DIY Aquarium Stand

  1. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Hi guys! This thread will follow my progress with the DIY stand I will be building for the 55G!

    Late last night, I decided that store bought stands are too expensive, and a DIY stand would be cheaper. So I drew up some rough plans for the framing of the stand at about 11 PM last night. I think to dress it up, I will make doors and walls out of stained plywood dressed up with some 1x4 trim. Here are the drawings, all boards are 2x4's except the piece in the center, which is there to stop the doors from swinging too far. The scale is one square equals two inches. Tell me what you think!

    Front view:

    Side view:

    Top view:

    Edit: P.S. Excuse the poorly drawn designs and the horrific handwriting, I don't have a steady hand at all.
  2. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    Looks good. What will you use for the frame?

  3. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    You mean as far as boards? If so, all of them will be 2x4's except the center piece which will be a 1x4 to stop the doors.
  4. Adam55 Well Known Member Member

    What sort of wood?

  5. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Some sort of pine. It is the same stuff they use to frame houses with, so they just mark it as "2x4 stud"
  6. Jim Well Known Member Member

  7. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks for the suggestion Jim. :)
    I think I am going to stick to my plan, I just like designing and building things myself. I did add some more to my design, added an extra two legs in the center to eliminate risk of bowing.

  8. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Update: I will be buying the materials for the framing this morning, hopefully I can get most of it put together today. Even if I can't, I will still post pictures of my progress later.
  9. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Update: I'm very behind schedule. I only have the frame cut out, and now I have to run and get the correct drill bit. Here it is as of about 15 minutes ago. Haha.
  10. Rivieraneo Moderator Moderator Member

    I would suggest you increase the length of the stand by another inch as some tanks measure 48.5 due to the plastic bottom frame. Also, should you decide to purchase a 75 - 90G tank in the future, you could widen the width of the stand to 19 inches to accommodate a larger tank in the future. Best of luck.

  11. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    I have measured it all out, and it will fitter perfectly, but thank you for the concern, riv. I think if I get a 75 gallon I will just make another stand, it's going to cost a little over 50 dollars total for this one, stained and everything; not very much for a stand, so it wouldn't be a big deal to build another in the future, but again, I really do appreciate the advice and concern.
  12. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Here is my progress on the framing since last night. All joints have two 3" steel deck screws holding them together.

  13. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    The framing is complete! And it's level!! :D
  14. Prep8611 Member Member

    Looking good, keep us updated.

    Sent from my iPhone using Fish Lore Aquarium Fish Forum
  15. Jim Well Known Member Member

    SW5, nice clean work! Now you can take what I say read it and ignore or apply it. The rest is up to you.....Your stand in it's present condition is being held up with a handful of deck screws. The shear on these is not much. A 55 fully loaded weighs close to 700 lbs, + or _. however all is not lost.
    If you add tight 2X4s to the pictured areas the whole pictured areas, the top will be resting on a solid 2X4 rather than on a deck screw. The screws will be doing nothing more than holding the wood together. A 2X4 (upright) can support up to 17000 lbs per sq inch. Picture a 50 foot oak tree....only the bottom wood is supporting the upper tree. Getting back on topic.... you can add the 2X4s tightly and they will support the upper "shelf" and the appearance will not suffer. Also another suggestion is to refer to the link I supplied above.
    The 2x4 on the left front will go between the upper horizontal member and the lower horizontal member. It will be flat against the existing 2X4. The 2X4 in the middle will go between the two horizontal members, and so on...
    Disclaimer: I am not an engineer but am solely providing info from the above link.

    Attached Files:

  16. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Thanks for the info Jim. I think that is a good idea, and I get what you are saying, but your diagram is perplexing me, and I don't quite understand how to apply your idea. If you could reiterate that, I may understand. Sorry, I am a very visual learner, and I can read or hear something and have it fly over my head, but if I see it being done, I can learn easily.
  17. Jim Well Known Member Member


    the 2x4 in the middle fits tightly against the one already there. The bottom sits on the horizontal and the top of the 2X4 being added goes under the top existing 2X4. This 2x4 has to be snug against the existing vertical 2x4 so it takes the weght.
    All of the corner 2x4 that are being added, go between the upper and lower horizontals and flat against then, so in effect you have made a 4X4 which in reality is a 3 1/2 X 3 1/2.
    One more little thingy - see that space 1 inch space between the bottom horizontal and the floor?- that should have a piece of 2x4 under it so in effect you have one continuous 2x4 from top to bottom, even though it is in pieces (screwed against the existing wood). It would be hard to screw that little bottom piece so make sure it is snug and then put a drop of wood glue on it.
  18. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Ohhh! Okay! I see what you are saying now. Correct me if I am wrong, but wouldn't that simply transfer the load to the bottom shelf, only to be transferred back to the same legs that are bearing the weight now? Or am I missing something again? Terribly sorry if I am being an idiot again.
  19. Jim Well Known Member Member

    No by adding the one inch piece between the floor and the first horzontal, and the piece between the bottom horizontal and the top horizontal - In effect you have built a solid 2x4. ---- floor piece+ lower horizontal+ added upright + upper horizontal= one solid leg, held together with screws which are doing nothing more that holding the "pieced"leg to the solid original leg. Agreed that it is being held up by the screws holding it to the one piece existing leg but being that it is tight and secure there is no shear on the screws, just downward pressure on the "continuous" piece of wood It is just a leg supported by the original leg.---- any better???
  20. SW5 Well Known Member Member

    Gotcha! I asked that question before you edited the explanation onto post #17 Okay, yeah I get it. Unfortunately, I only have one 8' 2x4 at the moment, so I probably can't add that until this weekend.