Claire Corlett

Fish Food, Fish Tanks, and More

How To Make a Fish Tank Stand with Hidden Storage


– I’m Caleb, and I need a fish tank stand. Let me show you how you can make this too. I’ve been experimenting with
bringing metal into my builds, and I wanted to experiment more with the direction I took in this project. Instead of the metal
being the star of the show it takes a support role, literally, to let me reach my vision,
because there’s no way the wood can carry the weight of a fish tank after I cut it all apart. The metal for this is stupid simple. It’s just two rectangles
that are connected by two uprights, all angle iron. And instead of messing with miders, I decided to try this tab half lop kind of approach, and it worked okay. I did my best to get is square, and we’ll talk about that later. Once I knew the frame should
be able to carry the weight, I moved on to cutting
the back and side pieces from some half inch
plywood at the table saw. To hold the plywood together while I work, I drill some pocket holes in
the back of the back piece. To make it easier to screw
the sides square to the back, I clamp both pieces to the
right angle fence thing I made during my bunk bed build. But when I go slide the
case over the metal frame, I find out that I cut back a little small so I space the sides from the back with some popsicle sticks. Everything is going to get
bolted to the frame later, so this isn’t a strength issue. I just needed the pocket screws to help hold everything together
while I check it as I go because I don’t have five arms, yet. So I move on to the tedious
process of getting tapped holes in metal so I can bolt
the case to the frame. I start by punching
divots where I want holes, so my drill bit won’t slip around while I try to drill them. Then I start drilling the pilot holes, and chase those holes
with the correct size bit. For the 8/32 tap I’ll be using. So besides holing on the plywood, the other goal is tapping
this to screw on the plywood, was actually to pull out
some out of square issues ’cause I didn’t do a
great job welding this but I checked it and I’m
like, that’s just too much so in stead of trying to
get the plywood to pull up I’m gonna do some cuts and then I’m gonna and hopefully that’ll fix it. The frame was reasonably
square after rewelding the really bad joints with my speed square clamped in place to hold it correctish. So I finished tapping all
the holes in the frame, which is just putting threads in the holes so bolts will screw into
them without needing nuts. The tapped holes need to
be transferred to the wood so I slide the case in place, and then just mark all the
locations and start drilling. There was honestly a moment
here where I was worried about how to drill the holes in the corners but I remembered that I could just unscrew the cover pieces and the
world was Okay again. The first hole I drilled
was just big enough for the bold shaft. I want the bolt heads to be recessed so that I could cover them though, so I come back with a larger bit and counter sink those holes. Then I just bolt the sides to the frame, some of the bolt location
went through the pocket holes but those are just extra now anyway. Now that the frame has some more rigidity, I do a few more strength
checks before moving. It’d be a waste for this to
not have a storage compartment, so I mark out some pieces in place and off camera cut them
down and add pocket holes. Some of these pieces will run into the upright part of the frame. So I notch them out at the band saw. You could use the jigsaw to
fit around the angle iron. During this project Bessey sent me some right angle clamps to try and I’ve got to say using
these is a lot quicker than setting up my big thins jig for screwing pieces together squared. From this shot you can
better see what I meant about having to notch
around the angle iron. I just screw the cubby in place and then I get to the
fun part of the build. The first thing I did was know my Legos, so it would be easy to
grab the pieces I needed. Then I laid out the plates to get an idea of how much surface
area I had to work with. I thought the best approach would be to make the riverbed first
and then build out from there to fill the space. There’s not too much to say
about it so I’ll shut up. I think I’ve got this thing
all finished where I like it. I wanted the terrain to
have to have some elevations so it’d be terrain like
which is really cool but on the back side it
kinda made a giant mess so after I finished it I took some time and tried to level off some places so that way I could build
supports that will have contact further around instead of
just that weird hodgepodge. So time for that. To build the supports I
just took some scrap plywood and marked them in place. Cut them down, checked and cut some more, notched out for the angle iron
and added some pocket holes. To screw the legos
support shelves in place, I put the entire scene in the cabinet, adjusted it where I wanted it to be and then I screwed all of the
support shelves into place. Now for the front piece and it’s cut outs, so you can see the scene I
cut it down a little oversize and add some counter sunk holes for nooks just like I did before for
with the rest of the case and then I bolted into place. Now the cabinet isn’t perfectly square so to make sure the front
corners aren’t all wonky, I trimmed the front to
size with a flush trim bit in my palm router so the match exactly. Laying out the cut outs
means I need to know where the Lego scene meets the front. So I do my best to mark out
the top and bottom profile onto the front and side pieces where I’ll be cutting the reveal. Then I pull out the from
piece and get to laying out. For the bottom of the reveal, I have to make sure it stays
within the profile of the Lego but the top is pretty freeform I just sketch some ideas, and tweak it as I go until I like it. I cut everything out with my Jigsaw drilling some relief holes as needed and then repeat everything
