I thought it would be a good idea to have a thread just on WOOD, so add your tips and advice here to help out those who are wood challenged like me
My observations in building a stand (by a noob)
**** Must Have Tools ****
- a carpenter's square
- miter saw
- measuring tape
- good power drill
- clamps, lots of clamps
Something I like to do before I hit the store to buy wood is visualize putting the stand together. I recently built a new stand using Joey's video, highly recommend it, it's one of the best stand designs. Although, this stand is pretty standard, it's not actually Joey's, not sure who came up with the actual design, I saw it long time ago on another site, but Joey was the first to do a DIY video on it, so as far as I'm concern, IT'S JOEY'S STAND ha ha. I watched the video a few times, many times actually, made some mental notes on what I would need, how much wood for legs, frame, etc Get all the measurements you need before you go buy the wood.
Basic Stand Design
- top frame
- bottom frame
- 4 inner legs to determine height and connect the frames together
- 2 outer legs on each corner and a middle leg.
Regarding the need for a middle leg. Here's what I have found, when you are using 3/4 ply that is held up by legs on the four corners, you could actually put a tank smack in the center with no middle support and it will hold up just fine. I use to always be worried about if the tank weight should be on the edges only, trust me, it's not the tank edges you have to be concerned with, it's the top of the stand (plywood) held up by supports underneath that you need to get right. The plywood on top when done right, you can position the tank anywhere on top of it, does not need to be exactly on the edges. The legs support the plywood which in turn gives you a solid top to put your tank on.
I'm not sure if I explained that clearly, I'm not smarter than a third grader.
For myself, adding a middle leg is more for peace of mind than anything else.
Selecting lumber is always a PITA so be prepared to spend a couple of hours at Home Depot or Lowes. You want to select wood that is as little warped and bent as possible, a difficult task I know. Some have suggested using better quality wood. I did happen to find the section that has better quality wood, but it's very expensive and some it's $per square feet. Nonetheless, would you rather spend only $20 for cheap warped wood and hours of frustration or would you pay $50-$80 or more for good quality wood and be done with the stand in no time. My next stand I will be paying for the better wood lol
Something I learned about Tank Weight and Stand Stability
Often, you'll hear people saying how heavy a tank is when they are carrying it. The weight of a tank carried by two people or even four should not be compared to the sitting weight on the stand. The sitting weight is weight evenly distributed over wood. One 2x4 leg can hold thousands of pounds, the more legs you add, the more stable the stand will be. I generally use 2x3 and have used smaller and the stability factor is always still high, just to give you some perspective on how strong a single leg of wood is regardless if it's 2x6, 2x4, 2x3, 1x4, 1x3.
Never be afraid of how heavy your tank will be, even with water, sand, decorations, etc. A well built stand will handle just about any load. I never liked the term over-build, it's over-kill. Just buy the amount of wood you'll need to create a capable stand. Anything more is just waste of money. I have a stand made of only 1x3 and I still sleep good at night lol
Using 3/4 plywood definitely helps make they stand more solid. 3/4 ply can be very intimidating because well, it's bloody thick and uber heavy. Your first thought might be to dismiss it because you don't want to bother with heavy pieces of wood. I use to think that, but not anymore. 3/4 is strong and adding it to your stand will make your stand stronger, this is a good thing. 1/2 plywood is just not the same, although, remember what I said about comparing weight. 1/2 ply could work just fine, especially if you add it to top and bottom.
What are your secrets to building a good stand?