Biscuit, Rabbet, both?

Reefer94

New member
So I'm planning to order my 60g (24x24x24) tank soon, and will be building a stand for it. First, I want to build a new stand for my 20g (24x12x16) to get a bit of experience in the build.

I've done cabinetry etc. for a while and standard household items (tables, dressers, crowning achievement of bar stools) so I have a basic understanding of joinery and a decent set of tools.

Let me start by saying I am building this out of ply/hardwood * only * - I am not building one of these bulky, industrial, 2x4 skinned frame, over-engineered, guerrilla-style stands that seem to be all I can find plans for. Nothing against those stands, I just don't want one, and I want as much room underneath as possible. The 60g cube stand is already an odd dimension, much less cramming 4-8 2x4s under there.

So my initial plan was to just do the joinery with pocket screws and biscuit joints around the carcass, probably out of a nice birch or other cabinet-grade ply (3/4") then trim it in with hardwood. I'd use a 2x4 top box and bottom box support, which I'd rabbet into the top/bottom respectively. I've seen others though using simple rabbets all the way around.

Is there an industry standard of the joinery in a tank stand and can anyone recommend one way or the other what type of joinery you'd use - biscuits all the way or simple rabbets, or even another method? Most likely it will end up being a combination of both (biscuit front panel and rear panel with rabbet-inset sides, and rabbet-drop top frame). I'm going to post some illustrations later, just gathering some info before I start sketching.
 

Reefer94

New member
Edit: Uncleof6, posted this at the same time as your response. Thanks for the link - I've been looking for threads but haven't found any related to joinery or the non-2x4 framed stands.

I guess the real question here is, what is (if there is) the industry standard for aquarium joinery? Solid 3/4" cabinet ply should be more than efficient. I would have asked in the super-long DIY stand post from rocketEngineer but it is more related to the 2x4 skinning method for ease of assembly, and I did not want to distract the thread from that.

Any plans using standard hardwood would be welcome. Otherwise, I'm gonna build it the same way I would a cabinet, with a rabbet structured box, hardwood trim, and biscuit-joined front/rear panels.
 

Reefer94

New member
Screws and glue is all that is necessary. The top frames really are not necessary either. (depending on tank construction) Some form of bottom frame is a plus however, to support the sump.

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1213499

I'm going with the top frame since the tank is going to be eurobraced acrylic, with no bottom framing, that way I can put a solid flat piece of ply on top for center support. I'm guessing the sheet of insulation would also be recommended between the tank/stand.
 

uncleof6

New member
I'm going with the top frame since the tank is going to be eurobraced acrylic, with no bottom framing, that way I can put a solid flat piece of ply on top for center support. I'm guessing the sheet of insulation would also be recommended between the tank/stand.

For a glass tank (rimless or euro braced) the foam would be required. For acrylic is is not needed, and really will serve no purpose.

Good bottom support, (frame) for an acrylic is a good idea. They all bow.
 

hillscp

Soylent Green is People!!
First of all, I would like to congratulate you for choosing to build your stand with plywood instead of creating one of those crazy two by four monsters.

I am a garage shop woodworker like you and I made my stand like this.

stand1Small.JPG


TankStandv8withTank.jpg


and the back

TankStandv8withTankBack.jpg


You can download the model here if interested

Personally I would forego the buiscuits. I have a buiscuit joiner and I use it sometimes to keep boards in wide glueups aligned (like table tops) but I don't use them for panel and frame construction. For really high end stuff I use M&T but for the stand I used glue and pocket screws. Very quick and strong.

standInteriorSmall.JPG


Maple plywood and solid maple front faceframes (I had some laying around)
 

Reefer94

New member
Hillscp, just what I'm after. So it looks like you did all the joinery with pocket screws, and good ole' glue. I was going to go that route at first but I tend to over complicate things :)

I may still do the biscuits on the front panel, as I still need an excuse to use my joiner again :)

Yeah, I can't bring myself to do the 2x4 monster. It seems like the only plans I can find, too. People vastly underestimate the incredible power of compressed lumber. Hell, most of those tanks (if you could find a way to evenly distribute the weight) would actually hold on a single 2x4. I've even seen 55g built on 4x4s, hell 1 4x4 would probably hold up a car :D

Thanks for the input, I'm going to simplify my design a bit.
 

garydan

New member
First of all, I would like to congratulate you for choosing to build your stand with plywood instead of creating one of those crazy two by four monsters.

I am a garage shop woodworker like you and I made my stand like this.

stand1Small.JPG


TankStandv8withTank.jpg


and the back

TankStandv8withTankBack.jpg


You can download the model here if interested

Personally I would forego the buiscuits. I have a buiscuit joiner and I use it sometimes to keep boards in wide glueups aligned (like table tops) but I don't use them for panel and frame construction. For really high end stuff I use M&T but for the stand I used glue and pocket screws. Very quick and strong.

standInteriorSmall.JPG


Maple plywood and solid maple front faceframes (I had some laying around)

Beautiful stand, love the shaker style doors with maple. :)
 
Top