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mendel
07/03/2017, 07:01 PM
bs"d

i'm new to the diy thing, and im currently building an aquarium stand - following the build of "the king of diy" on youtube- and some of my 2x4s are wider then 4 ( or narower - the point is that they are different sizes) and therefor i cant fit the pieces into place! what do i do?
also they seem to be warped! is that normal? will the weight of the tank flatten it?

Gladmaker
07/03/2017, 07:14 PM
A new 2x4 actually measures 1 1/2" x 3 1/2". Old lumber could be actually 2" x 4". Newer could be 1 3/4" x 3 3/4". It's best that all you use measure the same so you won't have to cut to fit. I would not depend on the tank to flatten the lumber. The platform needs to be perfectly flat and level otherwise you could put stress on the tank and cause it to leak.

ca1ore
07/03/2017, 07:50 PM
Use new studs. Go to HD, or equivalent, and pick out kiln dried pieces that are not warped.

davocean
07/03/2017, 08:32 PM
Yeah if you have not cut them just return to HD, let someone who's just building something less critical take those, and start w/ nice straight boards, and store them properly, laid flat on a couple sticker boards is what I like to do, not in direct sun( if there is any moisture at all they tend to twist cup or warp in sun, and agree I prefer kiln dried too for that reason)
After I've made cuts and put together I seal it right away, and again not in direct sunlight.

NanoReefWanabe
07/03/2017, 09:19 PM
Unless you are buying wood at a mill , I am pretty sure all the word you buy at any hardware store is kiln dried

Clowning_Around
07/03/2017, 09:48 PM
What size u building? Larger the tank = more the weight. Point being, it becomes more critical as things increase. For example a 10 gallon tank maybe a 100#, you can get away with alot of forgiveness in a 10g stands construction tolerance but at the same time, its great practice. Now if you think 5x (50g) 10x (100g) and so on you start to get an idea on respective weights. And you can ask yourself are you confindent with 1, 2, 3, 4 person and so on being supported on it. This gives you a crude idea but doesnt begin to account for criticl aspects like levelness and even glass support. I bring all of this up because you stated your wanting to try your hand at diy. I dont want to scare you because it's good to see someone venturing and we all have to start somewhere right? I guess my point is use caution / be sure to only build within your comfort level. The last thing you want to happen is get everything worked out and loose it all. G'luck and keep the questions coming. Regarding the lumber, its hard to comment on what you have and how to make it work based on the information provided but you may be best served to follow the advice others have posted and grab some new uniformly sized lumber in good shape. Regarding its condition, I'm going to assume you wouldnt know this - avoid knots in the wood, these are weak spots.

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mendel
07/03/2017, 10:00 PM
thanks so much for all your responses!

its a 55 gal, got the lumber from anawalt and had it cut there (i dont have a miter saw and was scared that i wouldnt get strait cuts from my circular saw)

i guess ill get new lumber, do you think they will take it back because of these issues?

Jon0807
07/04/2017, 01:29 AM
Once it's cut, I don't think they'd take it back. Make sure you inspect each board. Make sure they aren't warped and twisted. With a long tank like the 55 gallon, you will need a very straight surface. Any type twisting or bowing could cause the tank to fail. Watch Joey's video when he visits the discus shop. They had a large tank that was on a stand that wasn't true, and the tank cracked down the middle.

Jon0807
07/04/2017, 01:35 AM
Here's that video
https://youtu.be/N6P1shpEO8s

billdogg
07/04/2017, 06:52 AM
Perhaps I cheat a bit?

When going the 2x route, I pick the very best I can. That in itself can be a time consuming chore. After allowing them to adjust to ambient humidity in my workshop, I then joint and plane them just enough to get the true. That makes proper assembly easy.

If you know anybody that can prep the boards that way for you that is certainly the route I would go. You might also call your local Woodcraft or other woodworking store to see if they (or someone they know) can joint/plane the wood for you. Before I had the tools myself, I went this way and had enough 2x's for a stand prepped for about $20 (and I added a bit for the guy who did it for me just because.....)

If you happen to be local to me I'd be happy to help you out!

hth

der_wille_zur_macht
07/04/2017, 06:58 AM
I do that routinely as well. I build a lot of things with 2x lumber that I mill down, it can be a really cheap source for good lumber if you know how to pick it and handle it.

