DIY In-Wall Stand Design

Natterjak

New member
I'm planning out a 180g I'm going to be putting in-wall in my new house, and I need some advice on how to design the stand. I've never done any framing or stand building before, so I've tried to do a lot of research, but I still have a lot of questions.

Here's a rough sketch of what I have so far (apologies it's a bit messy, I just drew it on paper):

54346DIY_Stand.jpg


The back of the tank/stand is towards the front of the drawing, and the plan is to have the back form a 6" ledge behind the tank, so the dimensions of the stand would be 72"x 30".

The top frame would be constructed of 2x6's - the reason for this is because I have holes drilled in the bottom front of my tank for a closed loop - the holes are a bit close to the front and sides, so there's not a whole lot of room for much more than one 2x6.

This top frame would sit on top of the bottom frame, made of 2x4's. I plan on using the existing wall studs for the in-wall side of the frame. The ? marks are where I'm thinking of putting additional 2x4s - would two be enough for the back side? I did plan on doubling up on the 2x6s on the top frame to compensate. (There is a missing 2x4 in the back left corner - it's drawn in as a dotted line in the back right corner.)

My questions are (other than if this design would work at all):

1. What would be the best way to connect the 2x4s forming the top and bottom frames?

2. What would be the best way to connect the 2x6 frame to the 2x4 frame? (Screws coming up from the underneath the 2x4s into the 2x6s?)

3. Should I build the stand completely, and then sheetrock around it, or is there a better way to do it?

4. What additional bracing should I have? I plan to put plywood on top, but I'd like to leave the sides as open as possible - what would be best to reinforce it to keep it from twisting, etc.?

Thanks for any help!
 

RobinsonFam1

New member
1.2.)
best attachment will be 3" screws, corrosion resistant. go to Lowes and buy "Deck Mate" in a blue box. best damn screws ive used yet!
3.) yes stand first then sheetrock it. or you could use a nice cabinet grade ply instead of SR.
4.) i would not worry about twisting of the stand. the tank weight will hold it. you caould add playwood to the stand and then sheetrock over that if it is a concern though. it will make a huge difference in strength but i dont know if you will notice or not.

things you may have not thought of:
if this is going to sit on concrete then the wood that touches the concrete MUST be pressure treated. If you use PT wood then you MUST use a screw like a deckmate to prevent the PT chemicals from eating through a standard nail or screw.

make sure that the top of the stand is DEAD flat and stright to prevent the tank from twisting. I recommend making the plywood on the top either pressure treated or atleast "Advantech". Advantech had great moisture resistant properties and is really work it if you dont want PT.

the ply top should be 3/4" for most strength and least warping. also should be screwed rather than nailed also.

HTH
BR
 

BeanAnimal

Premium Member
I would question the "Must be pressure treated" and the "eat through regular screws" comments.

I understand you are a builder adn tha tis the "best practice" and may even be par tof the new code... but just about every stud wall I have ever seen on an interior concrete floor is framed with a non treated bottom plate. If you have enough moisture coming through the concrete to damage the stand, then you have other problems that need to be taken care of.

With regards to the corrosivity of PT lumber nad regualr screws.... I guess if you want to get techincal... but again I have never seen PT lumber eat through decent screw or bolt in a dry area. The only time I have ever seen a problem is in boards that are wet (such as on decks, railing and lumber planters or landscaping members.)

Not trying to be a PITA and do agree that the advice is good and best practice, I am just giving some food for thought... I also do like the deckmate screws (other than the price).

I built my stand as part of the wall. If you want to use a plywood piece to stiffen the stand then use it on the front inside portion. That way your sheetrock and stand front will be flush with the rest of the wall. Do you need, I doubt it... but it surely will not hurt.
 

anjhof

New member
Is plywood on top of the stand needed or even recommended for an All-Glass tank? I am planning a stand similar to Natterjak, but I was thinking of using 4x4's across the top, supported by 4 2x4's in the corners. Plus I will be adding either a 4x4 or 2 2x4's in the middle of the stand in the front and back.
I figured this information would be helpful to Natterjak too if someone knows. I don't mean to hijack your thread.
 

