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
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
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
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
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.
~ The Plumbing
~ The Closet~
The Stand ~ The
Tile ~ Move In
~ The Canopy ~
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