That said, honestly, it's threads like this that make me question the "standard" of 2x4 stand construction for newbies. If you're getting someone else to cut the wood anyways, I wonder if plywood would be a better route. There are a lot of bad 2x4s in the world and if you don't know how to choose lumber it's easy to get terrible (and failure prone) lumber. But you pretty much can't pick a bad sheet of plywood - or at least, a bad sheet would be really obvious, even to a total beginner. Joinery with plywood might seem more difficult but only because it's different. If I was instructing a total newcomer over the internet, I think I'd rather teach someone to correctly join plywood, versus teaching them to pick good 2x4s.

FullBoreReefer
07/04/2017, 07:06 AM
Lumber has been measured like this, for like, ever. For a newbie it can be some what unusual, but that's how's it's been and that's how it'll always be haha

Clowning_Around
07/04/2017, 07:10 AM
If they wont take back your current lumber, repurpose it to make a secondary supply storage cabinet or maybe a shop workbench etc... Don't feel like you wasted your money on lumber, I always keep some spare at home and find myself using it for all sorts of things both temporary and permanent.

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Clowning_Around
07/04/2017, 07:22 AM
Perhaps I cheat a bit?

When going the 2x route, I pick the very best I can. That in itself can be a time consuming chore. After allowing them to adjust to ambient humidity in my workshop, I then joint and plane them just enough to get the true. That makes proper assembly easy.

If you know anybody that can prep the boards that way for you that is certainly the route I would go. You might also call your local Woodcraft or other woodworking store to see if they (or someone they know) can joint/plane the wood for you. Before I had the tools myself, I went this way and had enough 2x's for a stand prepped for about $20 (and I added a bit for the guy who did it for me just because.....)

If you happen to be local to me I'd be happy to help you out!

hth
This would work but I wouldnt necessarily recommend it to someone just getting a feel for woodworking. And while you can have someone else do it there are alot out there with I'll say different skill levels and in woodworking, some may think x is fine tolerance. My thought is, If you're going to have someone else do the woodwork you might go ahead and just grab a proper stand. Atleast thats jist another point of view not trying to be argumentative. I still would simply purchase new good lumber, 2x4 is pretty darn inexpensive. Also sometimes you can save even a few more bucks from buying longer members and plan your cuts ie 12ft instead of 8ft. However with the longer boards finding good pieces can be harder especially if you start looking at 16 ft.. Regarding transport of these longer members even if the supplier doesnt do precise cuts you can usually have them hack (rough cut) them into manageable lengths, just have them cut'em an inch longer than you need so you can square up the ends.

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billdogg
07/04/2017, 07:36 AM
I'm not suggesting that they have someone else make the stand. Starting out with wood that is actually square and true, however, will make the job (especially for someone making their first stand) much easier and therefore much less frustrating. Just making a square cut can be challenge enough, and it is especially difficult when the wood you are working with is sub-optimal.

It might even encourage them to develop the skills themselves!

Clowning_Around
07/04/2017, 07:45 AM
Here's another tip for selecting lumber. Usually the stuff sitting on top is not good fore a stands tank purpose. That's because others have already lokked through the stack partially and thats what they put back. Look for the part of the bundle that looks neatly stacked and very tight' thats the part you want to pick through' move the top stuff to the side. If its near the bottom/end of a stack dont be afraid to have a new bundle broke open, Isometimes dont even ask, I just open it myself. They my not like it because they are trying to unload the less than ideal pieces when they can because they know the longer they sit the worse they get and harder to sell, maybe even have to scrap it. It sort of like produce at a grocer, if you want to think of it like that. At any rate its ok to have a new bundle opened if the other has already been picked through, if they give you to muxh grief you can always take your business elsewhere. Here is how to open a new bundle. Theres typically two types of straping plastic and metal. On the plastic, find the seam, grab a little of the corner and pull, it will start to tear lengthwise, do this til your past the seam, you may need to do this in a few swgmwnts as it look likes to rip in small widths acrross the 1/2in or so band. No rools rewuired althought you can use either of the methods below for steel. Steel, you can usually find snips or a hammer laying around. Snips are pretty self explanatory. If hammer, place one of the two claws under the strap and the other over. Twist the hammer such that the handle is rotating parralel woth the band wanting to lay flat with the lumber. This will star to tighten the band and then pop it at the claw of the hammer. Most stacks have two bands unless your looking at the longer lengths. Careful when you open the stacks especially the steel bands (older / less common) methods. The bands will spring open a bit when the tension is released and the stack will open a little sometimes a few boards on the leading edge will fall depending on how tightly it was banded. If its a freshly opened bundle chances are best and easiest for finding really nice lumber, gicen its been kept nice and flat and tight for awhile now. If you don't use it right away stack your lumber at home laying flat on the floor and nice and tight tidy little stack and in a dry location - this will help keep its shape.

