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I'm working on designing and building an aquarium stand on a budget. I'm attempting to make something that will look like a piece of furniture more than a piece of finished particle board like the commercially available stands. The aquarium itself will sit on a frame of 2x4s camouflaged by cabinetry and bookshelves. I'd planned on making the cabinet out of red oak but I'm afraid it's a little out of my budget, in looking for a more economical substitute I came across some 1/4" Lauan (Mahogany) plywood and dimensional Hemlock. Our house already has a lot of Mahogany throughout so it will match the current furnishing, maybe even better than Oak would. I've done some refinishing and I'm comfortable with Mahogany, but I'm not sure about how well Hemlock finishes, or how well it will contrast with the Mahogany.

Any suggestions? How well does Hemlock finish, how well does it cut? Will I have stability problems with Hemlock?

If anyone has pictures of their own projects made from Mahogany and Hemlock I'd like to see them.
 
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