BeanAnimal

Premium Member
Attaching a sheet of material over a framed perimeter will strengthen the frame by preventing it from twisting or skewing. Most glass tanks are supported by their perimeter and the plywood underneath would do nothing but bolster the stand. In the case of the scan above, plywood could be used instead of all of hte cross braces. EITHER will keep the sides from wanting to fall over under weight.

Most DIY stands are WAY overbuilt with regards to what would safely hold the load.

The most important part is getting the surface prfectly flat on the same plane (no high corners or dips/humps in the rails). A racked stand will put a lot of stress on the glass panes and silicone joints.

Bean
 

Natterjak

New member
Thanks for all the responses! This has been very helpful.

I believe the floor is a concrete slab, although I won't know yet until we move in and I can pull up the existing carpet. I do plan on coating the floor with epoxy (provided there isn't too much moisture in the concrete). If I epoxy coat it, should I still use pressure treated wood?

With regards to pressure treated wood - is it better to built the stand entirely out of that, or is it better to use something like redwood?

For question #1 I think I was a bit unclear - this was in regards to the bottom portion of the stand, and the two rectangular frames that form its top and bottom - it's kind of a stupid question, I'm not sure how to connect the 4 2x4's to make the frame - do I do it with really long screws, or do I go in diagonally? I hope that makes sense.

I like the plywood suggestion for the inside front - seems like it would be less hassle than sheetrock. :)
 

RobinsonFam1

New member
I understand you are a builder adn tha tis the "best practice" and may even be par tof the new code... but just about every stud wall I have ever seen on an interior concrete floor is framed with a non treated bottom plate. If you have enough moisture coming through the concrete to damage the stand, then you have other problems that need to be taken care of.


the problem is that all concrete wicks or contains moisture in it. over time this will be absorbed by the wood and then cause mold problems then rotting.

its not a "new" code, it has been in effect as long as i can remember and its not a regional code.

the "new" (started in 2004 i believe) pressure treat lumber carries ACQ (copper based product) in the checmical makeup. this chemical is so corrosive that yes it will eat through a standard nail or screw in a matter of months.Yes i have seen this happen many of times already. this is why now you see soooo many new fasteners that are desgined for ACQ use with special coatings or stainless steel that did not exist before.

i agree Bean: deck mates are really nice but $$$$. the thing i like the most and why i recommend them is that they dont break and dont strip very easily at all.

I dont want to turn this into a Bi*** fest but rather just clarify our different views on the situation and allow Natterjack to see where we come from and this will allow him/her to ask more questions, learn more, and be able to make his/her own educated decision from there! :rollface:
 

RobinsonFam1

New member
one more thing....
yes the stand is "overbuilt" by standards but since it is being built into a wall this is a very practical design. having the studs along the one side will allow the addition of sheetrock and also allow for outlets, cable etc to be installed at a later date if need be.

good thread and questions!
 

Natterjak

New member
anjhof - no worries about hijacking, I think it's helpful in case there are questions I have forgotten :)

pyro383, thanks for the link, the pictures definitely help! One question - how did you seal off the wallspace that frames the tank? That's one thing I haven't been able to find in any of the in-wall threads I've looked at. I assume that you want to seal it off somehow so that moisture doesn't get inside the wall. Also, it doesn't look like you used any additional supporting legs in the back/middle of the stand, is that correct?

As for the stand, I definitely plan to put a piece of plywood on top for the tank to sit on (the tank is acrylic). So I guess I could build the bottom (the part that touches the concrete) out of PT wood, and built the rest out of redwood. I think PT wood is actually cheaper at Home Depot.
 

sullyfish

New member
If I may jump into this...

