(Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

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(Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby HippieLizards » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:02 pm

Hello all,

I'm just curious, but I've been flirting with the idea of maybe trying to do a project to try and build a Nice 4x2x2 front opening enclosure for one of the dragons sometime I. The future. Because they're insanely pricey when bought pre built, I was just wondering what type of wood would y'all recommend? What type of materials would I need?

And to the people who have already done this, how much did it end up costing you, How long did it take, and is it worth it?

I'm not the best with handywork, but I do certainly want to look into it and see if this is something I might want to do in the future and might be a cheaper alternative.
Slave and Personal janitor to Five Beardies, one Crested gecko, one leopard gecko, three Betta fish, a Cat, a Ball python, and a community fish tank. (R.I.P my precious Thor, Cisco, & Ruby. You three will always be in our hearts).
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby Claudiusx » Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:41 pm

If you're doing it to save money, I'll save you the time right now, its almost always cheaper to buy something already built or flat-packed.

If you have the tools already, that's another story. Or if you are wanting to build multiples.

I build them, but I'm an amateur professional woodworker lol. So I do them for fun and because I'd be building something anyways.

I have a design that uses only 1 sheet of plywood, but it doesnt make a 4x2x2. Its smaller so that it takes up only 1 sheet.

But even with that, you're looking at 50 bucks or so for a nice sheet of ply.
Probably 20 bucks or so on screws or fasteners.
10~ bucks on glue
20~ bucks for paint or sealant
15 bucks or so for electrical items (lamp socket and wires)
20 bucks for glass or acrylic
5-10 bucks for ventilation covers

You're already at 150 bucks, and that's for the smaller design. A 4x2x2 will need 2 sheets of ply, so now you're at 200 bucks.
200 bucks or so just in materials.

You can most likely source everything for cheaper than I gave, but the point I'm making is, after all the time and effort you put in, you're not going to be saving money. Especially if you need to buy a few tools. And there are a few I'd recommend for building your own tanks.

All that's not to discourage you from it, but know it's not cheaper if that's the reason you're interested in it

I think if you have the desire and time, building a tank is a great experience. It's a learning experience at least! And you will only get better and better with time.

I'm going to be making another double stacked 4x2x2 in the next few months. if you're interested, I'll keep track of all expenses on it so you can see. Wife might not like that but I'll make this sacrifice :laughing6:
I do have a fully stocked woodshop though.

Boy I'm rambling now. Sorry lol.

-Brandon
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P.S. We have lots of pictures ;)
Click here if you use a Sunblaster fixture - IMPORTANT
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby HippieLizards » Tue Jan 14, 2020 12:24 pm

Oh dang, Really? Yikes. Yeah I was looking into it for the more money saving side of things. I might still want to do it, but only in the distant future.

Because I am not at all handy, it was hard enough for me to help my little brother with putting together his Wooden airplane toy. I'm artistic, But I'm not In the slightest bit crafty I'm afraid. :|

Thank you for the info however, I do appreciate having that as something to reference if I do want to consider doing that. :)
Slave and Personal janitor to Five Beardies, one Crested gecko, one leopard gecko, three Betta fish, a Cat, a Ball python, and a community fish tank. (R.I.P my precious Thor, Cisco, & Ruby. You three will always be in our hearts).
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby Claudiusx » Tue Jan 14, 2020 6:23 pm

The artistic side of you would actually really help in a DIY build. Even if it wasn't you doing the building. I love woodworking, but my creative side is what's lacking and what I need to work on. I wish I was able to just come up with cool idea and concepts, I'd love to transfer those over into an epic tank build one day.

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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby DragonPete » Sun Jan 26, 2020 7:42 am

Have to agree with Brandon. There was a time when DIY would always save you 50% or better. IME not any more. Not if you have to pay retail for materials plus buy tools etc. Although tools are always a good investment particularly if you own your home, if finances are an issue, they can take a real bite out of your pocket. I have a carpenter friend that helps me, but still have to cover materials so my DIY projects are few.
Personally I plan to buy a nice viv for Petey, just because I can't do it for less $$, and at least I know it will be 'right'.
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby Gormagon » Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:18 am

Before I started working on a farm, I was a trim carpenter/cabinet builder. I too, have all the tools I need and, drawers full of screws, nails etc... I do it for the shear joy of accomplishment and, the satisfaction of knowing it won't fall apart when it's done, lol!!!

I tried the plexiglass route and I don't recommend it because it will get scratched up in no time. Lexan is the way to go, it's hard to scratch. Personally I will not do another sliding door front, only hinged double doors for me.
As for the type of plywood, I use either birch or oak because they are not toxic to dragons like pine.
My next project is a double stack....... maybe this summer....hmmmmmm
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby MrSpectrum » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:25 am

Gormagon wrote:I tried the plexiglass route and I don't recommend it because it will get scratched up in no time. Lexan is the way to go, it's hard to scratch. Personally I will not do another sliding door front, only hinged double doors for me.

I don't disagree Lexan is the best choice, but IME it's also the most expensive. I found 1/4" plate glass less expensive than either Lexan or Plexi/acrylic, and considerable enough of a range ($38-$100) to make shopping for the glass worthwhile.

I would have preferred aluminum channels as well, but again, plastic was far less expensive.

