Over Engineered Fishtank

So before our move into the new NESIT hackerspace, one of our old members had made a mineral oil based fish tank.
When we were vandalized the fish tank was damaged, essential pushed off the desk onto the floor where it smashed the tank. While cleaning it up I checked the motherboard etc to see if they still worked. They fired up with no issue :) .

So I decided that it needed a new home and brought in a 5 gallon tank from home that wasn’t being used. Unfortunately for me I didn’t take into factor the cost of mineral oil (roughly $23/gallon) So $100 later i had enough mineral oil from a local Feed store. We wanted to use the computer as our login computer for guests to leave their contact info when visiting the space. I didn’t want the computer on a desk again and opted to build a L-shaped half-wall to house the entire project.

We had some 2×3′s laying around from a kitchen project that never happened so i decided to use those. Upon building the frame for it i notice half of the board were either severely warped or twisted. I tried to compensate for the curves by cutting and measuring from those. Bad move on my part, the thing was hideous looking.

Decided to scrap that design and start new, had a friend come by that help start the frame again, this time trying to bend the boards into place to straighten them.

Now that the frame was pretty much done I started looking into the leftover supplies from the old woodworking shop that we moved into. We had some nice wood paneling in the pile of wood so I used that for the sides and tacked on some thin molding wood to They also had plenty of counter top Formica and mdf boards so i decided on going with a nice clean design for the top, the hardest part of the hole design was the cement support beam was in the way where the counter met the wall, so i had to curve the top and the Formica to accommodate it. Bought a quart of contact cement to adhere the Formica to the wood, then using a router we carved out around the Formica to make the top and sides meet with a nice edge.
Next thing to do was to wire up the outlets for the fish tank lights and the computer.

Finally added some accent LED lighting underneath the top

So the total cost of the project (besides the $100 in mineral oil) was only about $30 , since we had most of the wood and formica left over from the previous tenants. Thanks to my Uncle John for helping with the build.

TODO: Still have to finish shelving on the back of the halfwall, it’ll house our video game consoles (NES, Super NES, Atari 2600, PS2, Xbox, NEO GEO) on pull out shelves.

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