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davocean
07/04/2017, 08:52 AM
Unless you are buying wood at a mill , I am pretty sure all the word you buy at any hardware store is kiln dried

Not here, it is bundled and labeled as kiln dried, standard 2x's can be straight from oregon or washington and can be soaking wet after a rainy shipment, and will twist as they dry unevenly

davocean
07/04/2017, 08:58 AM
I do that routinely as well. I build a lot of things with 2x lumber that I mill down, it can be a really cheap source for good lumber if you know how to pick it and handle it.

That said, honestly, it's threads like this that make me question the "standard" of 2x4 stand construction for newbies. If you're getting someone else to cut the wood anyways, I wonder if plywood would be a better route. There are a lot of bad 2x4s in the world and if you don't know how to choose lumber it's easy to get terrible (and failure prone) lumber. But you pretty much can't pick a bad sheet of plywood - or at least, a bad sheet would be really obvious, even to a total beginner. Joinery with plywood might seem more difficult but only because it's different. If I was instructing a total newcomer over the internet, I think I'd rather teach someone to correctly join plywood, versus teaching them to pick good 2x4s.

I do pretty much agree w/ this, yes ply would actually be better, and I am a contractor/carpenter, so I know what it takes to learn proper joinery and the tools needed, and I guess it's still DIY for someone that tinkers or works the trade and happens to have both skills and tools, but I can't think it's for most that I have met who are asking questions on how, and it's not super easy for the average first timer to learn, unless someone really walks them through and teaches how to safely do that.
I also think if someone is beyond the ability to teach how to pick straight 2x's they might not be able to do much woodwork or at least not be quick learners to it.
That's why I still refer to rockets template, least amount of tools or skills required.

Gladmaker
07/04/2017, 10:53 AM
Here's that video
https://youtu.be/N6P1shpEO8s

What I don't understand on this video is why someone didn't check that the tank sat firmly on the stand before filling with water.

moondoggy4
07/04/2017, 11:13 AM
I like using man made lumber. They either come in the chip board style or the laminated style. The boards do not warp, hold a screw or nail and can be glued.

mendel
07/04/2017, 01:15 PM
thanks guys for all your help!

i knew about the fact that 2x4s aren't 2x4, but what i was saying is that they dont seem to be the same width, some are 3 1/2 and some a little more so the connections dont fit.
does planeing mean sanding that so yhey are the same?

billdogg
07/04/2017, 01:30 PM
Jointing a board means making one face and one edge flat and at 90 degrees to each other. You then plane the other face so that it is parallel to the first (jointed) face. You can then trim the remaining edge (usually on a table saw) to the desired final width.

Although I suppose you could do it by sanding alone, it would be very difficult. Typically these jobs are done using power tools (jointer and planer). An alternative would be to do it the old-fashioned way, with a hand plane. Me? I prefer power tools.

Gladmaker
07/04/2017, 01:33 PM
Planing is more aggressive than sanding. It can be done with a hand planer or by machine which is faster and more accurate. Sanding is primarily to make the surface smooth. Planing removes some of the surface to make it flat.
My advice is if you don't know how to use the lumber, maybe you shouldn't try this project without experienced help. The result could be less than desired if your tank doesn't sit flat on it.

Clowning_Around
07/04/2017, 09:55 PM
Planning is uses a special tool with 'knives' (several varieties - hand, portable power and bench types) its basically shaving layers off of the lumber. Not to be confused with sanding or sawing which are both different.

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Clowning_Around
07/04/2017, 09:59 PM
What I don't understand on this video is why someone didn't check that the tank sat firmly on the stand before filling with water.
Absolutely agree with this and I like how he tries to remobe blame from his buddy because he was do busy, delegation is no excuse for responsibility. He choose to hire someone else and didnt even look to see if the tank was on a solid foundation let alone the shotty stand build quality behind the curtain.

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sleepydoc
07/05/2017, 06:37 PM
That said, honestly, it's threads like this that make me question the "standard" of 2x4 stand construction for newbies. If you're getting someone else to cut the wood anyways, I wonder if plywood would be a better route. There are a lot of bad 2x4s in the world and if you don't know how to choose lumber it's easy to get terrible (and failure prone) lumber. But you pretty much can't pick a bad sheet of plywood - or at least, a bad sheet would be really obvious, even to a total beginner. Joinery with plywood might seem more difficult but only because it's different. If I was instructing a total newcomer over the internet, I think I'd rather teach someone to correctly join plywood, versus teaching them to pick good 2x4s.

Completely agree with this. I'd also say that I've seen several King of DYI projects that are highly suspect. I believe the title 'king' was self-proclaimed?

