DIY Project DIY ADA Style Aquarium Stand

Deano3

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Hi all I just purchased an ADA 60p I have found 1 or 2 other journals with cabinet but not many I am ok at DIY and built a cabinet not long ago from old pallets but really want a ADA style one and seems MDF if the material to use, firstly I would like to get a thick mdf as better to be safe than sorry and I will get B&Q to cut to size, I know takes a lot of sanding and preparing and coats but any help will be great or vids or other journals etc

what thickness MDF is best for 60p?
Any size guides etc already been worked out and used before?
what to use after together and sanded for a high gloss water tight finish ?

might do gloss Black not seen any others like this so any pics or anything great

Thanks dean
 

James O

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I'd use 18mm for the sides and back (assuming this is a single door cabinet) as they will bear the weight. Then use a half sheet of 10 or 12mm for the door and floor (hopefully this will work out cheaper than 18mm all round) You'll probably want to seal the mdf, especially the ends near the tank as it soaks up water like a sponge and will blow/delaminate faster than shredded wheat. I used to use a pva/water solution. Proper painted gloss finishes that don't look like orange peel are hard work (sand, paint, sand, paint etc etc). You can buy sheets melamine of similar in any number of finishes/colours and apply it a veneer - all you'd need is a very sharp blade and a straight edge
 

Andy Thurston

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I did mine all in 18mm mdf and got it cut. it cost about £20.50 for the wood and it cutting to size. Find a local timber merchant rather than pay some b&q idiot to cut it badly.
I painted mine and its a lot of work Fill, sand, paint, fill sand, paint etc
If i did it again i would spray it with 2-3 coats of a high build or filling primer then sand flat before adding the top coats.
Paint jobs are hard work but look so much better when done properly


Andys 60l cube | UK Aquatic Plant Society
Andys HC propagator step by step | UK Aquatic Plant Society
Juwel 180 first planted tank | UK Aquatic Plant Society
Rio 125 wood and moss | UK Aquatic Plant Society
 

Deano3

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I did mine all in 18mm mdf and got it cut. it cost about £20.50 for the wood and it cutting to size. Find a local timber merchant rather than pay some b&q idiot to cut it badly.
I painted mine and its a lot of work Fill, sand, paint, fill sand, paint etc
If i did it again i would spray it with 2-3 coats of a high build or filling primer then sand flat before adding the top coats.
Paint jobs are hard work but look so much better when done properly


was hoping you would stop by and give ur opinion mate well the stands its on currently is fine even though not perfect fit (the front and back planes hang over the side so only bottom on but that shouldn't matter should it ? but if not will take time with proper ADA cabinet so even if takes weeks I want it totally water proof even if water sits on it I want it to be fine is this achievable ?

also is there any one who has wrked out the exact sizes for a 60p aquarium

thanks dean
 

Deano3

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the whole bottom pain of glass is on just slight overhang with side pieces barley though but shouldn't really matter aslong as base seated on it will take a pic see what you think, also I want to be safe so think 18mm MDF is the way to go and will start looking at local timer merchants see if they stock it and get them to cut it as you said yeah any help working out exact sizes or if someone already done this great if you could share, still unsure of the colour and like I said before before if prepared and protected enough if small amounts of water get onit should it still be fine ?

cheers andy

Dean
 

James D

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Hi Dean

I did this myself, here's the thread, it might be useful to you. I can't remember if those drawings are the actual ones I used, I'll have a look and see if I've got the proper ones.
 

James D

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Here you go mate, if you want a different design they won't be much use though. I haven't put the cut outs for the pipe work etc on as you can do that after. (the pictures come out a bit weird, if you click on it the cutting list is on there!)

 

Deano3

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I was reading urs for ages mate good work and thanks very much are they the racy cutting measurements u used and did you go to b and q or local timber merchant ?

Also here is mine with slight overhang you think will be ok until tank done and as said above with it be fine if water gets on the Mdf if prepared and sealed well

Photos of overhang coming up



Thanks Dean
 

James D

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No problem. That's the exact drawing I took to get it cut.

I went to a builders merchants near where I work just because it was easier, it cost just over £40 if I remember right. I'd ask them how accurate their cutting is before hand though, obviously it's very important.

I think you might struggle to get a gloss black finish without laminating it mate, it would show up all the imperfections... that's why I went for a matt(ish) grey. Because I used an oil based paint any spilt water slips off it pretty well though.

If you've got a slight overhang on your cabinet now I would just get a solid bit of wood or board cut the same size as your 60P to sit your tank on on top of it, it should distribute the weight ok. I'd be tempted to make your new cabinet first though, it's a PITA to swap them over when your tanks full of water!
 

Rob P

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Dean, this is where i'm at with mine lol... :D

20140114_193927_zps20af3851.jpg

Went to B&Q with a sheet of paper with plans/measurements and a sketch of all pieces able to be cut from one 18mm sheet, they did a good job tbh and charged me no extra for cutting. The sheet of MDF plus filler + some glue cost me less than £25 all done.

I've noticed a problem in that my plans didn't allow for a couple of mm here and there for doors fitted so my joiner brother has a couple of pieces to make minor adjustments to. Once built, if i don't feel confident about the strength i'll put a frame inside (it's for an 80x40x40 cm).
 

Deano3

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that b ans q looks exactly same layout as the one I use at Washington lol yeah that was one of my questions do I need to add 1-2 mm for sanding etc ?
 

James D

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I used those measurements in my drawing and it all fit together perfectly - so I would say no need to add anything. :)
 

Rob P

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I'll find this really hard to explain but will try...

Mine is to be built from all 18mm. As I want the top horizontal bar to fit right to the top (so no join is visible from the front) that means I had my top piece cut 382 deep rather than the 400mm depth of the tank (so 382mm + 18mm thick horizontal piece fitted to it = 400mm). I then cut my two side panels to be 382mm front to back. Now imagine looking from the side, the side panel is 382mm wide and the doors will be 18mm thick = 400mm. BUT!! there's no way that I can hinge the doors to have zero gap when looking side on. So I need to cut another 2mm from the side, but not all the way top to bottom, just to the height of the doors. This also means trimming the bottom to be 2mm shorter. So it gets confusing!! lol

The doors themselves also need to reflect a mil or 2 gap if you have two doors. The only way you wouldn't have to worry about it would be if fitting it all up using magnetic strips to hold the door in place, but i don't fancy hanging two 18mm MDF doors with magnets lol They'll be hinged.

I'm pretty crap at all this (sure Nathanial will be along to tell me i've massively over complicated it - i'd agree :D).
 

James D

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That's right Rob, like you say though, I've got magnets holding my doors in place so I can move them right out of the way to get inside my cabinet, when I've finished they sit back in place very easy (they're smaller than yours though obviously). I didn't fancy using hinges because you either need to rout out holes for the hinges to sit in or try to use screw-on hinges which isn't a great idea because the mdf is so soft.

If you are going to use hinges Dean let me know and I can alter the drawing to give you the 2mm gap Rob is talking about (if you want to use my drawing of course).
:)
 

Rob P

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Bigger cabinet/bigger doors :D lol

My brother is aware that he is to be responsible for proper hinge fitting lol ;)
 

Deano3

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ah so ur cabinet door is just magnet on ? any pics of doors off mate
 

Deano3

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Me too lol like he says least can just lift out the way here is my tank on my current stand

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60f glass was 1mm thinner and didn't seem to overhang so much but didn't really matter as not much weight in there you think will be ok for no water in yet anyway but I think will be with water ?


Thanks Dean
 
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