Building a big stackable 7x2x2 enclosure

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dragonov

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Yeah they're a pain to find. I got lucky with a viv builder nearby, but most people seem to order them online. Also glass repair shops and furniture makers (cabinet builders) tend to have them. Big hardware stores sometimes have them, but hardly ever the sizes or material I needed. Good luck with your search, and maybe you can also look on other forums with other reptiles.
 
Dragonov,

To start off, those enclosures are absolutely brilliant. You have inspired me to (try to) do something similar. Do you mind answering a few questions? Thanks in advance :D

Why pine? :D Isn't pine toxic? Or is it only toxic under extreme heat?
How long did it take for the stain to air out? (BTW it is beautiful :D )
And lastly, what made the build so expensive? The pure size? Lighting?

Again, thanks in advance.
 

dragonov

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thank you, and good to hear this post inspired you! :D

I've used pine because I didn't want to use melamine (I wanted to stain the viv) and because my hardware store only carried two kinds of real wood. One was pine and the other one was unaffordable high grade furniture wood. Because I knew I was going to cover all the wood with styrofoam and grout anyway, and stain the rest, I went for pine. I'm no expert on this, but I figured that as long as it is sealed with something it should be just fine. My dragons don't seem to be bothered by it at all at least. Bottomline is: If you can find/afford something else than pine by all means go for that, but otherwise pine works too if you cover it imo.

The stain I used aired out quickly. I let every layer dry overnight and after the last one there was no smel anymore after one day with the lights on. I used an indoor stain. You don't need an outdoor one btw.

The costs of everything just add up quite fast I noticed. If you already have a lot of DIY stuff laying around it might be cheaper, but with getting everything from scratch it goes fast. The biggest expenses were the wood and the glass doors for me (glass cost me like 60 bucks alone!) but things like woodglue, screws, grout, colorant, stain, fixtures and all those little things that keep adding up shouldn't be underestimated... :shock:

Don't let all this discourage you though, because in the end it is way worth it! Go for it and make sure to post pics of your progress! :blob5: Good luck and feel free to ask questions along the way if you need to! :D
 
I started my build, im working on a 5x2x2 spruce enclosure. I so far have stained, sealed, and put together the build its self. I have a few problems that I hope you can help me fix. I am not sure how to to attach my aluminum track. I bought liquid nails (not sure what that is in Britain). I have read up that it is toxic? Not sure though, some people claim its fine. And I was going to buy the Styrofoam, but it was INSANELY expensive. $20 for a few sheets. And if, and when I get my Styrofoam sheets, should I glue it all together and carve it? Or carve individual sheets and then proceed to glue them together? Thanks a lot!

Shaun
 

dragonov

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
ShaunPower":j97qc7ih said:
I started my build, im working on a 5x2x2 spruce enclosure. I so far have stained, sealed, and put together the build its self. Cool! :D Post some pics if you can!?! I have a few problems that I hope you can help me fix. I am not sure how to to attach my aluminum track. I bought liquid nails (not sure what that is in Britain). I have read up that it is toxic? Not sure though, some people claim its fine. You can use just liquid nails, but if you want to be extra sure you could also put in a few small screws as long as you sink them in. (don't let them stick out into the track obviously) I used plastic tracks, so mine were not very heavy, but with aluminum you might want to. About it being toxic, as soon as it has cured and totally dry it will be fine. (no fumes anymore) The same goes for paints and stain.And I was going to buy the Styrofoam, but it was INSANELY expensive. $20 for a few sheets. And if, and when I get my Styrofoam sheets, should I glue it all together and carve it? Or carve individual sheets and then proceed to glue them together? Yeah that is part of the little things that keep adding up that I was talking about earlier on... :cry: You could make it cheaper by using junk styrofoam, like packaging leftover pieces and such, but using the sheets will make your life easier in my opinion. If you want tot do something like I did, I would go for the thickest sheets you can find and glue them together up front and then carve. It will help with coming up with cool natural looking shapes I think. (you could go with individual sheets too, but then you'll have to put effort in to make them all match up without looking artificial.Thanks a lot!You're welcome, I'm glad I can be of some help. Good luck with your next steps! :)

Shaun
 

Tdever42

Member
I found Styrofoam at lowes for 5 sheets of 3 1/2 by 48 in for only 6$. Hobby lobby is a rip off. Hopefully that helps. Also I have a question about your tile sealant. I'm using the thin-set like you mentioned and I'm using the liquid colorant mix, however once it dries if I rub my finger over it the color rubs off on me. I don't want to color my dragons! Any ideas to fix this? Make a wetter substance maybe?
 

