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nanoreefer17

Stand Construction Help!

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I built this stand for my 55 cube, and 40 ish cube sump.  The frame is made of poplar and I beefed it up with maple trim all around.  The tank has been operational for about 10 months, and sadly I have to take it down in 2 months, for a big move to Denver.  I want to bring the whole setup with, as I have poured and ton of time and money into it. Although, I have noticed that the stand seems to be leaning away from the wall just a little, and the trim pieces as the base are slightly pulling away form the poplar, about 1/16"-1/8".  The base of the stand is 1/2" inch away from the wall, and the base of the display is 1" away from the wall.  I want to know how much of this could be attributed to the weight of the tank settling, versus some structural instability.  Either way I am quite confident it wont be a problem until the move, but am nervous about setting it back up.  I attached pictures below, and if anyone could give some expert advise it would be appreciated.

 

0614171902.jpg

0517172020a.jpg

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Try to ignore the fact that I didn't take the first picture completely straight up and down, and I know the canopy leans inward toward the wall.  I did that to help with the room turning blue.

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Could it be due to the two different woods expanding and contracting differently with temperature and humidity differences?

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So having built many stands it looks like you are getting "sheer" movement from lack of plywood sides or interior bracing. Just my two cents without knowing exactly how it was constructed. Lastly how is it attached ? Nails, screws or glue?

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6 hours ago, nanoreefer17 said:

0614171911.jpg

0614171911a.jpg

That type of thing was happening to my 75 gallon stand (wish I could show you pics, but I am out of the country). To fix it, I ended up buying some clamps and sheet rock nails and put them in two on each side perpendicular to each other. Then I went and bought some gorilla glue and sealed the inside. 

Haven't had a problem since.

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Looks like the weight of the tank is causing the corner 45 joint's to splay.  Some glue, clamps and screws will help stop/prevent it.

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On 6/14/2017 at 10:35 PM, MVPaquatics said:

Could it be due to the two different woods expanding and contracting differently with temperature and humidity differences?

Possibly but I am leaning more toward just the overall weight.

On 6/15/2017 at 1:20 AM, Brian67 said:

So having built many stands it looks like you are getting "sheer" movement from lack of plywood sides or interior bracing. Just my two cents without knowing exactly how it was constructed. Lastly how is it attached ? Nails, screws or glue?

This is kind of what I am thinking, although I am not familiar with the term sheer.  I used a pinner, so small nails. I then used glue as well for the corners, but mostly nails.

 

I guess I am mostly worried about the long term stability of the stand, and whether or not I need to look toward building a new one, possibly with a steel frame. 

 

On 6/15/2017 at 9:05 AM, cjmdh said:

Looks like the weight of the tank is causing the corner 45 joint's to splay.  Some glue, clamps and screws will help stop/prevent it.

I will probably do some of this when I take it down, and put some pressure on the joints and see if they hold well before setting it back up completely.

 

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Steel stands are def ideal but not a must. spectra makes nice welded stands here on the forumn  i can build you a nice furniture grade wood stand if interested

all im not a big fannif nails in moist environments they tend to pull out if things move at all

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4 hours ago, Brian67 said:

Steel stands are def ideal but not a must. spectra makes nice welded stands here on the forumn  i can build you a nice furniture grade wood stand if interested

all im not a big fannif nails in moist environments they tend to pull out if things move at all

Thanks!

 

But what is your frame made of ? I have built plenty of wood sands and well you need a good frame for it to mount to. I did use just 3/4 poplar for my 20 build but afte going bigger I made a 2x3 frame then attached the skin to it.

 

Was this just a frame and that's it ?

Edited by spectra

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Mitered corners like that are inherently very weak. But the biggest issue which has already been mentioned is no system to deal with sheer forces. Or said another way "racking" of the frame. I would take the stand and use a pair of long bar clamps to get it square again and then glue and screw 1/2 plywood to the sides.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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Bummer you gotta move!

By chance, is the tank perfectly level?  If not, pick up some of those composite shims for your next setup to level it.  

BTW, it is a beautiful looking stand.

 

 

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Thanks for all the responses sorry for the delay I was out of town all weekend.

On 6/16/2017 at 5:37 PM, Brian67 said:

Steel stands are def ideal but not a must. spectra makes nice welded stands here on the forumn  i can build you a nice furniture grade wood stand if interested

all im not a big fannif nails in moist environments they tend to pull out if things move at all

I may be interested in this option depending on what something like this would cost.  I am having a hard time parting with the one though because I am into it about $500 and weeks worth of labor. Plus, I built the whole light fixture from scratch, and its made of the same materials and stained to match.

On 6/16/2017 at 9:52 PM, spectra said:

Thanks!

 

But what is your frame made of ? I have built plenty of wood sands and well you need a good frame for it to mount to. I did use just 3/4 poplar for my 20 build but afte going bigger I made a 2x3 frame then attached the skin to it.

 

Was this just a frame and that's it ?

 

On 6/18/2017 at 10:44 AM, pdxmonkeyboy said:

Mitered corners like that are inherently very weak. But the biggest issue which has already been mentioned is no system to deal with sheer forces. Or said another way "racking" of the frame. I would take the stand and use a pair of long bar clamps to get it square again and then glue and screw 1/2 plywood to the sides.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
 

The frame is made of poplar, and I recognize the racking issue as this thing is 38" tall.  all the corners are covered with maple trim, as well as the bottom and the top.  The top has a large piece of maple used as a crown to hide the base of the tank.