Out of curiosity, may I ask the bias against sliding doors? I went with sliders because I didn't have to make frames for them. I found some stick-on finger pulls that work great, except I should have gotten the thinner 1/16" thick instead of the 1/8" thick. The 1/16" will bypass, whereas the 1/8" don't. :oops:
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby Gormagon » Sun Jan 26, 2020 10:17 am

MrSpectrum wrote:
Gormagon wrote:I tried the plexiglass route and I don't recommend it because it will get scratched up in no time. Lexan is the way to go, it's hard to scratch. Personally I will not do another sliding door front, only hinged double doors for me.

I don't disagree Lexan is the best choice, but IME it's also the most expensive. I found 1/4" plate glass less expensive than either Lexan or Plexi/acrylic, and considerable enough of a range ($38-$100) to make shopping for the glass worthwhile.

I would have preferred aluminum channels as well, but again, plastic was far less expensive.

Out of curiosity, may I ask the bias against sliding doors? I went with sliders because I didn't have to make frames for them. I found some stick-on finger pulls that work great, except I should have gotten the thinner 1/16" thick instead of the 1/8" thick. The 1/16" will bypass, whereas the 1/8" don't. :oops:

I like hinged doors because of a few advantages.
1. I can open the entire front for cleaning and disinfecting those nasty little poops, lol!!!
2. I don't have to worry about scratches (they don't rub together).
3. It makes them easier to wipe down.
4. I already have the diamond bits to drill the glass for hinges (cabinet building days) and I use push magnet latches
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby MrSpectrum » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:35 am

Gormagon wrote:I like hinged doors because of a few advantages.
1. I can open the entire front for cleaning and disinfecting those nasty little poops, lol!!!
2. I don't have to worry about scratches (they don't rub together).
3. It makes them easier to wipe down.
4. I already have the diamond bits to drill the glass for hinges (cabinet building days) and I use push magnet latches

Can't/wouldn't argue with any of that!

I may have lucked out on cleaning... ZaRDoZ paper trained himself! :laughing6:
The channel keeps my doors from rubbing together. Does that problem occur when using thinner door material?
Good point about cleaning the doors themselves. The worst door dirt I get is little droplets of bug juice on the inside (squirts out when the li'l feller chews up his num-nums... :roll:
I do envy you the tools & ability/skill to drill the glass.

One problem I have with the sliding doors is forgetting when they're open/closed. I've crashed into them a few times creating that "wokka-wokka-wokka" sound. I'm kinda surprised it doesn't have ZaRDoZ totally freaked... :oops: One of these days I know I'm going to forget to close one, and he'll make his move... :twisted: In hindsight, I probably should have sprung for tempered/safety glass, but by the time I ordered the doors I was so far over budget it wasn't funny. Fortunately, 1/4" plate is pretty strong in its own right. :lol:

Thanks for the insights. :)
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby Gormagon » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:04 pm

I would have already built the double stack but I have yet to figure out a sound dampener so they cant't hear each other. My two dragons don't know each other exist......... SO FAR, LOL!!!
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby MrSpectrum » Sun Jan 26, 2020 1:45 pm

Gormagon wrote:I would have already built the double stack but I have yet to figure out a sound dampener so they cant't hear each other. My two dragons don't know each other exist......... SO FAR, LOL!!!

:? ___Can't hear each other... what? Stomping around? Hissing? Chomping num-nums? I've heard of keeping them from seeing each other, but I've not heard of hearing each other being a problem (or are you yanking chain? :roll: )

If you're serious, I would think a layer of ½" rigid foam insulation (blue, pink, or white) would be sufficient.

...Or you could get them little pairs of earmuffs! :lol:
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby Gormagon » Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:40 pm

Hmmmmm....... ear muffs .......would be cheaper, lol
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby Gormagon » Sun Jan 26, 2020 4:46 pm

MrSpectrum wrote:
Gormagon wrote:I would have already built the double stack but I have yet to figure out a sound dampener so they cant't hear each other. My two dragons don't know each other exist......... SO FAR, LOL!!!

:? ___Can't hear each other... what? Stomping around? Hissing? Chomping num-nums? I've heard of keeping them from seeing each other, but I've not heard of hearing each other being a problem (or are you yanking chain? :roll: )

If you're serious, I would think a layer of ½" rigid foam insulation (blue, pink, or white) would be sufficient.

...Or you could get them little pairs of earmuffs! :lol:


Maybe a little, LOL!!! Gotta lighten the mood in this place sometimes!!!!
The wonderful world of bearded dragons is a magical land of mystery, enchantment, cuddles, love and, worry! A mysterious realm where things always seem to change in an instant and, the moment you think you have it all figured out, the rules change! You think you own your dragon, guess again. You are now a slave!!!
RIP Peaches 10-1-18 Forever in my Heart
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby DragonPete » Sun Jan 26, 2020 5:36 pm

Now that we've completely highjacked Hippie's thread, I vote for ear muffs! 😆

Sorry Hippie!
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Re: (Just Curious) 4x2x2 enclosure build? Is it worth it?

Postby MrSpectrum » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:15 pm

Sometime in the last decade or so, what IME used to be called "thread drift" is now being called "hijacking". :bleick:

Well, I did send him a PM with input on some of his questions, and my own sad and opinionated saga covering pretty much everything else has been pretty well documented here.
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