Mehaffy's 1100+ gallon Plywood display in North Alabama

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mehaffydr

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I think the main reason for so many screws is that I always overbuild. Its just easier that way so I never have to be concerned. But the idea with the corner joints and the joint along the bottom is that they will have tremendous pressure on them. With this tank being 36" tall it will hold well over 1000 gallons so this will be over 8000 lbs. of water. So by placing screws every 1 1/2" and glued the pressure will be distributed to a lot of points and reduce the pressure per screw. I am confident that these seams will never fail.
 
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mehaffydr

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Last night I filled all of the screw holes with wood filler and tonight I sanded the entire inside of the tank. I am now ready to start applying fiberglass. This is most likely going to be the hardest and nastiest part. I don't have a lot of experience with Fiberglass but I confident I can get it done.
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Last night I filled all of the screw holes with wood filler and tonight I sanded the entire inside of the tank. I am now ready to start applying fiberglass. This is most likely going to be the hardest and nastiest part. I don't have a lot of experience with Fiberglass but I confident I can get it done.
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Def need lots of fiberglassing details. This looks so cool, I feel the need to do my own!!!
 

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Are you going to use any external bracing or just relying on the plywood [and glass] itself? Very curious to see this process as I've been thinking of building a plywood display that is about 8' x 40" x 28"H. The size of the tank itself is what gives me pause. I've recently built a plywood sump and it went very well (50 x 23 x 18"H). So at least I've got a bit of practice. :0)
 
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gray808

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I have to start some planning some details on water flow and equipment. I am looking at some different options for overflow to get water out of tank and into sump but just not sure how I'm going to accomplish this so any suggestions appreciated.

LOL!
I love that on something as complex as this, with 8,000 pounds of water, you are confident enough in your abilities that you can just wing some things. I'd need to have everything planned out, drafted in SketchUp, and maybe even have my brother CAD the whole thing before I cut the first piece of wood.

Definitely following this.

--Gray
 
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mehaffydr

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Are you going to use any external bracing or just relying on the plywood [and glass] itself? Very curious to see this process as I've been thinking of building a plywood display that is about 8' x 40" x 28"H. The size of the tank itself is what gives me pause. I've recently built a plywood sump and it went very well (50 x 23 x 18"H). So at least I've got a bit of practice. :0)
I am going to fiberglass the entire inside, Then I will add bracing to the top, both around the perimeter and across the top in 2-3 places. I am hoping that I will not need bracing around the outside wall but I am ready to build that if needed. I am thinking that with the 2ea. 3/4" layers of plywood laminated together with glue and then the fiberglass on the inside that it won't be needed. The walls will be over 1 1/2" thick and very solid but again if I see any deflection when doing initial water fill test I will build 2 x 6 walls around the outside for support.
 
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mehaffydr

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LOL!
I love that on something as complex as this, with 8,000 pounds of water, you are confident enough in your abilities that you can just wing some things. I'd need to have everything planned out, drafted in SketchUp, and maybe even have my brother CAD the whole thing before I cut the first piece of wood.

Definitely following this.

--Gray
I'm actually pretty good at making working drawings. Not with CAD but with pencil and straight edge but on this and the other projects shown at the beginning of this thread it was all just design build out of my head. I do some simple sketches at times but no real plans.
Thank you
 

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I am going to fiberglass the entire inside, Then I will add bracing to the top, both around the perimeter and across the top in 2-3 places. I am hoping that I will not need bracing around the outside wall but I am ready to build that if needed. I am thinking that with the 2ea. 3/4" layers of plywood laminated together with glue and then the fiberglass on the inside that it won't be needed. The walls will be over 1 1/2" thick and very solid but again if I see any deflection when doing initial water fill test I will build 2 x 6 walls around the outside for support.

Thanks! Definitely want to keep an eye on this to see if I can make it work for my own situation. Unfortunately, it would have to go in the same place as my 300 currently sits... so it would be a multi-step process and I'd have to make a lot of changes in support of the switch. Lots of planning and cost... have to see if it's something I could even stomach. :0)
 
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mehaffydr

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A couple things have been happening. On Amazon has Reef Crystals for $37.00 for the 160 gal. bucket but has a limit fo 3 so I ordered 3 had my brother order me 3 and had my daughter order me 3. When you building a tank this size you can never have too much salt.
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mehaffydr

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I have started the fiberglassing part of this build so first I sanded the entire inside with 100 grit sandpaper. I then coated the entire inside with Polyester resin. The purpose of this is to seal the wood so that when I start the first layer of fiberglass the resin doesn't soak into the wood too much. I haven't done the floor yet except for about 6" around the edges that way I can move forward doing all of the walls and then do the bottom when I've completed the sides.
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I am using Fiberglass strand mat because it offers strength in all directions and cloth has more directional strength. Cloth would be used on things like skateboards and surfboards where some flex in one direction is desired. I first cut 8" wide strips and applied then into the corners on both the sides and bottom.
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Leslie Tabor

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I'm actually pretty good at making working drawings. Not with CAD but with pencil and straight edge but on this and the other projects shown at the beginning of this thread it was all just design build out of my head. I do some simple sketches at times but no real plans.
Thank you
My dad does this as well. He has built me 2 stands now and I would hide in them during a tornado! Haha he is also building me a chicken house and run...no plans. We just start nailing stuff together! It is fun!
Great build of...well everything! I think I need a koi pond now!
 
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mehaffydr

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I had a good weekend of fiberglass work although I did not get as far as I wanted because we had our Grandson this weekend. Which is a good trade for limited tank work. Hes a handful at 3 years old but sure is fun to have around.
After doing the corners I applied 1 layer to all of the walls and about 1/2 of the bottom. At this rate and with a little nit of travel for work I am hoping to have the fiberglass done by Thanksgiving weekend and then it will be time to start painting. I also really need to start making decisions on plumbing as I need to drill holes before I start all of the painting so that all exposed wood gets sealed.
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