• You are viewing the forum as a Guest, please login (you can use your Facebook, Twitter, Google or Microsoft account to login) or register using this link: Log in or Sign Up
  • You can now follow UKAPS on Instagram.

Help designing Plywood cabinet.

steevwatson

Member
Joined
24 Jun 2013
Messages
62
Location
Edinburgh
I need a new cabinet for my tank. I've been looking at buying one but they are so expensive and most aren't the best quality. I've been thinking about giving DIY a go.

Looking online I like the look of Birch plywood cabinets with a natural finish and think I'll go down this road as it will fit in perfectly with my living room. I have an idea in my head of how I would like the finished cabinet to look but the picture I'm using for inspiration is a kitchen cabinet so will probably need some adjustments to make sure it can hold the weight of my tank. If I post a pic here feel free to chip in with any ideas on how I can achieve this look.

To complete things even more my tank has a SUMP so will hopefully be able to engineer the cabinet to fit this in. My tank is 900mm long by 450mm wide. What are your thoughts? Obviously without the wheels!
Screenshot_20210601-140717.jpg


Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 

steevwatson

Member
Thread starter
Joined
24 Jun 2013
Messages
62
Location
Edinburgh
That cabinet looks quite nice. What filtration are you planning on using?
It's not one I've built (yet) it's a kitchen cabinet I want to copy. I'm hoping to be able to use a sump as that's what I've been using with some success for the last couple of years. My tank is a marine tank I've converted to fresh water.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 
Joined
17 Mar 2012
Messages
1,497
Location
Dorset
It's not one I've built (yet) it's a kitchen cabinet I want to copy. I'm hoping to be able to use a sump as that's what I've been using with some success for the last couple of years. My tank is a marine tank I've converted to fresh water.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
I’ve not run a sump, does much water evaporate from it? Just thinking what surface finish you may need on the ply to stop it going mouldy.
 

steevwatson

Member
Thread starter
Joined
24 Jun 2013
Messages
62
Location
Edinburgh
A sump will evaporate a fair bit if open but mine as a condensation cover on top so evaporation is minimal. speaking of evaporation however one of the things I like about the sump is that it keeps the water level in the main tank consistent as the level in the sump drops not the tank.

one problem I see with the cabinet in the picture is it has a central divider right through the middle. If I'm using my sump I won't be able to do that. Any ideas how to achieve the same look? I suppose I could just have the doors meet in the middle. How would removing the middle impact the structural integrity of the cabinet?
 

Dogtemple

Member
Joined
22 Nov 2011
Messages
186
Location
Brighton
You could make the divider removable. It could be screwed in from inside the cabinet. It would still be somewhat structural and support the centre of the base of the tank
 

steevwatson

Member
Thread starter
Joined
24 Jun 2013
Messages
62
Location
Edinburgh
You could make the divider removable. It could be screwed in from inside the cabinet. It would still be somewhat structural and support the centre of the base of the tank
That sounds like a plan. I was thinking about using pocket holes to assemble the cabinet anyway so could probably just not glue the divider.

I was also thinking I might use offcuts to put a brace width ways across the middle to prevent bowing.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 
Last edited:
Joined
17 Mar 2012
Messages
1,497
Location
Dorset
The last cabinet I made just had a centre support at the front against which the doors closed. If memory serves it was a square section of hardwood probably around 40 or 50mm. 900mm is not that long so you could probably do away with this though if the cabinet is well braced at the top to prevent bowing. I went over the top with the construction of the cabinet for my old 50 gallon tank. The sides were solid pine an inch thick. It had 4 hardwood bearers 2 inch by 3/4” on edge evenly spaced at the top with 1/2” ply on top of that. A sheet of ply, probably about 3/8” was screwed to the back to prevent wracking. I bought suitable size hardwood doors for the front. I’m not sure how noisy sumps may be but to reduce any possible noise I don’t think I’d have holes in the doors as in the picture just in case. Magnetic push catches will do the job for the doors.

Is the tank drilled or will you be using an overflow?
 

steevwatson

Member
Thread starter
Joined
24 Jun 2013
Messages
62
Location
Edinburgh
The last cabinet I made just had a centre support at the front against which the doors closed. If memory serves it was a square section of hardwood probably around 40 or 50mm. 900mm is not that long so you could probably do away with this though if the cabinet is well braced at the top to prevent bowing. I went over the top with the construction of the cabinet for my old 50 gallon tank. The sides were solid pine an inch thick. It had 4 hardwood bearers 2 inch by 3/4” on edge evenly spaced at the top with 1/2” ply on top of that. A sheet of ply, probably about 3/8” was screwed to the back to prevent wracking. I bought suitable size hardwood doors for the front. I’m not sure how noisy sumps may be but to reduce any possible noise I don’t think I’d have holes in the doors as in the picture just in case. Magnetic push catches will do the job for the doors.

Is the tank drilled or will you be using an overflow?
Yeah I was thinking about not having the centre brace however I think I like the idea of having it there even if I'm able to take it out when needed to get the sump out. Not that I'll have to do that very often I suppose.

The tank is drilled.

Sent from my Pixel 5 using Tapatalk
 

Stykk

Seedling
Joined
19 Oct 2020
Messages
7
Location
New England
I would try posting this question to a forum for wood workers. I got a lot of really helpful advice for my aquarium stand build from the folks at lumberjocks.com. They were all very helpful, nice, and provided some useful tips that I wouldn't have considered.

Also, have you tried SketchUp? Its a free software to build 3D models. Many people use it to design their projects before beginning to build it, plus it's really really easy to learn.
 

Kevin Eades

Member
Joined
24 Jan 2021
Messages
202
Location
Portsmouth
I would definitely suggest a waterproof finish if using ply wood as it will swell and split if not. Marine ply could be an option for not treating but I would still be worried that a small accidental spill could ruin a lot of hard work
 

Similar threads

Top