Ghislain Laprise's Aquarium Cabinet

Painted appliqués dress up this extravagant pine cabinet.

SHOP OWNER: Ghislain Laprise
LOCATION: Quebec City, Quebec

    One of my friends bought a 25-gallon aquarium but he had no base to put it on. We went to the store to see the available bases, but the only one we saw was made with melamine board and cost a lot. So, I decided to try to build one with the minimal tools that I had.
    This is a salt-water aquarium and it needs a lot of gadgets and stuff. I had no design to go by, but I imagined a podium with storage compartments for all the equipment and supplies. The pumps and filters are hidden by the wood cover and are visible from the side. In the base you can store fish food, pH testing gear, and all the other things you need. The top section of the aquarium cabinet has a door to access the plastic door of the aquarium, so you can feed the fish without removing the top.

Ghislain Laprise's Aquarium Cabinet
     I made the cabinet out of C-grade 3/4-in. white pine, which was less expensive than the better grades, but I had to cut around the knots to get fairly clear stock.
     My friend didn't know how the base would look, so he asked me if it was possible to add a little green to fit with his decor. I decided to add some appliqués that I bought at my local wood store. They were cheap but I think they add some interesting detail to the piece.
     Finishing is difficult for me. I know absolutely nothing about finishing procedures, so I simply stained everything with teak gel stain and then top-coated with two coat of varnish.
     It took me about 100 hours to build this entire project. At the beginning of the project, I only had a tablesaw. Then, all through the project, I bought more tools as I needed them: router, jointer, etc. By the time I was finished, I had almost a complete shop.
     This project made me realize that I like to work with wood. Today I have a complete workshop and I am finishing a new project ... a roll top desk that I hope I can show you soon!

. . . Ghislain Laprise



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