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lkoechle

Help with shelf bracing debate

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lkoechle

This is going to be holding a 14 gallon peninsula for the 100 days contest.  Husband and I are debating how reinforced the shelf needs to be.  He thinks its a an issue.  I think a little support and call it good.  This shelf was built as an entertainment center for the old boxy tvs.  See the below photos.

 

 There will be a hole drilled in the back corner for cords to come through.  

 

We have several different thoughts.  But want some more experienced opinions since our last diy stand was frequently commented as "massively overbuilt"

 

How would you support it? 

 

Thanks!

20170428_092137.jpg

underneath, back right corner.

20170428_092127.jpg

Back center.  That hole drop is blocked by a mirror the previous owners installed when they converted it from entertainment center to dry bar.

20170428_092123.jpg

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lkoechle

Back left corner, the hole will be drilled in that corner a little to the inside to let power cords through.

20170428_092120.jpg

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seabass

The stand itself should be sturdy enough.  However, I'm mostly concerned about the weight not being supported by the sides of the stand.  The top might eventually bow (especially if any moisture got under the tank).  I might even consider buying some scrap granite and have it cut for the top of the stand.  You could cut a hole in the back for the cords.

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cnseekatz

It's hard to tell what kind of material is used for the counter, but I wouldn't think you'd need to add extra support. I had a 12.5 gallon set up on a very similarly built entertainment unit without any sort of issues (no swaying, bending, buckling, etc.).

 

If you really want to beef it up, I would carefully pop off the top, then create some form of structural support underneath. The type of stock you use (1x3, 2x4, etc.) depends on your dimensions. Run the supports front to back, and specifically target where the tank will sit. Flush mounted screws to hold the support structure together, then try to tie the structure into the beefiest part of the entertainment unit you can. 

 

Here's my thought for support.

 

Support_zpsu9ymveu5.jpg

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seabass

For supports, you normally want to try to transfer the weight to the floor (not to another shelf or even screws).  That said, if it was made to hold a tube TV, it's probably strong enough for a 13 gallon tank.

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skoechle

The house was built in 2005 and this was put in by the builder. So maybe for a tube tv?

 

My concern is that the top shelf is only supported by the 1x2s that have 2 brad nails holding each one up. Additionally, leaning on it heavily causes the center to bow. So at the very least i think it needs a brace down the center.

 

I think the 1x2s atleast need long screws into the studs. And a brace to support the center. But then the cabinet below is similarly built. So am i just moving the problem lower? Or do i need to reinforce that too?

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kimberbee
2 minutes ago, skoechle said:

My concern is that the top shelf is only supported by the 1x2s that have 2 brad nails holding each one up. Additionally, leaning on it heavily causes the center to bow. So at the very least i think it needs a brace down the center.

 

How is the support from the cabinet below? 

 

If it was me, I'd pop the top off. Then use 2x4's in place of the 1x2's as support around the edges, and down the middle. But that's providing the cabinet below has good support, too. 

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lkoechle
2 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

 

How is the support from the cabinet below? 

 

If it was me, I'd pop the top off. Then use 2x4's in place of the 1x2's as support around the edges, and down the middle. But that's providing the cabinet below has good support, too. 

We have a large wall mirror they glued above it we would need to also remove in order pop the top and that would probably damage the drywall. :-/

 

The cabinet below seems to be very sturdy IMO. But @skoechle probably has a different opinion.  

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kimberbee
1 minute ago, lkoechle said:

We have a larger mirror they glued above it we would need to also remove in order pop the top and that would probably damage the drywall. :-/

 

The cabinet below seems to be very sturdy IMO. But @skoechle probably has a different opinion.  

 

Sounds like too much work... Find another place for the tank? :lol: 

 

Definitely needs a center brace, and additional support for the existing 1x2's at the very least. 

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skoechle

It definitely seems sturdy, but the top and middle shelf look to be supported the same way. @lkoechle will post another image but when you look inside the cabinet you are seeing the wall in the sides and back.

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lkoechle
Just now, kimberbee said:

 

Sounds like too much work... Find another place for the tank? :lol: 

 

Definitely needs a center brace, and additional support for the existing 1x2's at the very least. 

there is no other place. lol we talked about that.  I feel confident we can reinforce it enough in place. 

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skoechle
1 minute ago, kimberbee said:

 

Sounds like too much work... Find another place for the tank? :lol: 

 

Definitely needs a center brace, and additional support for the existing 1x2's at the very least. 

This. I was told there is no other place :P

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lkoechle

@skoechle's pic he wanted me to upload

23148.jpeg

 

This is inside the cabinet.

