Step 2: The Full Frame
Make sure framing members are tight together with no gaps, because this will alter the overall dimension of the base cabinet. Notice in (picture 2) , the side frames are screwed to the outside of the front and back frames. This allows more room between framing members on the side( which will be important later when installing the tank) without making the cabinet any wider than necessary. After the base framing is complete, it should measure 19 3/4” deep x 37 3/4” wide x 37 1/2” tall. Two 2x2’s were added to the top and to the bottom to help support the weight of the tanks. They measure 16 3/4” each and are placed roughly 10”-11” apart and fastened on each end with two 2 1/2” nails.(picture 4) Scrap blocks were added (with three 2 1/2” nails) to each side on the top for extra support for the weight of the tank, because the actual tank will be resting on the plywood top and on the inside edge of the framing members.
While securing frames together to form the base, make sure the wood components are flushed to the outside of the cabinet. This will help to keep the plywood flush when nailing on later. Also double check that the base is staying square.