How to Build Your Own Aquarium Cabinet Stand

Written by ann azbill
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How to Build Your Own Aquarium Cabinet Stand
Building your own aquarium cabinet stand can save you money. (Aquarium image by crossgolfing from Fotolia.com)

A stand or cabinet can enhance the attractiveness of aquariums, particularly larger ones, because stands put the aquariums at eye level. The cabinets that come with an aquarium, however, often are expensive. You can save money by building a cabinet and have the added advantage of being able to customise to make the cabinet not only attractive, but useful as well. Any type of wood can be used to build an aquarium cabinet, but the thickness and type will be determined mostly by the size and weight of the aquarium.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • 4 two-by-fours cut to the length of the aquarium
  • 4 two-by-fours cut to the width of the aquarium less 4 inches
  • 1 two-by-four cut to 2 by 3 the width of the aquarium
  • 8 two-by-fours cut to the desired height of the cabinet minus 8 inches
  • 4 two-by-fours cut to 1 inch less than the height of the cabinet
  • Plywood
  • Paint or stain and sealant
  • Wood glue
  • Wood screws, 2 3/8 inches long
  • Screwdriver
  • Sander
  • 300- and 400-grit sandpaper
  • Cabinet hinges and latches

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Instructions

  1. 1

    To build the top of the cabinet, form a rectangle by placing two of the pieces cut for the width on either end of two pieces cut for the length. Line up the edges to form corners with the boards cut for the width inside the boards cut for the length. The top should be 4 inches in height. Glue and let dry.

  2. 2

    In the middle of the top of the cabinet, glue the 2-by-3-inch piece 1 inch down from the top of the frame and inside the boards cut for the length, forming a brace.

  3. 3

    To build the bottom of the cabinet, form a rectangle by placing two of the pieces cut for the width on either end of two pieces cut for the length. Line up the edges to form corners with the boards cut for the width inside the boards cut for the length. The bottom should be 4 inches in height. Glue and let dry.

  4. 4

    With two of the boards cut for the height, glue the long edges together in a V-shape, forming a corner. Do the same for each corner of the cabinet.

  1. 1

    Place each V-shaped corner on top of each corner of the bottom of the cabinet, lining up the edges. Glue and let dry.

  2. 2

    Place the top of the cabinet on the open end of each V-shaped corner, lining up the edges. Glue and let dry.

  3. 3

    Place each piece that is cut 1 inch less than the height of the cabinet inside each corner of the cabinet, placing the pieces 1 inch below the top, forming a brace in each corner. Glue and let dry.

  1. 1

    Using wood screws, screw all pieces together to tighten. Placing screws every 1 to 2 inches (depending on the height of the cabinet) through the inside pieces at each corner and the cross piece at the top middle of the cabinet will reinforce the entire frame.

  2. 2

    Cut plywood to fit the frame of the cabinet. For a more finished look, use birch or oak plywood to make doors on the front of the cabinet. Attach with cabinet hinges. Use decorative latches.

  3. 3

    Sand the entire cabinet with 300-grit sandpaper. Lightly sand with 400-grit sandpaper to smooth corners and edges.

  4. 4

    Stain or paint the entire cabinet. Use two coats of paint or stain and finish with a sealant.

Tips and warnings

  • For larger aquariums, use 2-by-6s or 2-by-8s instead of two-by-fours and place two or three braces at the top of the cabinet.
  • For exact measurements, keep in mind that two-by-fours are actually closer to 1 ¾ inches by 3 ¾ inches. Measure boards before cutting.
  • Put the entire cabinet together first before gluing to see how it will fit together.

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