is a close up of the 8 inch bolts that secure the top and bottom frames:

Aquarium stand corner bolt

To finish off the stand, I broke from the plans a little bit (probably would have come out better if I hadn't). I built two doors, using 2x1 solid oak and 1/4 inch oak plywood. The framing around the door is 4x1 oak and the sides are 1/4 inch oak plywood. The back is open, to be positioned against the wall and allowing access to filter pipes and an electrical outlet.

Aquarium stand with sides attached

Aquarium stand with doors attached

To finish it all off, and help disguise some of my woodworking short-comings, I gave it a coat of sealing white primer, and two coats of a gray-blue latex paint. The paint wasn't quite as dark as I had hoped, but its good enough for now.

Painting aquarium stand

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