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Tips on how to build this stand? PICS!


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#26
mannaize

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I'm working on my sump area. This guys pipeing is what I had on mind. Taking flexible tubes and gluing them to the hard ware. I was told that you have to buy a barbed section to connect to flexible tubeing, is that correct?

Edited by mannaize, 30 March 2012 - 09:31 AM.


#27
slammin

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Yea, home depot charges $1 a cut after the first 2...worked out to 20$ o so for the cuts, but worth it as they are smooth and square.

I'm very confident with the stregth of the stand, I'm sure it won't need any additional support. This stand is a tank compared to the kitchen cabinet I have my tank on now doing a fresh water test.

Btw, my tank is 24x24x18 and the stand is 24x24x39

#28
solefald

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I'm working on my sump area. This guys pipeing is what I had on mind. Taking flexible tubes and gluing them to the hard ware. I was told that you have to buy a barbed section to connect to flexible tubeing, is that correct?


He is using flexible PVC pipe
http://www.flexiblep...vcpipeblack.htm

with PVC compression couplings
Posted Image

The only places PVC cement is used is on rigid tubing and elbows.

#29
madfx

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I'd like to mention you should exercise caution when fishing Craigslist for project quotes. The majority, especially those with very low quotes, have no real qualification (or insurance) to provide these services. You have no recourse should a stand fail. You're left with lost livestock and a soaking living room of damages. Paying a little more for quality and peace of mind has to be worth something. You certainly aren't going to get a carefully crafted piece of furniture for bargain bin pricing.

DIY can save money, but it can also be a money pit, especially if you're a perfectionist.

Regarding having cuts made at Home Depot, good luck. You're at the mercy of whoever is operating the panel saw. They have a sign saying how big their tolerance is on cuts for a reason. You aren't guaranteed precision.

#30
solefald

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I'd like to mention you should exercise caution when fishing Craigslist for project quotes. The majority, especially those with very low quotes, have no real qualification (or insurance) to provide these services. You have no recourse should a stand fail. You're left with lost livestock and a soaking living room of damages. Paying a little more for quality and peace of mind has to be worth something. You certainly aren't going to get a carefully crafted piece of furniture for bargain bin pricing.


True that, but even the legit shops I contacted would only provide 90 guarantee on their work. Yet their prices were astronomical. Im talking $400 just for labor to cut and weld a few pieces of pipe!!! After 90 days you are on your own. I've been around skilled labor long enough to recognize a person who knows what they are talking about vs. some hack with a table saw or a MIG welder. Always ask to see their previous work and completed projects. And preferably their shop/mobile setup.

Oh... and noticed something weird. Couple of guys said "Cost of labor is cost materials times 3.5".
WTF kind of estimate is that???

I called a few places to get prices on steel tubing and got everything from $1.94/ft to $2.77/ft.
Lets say a project required 100ft of tubing. How could the price of labor be different???
$679 if you buy materials for $1.94/ft
$969.50 if you buy materials at $2.77/ft

yet end result is the same.

Edited by solefald, 30 March 2012 - 10:19 AM.


#31
madfx

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Estimates are just estimates. When you figure they might see 1 actual job out of every 10 requests, it makes sense to use formulas to provide estimates quickly. It takes time (unpaid) to dissect a plan, calculate materials, labor, etc. If you're still on board after getting a rough estimate, then you'll typically receive a more accurate quote with breakdown. They just need a way to weed out dreamers from the real customers. I know it's frustrating, having played the game from both sides.

I'm not so much talking about a shop warranty as I am talking about shop experience. An experienced shop will provide better work than your typical weekend warrior. They can also point out flawed designs and offer structural suggestions. A shop will also accept other forms of payment, which will afford you some level of added protection over a Craigslist cash deal.

True that, but even the legit shops I contacted would only provide 90 guarantee on their work. Yet their prices were astronomical. Im talking $400 just for labor to cut and weld a few pieces of pipe!!! After 90 days you are on your own. I've been around skilled labor long enough to recognize a person who knows what they are talking about vs. some hack with a table saw or a MIG welder. Always ask to see their previous work and completed projects. And preferably their shop/mobile setup.