To the OP, normally, 2x4's should all be pretty close to the same measurements. If they were that far off from each other you likely got some pretty shoddy lumber.

davocean
07/05/2017, 07:42 PM
Possibly from different shipments, mill, or some may be wet while others are dry, that can make an 1/8" difference easy right there.

Funny thing as we discuss plywood and how it's super obvious if you have a bad sheet, I just picked up 4 sheets of ply for a cabinet job, all appeared perfect, and they were purchased from a reputable mill yard rather than a box store, and as I ripped them down the middle they completely separated in half straight down the middle.
The glue held at factory edges only.
Luckily for me I was able to inject glue and clamp them to get what i needed.

So while I agree usually ply is solid and normally easy to spot bad sheets, it's not completely impervious to failures.

der_wille_zur_macht
07/06/2017, 07:08 AM
I've had a bad sheet here and there as well, so perhaps I should amend my earlier statement. But compare that to the "failure rate" of common 2x4 and it's a world of difference. Quality plywood is pretty shelf-stable too. Picking straight and clean 2x4 and then actually ending up with a straight stack of lumber to work with a few days or weeks later isn't always a given. 2x4 is great if you know how to choose and handle it, but IME it takes some finesse to end up with precision work.

A stand is successful because of design, joinery skill, and lumber choice. Designing a stand is easy, IMHO, because you can just grab a design on the internet. That leaves joinery and lumber choice. With 2x4, you have to be good at both of those, with ply you've got a very good shot at lumber choice being straightforward, leaving only one variable. Even if you're unskilled at joinery, you can get some 3/4" ply precut straight and true, then use any old 2x4 as a nailer in the corners to build a ply box, and end up with a stand that's strong and true without having to rely on the 2x lumber being totally perfect. Best of both worlds? I'd prefer someone doing that versus relying on 2x4 alone.

All I can say about that king of diy youtube personality is that every single thread I've seen in this forum about one of his projects has left me worried on behalf of anyone who takes his advice.

billdogg
07/06/2017, 05:19 PM
I, too, have had plywood delaminate, and not from the bog box place either. My was from a well known woodworkers supply store and was $99/sheet cherry veneer. I did the same and injected glue to save the day.

ph_
07/06/2017, 06:04 PM
If I was building a stand, and Im not...I would buy a sheet of 1 inch douglas-fir plywood and build the stand out of that. The gable ends I might only use 3/4 inch, but buy prefinished maple plywood for that. You have to cover all the end cuts on the plywood with edging. In the end you will have a nice piece of furniture. Building a piece of furniture that's going to be the focus of the room out of dimensional lumber like 2x4 and 2x6 is a bush league move. I would also just get a countertop made to fit, or make my own concrete countertop. I am a journeyman carpenter btw.

davocean
07/06/2017, 06:39 PM
I have not seen 1" ply around here unless we are talking 1 1/8" subfloor which is not pretty, anyway, all options work, plenty of pretty cabs done either way.

davocean
07/06/2017, 06:43 PM
I, too, have had plywood delaminate, and not from the bog box place either. My was from a well known woodworkers supply store and was $99/sheet cherry veneer. I did the same and injected glue to save the day.

Ooh I would not be happy about that at all at that price, but good save.
This is just one thing I wonder if a novice would pick up on or know what to do, would be a bummer to just run screws in the middle of a panel relying on that to hold on a delaminated panel.

ph_
07/06/2017, 07:02 PM
that cherry veneer would have been an interior plywood and won't hold up to moisture. 1" plywood is not that hard to find. I live in northern Canada(Yukon) and I can go to Home Hardware right now and buy a few sheets if I want.

ca1ore
07/07/2017, 04:29 PM
It's really no wonder that tank warranties are void on DIY stands if the one in that video is any indication. BTW I make all my stands now with plywood 'beams'. OK, I have a full wood shop with the necessary tools, but you can get the plywood ruler flat. Just finished building the structure for my impending 450 build. Perfectly flat and coplanar. I am also a foam user; yes, even on rimmed tanks :lol:. Please don't anyone argue with me, I've been setting my tanks this way since 1985 and not a single failure (ahhh, I just jinxed myself .....).

billdogg
07/07/2017, 07:49 PM
that cherry veneer would have been an interior plywood and won't hold up to moisture. 1" plywood is not that hard to find. I live in northern Canada(Yukon) and I can go to Home Hardware right now and buy a few sheets if I want.

It wasn't used for a stand. I made kitchen cabinets with it. For my stand I used solid cherry throughout tyvm.