40 Gallon Tank Building a stand (40 US gallon long)

Kaiji

Hey guys! I'm currently working on building an aquarium stand for my 40 gallon(US) long tank. I used and put in the dimensions of my tank (48" x 12.5" x 16.5") and I am ready to use the measurements given to me. I'm not too good with math , and I wanted to double check, would 12.5 be good to say "twelve and a half inches?" I want to make sure I'm putting the precise numbers in. The calculator is telling me I have a 43.0 gallon tank. Also, I'm planning to use 4 x 4 wood, but I see the plans without the "1/2" precision safety plans" use 2 x4 wood. What would you guys recommend or prefer?

On another note, I went to Lowes and saw the 4 x 4 wood is actually measured at 3.5 x 3.5 inches. Would that be a problem?

I did some searching on the forum but didn't quite find any threads like this one.
 

bwreynolds

If you do 4x4 I would go back and redo the math again and when I built my own stand the website I used used 2x2 and they measured it by two inches rather than 1.5 so if I were you I'd go ahead and add another 1/4 inch to each side just to be sure
 

bwreynolds

I went back and looked at the website and they do measure it in 4x4 but they measure it as 4 inches rather than 3.5
 

Theepum

any lumber you buy from say home depot - a "2x4" is actually 1.5x3.5" and a 2x6 is 1.5x5.5" and 2x8 are 1.5x7.75"

I've taken a look at the website, and they are way over engineered. I have my 75 gallon sitting on 2x4 frame, but if you don't know anything about framing/building then its easier to do it their way, although more costly.

if you are following their design and using the 4x4's just add an inch to the vertical pieces to end up with the same height you want overall (1/2" per side)
 

Kaiji

If you do 4x4 I would go back and redo the math again and when I built my own stand the website I used used 2x2 and they measured it by two inches rather than 1.5 so if I were you I'd go ahead and add another 1/4 inch to each side just to be sure

Thanks, I'll probably do that. What website did you use?

any lumber you buy from say home depot - a "2x4" is actually 1.5x3.5" and a 2x6 is 1.5x5.5" and 2x8 are 1.5x7.75"

I've taken a look at the website, and they are way over engineered. I have my 75 gallon sitting on 2x4 frame, but if you don't know anything about framing/building then its easier to do it their way, although more costly.

if you are following their design and using the 4x4's just add an inch to the vertical pieces to end up with the same height you want overall (1/2" per side)

I haven't done any framing or building (at least on this large of a scale) and while I don't mind their way, it IS costly, it actually costs more than their approximate prices. At lowes the shortest 4 x 4 I can get is 6 feet long. I can only buy it in "pieces" and each 6 foot cost about $5.94. I only need 49" of the 6 feet, but I can't buy it in those increments. So to buy 4 "pieces" would come up to $23.76, which is $10 over that sites approximation of $13.

In total, I would need more pieces than 4 (I think 16 is the total number) it would be very costly. Would you know of any other references I could use, instructions, etc? If you have a 75G siting on 2 x 4s, I think I could feel my way around with 2 x4 for this 40 gallon. My concern is the stability under the heavy weight, but if 2 x 4s work as fine I might as well just use that.
 

Theepum

I wish I still had autocad, I could draw up something for you in a couple minutes... but look into this, if your tank is 48" long, your stand does not need to be 49". You can buy an 8' piece, and get (2) 48" pieces out of it.

what tools do you have?

I'll look into finding a trial version of autocad so I can explain my setup...

**EDIT**

downloading a trial of autocad;
if you have a mitre saw and a drill/impact driver, that's all you need
 

Kaiji

I have a power drill I bought today! As far as the saw, I felt I could get it cut at lowes when I bought it. Are you really going to draw up plans? Thanks so much >_<!
 

justatank

Thanks, I'll probably do that. What website did you use?


I haven't done any framing or building (at least on this large of a scale) and while I don't mind their way, it IS costly, it actually costs more than their approximate prices. At lowes the shortest 4 x 4 I can get is 6 feet long. I can only buy it in "pieces" and each 6 foot cost about $5.94. I only need 49" of the 6 feet, but I can't buy it in those increments. So to buy 4 "pieces" would come up to $23.76, which is $10 over that sites approximation of $13.

QUOTE]

why do you need 49", make it 48 (1/2 of 8 feet) and then add 1 inch plank all around. Use Glue and screws (no nails- screws)

the extra 1/2 per side is so it does't slip off stand weight will be on the actual 2x4's anyway

you could also by 2x4's that are 10 feet long, and only scrap 22" per 2x4
Screw and glue together two 2x4's and you end up with almost a 4x4

if you use 2x4's and then screw 3/8 plywood on three sides as full size walls, it will be strong enough. and prevent the rectangle from becoming a parallagram, (and cause the tank to crash to floor)
the stands in stores seem to not even use 2x4's

Find a friend that has some clue about carpentry, as you seem to be a newbie, (everyone starts from the begining and learns from there.

also, since 2x4's are not really 2x4, in size you need to ajust measurements to account for the short fall.

I am about to make a stand as well and will use joinery and sort of locking finger joint to ensure it is all solid, if you wait a few days I can write a long explaination in full detail
 

Kaiji

Thanks, I'll probably do that. What website did you use?


I haven't done any framing or building (at least on this large of a scale) and while I don't mind their way, it IS costly, it actually costs more than their approximate prices. At lowes the shortest 4 x 4 I can get is 6 feet long. I can only buy it in "pieces" and each 6 foot cost about $5.94. I only need 49" of the 6 feet, but I can't buy it in those increments. So to buy 4 "pieces" would come up to $23.76, which is $10 over that sites approximation of $13.