I just finished my in wall stand and it is similiar to yours. Instead of going with screws for the joints I used biscuits due to superior strength. A biscuit jointer can be picked up for under $50 at HD and I found it easy to use , and I am carpentry challenged. Although it took a bit longer than if I used screws, it was still easy and I like how it turned out. I used 4x4's ( premium douglas fir non treated. ) with 4 biscuits in each joint, also with steel L brackets as additional support. I then covered the stand in 3/4 ply and 2 coats of kilz waterproof primer.

Your stand design looks very good and I am sure screws would be fine, I just offer biscuits as another option to consider.... Here is a link to one of the tools if interested

http://usfreight.zoovy.com/product/6626N?META=froogle-6626N
 

RobinsonFam1

New member
yes pt for concrete areas. redwood is un-necessary though. you can use regular stud material. cheaper and easier to get.

also check the tank manufacturer. some may require a piece of 1/2" (or whatever they say) foam under the tank.
 

Natterjak

New member
sullyfish - thanks for the biscuit suggestion, I'll look into that.

RobinsonFam1 - redwood was what I saw at Home Depot, I'll try to find the regular stuff next time I go.

I was also planning on putting foam under the tank as well. :)
 

Natterjak

New member
One question I still have is how to connect the 2x4s in these corners:

54346DIY_Stand_Corner.jpg


Do I use screws longer than 3 1/2"? Biscuits? They will essentially be connected by the 2x4 legs underneath them, so I'm not sure if it's necessary to connect these top pieces directly to each other.
 

kris101

Premium Member
Just a suggestion but before you sheet rock the stand put the tank on it and fill it with water for weight. Your stand will settle and maybe even slightly twist with the weight. Then apply your sheet rock and save yourself time later with possible drywall cracks and "nail pops".
 

RobinsonFam1

New member
i would still connect those 2x4's yes.
the easy and strongest way is to run another 2x4 around the top overlapping the corners.
but since you putting the "platform" on top of the walls you can just screw from the under the walls into the platform with 3"+ screws. this will hold everything just fine.

must be regional thing with redwood since youre in Cali. maybe it is easier and cheaper for you guys. i have to order the stuff and pay out the *** for redwood here.
 

pyro383

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7552389#post7552389 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Natterjak
anjhof - no worries about hijacking, I think it's helpful in case there are questions I have forgotten :)

pyro383, thanks for the link, the pictures definitely help! One question - how did you seal off the wallspace that frames the tank? That's one thing I haven't been able to find in any of the in-wall threads I've looked at. I assume that you want to seal it off somehow so that moisture doesn't get inside the wall. Also, it doesn't look like you used any additional supporting legs in the back/middle of the stand, is that correct?


I caulked any and every joint that I had to seal the room completely (except ceiling & door). You are correct about no rear supports I used a 2x8x6 board as a main support beam.
 

Natterjak

New member
What about the 3 1/2" gap in the drywall around where you cut the hole for the tank? Do people typically sheetrock that, or is there another way to cover/seal that somehow?

i would still connect those 2x4's yes.
the easy and strongest way is to run another 2x4 around the top overlapping the corners.
but since you putting the "platform" on top of the walls you can just screw from the under the walls into the platform with 3"+ screws. this will hold everything just fine.

Gotcha, thanks! :)
 

pyro383

New member
What about the 3 1/2" gap in the drywall around where you cut the hole for the tank? Do people typically sheetrock that, or is there another way to cover/seal that somehow?


That is a large gap. I only have 1/4-1/2" gap on any side. When I put up moulding I will fill with bakerod which is tubular foam sold at HD and then caulk it to the tank or mash it with trim on the inside wall (fishroom) side
 

Natterjak

New member
Well what I mean is, a wall is typically 3 1/2" or so thick and hollow, right? So when you cut out a hole in it, the sides are now open - meaning you could stick your hand in between the two drywall sheets.

I think you're talking about the gap between the tank itself and the edges of the wall, which shouldn't be that large. I'm just talking about the sides of the wall/hole, and how you seal that up, if you need to. I hope that makes more sense!
 
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