SOUTHEAST ASIAN STYLE AQUARIUM STAND
See what happens when we say, "I can make one better".
SHOP OWNER: Drew McManus
LOCATION: Bel Air, MD
This is my first 'big' project. My wife keeps aquariums as a hobby and when she purchased her first large tank we went shopping for stands. Neither of us liked the styles and quality of stands out there so, in my normal fashion I opened my big mouth and said, "I can make something better than that"
Well she made me keep my word and that's how I began work on the stand. She is serious about her hobby and wanted to set up the tank as a biotope, meaning everything in the tank is uniform in environment where it is naturally located geographically. This is a Southeast Asian tank so I started looking at Asian designs. I came across many tansu chests and we both approved of the look right away. So I set out to draw up plans and figure out how to build the chest.
The majority of the chest is cypress. Since it's a light hardwood that naturally resists rot, it was a natural choice for use with an aquarium. The panels and shoji style doors are red oak faced 1/4" and 1/8" plywood. I secured the side panels in place with glass retainer clips so that if I wanted to change the panels I can easily pop out the old ones and pop in the new ones. The interior is bare as it is only used to house the large canister filter and various cleaning and feeding products. The case is joined with mortise and tenon joinery, and the cherry stain and finish are all Bartley's gel products.
As with all projects it was a big learning experience. At the time I only owned a small Delta bench top saw, a belt sander, ROB hand sander, a Dewalt 2HP router, and various hand tools. Looking back at it, I'm surprised I ended up with what I have with only those tools.. . . Drew McManus
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