I have a fishtank with the following dimensions:

Length: 4 ft
Depth: 1 ft
Height: 1.5ft
Total volume: 170l

The tank is fairly hefty glass, and has a flat base (Which means the weight will be evenly distributed across the base, rather than just around the edges).

I want to build a work surface in my kitchen that will hold the fish tank on top (and maybe also have space in front of it to eat breakfast). It will need to be fairly tall to accommodate this. The dimensions I was thinking are:

Length: about the same as the tank, with a slight overlap - i.e. 4ft
Height: 3ft
Depth: 1.5ft (so tank + 6 inches) or perhaps a little more

I want to be able to fit my bins under the table, and sit at it - hence the height. This height also matches that of the other worktops in my kitchen, so it works well.

I want this to be free-standing - i.e. not attached to the wall. There's a radiator behind it (not ideal for the tank really, but that's the only spare space we have).

Now, I have watched this video: https://youtu.be/wPMn0xXjZF4 which has given me some idea of what I need to do, but I still have a few questions as I don't want that exact design (his height is about right but it's deeper and longer than I need), and this is my first major design project so I need more basic help than he's offering:

  1. The weight of the tank + water is over 200kg. The video suggests x4 for a live load, so I'm coming up to 1000kg of load all-in. How should I allow for that in my design?
  2. I don't want the horizontal supports on the bottom of the front edge, as we need potentially to be able to sit with our legs under it. The other three edges can have them though. Obviously I won't clad the front edge either
  3. What kind of wood / thickness of wood would be appropriate for the legs / supports?

Thank you for any and all advice you can give me for this project.

  • I would recommend you add a bit more than 6", you'd probably find that quite restrictive. Go for closer to 9" if poss. – Graphus Jan 5 '18 at 7:25
  • I was hoping someone else would be along to help with this but unless you don't mind waiting and seeing I think you'd be best served by just moving forward. Some reassurances, you don't need to overthink the load here, it's going to be nearly entirely static, not dynamic as with all tables with a heavy weight on them. They're only dynamic when movement is introduced and I presume you're not planning on hitting the edge of this hard with a hip every time you walk past? Not that it would matter much if you did if you build it right :-) [contd] – Graphus Jan 7 '18 at 10:17
  • So look up standard table designs and use beefier members, build a solid and properly constructed underframe (commonly called the apron these days) and you'll be in good shape. Even if built entirely from construction-grade wood, SPF or 2x material, a table of modest dimensions can easily tackle 200kg, and with a larger overhang to breakfast on the depth of the apron pieces becomes less of an issue. – Graphus Jan 7 '18 at 10:21
  • Thanks, that's helpful. If you write some of that up as an answer I can tick it for you – simonalexander2005 Jan 10 '18 at 10:20

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