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View Full Version : Who can help me with building a Canopy??


Mikeyjer
03/25/2006, 08:33 PM
Like most of you know I just recently bought a 90 gallon Oceanic Bowfront, I need to get a canopy built. Can anyone help me out with one or knows someone that can built one let me know, thanks!!!

Angela Short
03/25/2006, 10:57 PM
I think the bow is whats gonna give you trouble with most DYI people. Getting the right radius and bending the board..... Can you not order a wooden canopy more sutiable for your lights? My dad does custom woodworking but he is 4 hours away :( It could be done with a little work and tools but not near as easy as cutting and screwing a rectangle box with a hinged lid like most tank canopies...

gflat65
03/25/2006, 11:02 PM
Yeah, the bow is the problem I've been trying to figure out. I know you can bend wood (by getting it wet, I think) and holding it in a form, but it isn't a trivial thing... I'd offer help, but I don't think I could offer anything on curving the wood.

fishdoc11
03/25/2006, 11:10 PM
The bow is definately what makes it hard. It makes lots of things hard with those tanks, lighting, aquascaping, cleaning the glass etc.... You could vertically mount 1 x 4's for the front and make the frames for the doors and the front cutting a radius out of a solid piece of wood......
Chris

Mikeyjer
03/25/2006, 11:18 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7042363#post7042363 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Angela Short
I think the bow is whats gonna give you trouble with most DYI people. Getting the right radius and bending the board..... Can you not order a wooden canopy more sutiable for your lights? My dad does custom woodworking but he is 4 hours away :( It could be done with a little work and tools but not near as easy as cutting and screwing a rectangle box with a hinged lid like most tank canopies...

I tried, but most won't sell it to ya unless you go through places like Aquatic Critters. Oceanic stores costs a fortune to buy one!!!

Angela Short
03/26/2006, 12:33 AM
You and whoever you recruit are more than welcome to come take pics and use mine as a pattern. It looks pretty simple but they have used a peice of curved metal inside the bow to attach the side sections on. Preset to the dimentions of the curve, naturally. You could make a template of the bow and have someone with a scroll saw cut it out as a base and top support and then bend the 1xfor the front and attach to the shaped curve of the bow. You would have to have a hinged lid like me which makes it real hard to get in the tank other than feeding cause the tank is so tall unless you take off the whole hood (pain in the tail!)
The only problem (and probably why my curve is made out of metal on the inside) is the nature of wood wants to move/warp/shift with temp and dampness. Your curve would have to be milled out of a single board and I would think it would wanna move on ya being long and thin but maybe not.

With the credit you got back I wonder how much to boot it would cost to just buy one made for the tank? Unless your help is real handy with tools I think it would be a total PITA to attempt, just me though.

foggy54
03/26/2006, 12:51 AM
If you made some type of form that you could press and glue thin layers of plywood to the shape of the bow. Build up the layers one thin sheet at a time . You would need a to be able to press the layers together between a inside and a outside form. Compress and clamp while glue dries. keep adding layers till a proper thickness. I see it as 2x6's cutdown the middle to the shape of the bow. cut and stack these 2x6 to the height you need the face to be and then use these to press the laminated layers that would make up the face. You would need clamps, glue,laminating type plywood, and wood to cut the forms from. This is the way I would try it if I were going to make the face plate of a bow canopy. good luck

Mikeyjer
03/26/2006, 01:09 AM
Bunch of good ideas here,,,,keep'em coming!!! :)

gflat65
03/26/2006, 10:24 AM
Yeah, thin sheets of balsa wood glued inside an inner and outer form would do the trick. Wayne and I discussed that the other day and I forgot all about it. Balso is so thin that bending it would be easy...

spitefull
03/26/2006, 11:36 AM
why not make a dummy nose panel out of lexan,then the light box is rectangular and hindges off the wall, you can glue up the lexan face to D shaped stringers attach the nose panel to light box, you can paint or what ever the inside of the lexan nose. ps i love lexan cause you cant break it like plexi

foggy54
03/26/2006, 12:38 PM
One could do a rectangular lite box with a hinged duck bill lid for feeding that could cover the curved front.

Sk8r
03/26/2006, 12:56 PM
I have a bowfront, too. I bought a lid (187.00), and I can tell you what it's like: a very light frame with an 8 inch band of formica-like material that takes the bend, more formicalike stuff for about 3/4 the length of the sides, open at the rear, open at the top, with thin coated wood being the frame. There are some coated wooden supports near the corners that sit down on the tank top, letting the formica overlap the rim, and supporting the whole rig on 3 contact points that perch down on the tank edge. It's very light, a real advantage. The light kit can be set on top or hung above. The upward edge of the formicalike plastic, with its wooden frame below, means you can set an egg-crate lid on it if you need, eggcrate being easy to cut to shape. The light sets atop.

waynesworld
03/26/2006, 04:59 PM
I like the Idea of a hingeed front panel and a standerd wood frame for the lights. then th top and bottom of the curved front panel can be formed with plywood and a thin wood like balso wood would be fine. you would loose aroiund 2 inches on the side and around 4 in the front for lighting but may be able to mount night lights on that part?

Pickupman66
03/26/2006, 08:39 PM
Mike,

Fishdoc gave me a great idea of how to build the canopy for your tank. it would also look really good as well. what I suggest is to make 2 identical bow shaped pieces out of plywood that are just slightly larger than the rim of your tank. then cut up a bunch of 1x2 pieces of wood at about 10" lengths. mount then on the curved part of the already cut piecdes to be used as frame. you would used the bottom frame to sit on the rim of the tank, and the top piece to set the top part on. for the other 3 sides, you could then use 1x10 piece cut to the 3 proper lenghts. doors and hinges can be made into the front and the topo can be lifted off if need be. all you would need to do then is mount your lights, and run electrical.

eyebedam
03/27/2006, 10:58 AM
I saw 1 on ebay for 75.00 last week. It was black Oceanic. You may want to check there.

Mikeyjer
03/27/2006, 11:28 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=7051265#post7051265 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by eyebedam
I saw 1 on ebay for 75.00 last week. It was black Oceanic. You may want to check there.

I did look on there, didn't see one. It might be gone already....

Mdwannabe
03/30/2006, 03:50 PM
A steam box is the answer, but it is not quick to do.

1st, cut several 1x2's in the arc you need. Make a cardboard template from the top of your tank.

2nd, cut a piece of plywood several inches longer than the length you need. Extra can be cut off after forming, with a drywall square and a jig saw.

3rd, slowly clamp and tighten (from the center out) the plywood onto the 1x2's, while sitting in a plywood box being filled with steam. Old style steam generator used for a sick child's bedroom worked great, as long as you keep an eye on the water level. When curve is achieved turn off steam and let sit (still clamped) for several hours.

while this takes days to do, when you are done it looks great, and will never move. Attach 1x2's with screws (from rear) for structural support, then unclamp.

I did this for a friend in Cincinnati, and we were both pleasantly surprised by it's looks and function. NO, this does not mean I would bite off a project like this again, I just had to see if my woodworking and MacGyvering (read...engineering :D) classes would prove to work correctly. Guess all my college money was not wasted.
Like I said, it's a lot of work, but it can be done, with a minimum of tools.
After it was formed and braced, the largest amount of work was finish sanding the bow front. JMTCW

Rick

Mikeyjer
03/30/2006, 08:10 PM
Well guys, I found a place that would build me a custom made one with shipping for just $248 So no need to make my own, it will be here by end of next month or early May. :D