Plywood Top Deck on Steel Stand

radav88

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I am definitely a novice at woodworking let's get that out of the way first. haha I did some searching around but didn't find an answer to the question I have. I recently purchased a custom 150 gallon aquarium with a steel stand. The stand came with a plywood top deck but it did not come attached to the top of the steel stand. How do I go about attaching the plywood to the top of the stand? Any suggestions would be much appreciated.
 

laverda

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When I built mine I added corner braces with 3 holes in them in the corners and at the cross braces. One had a nut welded in place, so I could easily bolt or hang something on from below. I used one of the other holes to screw to my plywood sheet in all 4 corners. If you don't have any sort of brackets or tabs you can use, I would use construction adhesive or even silicone sealer if you feel it is necessary.
 

theatrus

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Unless you need to worry about seismic loading, nothing is required. With 1500lbs of compression straight down nothing is going to happen.

If you really want to attach it, counter bore some bolts through the top and into the frame. Or use raised corners welded to the frame. Or as suggested some construction adhesive (though load weight on the edges to level after applying)
 

SoCalReefanatic

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I have been working / building with steel and lumber for the past 25 years.

If you are worried about the plywood sliding or simply just want to keep it in place, all you need to do is go to you local hardware store and get some bugle head sheet metal screws probably some # 10's or 12's and pre-drill some holes using a high speed steel drill bit just smaller than the screw diameter, and install the screws until they sit flush or slightly below the face of the plywood. First I would try and use self drilling screws, but they probably wont work due to thickness of the steel, its much easier than you think. good luck
 
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radav88

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Here is a pic of the stand.
20210719_214333.jpg
 

DaddyFish

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I would not use screws for two reasons...
1. You must make certain the screw heads sit below flush so there's absolutely no chance they create a pressure point against the tank.
2. Drilling any holes in the stand invites saltwater seeping into the steel tubing interior and destroying the frame from the inside out.

I would use construction adhesive or even silicone if you want. The weight/pressure of the tank is going to hold the plywood in place.
 
Maxout

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2 options. #1 use a counter sink drill bit to start holes in the plywood. Use Philip head or torn head self tapping metal screws and run them down to below the top surface of the ply.
Second option is to buy the 90 degree metal brackets for furniture. They have either a single or double hole on each side. Use self tapping metal hex head screws to run them into the inside of the top metal and then wood screws to go up I to the ply. Obviously small enough not to pass through.

I used melamine for the top of my steel stand, as it has a laminate Cornish that protects it from spills.
 

laverda

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There is no way I would drill any holes in the stand! Water will run down the side of the tank and get in there. Even just small amounts will start your stand rusting. Your better of not securing it at all.
You can see the corner peices I added to my stand. The ones that are horizontal each have 2 addtional holes, as I previously described.
20190429_103723.jpg
 
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mtfish

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I would also say no to any screws. Not knowing what steel they used on the stand and what metal are in the screws, there could be some electrolysis going on. This could lead to some expansion and pressure points. If you are really concerned I would just use silicon to glue it in place. Also, I would use marine grade plywood to make sure there is no delamination or bulging in the wood. Once the tank is set that plywood isn't moving one micron, with or without glue!
 

Shooter6

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There is no way I would drill any holes in the stand! Water will run down the side of the tank and get in there. Even just small amounts will start your stand rusting. Your better of not securing it at all.
You can see the corner peices I added to my stand. The ones that are horizontal each have 2 addtional holes, as I previously described.
20190429_103723.jpg
This is only if you fail to seal up the screws, treat the plywood. Also most of us have leveling foam between the tank and plywood.
 
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radav88

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Wow, I guess there are many ways to go about this. Didn't expect to get this many replies. Thanks for all of the advice.
 
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radav88

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This is only if you fail to seal up the screws, treat the plywood. Also most of us have leveling foam between the tank and plywood.
So there should be leveling foam between the plywood and the stand? I didn't think of that, well I should say I was thinking the foam would go between the tank and the wood.
 

SoCalReefanatic

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WOW!!!

This has truly turned into something,

So based on everyone's input, and concerns. What you should do to be safe is, Use construction adhesive and glue down a sheet of 1/2" or 5/8" cement board. I would recommend Hardi backer typically used for tile applications. You can find these materials at Lowes or Home Depot.

The cement board 100% more corrosive resistant than any plywood product, even treated wood. Glueing it down will keep it in place, and with the weight of the filled tank on top of it, it's not going to move one bit.

Now let's wait for the reply stating that the combination of cement, saltwater, and metal will cause a toxic cloud ending mankind as we know it!!!:D
 

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