Oh... and noticed something weird. Couple of guys said "Cost of labor is cost materials times 3.5".
WTF kind of estimate is that???

I called a few places to get prices on steel tubing and got everything from $1.94/ft to $2.77/ft.
Lets say a project required 100ft of tubing. How could the price of labor be different???
$679 if you buy materials for $1.94/ft
$969.50 if you buy materials at $2.77/ft

yet end result is the same.



#32
solefald

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Estimates are just estimates. When you figure they might see 1 actual job out of every 10 requests, it makes sense to use formulas to provide estimates quickly. It takes time (unpaid) to dissect a plan, calculate materials, labor, etc. If you're still on board after getting a rough estimate, then you'll typically receive a more accurate quote with breakdown. They just need a way to weed out dreamers from the real customers. I know it's frustrating, having played the game from both sides.

I'm not so much talking about a shop warranty as I am talking about shop experience. An experienced shop will provide better work than your typical weekend warrior. They can also point out flawed designs and offer structural suggestions. A shop will also accept other forms of payment, which will afford you some level of added protection over a Craigslist cash deal.


I sent them EVERYTHING. Plans from every ange, measurements, every component laid out and sized, number of gusset plates needed. Hell, I even sent them how each piece of raw metal need to be cut to minimize waste and make their life easier. All they have to do is to cut and weld, following my plans. So I was looking for an exact quote and not an estimate, since I did all guessing and planning work for them.

If this does not make me look like a serious customer, I don't know what does.

As far as cash payments, lots of these guys now have iPhones with Square and even accept PayPal!
And most metal fabricator and cabinet makers advertising on Craigslist are licensed pros looking for
some extra business.

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#33
madfx

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You're lucky to have qualified folks make up the majority of ads. What you find on Craigslist varies by the market. Here it's been mainly the weekend warrior types.

Seems like you're getting the classic don't-want-to-be-bothered-by-a-small-job attitude. In addition to being small, these sort of jobs are more high risk and low reward in nature. Once you start getting into furniture pieces, the expectations rise. Quite disproportionately to pay.

Contracting out work is always a pain.

#34
mannaize

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He is using flexible PVC pipe
http://www.flexiblep...vcpipeblack.htm

with PVC compression couplings
Posted Image

The only places PVC cement is used is on rigid tubing and elbows.


Is this the same that bulk reef and marine depot sells. And then you said what to cement. So you put the cement on elbows and what ever you connect the flex pipe to right?

#35
solefald

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Is this the same that bulk reef and marine depot sells. And then you said what to cement. So you put the cement on elbows and what ever you connect the flex pipe to right?


Nope. Flex PVC does not get cemented. Anything you connect with compression couplings does not need to be cemented, really. Compression couplings provide enough pressure and have built in seals to prevent leaks.
People also use them as a convenient way to quickly connect/disconnect things. I guess you can cement flex PVC if you want, but I would not do it.

Only regular PVC pipe gets cemented to regular connectors and elbows . You can buy that blue or gray PVC cement at Home Depot.

Edited by solefald, 30 March 2012 - 01:50 PM.


#36
Aunt Minnie

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Guys these posts have been really helpful! I've got a couple updates, in addition to some commentary.

I briefly considered going the steel route for a stand. At that time, I had looked into an online company with particularly shining reviews which specifically deals with steel aquarium stands: www.steelaquariumstands.com. While I did not pursue a quote from them, they state on their website that their stands don't make much economic sense unless one is planning a tank in the 90+ gallon range. For some reason, their website has been recently taken down. Not sure if they went out of business or are switching domain/company names. Nevertheless, the company still has videos on youtube (Google "Steel Aquarium Stands Overview Youtube" -- it will be the first result).

Since I ultimately decided to go with a more nano-sized reef (~20 gallons), I felt a steel stand would be both overkill and too expensive.

