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180 Gallon In-Wall Gallery

January 2008 - Overview Pictures
January 2008 - Overview Pictures
December 2006 - Overview Pictures

Tank Frame & Trim under construction, August 2005

The tank frame and trim are professionally built custom cabinet carpentry performed by First Cut Custom Woodworks.

This shows the trim being assembled at the wood shop.

All wood used on the frame and trim is 100% Red Oak. The construction of the frame uses biscuits reinforced mitered.

When painted the oak will still show grain marks which will match the wood work of the six panel doors used in the reef viewing room.

Tank Frame & Trim under construction, August 2005

Front view of the tank frame & trim being constructed.

The lower part is where the display tank will be, the upper part will be used for an access door to allow for tank maintenance from the front of the tank.

The trim design is back filled to make it flush to the glass of the tank. All of the plastic trim around the top and bottom of the tank will be hidden as well as the side seams.

I think it needs another clamp or two, August 2005

This image shows the back fill being glued and clamped to the frame.

Titebond III glue is used in the construction of both the frame and access door. This is a water proof, non-toxic, FDA Approved and incredibly strong rated for 4000 PSI.

Panel from the access door, sealed with epoxy paint, August 2005

The access door and panels are made from Ash. Ash much like the Oak frame, shows the grain of the wood nicely. Pictured here is one of the three panels used in the access door.

The paint used is Catalyzed Pigmented Varnish applied with air guns using a special two part paint which has a hardener added. The paint hardens in about 10 minutes making it dry to the touch and perfectly sealed.

The results are a rugged professional finish.

Access Door being constructed, August 2005

Access door being constructed. The panels need to painted and sealed separately from the rest of the frame to allow the paints to float - expand and contract as needed.

Notice the cope and stick joint used in this construction.

A product called Space Balls is used between the panels and frame to allow for expansion and prevent rattle.

Access Door being constructed, August 2005

Access door will be supported by several stainless steel hinges which will hopefully stand up to the humid air of the reef room.

The NSD-35 Lapcon Damper with Soft-Down Stay Mechanism hinges will be used to hold the weight of the door when open and assist in closing the door. The hinges will close the door slowly preventing the door from slamming down.

Tank Frame & Trim installed, September 2005

Tank frame and trim installed. This really added a nice professional touch to the room display.

I like the textured look of the wood grain. This is exactly what I envisioned when starting this project.

Access door locks in place, September 2005

The access door raises and locks in place provided easy access to the display tank from the reef viewing room.

The opening provided is nearly a foot tall -- plenty of room to get my arms and head into the opening.

Lapcon Damper hinge, September 2005

The NSD-35 Lapcon Damper with Soft-Down Stay Mechanism hinges are used in custom cabinet work on private boats. Hopefully they will last in the warm humid air near the tank.

The hinges lock in place when the door is open to hold the weight of the door.

A slight downward push on the door is enough to start the hinges closing which slowly close the door quietly and gently. The open and closing speed can be adjusted easily using an adjustment screw.