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80/20 T-Slot framing

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For a 180 tank, I'm sure you could probably use the 1" version, but it would be very dependent upon your actual design. Full with water, sand, rock, plus the weight of the tank, you're looking at something like 1700 lbs. I personally wouldn't use 1". You would need to double-up most pieces, or add so many more supports/braces that it won't be a very accessible stand. 

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I'd be concerned about shear and racking with 80/20 in 1" aluminum.  We use it a lot at work to build stands for things.  If it was going to be that heavy we'd use 2". 

 

If you designed it right so the aluminum vertical pieces were in compression and the center was well supported it would definitely be strong enough, but you'll need some fairly precise and robust diagonal bracing to keep the whole thing from folding sideways if pushed.  They make special tools for cutting the ends and drilling straight holes for attaching diagonal supports using the captive nuts, but those are pretty expensive too.

 

I built my 180 stand out of 3/4" plywood and biscuits and it was pretty easy to do.  It doesn't look as cool and industrial as 80/20, though.

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OK.  Check out ebay too.  Last time I did a personal project for it the main company would sell offcuts from projects on ebay in different lengths.  It was a cheap way to do it.

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