Steel tank stand - am I placing a risky bet?

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by coralline, 8 Apr 2014.

  1. coralline

    coralline

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    Hi guys,

    I know many of you have built tanks and stands before, and there are also a few avid, reef-keeping engineers on MASA, so I am hoping for some experience and insight...

    I am almost (finally) finished with my tank build - it's a 675x650x700mm (lxbxh)cube-like shape made of 12mm glass with a double base and 12mm skinny internal overflow, so the tank alone weighs a lot due to all the glass. It has specially manufactured (my brother in-law works in an engineering workshop) heavy duty adjustable feet.

    My brother in-law built a steel stand according to my dimensions (950mm high) out of 25mm 'angle iron', welded together with supporting braces and a shelf (see picture). he made pretty solid welds, but it's the height and thin angle iron I'm worried about... Will it hold over time?!

    I did a water test to check the seals of the tank (that I built), and all good there, and the stand was fine for 4 days. The problem is that if it is bumped it can shake/wobble (sorry, don't know how else to describe it!) a bit, and I have young kids and a careless maid, so I worry about bumps, nudges and general accidents!

    Should I attach tensioning strips, steel or aluminium, from corner to corner? Even just by screwing them into the frame? Or should I get someone to weld steel rods into the legs? Or can someone suggest something else? Is anyone an expert with the patience and kindness to lend a nervous fellow reefer some advice or even a hand?! My brother in-law doesn't agree it needs strengthening, and currently is unable to help anyway. (I'm going to clad it with thin wood, so no structural strength added there!)

    I really don't want to build another stand! This one is the perfect size and is coated etc, and the bottom shelf is perfect for the sump I just built for the tank... I just want peace of mind.

    Thanks a lot.:thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup::thumbup:

    IMG-20140123-WA0022.jpg
     
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  3. Pantoffel

    Pantoffel

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    Im not an expert at all on tank builds.
    But ive done some steel work aon various goods.
    To be honest I dont think that stand will be strong enough I will have sleepless nights over that stand:eek:

    But thats just me dont know what the others will say.
     
  4. Pantoffel

    Pantoffel

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    I think if you weld some cross bar's you should be ok.
     
  5. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    is it 1.6 or 2mm wall thickness?

    The water alone would be about 300kg. The glass? 150kg?

    Total tank weight, around 500kg, is I take a very rough estimate.

    Weigh one brick. I think face brick is 2.5kg each. (OK depending on factory and if those with holes in them)
    Put a wooden plank on the stand. And load bricks to the total weight of 500kg on it.

    Bump the "tank" then.
     
  6. BlackSpark

    BlackSpark

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    I would not trust that stand personally...I would rather get square tubing that is used in LFS tank stands and build using that.
     
  7. Dian6430

    Dian6430

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    I used 38mmx2mm square tubing on my 110x65x60 and its rock solid
     
  8. Jinx

    Jinx

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    No bra that stand is not going to do the job,I would also use square tubing
     
  9. Mewik

    Mewik

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    If you clad the stand and fix the cladding into it should stop the wobble factor. Also having a solid base on top will also pull it all together.

    However unless it is 5mm or at the least 3mm thick angle I wouldn't feel to safe sleeping near it. Square/rectangular tube will always be the best bet for piece of mind. Stainless steel would be first prize IMO.
     
  10. jab

    jab

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    hi @coralline
    stand will be fine. just add some cross braces at the back and sides where you do not need access.
    that will stop the wobble completely
    understand? you need to change the square into 2 triangles
     
    Last edited: 9 Apr 2014
  11. jab

    jab

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    also if you gonna board up the frame back and sides.
    ad screws all along the angle. maybe 200mm spacings.

    use maybe 6 or 9mm supawood. this will also add allot of integrity. (prevent angle from bending)
     
  12. Bflynn

    Bflynn

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    I agree with these guys. Just bye adding superwood cladding it will make it more than strong enough.
     
  13. coralline

    coralline Thread Starter

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    Thanks for all your advice guys.

    As I said, I'm trying to avoid building a new stand, so strengthening this one is my first choice.

    I thought about cladding it with Supawood but wasn't sure how much strength and integrity this would add, but it makes sense that if the wood is 9mm thick and is screwed in to the stand with many, many screws (every few cm's) then that would make the stand more robust. And I was also thinking of cross bracing from corner to corner - would this be best welded rather than screwed? I'm sure I could find a local engineering firm who could weld the cross bars for me, and maybe weld in some steel rods on the inside of the legs!
    @RiaanP : thanks bud, you always add wise words to situations! Only problem is acquiring 200+ bricks just to test the stand's strength! I figured it may be easier to put myself and 4 large mates on the stand, and jump up and down a few times, maybe stay up there for a few :peroni:... that way if we fall, we probably won't feel it :lol:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  14. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    you need more a static weight. couple of guys climbing on will be a lot of movement and the stand will fail.

    OK, we got water movement, and cleaning the glass with magnet cleaner will create flex. But it is not the same as 5 guys. Anyway, cannot see how 5 guys can stand on it, unless there is beer involved.

    Is there no building site close by?
     
  15. AfricaOffroad

    AfricaOffroad

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    All that stand is good for is pot plants.

    Toss it and build a proper one.
     
  16. coralline

    coralline Thread Starter

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    Hahaha, I was kinda joking about putting 5 guys on it... It could work though if we did an inverted pyramid configuration. But that would have to exclude beer:lol:

    Ja, I'm sure I could find a builders yard or similar near me and ask them to assist. I suppose without testing it to the max (and beyond, to be sure) we can't really say... I guess an engineer could do some fancy calculations and check the welds and give a very educated evaluation, but other than that it comes down to a general 'guess', erring on the side of caution.

    I may make ask around to see if anyone near me has welding equipment and then just weld some square bar onto the legs, as opposed to just building a new stand (although if the cost was about the same, I'd probably just get a new one built and save all the worry).

    Do you know someone who could quote me on building a new stand?

    Thanks pal.
     
  17. jab

    jab

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    HI @coralline
    WHERE EXACTLY DO YOU LIVE?
    bring the stand to me and i will weld the supports in for you for free
    just supply some angle

    Otherwise if you prefer to Build a new one we can talk about pricing
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  18. coralline

    coralline Thread Starter

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    That would be awesome @jab :thumbup:

    I live in Fourways... I'd happily get some materials and bring it to you to so we can beef it up a bit!

    (If you have a minute, that would also be great if you could PM me an estimate on building a new one).

    Thanks very much bud!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  19. NO3

    NO3

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    Whats the wall thickness of that 25 mm angle iron?

    I made a stand for myself out of 50x50 angle iron but 5mm thick on a 3.6m stand 600 wide and 1m tall! it held just short of 2000 L no problem!

    If you worried add bracing add a 3rd "pillar" so to say so each side has 3 supports !
     
  20. coralline

    coralline Thread Starter

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    The wall thickness is 2mm (although that's more on the tapered edge of the angle iron - I don't calipers, it may even be 3mm thick, but I'd say 2mm to be safe).

    Yeah, a 3rd pillar is also a good idea (as well as bracing). Thanks for the constructive comments...
     
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