Dimensional Lumber Variations / Aquarium Stand Design
Hello...first post here but I plan on asking you folks a lot of questions as I embark on my first woodworking project (besides a decade ago helping my father with decks, sheds, and home improvements, i have not done any such work myself as an adult)
I am building an aquarium stand for a fish tank that will weigh around or north of 400 pounds after including water, rock, equipment etc. 36" wide x 18" footprint.
I have already cut out the 2x4s for the frame, which will consist of an upper and lower rectangle matching the tank footprint and legs in between. Not using any joint technique other than vertical load is transferred down onto the leg below via a butt joint and not shear-force on the screws. In fact the boards are held together via Simpson Strong Ties (just holding things in position; again, only wood in a vertical configuration is actually bearing any load) and additional strength will be provided by 1/2" or 3/4" plywood skin to prevent racking. This particular design has been used in dozens of tank stands I can find on the internet and has held up well. Unsure if I can link to other forums or show pictures I didn't take/create but I searched the web for "40 breeder stand" in order to find the design plans.
Now to my question:
I was assembling the frame last night so I can seal and waterproof and move on the upcoming weekend, and during assembly I noticed that the 2 x 4 26" leg in one hand was heavier than the leg of the same length in my other hand. Closer inspection revealed that one leg had a denser wood ring pattern.
Should I be concerned about the other leg being weak? If I had only gotten the "lighter" 2 x 4 lumber, I never would have known there would be a difference, so I tend to think I'd be OK using it. Or should I be on the lookout for "dud" wood?? I know to avoid large through-knots, cracks, etc, but wasn't really thinking about checking the densities of the individual boards.
Thanks for input
Last edited by Doc7; 08-02-2011 at 11:24 AM.
Reason: title change