on the sides once I’m done. The second Lego instillation wasn’t part of the original idea. I knew I didn’t want a squared or cutout sticking out like a sore thumb and ruining the aesthetic of the piece but I wasn’t sure how
to hide that cubby door. Then it hit me to do
another Lego instillation and use that to hide the
door so that’s what I did. Mostly repeating the steps from cutting out the other
Lego reveal onto the sides. If you like this build defiantly subscribe and consider checking out
the other Lego table I did I’ll flash a card up to that, you’ll probably like it. This instillation is just a panel and not a whole scene like the other ones so I needed a different way
of securing it in place. So I add a sheet of plywood that I could crannel the pagel to. But I also had this weird void between the cubby and the
Lego that would be visible whenever the doors open
so I made a filler block. I made that part of the
Lego with more strait lines so that the filler block
would be easy laid. I could have just made the
whole Lego panel to fit but I didn’t have that many Lego pieces. With the Lego panel snug in place, I can mark it’s profile on the front piece I screw it into place
and then get to marking. I can’t reach all of it
so I just mark where I can and then when I take the front off, I line the panel up and mark
out where I couldn’t reach. And for some reason it
really hurts my brain for the lines to not be connected. I just have a hard time sketching if my boundary is a dotted
line instead of solid. So I take a minute to connect every thing before sketching out my design. It seems easiest to start this by just cutting both pieces
in half so that’s what I did. And since I’ve already proved that this can all be done with a drill and jigsaw, I got to the bandsaw to speed
the process up this time. There aren’t uprights in the front to bolt the front piece to
so I add some pocket holes and melting blocks for when it’s time to permanently attach the front. I bolt the front on and chamfer the reveal to get more depth to the edges. I use a 45 degree champer
bit with a bearing for this and yes, I did say chamfer and champer so whichever way you like to say it now you can comment that I said it wrong. You’re welcome. The bit doesn’t get into the
corners well at all though and I don’t like the
rounded look of the chamfer so I broke out my sanding pad and tried to sharpen the corners. That really wasn’t working well though so I switched to my chisel
and that worked like a charm now for one of my least favorite parts. I come back with Spackle and
fill all of my screw holes and covering the exposed plywood edges. The alternating grain of plywood
soaks up paint differently so if you don’t cover them up somehow then the plywood lines are
really obvious after painting and I don’t want that look. To make sure the door will open fine, I add some feet to raise the
whole cabinet off the floor. I just picked up some levelers
from the big box store and then I drill and
tap holes into the frame to screw them into. I had some primer on hand
from a different project so I put it in my sprayer and spray a few coats of primer on. After a stride I come back and add a few coats of paint
to the inside and outside. Now it’s time for the tricky part, pouring the epoxy river over the Lego. I make a little dam with some
packing tape and scrap plywood for the bottom of the river where it’s gonna be deep and then tape it on. Then I start mixing for the pour. I’m using TotalBoat
two to one epoxy resin, some pigments and alcohol dyes. The cups that TotalBoat
sends with their epoxy makes mixing big batches super easy. The preparation for this pour
actually started weeks ago. I did a lot of experimenting to figure out how to get a water like texture. How to cover the waterfalls
and get the right color and shimmer I was looking for. I’m not gonna go into
all the details of that because I’m still kinda figuring it out and a lot of it was luck. I am using a vacuum chamber I
bought just for this project to reduce the bubbles in the epoxy. But I learned that a vacuum
chamber is not required. You could still get a really good pour by just doing thinner
layers and using a heat gun to pop the bubbles but
with a vacuum chamber I can pour a little thicker
and go a little faster but now we get to see if my success on my miniature experiment
translates to the big pour. Well it worked pretty well, not much of the TotalBoat
epoxy seeped through the cracks which is good. And the whole Lego scene
only warped a little bit. The toughest spot was
the corner I dammed up, it wasn’t smooth at all because of the texture of the packing tape and the bubbles under it. So off camera, I cleaned it up and did a skin coat of
epoxy to make it smooth. It’s almost time to put in the Lego installations so I remove the front and remember I haven’t
installed the LEDs yet. So I drill a hole for the power cable that will be hidden behind the waterfall and then add the LED tape. It’s pretty sticky but I
always add a drop of CA glue here and there just as a little insurance. Fortunately the main Lego scene
slides in without any drama and it’s gonna be locked in place by all the plywood around it
so it doesn’t get any crackel. The bottom piece won’t
be as locked in though so I add a little Kragle first to make sure that it doesn’t come loose and then I re-install the front this is the last time thought, so I also add some screws
into the mounting plates and the pocket screws of corse. This also means some off camera putty work and touch up paint to hide
the screws and blend the seems then the last step of assembling
is adding the cubby door with some overlay hinges and this thing is ready for a fish tank. Thanks for watching, I
hope you were inspired to make something, learned something, or were at least entertained. Please like, subscribe, and let me know what you’re building or wanna build. And until next time, make
time to make something.

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