I revamped my original stand design posted earlier. While the design itself is near-identical, I switched from 2x4s to 1x3s. Yes, many of you may consider this heresy, although I feel the 1x3s will provide plenty of support, especially when stiffened by 3/4" plywood sides and a 3/4" plywood top. The screw strips on the inside corners of the 1x3s will remain 2x2s. The use of 1x3s will also keep weight down and allow for more space inside the stand. I have attached an updated Sketchup drawing of the frame and finished stand below. Let me know your thoughts! Also, any thoughts on building it taller (currently 36")? It will sit next to my desk in our spare bedroom/office and it'd be nice to see from a sitting position. My wife and I are both pretty tall however (5'11" and 6'2") and would appreciate being able to see the tank well from a standing position. What height is a good compromise? The tank is 14" tall.

Slammin,

Your stand looks AWESOME. Very very similar to what I'm trying to acheive, although I don't have a table saw and don't trust my local Home Depot to do my cuts. I relied on them a couple years ago to make cuts for an MDF subwoofer box and the thing turned out terrible (and bear in mind I was standing there looking over their shoulder the entire time). You must have an especially upper-echelon HD :lol: .

I am curious on how you are planning to finish the stand. I have read that closed-grain woods like maple and birch are VERY inherent to blotching after stain is applied. As opposed to just painting the stand with a couple coats of Minwax, I'd like to try and put a professional looking satin or semi-gloss finish on the thing (similar to the stand I originally posted). Just curious if you had any experience with this, because I'm starting to become seriously confused.

Let me know what you're thinking!

Attached Thumbnails

  • The_Stand_v2.JPG

Edited by Aunt Minnie, 31 March 2012 - 05:22 PM.


#37
mpsti05

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Hmmm some good stuff in here... I need to draw up or have someone draw a stand for me... Custom ordered a 30"x20"x16" aquarium... So I need to make a stand that's hmmm 30" long 20" deep and 30" high. All the pre built stands I've found suck

#38
Aunt Minnie

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Hmmm some good stuff in here... I need to draw up or have someone draw a stand for me... Custom ordered a 30"x20"x16" aquarium... So I need to make a stand that's hmmm 30" long 20" deep and 30" high. All the pre built stands I've found suck


Those tank dimensions are awesome...I actually had very similar dimensions in mind for my tank when I decided to downsize from a 55 gal to something a little more nano. Problem was I figured my AI Nano Sol would have coverage issues at a 30" width. Just curious on what type of lighting your planning?

Yeah, figuring out a stand has been a huge PITA. People talk about DIY projects like they're no big deal, without realizing that most people don't own table saws, miter boxes, routers, etc. Unfortunately, most of the store bought options are cheap (and ugly) pieces of sh*t made from MDF or particle board. To make matters worse, those of us with custom tanks are even more screwed.

For designing your own stand, I HIGHLY recommend downloading Google SketchUp (free). There are several short video tutorials which will familiarize you with the program. If you are like me and have zero woodworking skills or tools, I also highly recommend building a basic stand out of 2x4s. 2x4s are easy to obtain at any Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. and can be easily cut to size per your Google SketchUp plans. The stand can then be "skinned" with any material of your choice (3/4" plywood, solid wood veneer, paneling, etc.) and finished with a stain/dye/paint of your choosing. If you want something a little more ornate, you can simply add trim or moulding to suit your taste. DEFINITELY check out this thread on Reef Central for further details on this type of stand design. It's lengthy but VERY informative.

Hope this helps.

Edited by Aunt Minnie, 01 April 2012 - 11:32 PM.


#39
mpsti05

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Those tank dimensions are awesome...I actually had very similar dimensions in mind for my tank when I decided to downsize from a 55 gal to something a little more nano. Problem was I figured my AI Nano Sol would have coverage issues at a 30" width. Just curious on what type of lighting your planning?

Yeah, figuring out a stand has been a huge PITA. People talk about DIY projects like they're no big deal, without realizing that most people don't own table saws, miter boxes, routers, etc. Unfortunately, most of the store bought options are cheap (and ugly) pieces of sh*t made from MDF or particle board. To make matters worse, those of us with custom tanks are even more screwed.

For designing your own stand, I HIGHLY recommend downloading Google SketchUp (free). There are several short video tutorials which will familiarize you with the program. If you are like me and have zero woodworking skills or tools, I also highly recommend building a basic stand out of 2x4s. 2x4s are easy to obtain at any Home Depot, Lowe's, etc. and can be easily cut to size per your Google SketchUp plans. The stand can then be "skinned" with any material of your choice (3/4" plywood, solid wood veneer, paneling, etc.) and finished with a stain/dye/paint of your choosing. If you want something a little more ornate, you can simply add trim or moulding to suit your taste. DEFINITELY check out this thread on Reef Central for further details on this type of stand design. It's lengthy but VERY informative.