The sump is a perfect fit inside the thing, meaning I had to slide it over the sump when I set it up.  The doors are just attached with hinges and have glass inserts, so they do nothing structurally.

I attached a picture from when I built it below. I live in Seattle.

5 hours ago, TheClark said:

Bummer you gotta move!

By chance, is the tank perfectly level?  If not, pick up some of those composite shims for your next setup to level it.  

BTW, it is a beautiful looking stand.

 

 

Yes, the tank is completely level, its rimless so that was a must! And thank you, I just hope I can keep it.

 

Glad this thread is getting some attention, all the experienced opinions are appreciated!

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I remember liking this stand when I checked out the original build thread - really dig the frosted glass doors.  Can't quite tell from the last pic but, if there is no back panel in place I think that would be the place to start (per pdxmonkeyboy's suggestion).  When you have it down, get it squared up and screw in a full rear panel of plywood that will tie the vertical and horizontal pieces of the frame together (again, per pdxmonkeyboy's advice) so you will at least have some anti-sheer support. In addition, you could try adding some internal bracing but you don't have a lot of room to work with considering your sump.  Good luck - I hope you can make it work!  

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33 minutes ago, albertareef said:

I remember liking this stand when I checked out the original build thread - really dig the frosted glass doors.  Can't quite tell from the last pic but, if there is no back panel in place I think that would be the place to start (per pdxmonkeyboy's suggestion).  When you have it down, get it squared up and screw in a full rear panel of plywood that will tie the vertical and horizontal pieces of the frame together (again, per pdxmonkeyboy's advice) so you will at least have some anti-sheer support. In addition, you could try adding some internal bracing but you don't have a lot of room to work with considering your sump.  Good luck - I hope you can make it work!  

Thanks a bunch!  I originally didn't do that across the back because I wanted more air to cool the sump section, but given it lying against the wall I guess thats probably not necessary.

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I did add this at the time of construction, but it could still rack the other direction I guess.  Its only 1/2" plywood, and goes 2/3 the way up.  I think the corners separating is more attributed to the weight.  Weird thought, but I have insanely high flow in this display, all of which is directed toward the front wall of the tank.  Could this pressure of water moving in this direction cause the stand to lean outwards?

0619171356.jpg

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OK, one more idea based on cjmdh's observation about the splaying.  Looking at how the legs are designed, I could see where your weight load could be causing the bottom ends to splay outward as there is nothing but the trim piece tying those together.  You could add a bottom panel to anchor all the vertical pieces (after getting it squared back up) which should prevent this but, given your tight tolerances, you would need to do this with the sump already inside.  Tricky but not impossible.  You obviously can't remove the sump without taking the tank down anyway so you wouldn't loose anything there if you did it with screws.  Not sure if you could reposition your outer trim to cover the extra height or maybe just redo that.

Basically, I have seen two successful approaches - either build a very strong core frame (either wood or steel) and sheath/skin it or do a "ballon" style build where you don't have the heavily built core but you tie things together very thoroughly with full top, bottom and back panels to help with the sheering and splaying. I would say it might be easiest to apply some of the principals of the latter approach to help stabilize yours rather than starting over.  You could opt to build a more robust substructure for it but that wouldn't work with your sump.

Just trying to throw out ideas here.

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17 hours ago, albertareef said:

OK, one more idea based on cjmdh's observation about the splaying.  Looking at how the legs are designed, I could see where your weight load could be causing the bottom ends to splay outward as there is nothing but the trim piece tying those together.  You could add a bottom panel to anchor all the vertical pieces (after getting it squared back up) which should prevent this but, given your tight tolerances, you would need to do this with the sump already inside.  Tricky but not impossible.  You obviously can't remove the sump without taking the tank down anyway so you wouldn't loose anything there if you did it with screws.  Not sure if you could reposition your outer trim to cover the extra height or maybe just redo that.

Basically, I have seen two successful approaches - either build a very strong core frame (either wood or steel) and sheath/skin it or do a "ballon" style build where you don't have the heavily built core but you tie things together very thoroughly with full top, bottom and back panels to help with the sheering and splaying. I would say it might be easiest to apply some of the principals of the latter approach to help stabilize yours rather than starting over.  You could opt to build a more robust substructure for it but that wouldn't work with your sump.

Just trying to throw out ideas here.

I like the idea of putting the piece on the bottom.  I would have to redo the trim, but that is not impossible.  I never really thought of that, with the sump inside!  That seems like my best option to hold things together, without having to completely start over.

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How are the corners done? I don't see any pocket holes for screws? When I built mine I used a kreg jig for everything and its not going anywhere.

 

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On 6/20/2017 at 7:39 PM, spectra said:

How are the corners done? I don't see any pocket holes for screws? When I built mine I used a kreg jig for everything and its not going anywhere.

 

There are no screws anywhere in the stand.  I just used whats often called a "pinner" , its a small nail gun used for finish carpentry.  I had to use quite a bit of nails, as they are pretty small.

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2 hours ago, nanoreefer17 said:

There are no screws anywhere in the stand.  I just used whats often called a "pinner" , its a small nail gun used for finish carpentry.  I had to use quite a bit of nails, as they are pretty small.

 

That's your problem right there. You need screws in there or biscuits.....I screwed and glued mine when I did it. The thing was rock solid.

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4 hours ago, spectra said:

 

That's your problem right there. You need screws in there or biscuits.....I screwed and glued mine when I did it. The thing was rock solid.

Whats a biscuit?  Like the plastic things in Ikea furniture?

I should have screwed the frame, and then pinned all the trim.  Was my first real woodworking project.  I will definitely update the thread when I take the thing down.

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