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Will this be strong enough?

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Forum topic by Mark Shymanski posted 07-14-2014 04:04 AM 682 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2402 days


07-14-2014 04:04 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question aquarium stand torsion box pine tablesaw

My kids are interested in setting up an aquarium so I bought a ‘Starter Kit’ 29 gallon aquarium. I figure that is going to be about 300 pounds of water plus substrate and gear. We are putting this in the rec room in the basement and I want to make sure that the base is strong enough. I’ve seen torsion boxes talked about here and thought that approach made a lot if sense. This is what I came up with:

The plywood is 3/4 inch the outside dimension is about 39×20 inches. I will have two more braces perpendicular to the one long brace, those are the two balanced up against tge left side. I will be putting a 2” solid wood top on this.

Will this be strong enough? Are there pitfalls to aquarium stand building I should look out for?

Thanks in advance for any help or advice!

Mark

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Oh yeah, the weird bluish blobs on the plywood are silicon lake bottom as this plywood is part of a recycled model train diorama:-)

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2


13 replies so far

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3448 posts in 1503 days


#1 posted 07-14-2014 04:14 AM

Assuming you use adequate fasteners, like pocket screws or brackets it should be plenty strong.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Mark Shymanski's profile (online now)

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2402 days


#2 posted 07-14-2014 04:21 AM

Thanks pintodelux, I was thinking of using blocks in the corners, glued and screwed to join all the pieces.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Karson's profile

Karson

34891 posts in 3090 days


#3 posted 07-14-2014 04:59 AM

looks strong enough for me.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware karson_morrison@bigfoot.com †

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Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2402 days


#4 posted 07-14-2014 05:03 AM

Thanks Karson. Tomorrow I hope to finish the construction and the paint it and then start filling the tank!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Crank50's profile

Crank50

103 posts in 266 days


#5 posted 07-14-2014 12:48 PM

Looks plenty strong. A 3/4” top and bottom would probably be stronger than a solid 2” top alone.

If there is to be no bottom, then it’s not really a torsion box.

In either case, be sure to seal any exposed end grain; especially if the bottom edge sits on concrete.

View timbertailor's profile

timbertailor

847 posts in 114 days


#6 posted 07-14-2014 03:01 PM

Am I looking at the top or the side?

If this is a photo of the top, it will be plenty strong, if this is the side, then you better add a BUNCH of bracing.

Plywoods strength comes from loading it on it edge.

I would rethink this.

I have two aquariums and I built MANY aquarium stands over the years.

-- Brad, Texas, https://www.youtube.com/user/tonkatoytruck/feed

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

1203 posts in 1136 days


#7 posted 07-14-2014 04:08 PM

Once you add the the braces as you mentioned it should be plenty strong,my only recommendation is,in my opinion the stand top should be the same length as the base of the aquarium so the 2 (smaller)sides of the tank is fully supported by the stand.
Also ,it is a good idea to put a 1/2” sheet of Styrofoam under the tank (sandwiched between the aquarium base and the stand top),the weight of the aquarium (with sand,water),will be more evenly spread in my opinion.
I had 3 aquariums (100 gallons)and used styrofoam under each one of them,never had an issue with stability or leakage.

-- Ken from Ontario

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2364 posts in 1651 days


#8 posted 07-14-2014 07:27 PM

Water weighs approx. 8 lb. per gallon. Sounds like a good project.

View Mark Shymanski's profile (online now)

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2402 days


#9 posted 07-15-2014 12:36 AM

Thanks Crank50, you are right it isn’t really a torsion box but that sounded better than saying the bracing is like those dividers in liquor boxes that keep the bottles from banging into each other ;-) The base will be sitting on laminate flooring, not directly on the concrete but I will paint the edges to seal them anyway.

Timbertailor, you are looking at the top (minus the actual top piece of wood). Yeah I think if this was a side view it would collapse pretty quick with the weight as it toppled to one side or the other! There are two more internal braces to fit in, I just have to dado out the slots in the pieces so that they will interleave properly.

distrbd, the aquarium I am putting on this is about 80 cm long, with the stand being about 100 cm long. Are you suggesting that I should only make it as long as the tank? My thinking is that the bracing isn’t very far apart and that the top piece (about 5 cm thick) I am putting on should be rigid enough to span the distance between bridging okay. I have some thin Styrofoam that I could fit under the tank…but wouldn’t it crack the glass if it is unevenly compressed?

Thanks Knothead62, I was using 10 pounds for an imperial gallon, I think an American gallon is a bit smaller (3.86 litres of so?) ...that’s why I like that 1 litre masses about 1 kilogram, makes figuring out stuff like this easier ;-)

Thanks for the advice all, as I start this new adventure with my kids!

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View distrbd's profile

distrbd

1203 posts in 1136 days


#10 posted 07-15-2014 09:34 AM


distrbd, the aquarium I am putting on this is about 80 cm long, with the stand being about 100 cm long. Are you suggesting that I should only make it as long as the tank? My thinking is that the bracing isn t very far apart and that the top piece (about 5 cm thick) I am putting on should be rigid enough to span the distance between bridging okay. I have some thin Styrofoam that I could fit under the tank…but wouldn t it crack the glass if it is unevenly compressed?

- Mark Shymanski


Since the bracing are not too far apart ,you might be alright.
Styrofoam will not harm the tank, in fact it will just compress,BTW,I used black duct tape to cover the unsightly white edges.

-- Ken from Ontario

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Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2402 days


#11 posted 07-16-2014 01:09 PM

Thanks Ken.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Napaman's profile

Napaman

5361 posts in 2767 days


#12 posted 08-07-2014 04:47 PM

cant wait to see the finished product…I love fish tanks…have had a few small ones…some day I want to go with a big one…

-- Matt--Proud LJ since 2007

View Mark Shymanski's profile (online now)

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2402 days


#13 posted 08-08-2014 06:31 AM

Hey Matt,

This is the aquarium all set up with a new batch of 6 guppies. My daughter was beside herself she was so excited!

Mark

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

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