55 Gallon Canopy Build
I have decided its time to build a canopy for my 55 Gallon display tank. I wanted to wait and build a stand first ( this seems a little backwards), but my light fixture is about to go kaputz on me and since I want a wood canopy anyway , I decided rather than buy another fixture just to sell when I get around to building the canopy, just go ahead and get a retro kit and get it going.
Nothing in this design is entirely my own,after reading every canopy build on EVERY reef website I could fine, I finally merged ideas from about 6 peoples threads into my own build. I want to start by thanking everyone who has made a build thread, and so I decided to make my own build thread and hopefully someone will see something they can use.
So time to get things started...
Started the day at my home away from home...LOWE'S. I decided to use 3/4" furniture grade plywood for the majority of the build. I used 1x2 hardwood for the end frames and oak 1x4 for the back, to give the frame some strength.
First I built the end frames http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/o...d/IMG_0898.jpg
I used pocket holes to assemble the frames. Good strong joints and so easy using the kreg pocket jig... http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/o...d/IMG_0899.jpg
Added the 1x4 oak back slat. This covers the top half of the back, leaveing the bottom open for ventilation
A quick test fithttp://i365.photobucket.com/albums/o...d/IMG_0902.jpg
Now its time to skin the ends. and a short narrow piece on the back of the top for the hinge to mount to.
With the 48" span I decided I wanted a bit more support under that top pice so added a 1x2 on the inside
I decided I liked the pillar look. I added an extra layer of the 3/4 ply to each end of the front panel. then trimmed it out some decorative moulding and crown mould
Time to see how the front panel will look on the tank...leaned up againest existing fixture.
A few coats of gloss white enamel on the inside.http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/o...d/IMG_0908.jpg
While that dries I built a frame to hold the new t5 lights. Figure the size using the standoffs, endcaps and a bulb, and add the center brace. the plan is to attached the center brace to the lid so the entire fixture can raise and lower for maintance as needed.http://i365.photobucket.com/albums/o...d/IMG_0896.jpg
thats it for day one. tomorrow starts the real fun. Nail setting, wood filler and sanding, sanding, and more sanding
Looks great! Good job!
Awesome! Design is nice. How are you going to feed the fish and work on the tank? Is there a lid and/or doors? Just curious? I have T5 retrofits in my canopy and I built a sliding shelf for them so I can move them out of the way when I need to. PM me if you want more info and pics.
Today nothing exciting going on so no pics. Just sinking nails and filling with putty, and sand sand sand.
This is going to be a top notch canopy! How will the cooling of the lights be accomplished?
You can see where I attached the fan and the second pic shows the moonlights lit. You need a 2" bit to cut through the wood that I picked up at Home Depot. Not very cheap unfortunetly.
yes I plan to add 2 fans one on each end to cool the lights. I was thinking about mounting them in the back side( well under the back slat. Blowing forward to avoid drilling in the sides.
If that dosn't work out then mounted in the ends. If I do that I am going to drill vent holes in front of them,like a grill, instead of a complete hole
It was back to work today so not alot of time to work on the canopy, spent most of it sanding, almost ready to apply the stain.
I did decide to do a quick test fit of the light bar.
And I'm glad I did...As you can see they fit in perfect.....but my measurements may have been a bit too exact and by the time i got the 4 coats of brite wite enamel paint on ...it made for a bit of a tight fit when trying to open the lid. I'm going to run the ends of the light support through the table saw and shave about 1/4" off each end, nd prob add a few 3/4" spacers above to make it open and close smoothly.
Iplan to mount the ballasts over the bulbs, right up here in the front for easy access. the icecap 660's fit nicely
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