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Thread: Not Just A Fishtank Stand

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
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    London, Ontario
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    Not Just A Fishtank Stand

    (haven't done an "in-progress" project thread in a while...)

    I finally got some of my other round-tuits/honey-do's out of the way, so it was time to tackle the fishtank stand/cabinet that I'd started planning a while back. The design and background was posted over in the design sub-forum back in July and following.

    This project is mostly a big cabinet, made with lots of sheet goods. But still, I'm pretty happy with the design, and I take plenty of pleasure in putting together a well designed piece of functional furniture.

    I started on some of the parts last week... The carcass is from a sheet of 3/4" maple plywood. (This was the piece where I put the edge tape on the wrong sides)
    Click image for larger version. 

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    There is a small toe-kick out of the lower-front corner. This is not 'regulation' kitchen cabinet size. I'm trying to maximize the cabinet volume. (greedy, I know) But we still want a toe-kick, mostly so we can slip our foot under the left-side drawer (where the trash can/recylcing bin will sit) and use it to pull it open. We do that on our under-sink cabinets now, and it is very handy -- and that is an understatement.

    Some of the cross-members and other bits:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Today I put it all together -- at least all the bits I've built so far.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Here was another learning experience... Having just a single center divider can be a problem when you're building with pocket hole joinery. I didn't even think about this until I was getting ready to put it together. That was when I realized that anywhere that I had two cross-members touching the center divider at the same place, I was probably going to have trouble with the pocket screws hitting each other.

    I was able to avoid that in a few hidden places by alternating the orientation of the cross-members. Some had the screws angled up, some angled down. But I still had a couple places where it just didn't work and I had to macgyver a solution. Oh well, once it's built no one but me will ever know about it. But I confess here, in the hopes that others will learn from my oops. (Though I'm more concerned that *I* learn from this...)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The top is loose right now, not going to be attached until the end. The carcass is getting a blue stain. And the top is just going to get a bit of shellac, to warm up the pale maple, and then the whole project will get a whole bunch of varathane topcoats --- remember; fishtank. (I bought myself an Earlex in the summer, and this will be my first chance to give it a shot.)

    And yes, there is a hole in the back. (which is 1/4" BB by the way).

    The top right drawer is going to be about 4" shorter than the others, from front to back. This is to give me room back there to hide a power bar for the various A/C adaptors and plugs as well as a room for one or two air pumps for the tank.

    Next up will be drawer construction. And I haven't even started milling the maple that will make up the drawer fronts. But it's got to be done by Oct 16 (LOML's bday party) so I'm under the gun, a bit.

    ...art
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    HOLY COW!!
    Got my attention!
    Keep us posted!!
    Or we will need to !!!!
    Jon

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!

    Host of the 2015 FAMILY WOODWORKING GATHERING

  3. #3
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    May 2007
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    Coming along nicely Art! Are you building a matching hood? or just using the factory hood?
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    Looking real good. I gotta remember the pocket screw lesson.
    Faith, Hope & Charity

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    GTA Ontario Canada
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    Hi Art the fishtank stand is looking good. Just out of curiosity is there any particular reason you did not use a face frame on the front.?

    I would have thought that with the weight of the fishtank on top that the faceframe concept would have given added structural strength to the plywood and hidden the front so as not to require the banding. Also providing place for the draw glides to be mounted and hidden.

    Not trying to be smart here just wanting to understand pros and cons given whats going to go on top?
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Darren Wright View Post
    Are you building a matching hood? or just using the factory hood?
    Factory. I've only seen a few stands with wooden hoods, and only in the last few months. So I've never really considered it. It does seem to me to be one place where plastic/glass makes more sense than wood. And I just like this look.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    Hi Art the fishtank stand is looking good. Just out of curiosity is there any particular reason you did not use a face frame on the front.?

    I would have thought that with the weight of the fishtank on top that the faceframe concept would have given added structural strength to the plywood
    Rob, I did address the weight issue in the design thread: "After looking back at the original stand that came with the tank I realized that they just had some 5/8" particle board for the top, and a simple box for the base. So what was I worried about?"
    If you take a second look in that thread at thephoto of the ugly black stand that came with the tank, you'll see that not only was it a basic box, but it had a big door in it, and you can't see the big hole in the back of it also (for hoses, etc). So the weight of that was mostly born by the two 5/8" melamine sides.

    My design has Three 3/4" plywood supports, not to mention the (nearly) full back of 1/4" BB. I have no concerns at all about this being able to support the weight.

    The face frame question is a valid one. I considered a face frame, but decided that the frameless Euro-Kitchen style of cabinets would both be quicker, simpler, and suit the kitchen environment where it is going to stand. (I was going to say that it also matches our current cupboards, but as those are butt-ugly and due to be replaced when the kids are older, they don't really bear mentioning.)

    thanks for the comments!
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  7. #7
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    Aug 2008
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    Freshwater tank?

  8. #8
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    Mar 2008
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    new york city burbs
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    are you putting in drawer slides?
    just wondering if you were how come ya didnt put them in before you assembled the cabinet.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuck Rodekohr View Post
    Freshwater tank?
    Yup.

    Quote Originally Posted by allen levine View Post
    are you putting in drawer slides?
    just wondering if you were how come ya didnt put them in before you assembled the cabinet.
    cuz this is the first time I've ever heard of such a technique...
    Have I been hiding under a rock? Seriously, I've never even thought of doing that!
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  10. #10
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    I did not mean to offend or insult you.

    Ive found that now that I started putting drawers in things(I never had luck so I didnt put drawers,only doors with open cabinet space and shelves), its 5 times easier for me to line up drawer slides and put them in absolutley straight without having to work in the confines of a cabinet, with dividing walls and other attachments in my way.

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