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Old 08-16-2011, 11:15 AM   #1
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To Glue or Not To Glue


I'm building a base for a large aquarium. The aquarium weighs approximately 1,700 pounds when full, and since it is in a high-traffic part of the house, there is some vibration from the floor as people walk by.

The design I am working on uses (6) 4x4's as the main vertical support, with 2x6's and 2x4's forming the horizontals. All lumber is pine board, and the boards are "doubled" so that the cross-members are two (2) 2x6's sandwiched together to make a board that is effectively a 4x6.

I plan to reinforce the box with 1/2" plywood to keep it from skewing, and everything is attached together with screws.

I hope I'm describing that adequately. Anyway, the question I have is the following:

Should I glue all the pieces together (in addition to the screws)? I don't mind doing that, but I don't know what happens as the wood ages and dries. Will the glued pieces become disfigured? Would they be less likely to warp if they are glued?

I don't know when to glue or when not to glue. If adding the glue would mess things up, then I'd rather leave it off. But it seems like it might make it stronger and less likely to warp.

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:13 PM   #2
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To Glue or Not To Glue


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Originally Posted by denvermatt View Post
I'm building a base for a large aquarium. The aquarium weighs approximately 1,700 pounds when full, and since it is in a high-traffic part of the house, there is some vibration from the floor as people walk by.

The design I am working on uses (6) 4x4's as the main vertical support, with 2x6's and 2x4's forming the horizontals. All lumber is pine board, and the boards are "doubled" so that the cross-members are two (2) 2x6's sandwiched together to make a board that is effectively a 4x6.

I plan to reinforce the box with 1/2" plywood to keep it from skewing, and everything is attached together with screws.

I hope I'm describing that adequately. Anyway, the question I have is the following:

Should I glue all the pieces together (in addition to the screws)? I don't mind doing that, but I don't know what happens as the wood ages and dries. Will the glued pieces become disfigured? Would they be less likely to warp if they are glued?

I don't know when to glue or when not to glue. If adding the glue would mess things up, then I'd rather leave it off. But it seems like it might make it stronger and less likely to warp.
Pick a kiln dried wood to start with. Less moisture will result is less warping. Construction adhesive can add strength to the project. Much more so then wood glue.

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Old 08-16-2011, 04:47 PM   #3
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I would definitely construction adhesive the doubled-up 2x6s to each other to create sort of a "laminated beam".

The gluing pattern makes a difference, it should look like a "wave":

And don't skimp on the screws.
If done right this "laminated" approach will not warp the 2x6s and will add strength.

This is where the const. adhesive will matter the most. Applying glue anywhere else probably won't make much difference.
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Old 08-16-2011, 04:47 PM   #4
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Are you sure the floor will handle the weight?
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Old 08-16-2011, 05:10 PM   #5
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Pick a kiln dried wood to start with.
Ugh, I already have the boards, and spent a day cutting them. If this is really important I guess I can do it again. Is it?

Also, where would I find it? I don't recall seeing anything at HD called "Kiln Dried" Perhaps I overlooked it?

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Construction adhesive can add strength to the project.
I'll definitely pick some of this up. Is there a particular brand I should look for?

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Are you sure the floor will handle the weight?
Yes, the floor is fine with it. My mother-in-law visits from time to time and we've never had an issue .

Seriously though, I've had the tank set up in this spot for 18 months without a problem (with the floor). There is a large steel I-beam that runs under the floor and perpendicular to the side of the stand, so it is in a relatively strong part of the house. The problem I had was the previous stand was old and developed stress cracks. So I took it down and am building the new one.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:00 PM   #6
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To Glue or Not To Glue


The kiln dried lumber at Home Depot and any big box store is typically stamped KD. Construction adhesive plus glue is a good idea, although there are some wood glues (some of the aliphatic yellow wood glues) that are almost as strong, and a little less messy. Can't comment on your design, I really could not understand exactly what you had in mind, maybe a diagram would help clarify, if you still are looking for comments. If you use screws, I strongly suggest using construction rated screws, NOT drywall screws. I like the torx head exterior rated screws, buy them by the box, use the longest screw that fits, and predrill the holes using the correct bit size.
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Old 08-16-2011, 07:40 PM   #7
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Personally, I would not use any type of screws on something like this.
Nuts and bolts would be my choice for strength.

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Old 08-16-2011, 08:33 PM   #8
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Good chance you'll have a point loading problem.
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Old 08-17-2011, 05:57 PM   #9
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you really dont even need glue. A stand with 4x4? There is really no need. 2x4s would be more than sufficient. Many people tend to overbuild there tank stands for no need. Take a look at a store built stand, you will not see anything thicker than 1". So my vote on the glue is no.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:21 PM   #10
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Another "fish guy" ! Great!

Anyway I built a stand/storage for my 55 gal tank. What i did was to build the "basic box" out of 1/2" MDF, it's very stable, doesn't warp, and is easy to work with. For a tank that size (150 gal?) I would use 3/4" MDF and 2X4 corner uprights with the 2X6 cross pieces. What I did to lower the cost I wanted a oak finish) was, after the box was finished, before the 1X4 solid oak trim, was to get a piece of 1X4" oak and laminated it to the face of the MDF. Looks like a solid oak cabinet. Another thing I did was to put 3 heavy coats of "spar" varnish to "waterproof" the interior of the cabinet.

Make up a set of pretty detailed plans with all measurements first and the rest goes easily.
Post some pictures here when you're done!
Good luck and have fun!

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