QUOTE]

why do you need 49", make it 48 (1/2 of 8 feet) and then add 1 inch plank all around. Use Glue and screws (no nails- screws)

the extra 1/2 per side is so it does't slip off stand weight will be on the actual 2x4's anyway

you could also by 2x4's that are 10 feet long, and only scrap 22" per 2x4
Screw and glue together two 2x4's and you end up with almost a 4x4

if you use 2x4's and then screw 3/8 plywood on three sides as full size walls, it will be strong enough. and prevent the rectangle from becoming a parallagram, (and cause the tank to crash to floor)
the stands in stores seem to not even use 2x4's

Find a friend that has some clue about carpentry, as you seem to be a newbie, (everyone starts from the begining and learns from there.

also, since 2x4's are not really 2x4, in size you need to ajust measurements to account for the short fall.

I am about to make a stand as well and will use joinery and sort of locking finger joint to ensure it is all solid, if you wait a few days I can write a long explaination in full detail

Yeah, I'm a total newbie. This would be my first project this big. I wouldn't mind waiting for your explanation, I'm taking all teh help I can get!
 

Theepum

ok, so again, my stand has even less than this, but if I had a chance to redo it, this is how I would. I've colour coded it so its easier to talk about.

the base is red, a single 2x4 laid flat, its the base, no need to double up. I would suggest getting a piece of MDF (med. density fiberboard) at least 1/2", although 5/8" or 3/4" would be better, as a base to put your stand on, to make sure its flat and level.

double up 2x4 for vertical pieces and top pieces, notice that the outside 'legs' are longer then the inside by 3.5" (width of the 2x4) and the top pieces are sitting on the inside leg, so the weight is being held by the wood and not the screws.

any questions just ask, you can use your own dimensions to make whatever height you want, or if you tell me the height of the stand you want its a 2 second adjustment to change it and add dimensions.

just so you know what you are looking at, the first one is the side view, the one to the right of that is the end view, and to the bottom is the top view

**EDIT**

I used to be a draftsman - turned electrician, kinda wanted an excuse to brush up on my old job, still like drawing things, if this is what you want to go with, you can give me the prices of 8' and 10' 2x4's in your area and I can make a cut list to be the most price effective... I know... I'm a nerd... haha

also, if your tank does not have a lid, check out this https://www.fishlore.com/aquariumfishforum/threads/building-my-new-tank.74958/
and have a look at my tank.
 

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Kaiji

Thanks a bunch for taking the time out to draw that schematic!

My tank doesn't have a lid, coincidently . For the time being, I figured I could deal with a hanging T8 shop lamp.

Regarding the 2 x 4's, I had to look it up on the website because the last time I went to the location, it was to look at 4 x4's. I ran across two different 2 x 4's. One is 2 x 4 x 10 and it's Kiln-Dried , but I read a review saying the lumber was bad :s. The price was $3.99. I'm taking the assumption it's for each "piece" of 2 x4 you get, since that's what I saw in the store. Next is the 2 x 4 x 8 #2 prime treated. It's $2.29, but I read three more reviews saying how terrible it is, and how it will warp and crack when dried :s. Hm, maybe I should avoid buying wood here? If it still matters , the 2 x 4 x 10 is $4.59.

Links to the bad reviews :




I might have to shop around a bit and look at some other hardware stores, if those reviews are to be considered.

The height of the stand on the original schematics was 30 inches, so I figured I would go with that.

To be honest, most of my trouble comes from the "how" portion of putting this all together. I can follow instructions pretty easily , as well as a parts list.

By the way, I liked the way your end result for your tank lid !

And thanks for all the help! On the plus side, you get to revisit the fun carpentry days, while I get to learn a new trade! Win win
 

Theepum

btw, I wasn't a carpenter, I had a desk job drawing construction drawings for the telecommunications industry, for companies like sprint, t-mobile, nextel and cingular (all in hawaiI - sadly I never got to go there)

but, if there is a home depot near you, check out their prices, they usually store most of their lumber indoors.
 

Theepum

its easier if you buy (7) 2"x4"x8' and here would be your cut list, you'd have between 3" and 11" of scrap left from each one.

(2) 2x4's cut down to get a 48" + 45" piece from each
(1) @ (2) 45"
(1) @ (3) 28.5" + (1) 5"
(1) @ (1) 28.5" + (2) 25" + (1) 12"
(1) @ (3) 25" + (1) 12" + (1) 5"
(1) @ (3) 25" + (2) 5"

all said and done, that's 24 pieces cut from (7) 2"x4"x8', I would suggest buying wood glue and gluing all pieces together as you screw it together, as the glue dries its will be much stronger.

this is based on a total height of 30"
 

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Theepum

whoops, I just realized a mistake, the bottom plate I have (2) 12" pieces, they should be 5" not 12"

updated drawing also...
 

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bwreynolds

I actually used the same one you did
 

Kaiji

Thanks for all the help and effort you put in for me, I will never forget it! I have to put building the stand on hiatus, I've gotten busy over the last two days and I don't think I'll be able to put any work in for the stand just yet , besides the tools I already bought for it.
 

Theepum

no worries, I did this so I could remember how to use the program and all its updates since I last got paid to use it... I've built a few things around my house, and I love drawing it up first so I can see a few different designs/layouts and use the best one.

If i'm not too busy, I'd love to draw up anything you need.... haha
 

justatank

I like Theepum's explaination

My main thing is to tie the connections with interlocking dove tail or Key joints, or ship laps,
 

Kaiji

Thanks again guys. Theepum, I'll hold you up to that offer , justatank thanks for the link! I still haven't done much this week for the tank stand directly, I've been moving furniture and other msc things around my room to make space for the stand once completed.
 

Treefork

I built a 40 gallon long stand earlier this year with 2x4's. Here's a link in this thread.
 

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