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About Me

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  1. The purpose of this thread is to document my trials and tribulations while trying to build a "simple" aquarium stand. And let me just say, I have mad respect for the King of DIY; he does a ton of giant projects all by himself! For us beginners though, there some things that he leaves out. This will hopefully help people see what they are getting into and to avoid the mistakes I made. I have minimal tools (dremel, drill) and live in an apartment. I'll show you how I tackled this and how long it takes, along with the *real* costs. You know what I mean, you did something wrong so you have to buy something to fix it, etc. Here's what we're trying to build, for 20gal aquariums: I began last weekend. Per Joey, it only took him 45 min to slap this thing together. I consider myself fairly handy, so I should be able to do that, right? LOL NO. Since I didn't have a saw, I was planning to rent a miter saw from Home Depot. My husband was dubious about this, so we got a miter box and saw to try to cut the 2x4s. This did not work. My husband is a pretty fit guy, but the miter box just wasn't a good idea. There were too many cuts and we couldn't even get through one. This was, in part, due to the fact that we didn't have a sturdy table (just those cheap Ikea ones that wobble quite a bit.) So I would say avoid this route unless you have experience using it. I decided to have Home Depot cut it for me. The first two cuts are free, and 50 cents each after that. I was not counting on the associate being high as a kite though. I explained what I needed and he looked at me with that dreamy "I don't care" look, so I just had him cut some plywood (to make the shelves useful of I ever stop using it for aquariums.) The 8ft boards barely fit in the SUV, but fit it did. Oh, and did I mention, you have to go through and pick out the best boards? Yes. You must go to the stack of 2x4s and look at each board. Some of them are not even rectangular. Some of them are very crooked. Some are missing chunks. You don't want any of those. Your boards won't be perfect, but they should be fairly straight with no major defects. For my project, I took home six 8ft 2x4 boards. Note that 2x4s are NOT 2" by 4". They are actually 1.5" by 3.5". Make sure your measurements/calculations reflect this. I rented the miter saw and reviewed the little safety video detailed in the instructions. It was actually really easy to use. I was careful to use eye and ear protection and gloves, although the gloves were not really necessary (they made it more cumbersome when marking off measurements.) To best use the miter saw, you are really going to want to use a clamp, and I dished out like 20 cents for a carpenter's pencil. It helps make marks more accurate because it can mark closer to the edge. (Not strictly necessary but nice.) As I said before, I did not have a sturdy table, so I opted to saw on the floor of my patio. THIS IS NOT ADVISED IN THE SAFETY MANUAL. Do so at your own risk. When you start drilling things together, MAKE SURE YOU DOUBLE CHECK WHICH ONES YOU PUT TOGETHER! I made this mistake, and that's why I am here doing this project a week later. I felt like a special smart person and decided "I'll even wood glue these together!" That was a bad idea. Additional updates pending. I am still working on this today so I will update after. Sneak peek: troubles include stripped screws, incorrect bits, trying to remove wood glue, and a broken drill bit.
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