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kimberbee

How sturdy is the shelf/top of the cabinet? I get what you were saying about transferring the weight of the problem from one shelf down to the next. It looks like its the same material held up by 1x2's and brad nails. 

 

It might be fine but... better safe than sorry. :unsure:

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lkoechle
6 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

How sturdy is the shelf/top of the cabinet? I get what you were saying about transferring the weight of the problem from one shelf down to the next. It looks like its the same material held up by 1x2's and brad nails. 

 

It might be fine but... better safe than sorry. :unsure:

pretty sturdy.  I think just bracing the center and reinforcing the 1x2s with long screws  should be enough  extra support... I keep thinking, I have seen heavier supported on less :P

 

 

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cnseekatz

If you're really worried, you can always remove all the shelves, then build a full on stand from floor to top surface of unit, and drop the top back on. I think this would be overkill. 

 

You're not worried about unit supporting the weight of the tank. You're worried about the uneven distribution of that weight. Cross braces like I drew out will distribute that weight more evenly and prevent the bowing your talking about. If you tie the supports into the structural elements of the unit (like the single front piece), you'll be fine.

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seabass

Let me ask you this.  Would you feel comfortable standing on the top?  A 13 gallon tank is about the same weight as a person.

 

Can we see a pic showing the whole thing (top included)?

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cnseekatz
1 minute ago, seabass said:

Let me ask you this.  Would you feel comfortable standing on the top?  A 13 gallon tank is about the same weight as a person.

 

Can we see a pic showing the whole thing (top included)?

Screw it... just rip the whole thing out and rebuild it with welded steel. ;) 

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lkoechle
4 minutes ago, seabass said:

Let me ask you this.  Would you feel comfortable standing on the top?  A 13 gallon tank is about the same weight as a person.

 

Can we see a pic showing the whole thing (top included)?

I would.  I climb counters all the time. (because I am 5 1 not because I am weird.)

 

20170428_105710.jpg

20170428_105720.jpg

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RotaryReef
22 minutes ago, seabass said:

For supports, you normally want to try to transfer the weight to the floor (not to another shelf or even screws).  That said, if it was made to hold a tube TV, it's probably strong enough for a 13 gallon tank.

^This

 

Water and all the 14 is probably going to weigh somewhere around 120lbs.

 

You could load test it! But I don't think it will stand the static load for 100 days without failing or bowing.

 

I would start with sitting your youngest child on it... If that holds take off youngest and put oldest child... If that holds sit youngest child with oldest child... If that holds take off both children, Summon @skoechle (For safety reasons;)) and then @lkoechle stands on it! If it holds, proceed to high 5!:)

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Boggers
3 minutes ago, cnseekatz said:

If you're really worried, you can always remove all the shelves, then build a full on stand from floor to top surface of unit, and drop the top back on. I think this would be overkill. 

 

You're not worried about unit supporting the weight of the tank. You're worried about the uneven distribution of that weight. Cross braces like I drew out will distribute that weight more evenly and prevent the bowing your talking about. If you tie the supports into the structural elements of the unit (like the single front piece), you'll be fine.

I like this option the best, but I also think adding screws to the support and adding a middle cross support should work fine.

 

Frame.png

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seabass
7 minutes ago, lkoechle said:

20170428_105710.jpg

Haha... I see you taking the picture. :)

 

So are there sides to this, or is it built right onto the walls? Edit: Nevermind, it doesn't really matter.

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skoechle
7 minutes ago, cnseekatz said:

Screw it... just rip the whole thing out and rebuild it with welded steel. ;) 

There is no doubt in my mind that in a few years this whole thing will be ripped out and purpose built for a large tank. But dont tell @lkoechle that.

1 minute ago, seabass said:

Haha... I see you taking the picture. :)

 

So are there sides to this, or is it built right onto the walls?

No sides. 1x2s brad nailed into the wall for each shelf

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kimberbee
9 minutes ago, lkoechle said:

I would.  I climb counters all the time. (because I am 5 1 not because I am weird.)

I climb counters all the time because I'm short AND weird! ;)

 

I was talking to a house builder and one of their options was the tall cabinets (or a few THOUSAND extra, of course). I'm like no, I'm too short, even if I climb on the counters I wouldn't be able to reach!! 

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cnseekatz
2 minutes ago, skoechle said:

There is no doubt in my mind that in a few years this whole thing will be ripped out and purpose built for a large tank. But dont tell @lkoechle that.

No sides. 1x2s brad nailed into the wall for each shelf

 

Replace the 1x2s with 2x4s screwed into studs. Then you can tie whatever kind of bracing you want to those. 

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