The Stand

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Roatan, Honduras

Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

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Florida Keys, U.S.A.

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My Aquarium

Having just finished the closet I left it sit ready for equipment prepping. With the aquarium freshly delivered into my garage, it was time to get to work on the stand. This was the total opposite of the closet, which featured very detailed blueprints to follow. I really had no idea what the finalized stand would look like. As they say, I just winged it.

I had to start somewhere, and thus I talked Steve into making the first of many runs to the lumberyard. I've had a little bit of experience in building thanks to the old man so I had a good idea of what to do. I essentially made four separate walls, then attached them.

Here is Steve finishing up one of the short walls. As the photo shows, a double 2x10 header with a 1/4" sheet of plywood is sandwiched in the center and is the load bearing support. Like a window or door frame, a double 2x4 support is used on either side. Naturally all joints are glued and only stainless steel screws were used.

A bit closer of a view to the main support header. All four sides has this same make-up. Once all four sides were built, it was time to put them together. First came the two side walls -

Then the two 8 feet spans -

I'd say that should be plenty strong enough to hold up my aquarium, don't you? Maybe even 10 of 'em. The next step of the game you might ask? First, replace the empty keg before the workers go into a full blown strike.

Ah yes the Dortmunder. This is a house favorite.

Once the leaky pint glasses were rectified and the parched throats of the worker bees once again quenched, it was back to the stand. But first, a Public Service Announcement:

When you mix alcohol and table saws together, bad things can happen.

Lucky for us that was the worst of it. Well, except that happened to the replacement as well tehehe.

Okay, with the shell skinned in plywood, it was time to cut out the doors on either side. The photo above shows one side cut out. I was making the stand and canopy so there was no front side. Both sides would be identical. By this point the stand was becoming increasingly heavy. It was taking a fair amount of effort to move it from side to side.

With the stand plywood shell complete, it was time to make it look pretty. I think this was always my favorite part. Designing the support is always gratifying, but once the laminate shell goes on it makes all your hard work look like something worth showing.

Getting the White Birch laminate on is no easy task. It is easier than the Red Oak trim, however. Great detail has to be taken with both woods so it comes out smooth and crisp at all joints. A great deal of time and effort goes into the sanding of the wood. A lot of the sanding must be done by hand due to the delicate nature of the wood. One mistake and a gouge ruins all your hard word leading up to that point.

Just as we were getting close to finishing the sanding, we hit a work stoppage. The draft tower had run dry. I'm starting to think it would be cheaper to pay these guys an hourly wage than it would be to supply them beer.

Paul's personal favorite, the Snow Goose, was brought on to help finish up the stand.

With all the woodwork aspect done on the stand it was time to urethane it. That might be the worst part of the whole project. Six coats were applied, and a sand job and wipe-down was performed after each coat. But if you take your time and do it right, it looks most excellent and preserves the wood for years to come, even from the harsh saltwater environment.

Paul captured the moment with this image and I helped myself to using it on my website because I liked it so much.

With the stand urethaned, it was time to get the aquarium inside and on that stand. Check out the entire photo album from building the stand or continue along the path as I prep my living room for the aquarium.

Delivery Day ~ The Plumbing ~ The Closet~ The Stand ~ The Tile ~ Move In ~ The Canopy ~ Filling

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Vacations

Utila, Honduras

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Roatan, Honduras

Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles

Minocqua, Wisconsin

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