I built the current stand during my early college years. I took a circular saw to an entertainment center that was put out in the trash, deconstructed it, reconstructed it and painted it black.
We definitely got our money’s worth out of this stand… I even expanded it from the cabinet section under the right side to include the legs for our current 55gal tank.
We then bought 2 packs of 6″ Ikea legs to go with our free cabinets. We screwed the two cabinets together, attached the legs, and drilled holes in the back and between the cabinets for all the wires and hoses.
Finally, we flipped the cabinets over, leveled the legs, and moved the tank… not an easy task. In the end this was a quick and thrifty project.