Stand Construction

Brian

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Dec 2, 2005
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Hello Tom , I am building a new stand for my 90 gallon tank out of kiln dried 2x4s and am undecided on whether to put 3/4" sandable grade plywood or 3/4" MDF on the top and bottom of the stand to better distribute the weight . Either one will be coated in polyuruthane to help prevent water damage . Which would be the better material to use ? Thanks
 

Tom Barr

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Jan 23, 2005
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It's really what you want to do for the aesthetics.
I use 3/4" MDF for the entire stand construction.
No 2x4's at all ever.
Ply ought to be fine as well.

Routing the edges of MDF is easier and it does sand better.
I think the main difference is if you are painting the stand a color vs wanting the wood grain to show through.

Regards,
Tom Barr
 

VaughnH

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Jan 24, 2005
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Quality plywood is now very expensive compared to MDF, but as Tom said, if you want a natural wood finish you have to use plywood. When you do, the best is usually birch playwood, and the best birch plywood has all of the plies made of birch. This is imported from Eastern Europe and is often called Baltic Plywood. It is usually flat when you get it, unlike ordinary plywood, which almost never is. If you do use the Baltic Plywood a really nice way to color the wood is to use dyes such as the ones on this page Search for Woodworking Supplies at Woodcraft. These give a much more uniform color that wood stains give. And, you can mix different colors to create your own "natural" wood color.