Step by step how I made fish tank cabinet from MDF.

Step 1: Project

The goal was to make the cabinet look as ascetic as possible. I've decided the cabinet should be lower than standard one something like 70cm, because usually I'm sitting on coach looking the tank, and that is proper height in my case.  The project is really simply, the only two things are different from standard attempt. The base is made from double mdf (screwed together) and under the base is sort of beam made from 3 pieces of mdf the same size (again all three pieces screwed together) and screwed to the bottom of the base to prevent bending the base. Looks like too many effort for 112l tank but I've decided to paint the cabinet, and to prevent small cracks on painting tha cabinet has to be pretty stiff. The fish tank base is ~70x40cm (69.5x38cm).

Step 2: Cutting MDF and Assembling

Cutting MDF is not tricky if you have proper circular saw. Unfortunately I haven't, but luckily I've decided to paint whole cabinet and fill by filler all the uneven edges and corners. This actually is more job to do but final effect is far better than ordinary mdf finishing by iron-on edging tape. For cutting mdf I needed project and exact dimensions for all bits and pieces. which was 3x 70x38cm

I've assembled as on the projest pictures. Nothing really tricky, but I've used plenty of screws. 5 screws for each side plus small ones to keep top parttogether. Important is to make countersink for all screw heads. Then after filling they won't be visible.

Step 3: Filling and Sanding

Ok now the fun begin. At first of all I've sanded down all mdf which was not exactly fit by plane. That took about 2h to complete. Next stage is filling. I've used polyfilia filler for external use.  About 2h waiting and drinking beer. Now sanding, that is the longest story, this stage took me about 2h to complete, then filling some of the imperfections, and sanding again another hour or so. pictures showing final effect.

Step 4: Painting

At first of all primer. Sometimes after first layer some of the imperfections are better visible. Unfortunately in my case, exactly that happened.  So I filled again some of the cracks and small holes and primer again.

Step 5: Final Effect and Price

MDF: ~£25;
screws: £5;
filler £6.99+5.99;
cable ports: £9.70(postage+price);
hinges £9.99(Ikea);
paint: primer 2x 7.49+ colour 2x 5.99;
total approx. £95
Amazing work!

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