Hope this helps.

Sweet thanks. Im going to be using my Ai Sol Blue i use on my biocube29 for the lighting with custom lite brackets which will give me 12" worth of height from water line so the 30" spread is perfect.

#40
joshik

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As beautiful as that stand is, this guys sucks at organizing wiring! haha :)


this guy needs some cable management lessons from a network engineer :)

#41
slammin

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Slammin,

Your stand looks AWESOME. Very very similar to what I'm trying to acheive, although I don't have a table saw and don't trust my local Home Depot to do my cuts. I relied on them a couple years ago to make cuts for an MDF subwoofer box and the thing turned out terrible (and bear in mind I was standing there looking over their shoulder the entire time). You must have an especially upper-echelon HD :lol: .

I am curious on how you are planning to finish the stand. I have read that closed-grain woods like maple and birch are VERY inherent to blotching after stain is applied. As opposed to just painting the stand with a couple coats of Minwax, I'd like to try and put a professional looking satin or semi-gloss finish on the thing (similar to the stand I originally posted). Just curious if you had any experience with this, because I'm starting to become seriously confused.

Let me know what you're thinking!


Thanks Aunt Minnie! :) i really have had no time to work on it since the last few pics, but i'm hoping to have it built this week. As for the colour, i have Zero experience with staining something like this...i would love to have a nice stained finish, but at the end of the day, the stand is going into my living room that has a big white built in shelves/cabinets, so i think it would look best if i painted my stand white. here is a pic of the room its going in (don't mind the tape on walls, this was taking while painting the room)

http://img.photobuck...20210-00159.jpg

I'm just planning a few coats of kilz and i picked up a couple cans of spay on clear coat to seal and give it a nice shine. hope it works out...i'll post pics when i complete it.

as for your latest design, that stand looks great. I love the ELOS type stands. I mainly went with the "d2mini" design to cover the bottom trim of my tank...if my tank didn;t have that trim, i would have most likely gone with the same design as you are planning.

#42
solefald

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well... there is no going back now. it's going to be heavy as hell. 1.5" tubing is an overkill, i think.

Posted Image

if you are going with steel, cheapest way to do this is to source all materials yourself.
i managed to find tubing for $1.94/ft and have the same place cut it for me for $32. Gussets i picked up at another place for 36c/each. Strangely enough, gussets at the first place were $2.38 each (I need 26) and steel tubing at the second place where i bought gussets was $2.77/ft., so depending on the amount of effort you want to put into sourcing materials, you can save lots of money. I am willing to bet that in your town there are tons of suppliers on the streets you've never heard of :)

All materials ended up being $87. $32 to cut. Not bad at all.

My girls dad is going to weld it for me, but I got multiple $100-150 quotes for welding only from craigslist, if you don't have anyone. Make sure not to jump on the first dude who gives you a quote. I am still getting $750 quotes for the frame only. haha

Edited by solefald, 03 April 2012 - 04:06 PM.


#43
Aunt Minnie

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Wow this will be phenomenal. Looking forward to see how it comes together!

#44
Aunt Minnie

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Just curious, how accurate were the cuts made at the place where you found your steel? I'm guessing they're extremely accurate given your attention to detail. However, for others looking to build a steel stand, is there a substantial concern for error depending on where one has steel cut (similar to having wood cut at HD)?

#45
solefald

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They promised 1/16" tolerance. I was just thinking of going down to my car to measure it, but my girl's dad has a welding jig at work, so I am not worried about it being crooked.

Second place had a laser cutter that offered 1/128" accuracy and no need to deburr the edges, but that's a little too anal. I'm not building a jet. Their tubing was $60 more and cutting would've been around $50 too.

#46
mpsti05

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Used google sketchup as suggested... Thanks!.... check out my thread on the last page for the stand i built today, almost done will finish it friday. 2x4's and 3/4" sanded pine plywood