D.I.Y Aquarium Wooden Pine Stand




Here is my stand i build entirely in my back garden using a few power tools.It was stored in the passageway when it rained and bought back out once it had stopped raining for more work to be done on it (typical British September weather) lol.I hope you enjoy looking at the build pics.There are a couple of things i would change but over all it turned out nice and i am currently planning on building another stand from Iroko timber for a 6x2x2 i have recently bought.This is the first time i have put anything like this on a site like this so please excuse my terrible spelling and mistakes lol.

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Step 1: DIY Aquarium Stand

  1. The timber used is 18mm mdf......20mmx69mm pine.....20mmx144mm pine
  2. The tools used where as follows ......Tape Measure,Biscuit Joiner,,Router,Orbital Sander, and a jigsaw
  3. I built a carcass from 18mm mdf as this made a good foundation for the stand base
  4. Two upright pieces where added later to make the center part of the unit.

Step 2:

The front frame is constructed from 20mmx69mm pine cut to the desired length which is then routered with a half inch round nose bit to create the 2 flutes on all the frame legs.

Step 3:

The front frame was then biscuit jointed and glued to the mdf carcass using D4 pva waterproof wood glue

Step 4:

This is the start of the frame front and i just clamped the timber as i went along until it was fully dried and added each piece

Step 5:

Thats the front frame finished and drying.....the frame is 20mm longer than the carcass on each end so i could biscuit joint the end frames to the front as i wanted no screws at all in the frames

Step 6:

Next i made the end panels from the same timber as the front frame all biscuit jointed at the corners but this time i cut a 7mm groove along the inside edge so i could put 6mm v groove boards as paneling.The boards once assembled together are 2mm shorter than the desired size to allow for any expansion.

Step 7:

Here the stand top has been made from 20mmx144mm pine boards biscuit jointed together and glued.It was then cut to the correct size and later i routered the edge.

Step 8:

The end panels where biscuit jointed to the front frame and a chamfer bit was run up the corner. Two screws hold the back of the end panel to the carcass screwed from the inside and the top was added and screwed from the underside.

Step 9:

Next i constructed the tank surround in exactly the same way as the stand end frames but routered the inside edge

Step 10:

The front and end tank surround clamped and drying but this time i used 20mmx144mm for the top part of the surround to give myself some clearance above the tank

Step 11:

I added 2 flutes to the top with a router

Step 12:

The surround end panels were biscuit jointed to the front and glued and clamped to an 18mm mdf base

Step 13:

Step 14:

Tank surround chamfered once dry

Step 15:

The lid was cut to size and later i routered the edge

Step 16:

At this stage i decided i wanted and arch in the middle section so i added an extra piece so i could cut an arch and also added some cut down ogee skirting

Step 17:

The doors assembled the same as the end panels

Step 18:

Here you can see the 18mm mdf base of the surround

Step 19:

Dry fit of the doors

Step 20:

just a front view of the stand

Step 21:

The door furniture added then removed for varnishing

Step 22:

The lid was cut at a 15 degree angle facing backwards to hide any light that may shine through and the furniture added

Step 23:

At this stage i decided to add some braces under the lid as its quite heavy and i wanted longer screws in the hinges (you will see these in a later picture

Step 24:

Here are the braces i spoke about

Step 25:

I cut a piece of pine roughly 25mm wide and routered it then pinned it to the underside of the lid with a 1mm gap to stop any binding that may occur also it would hide any light that might shine through if the lid warped or twisted

Step 26:

I added an 18mm mdf shelf which is sat on shelf pins so i could remove it if i needed any space and coated the inside with 2 coats of acrylic varnish and 3 coats to the outside

Step 27:

Well thats the stand finished

Step 28:

Step 29:

Step 30:

Step 31:

Step 32:

Step 33:

Here i have added some corner brackets just for decorative purposes as i felt it tied the surround in with the stand

Step 34:

This is how my tank looked when i bought it,rather pathetic i know.

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    22 Discussions


    1 year ago

    Very impressed with the cabinet it really looks great, however I would definitely used wood rather than MDF for the frame. I have recently bought an aquarium that needs a good cabinet similar to this. Just out of interest how much would someone who enjoys making this type of project cost working to my design of similar complexity to this project. I would like to build this myself however I do not have the time or energy to do it due to work and family so looking at someone who has. So appreciate any feedback to anyone who see this.


    3 years ago

    Looks great, But I would not have went with the MDF either. Whenever there's MDF used there always seems to be water accidents, and it expands and falls apart when it gets wet. It's also twice as heavy as real wood. But I do really like your stand and have made a few myself and sold all but 2 of them which are in use with 2 of my Tanks now, but am getting ready to make one for a 80 gallon x high I plan to use in my shop to replace a 55 gallon in there now. We don't have brackets like those corner pieces you used here in Oregon, can you tell me where you got them from? Could have used a little color but any smart guy knows the wife has the final say on stuff like this.. Well most everything really. You left out how you made your curve on the center piece on the stand.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    i got them of ebay and the arch is just an extra piece of timber biscuited to the top piece then i just curved a thin piece of ply and drew around it and jigsawed it out


    3 years ago

    Good job, Philip. Commented, liked, favorited and now following. Good luck with this contest and for your next build.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Did you post this on Facebook? if so I commented on it. I'm the one who told you to post a build thread. Nice work.

    3 replies

    Reply 3 years ago

    Do you mind if I try to build it?


    3 years ago

    Great result, really impressed. As a fishkeeper myself, this is something I definitely would try. Not totally sold on the MDF though; MDF and water really don't mix (condensation for a start). What's your view on that?

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    Yes i agree mdf is not water friendly but its totally encased in the pine so no water can ever get in but if the pipes or filter leaked it will come in to contact with the water but everything has 3 coats of varnish on so i,m not to worried.Most of the shop bought tank stands are mdf/chipboard veneer builds so i,m confident with my build.My next hardwood build will have an mdf top with hardwood on top of that on the stand but it will purely so i can screw the top to it from underneath as i will not be able to get it through my door openings so i will need it to be removable.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thankyou........ i,m looking forward to building one from Iroko hardwood in a couple of weeks.Hopefully it should be better.


    Reply 3 years ago

    go for it .....i have bought bought a 6x2x2 and will be building another a stand from Iroko hardwood in a few weeks.Hopefully it will be an improvement on my first attempt as i will be doing some wood turning with marquetry door panels and a little oak inlay work


    3 years ago

    That looks awesome, I don't like the finish, I would have used a little bit warmer finish but that's personal preference