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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello fellows! I'm new here as you can see. I am currently in the middle of making my first piece of furniture. It is an aquarium cabinet. I've designed it to be way more sturdy than it needs to be but that is how it goes with first tries - covering all the basis along with overdoing it. The tank is an odd 40 gallon so the weight is not little on the top. I have the cabinet longer than the aquarium because the space the cabinet is going to be filling has to be somewhat flush. Eitherway I have already cut the supporting structure and I can't continue with the sides, bottom, top and door pannels because as I was designing the thing I figured they would be from poplar plywood. Thing is my local store has no plywood whatsoever and I would like to avoid shipping if possible. As I understand it glass aquariums( the aquarium is rimless glass) can be supported only on their edges whereas acrylic has to have a solid surface to sit on. Seeing as I'm building a longer cabinet than the aquarium I figure I have to have a top so with plywood out of the way I am thinking of gluing a poplar/pine top. My issue here is warping during the different seasons. I don't know how bad is it going to be. Maybe if the top is glued with narrow boards so their individual warping won't have a severe influence on the tank. Ofcourse I would put styrofoam under the tank anyway. I would realy apreciate your help!
 

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not clear on the design, but

Your top will be exposed to moisture on the bottom and room conditions on the top making it a perfect candidate for warping. Whether the top is "setin" into the aquarium OR just a cover a few inches above the tank will make little difference in my opinion.

A laminated surface like a countertop may be less resistant to moisture than plywood if covered on both side with the laminate. Sealing the plywood with several coats of "product" on both sides will be necessary, whether paint or clear finish is used.

A sketch of the design would be helpful. :yes:
 

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Hello fellows! I'm new here as you can see. I am currently in the middle of making my first piece of furniture. It is an aquarium cabinet. I've designed it to be way more sturdy than it needs to be but that is how it goes with first tries - covering all the basis along with overdoing it.

The tank is an odd 40 gallon so the weight is not little on the top. I have the cabinet longer than the aquarium because the space the cabinet is going to be filling has to be somewhat flush. Eitherway I have already cut the supporting structure and I can't continue with the sides, bottom, top and door pannels because as I was designing the thing I figured they would be from poplar plywood.

Thing is my local store has no plywood whatsoever and I would like to avoid shipping if possible. As I understand it glass aquariums( the aquarium is rimless glass) can be supported only on their edges whereas acrylic has to have a solid surface to sit on. Seeing as I'm building a longer cabinet than the aquarium I figure I have to have a top so with plywood out of the way I am thinking of gluing a poplar/pine top.

My issue here is warping during the different seasons. I don't know how bad is it going to be. Maybe if the top is glued with narrow boards so their individual warping won't have a severe influence on the tank.

Ofcourse I would put styrofoam under the tank anyway. I would realy apreciate your help!
Where do you live that your local stores have no plywood?

Why would you put Styrofoam under the tank?

As noted above, a sketch would be good.

George
 

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If you finish the cabinet with polyurethane water shouldn't be an issue. Cutting the wood in narrow strips to glue up the top will definitely help. If you are going to make the top out of solid wood though you need to fasten it to the top like a table top with something like table top clips rather than gluing and nailing it. The wood needs to be allowed to shrink or it will eventually split.

Having the top longer than the aquarium is going to add structural problems to your cabinet. If it was close to the same length most of the weight would be transferred to the sides to the floor. If at all possible I would put a divider in the cabinet close to the ends of the aquarium so it functions in the same manor. If that isn't an option the top would need to be re-enforced to prevent the weight from making the top sag. Depending on the design it might be necessary to put some angle iron under the top to prevent sagging.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I live in Bulgaria. Honestly plywood isn't that popular here so I even had to explain to the clerk what it was. Anyway I can't show you a sketch, because it is very poorly drawn only to give me the general idea of what I have to do. So here is a random picture that the design is based on https://www.google.bg/search?q=tank+stand&sa=X&espv=2&biw=1366&bih=667&tbm=isch&imgil=sARnC6D4MrVEQM%253A%253BD6gzAATYbppX6M%253Bhttp%25253A%25252F%25252Fblog.aquanerd.com%25252F2010%25252F04%25252Fdiy-aquarium-stand.html&source=iu&pf=m&fir=sARnC6D4MrVEQM%253A%252CD6gzAATYbppX6M%252C_&usg=__YTRP8T-WHRBruaM4shCo5NnlYpQ%3D&ved=0CCkQyjc&ei=TYYRVMruIqHiywPW1YIo#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=sARnC6D4MrVEQM%253A%3BD6gzAATYbppX6M%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fblog.aquanerd.com%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2010%252F04%252FFrag-Tank-Stand-3.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fblog.aquanerd.com%252F2010%252F04%252Fdiy-aquarium-stand.html%3B1068%3B712

Here are the cut pieces to give you a general idea. They will rest on the 40mm thick boards on the left of the picture. The joints will overlap into eachother http://prikachi.com/images.php?images/397/7599397R.jpg
The idea behind the styrofoam under the tank is because it smooths out any little imperfection and helps a bit with warping. The cabinet is obviously going to be leveled but this is a must.
I took into consideration that the tank will be shorter than the stand so the 2 most left boards in the picture are going to be resting on the inner side of the top part of the beams so the short sides of the tank will be supported. Anyway after I read the first comments I bit the bullet and decided to order the plywood online. As I sayed in my first post I am worried about warping. I know that a solid wood top has to be fastend to move freely but I don't see how this is going to happen with the tank pressing it down. So ya ... plywood it is. Sad that I can't see it and pick the sheet myself with the least amount of warp. That is also affected by the way they are stored. They have to be against a somewhat smooth and even surface. I will impregnate everything and then apply 2 or 3 coats of boat lacker.
 
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