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Another 55gal Oak Lighting Hood

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Deepsixer

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I spent a couple hours drawing up plans for my hood. I couldn't find much by way of the internet even in the woodworking circles. A few pictures here an there but nothing drawn up with materials. I'm no designer but I came up with something that should work for me and perhaps others. I will post pics when finished. I purchased all the oak yesterday and will start butchering the wood tomorrow. Pretty cool, haven't done much WW in awhile.

I was really disappointed in the quality of the stand/hoods in the stores. Most I looked at had warped tops and new even! The planning part was fun and am looking forward to making some sawdust. :)
 

DonW

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Wood

I dont know how much wood working you do and dont want to insult your skills. I thought I would throw out some advice for anyone building their own cabinets.

I build high end furniture and have seen lots of junk. Aquarium hoods are especially difficult to build without warping. Home Depot quality oak will warp just like in the stores. Your wood needs to be very dry less than 4%a few days in an unheated garage is to wet. The trick is to build and get it finished quickly. The finish is the most important. You have to finish it inside and out, if not it will warp. For saltwater Spar varnish is best and dont skimp on the interior. Poly both oil and water based get eaten by salt very fast. Spar usually does not have as high of gloss as poly though but will last a lifetime. If you want high gloss use Deft brushing laquer on the outside and spar on the inside.
For the top/lid if you need 18" wide dont use two 9" boards use four 4 1/2" boards with the grain running oposite. Solid wood is difficult to keep flat otherwise.
This table was finished with Deft years ago and still looks like the day it was finished.
Hope this helps
Don
 

big t

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Wow Don

That table is great! I wish I had the space and money to setup a proper shop. One day I will. I love working with wood, but it has been a long time since I have really made much.
 
D

Deepsixer

Guest
Re: Wood

DonW said:
I dont know how much wood working you do and dont want to insult your skills. I thought I would throw out some advice for anyone building their own cabinets.

I build high end furniture and have seen lots of junk. Aquarium hoods are especially difficult to build without warping. Home Depot quality oak will warp just like in the stores. Your wood needs to be very dry less than 4%a few days in an unheated garage is to wet. The trick is to build and get it finished quickly. The finish is the most important. You have to finish it inside and out, if not it will warp. For saltwater Spar varnish is best and dont skimp on the interior. Poly both oil and water based get eaten by salt very fast. Spar usually does not have as high of gloss as poly though but will last a lifetime. If you want high gloss use Deft brushing laquer on the outside and spar on the inside.
For the top/lid if you need 18" wide dont use two 9" boards use four 4 1/2" boards with the grain running oposite. Solid wood is difficult to keep flat otherwise.
This table was finished with Deft years ago and still looks like the day it was finished.
Hope this helps
Don
Thanks for the tips Don. Well, it's pretty bad when you see a laminated top in a store that has the corners curled up. No, if I'm gonna blow a hundred bucks, I'd rather do it myself. I actually thought about the finish well before drawing up the plans. I like the joinery technique you used in your table.

I didn't think about a glue up top. I thought a laminate wrapped with actual oak would be more stable. Hmm you got me thinking. I wasn't planning to hinge the top but use doors in the front. I thought having the top secured would help keep it flat. What do you think?

I appreciate your help.

Al
 

DonW

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Thanks

Thank you. That is one of my early pieces that I kept. The maple with bloodwood inlay sure stand out with the laquer finish. Although it was sprayed with hvlp you can get close to the same results with Deft and a high quality brush. The nice thing about laquer is how it brings out the grain and can be spot repaired easily.

Don
 

DonW

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Laminants

Al,

Truely there is nothing more stable than plywood or mdf. You used the term laminant so I assume you have oak plywood from a home center. If its not 3/4 take it back. Edge banding veneer is a politicly correct way to build cabinets. I am not politicly correct. The veneers are way to thin and use the wrong glues (they bubble). Veneers have been used since 1800's and are very stable when done right. I use 1/2 interior grade plywood and resaw 1/8 veneers and apply with a vacuum press. If you have a failrly well equipt shop I would use solid with exposed endgrain ( to avoid cracking). If you want the ply top with banding use at lease 1 1/2 banding and make sure your table saw is very sharp and you cut with the exposed side down (chip out). I would hinge the top just to make life easier. You will find if constructed and finished properly it will not warp.

Don
 
D

Deepsixer

Guest
Re: Laminants

DonW said:
Al,

Truely there is nothing more stable than plywood or mdf. You used the term laminant so I assume you have oak plywood from a home center. If its not 3/4 take it back. Edge banding veneer is a politicly correct way to build cabinets. I am not politicly correct. The veneers are way to thin and use the wrong glues (they bubble). Veneers have been used since 1800's and are very stable when done right. I use 1/2 interior grade plywood and resaw 1/8 veneers and apply with a vacuum press. If you have a failrly well equipt shop I would use solid with exposed endgrain ( to avoid cracking). If you want the ply top with banding use at lease 1 1/2 banding and make sure your table saw is very sharp and you cut with the exposed side down (chip out). I would hinge the top just to make life easier. You will find if constructed and finished properly it will not warp.

Don
Whooa there buddy, I realize you have access to that sort of equipment, but I don't. :) I hear what you're saying and in the real world that I live in, I have a few hobbyist woodworking tools that I use casually. All are bench top grade.

Here is what frequently happens to me. I start off with an idea get carried away, become frustrated when I don't get the results I want, become disillusioned, get stuck in analysis paralysis and rarely get motivated to try again. I have a tendency to try and be a perfectionist which is bad because I hate to fail and you can't learn unless you do.

Now, I really enjoy working with wood but am not a professional. I know if I try the best I can do is maybe a couple notches above what I see in the stores. This is my expectation and I think I can meet that. I would love to do "fine furniture" grade works, but I have not the time to put into it. I want to, but don't think it would work at this point in my life.

I have 3/4 Oak ply and the banding you've suggested, I will use biscuits to attach the banding. The corners will be mitred. I am installing a new cabinet blade in the table saw tonight.

Thanks for all your help.

Al
 

DonW

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Al,

It sound like you have a good idea of how todays furniture construction is done. Just use lots of biscuits, the big ones and dont forget the small ones for the miter's. If you have a router and or dado blade set T&G is best. Youll have to excuse me, I get carried away when it comes to woodworking.

Don
 
D

Deepsixer

Guest
DonW said:
Al,

It sound like you have a good idea of how todays furniture construction is done. Just use lots of biscuits, the big ones and dont forget the small ones for the miter's. If you have a router and or dado blade set T&G is best. Youll have to excuse me, I get carried away when it comes to woodworking.

Don
Not a problem. I do have a router/table but not the bits. Hmmmm a new tool.. :) I do want it to come out well and am nervous. I guess I'll be better once I get started. I don't blame you, when you enjoy something you should share it.

I'll keep you posted. Thanks again Don.

Al

PS. BTW, How'd you do the inlays on your table?
 

DonW

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Tacoma, WA
tools

You should always purchase a new tool when starting a new project :eek:
Those are inlayed half blind dove tails. Complicated and took years to master. The inlay is a single piece from top to bottom.
 
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