Thades22

Member
dragonov,

I've only had my beardies for a few weeks. The guy I got my adult from said the tank was 40gal (I didn't know very much about the tanks at the time). Turns out hes been in a 20 long his whole life. (Hes a year and a half old.) As I was looking for tanks and couldn't find any for a good price I saw something about building your own. Hmm, not a bad idea. As I was putting in hours of research I stumbled on your post and thought it was amazing. You are about the only one that breaks it down literally step by step to show people how to do it. These other ones just seem to skip or leave out a few details. In short, I have been building my enclosure for about a week and a half now. The basic box design I stole from you, which by the way makes it extremely sturdy. I did have to get creative and come up with some of my own things though. I did use a lot of your ideas and tweaked them a bit. I was even showing people at home depot your post on my phone LOL. "Hey, I'm looking for something like this". There were a few detaiIs that didn't exactly turn out like I wanted them to but its alright, I think it still turned out pretty well. I would love to post and show what I have done but I am not sure how to get pictures on here. I just thought you should know that it was inspiring and I hope more people so much as even attempt their own project. Its very rewarding and comes with a strong sense of satisfaction.
 

dragonov

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Thades22":3k49yea6 said:
I just thought you should know that it was inspiring and I hope more people so much as even attempt their own project. Its very rewarding and comes with a strong sense of satisfaction.

Thanks so much! :D That is really nice to hear and I totally agree with you that the whole process of building your own is very rewarding. I think a lot of people think it's really hard, but I think a lot of people would be able to make a similar viv like ours if they tried! (if they wanted to of course... :lol: )

I would love to see what you made. You can post your pictures to a picture website like photobucket or something and then link to those pictures in your posts on here with using the "Img" button on the top of the box you type your posts on here in. (I bet there is a sticky on posting pics on here too somewhere.)

Thanks again! :D
 

dragonov

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Tdever42":2o6c6wsu said:
I found Styrofoam at lowes for 5 sheets of 3 1/2 by 48 in for only 6$. Hobby lobby is a rip off. Hopefully that helps. Also I have a question about your tile sealant. I'm using the thin-set like you mentioned and I'm using the liquid colorant mix, however once it dries if I rub my finger over it the color rubs off on me. I don't want to color my dragons! Any ideas to fix this? Make a wetter substance maybe?

Oh I don't know what could cause that, was the colorant mixed in good enough? You could fix it with another layer of grout, but also with a clear coat of some kind of sealant I guess. Your surface will appear a bit shinier and smoother though if you go that route.
 

wente013

Member
Thanks so much for sharing! Do you think using wood from an old bookshelf would work? How about the fake white work that come with build your own bookshelves (which usually are bought at larger box stores). I'm asking bc I know of a few that are laying around unused at my parents house :)
 

Thades22

Member
halffrozen":c1a78mlv said:
Hey drag, what did you use to attach the foam pieces together?

He used leftover wood glue and wooden skewers to hold them in place while the glue dried. I did the same thing till I ran out of wood glue. Then I use liquid nails. I also used extra metal coat hangers instead of wooden skewers.
 

halffrozen

Hatchling Member
Thades22":1r0w22bc said:
halffrozen":1r0w22bc said:
Hey drag, what did you use to attach the foam pieces together?

He used leftover wood glue and wooden skewers to hold them in place while the glue dried. I did the same thing till I ran out of wood glue. Then I use liquid nails. I also used extra metal coat hangers instead of wooden skewers.

Ah, I see.

I ended up using liquid nails and wooden toothpicks to hold everything together that wasn't being co-operative. haha

Thanks for the info though!
 

Thades22

Member
No problem. You could also try loctite PowerGrab. People have had luck with that too. What thickness styrofoam are you using? Because I'm trying to picture how well a toothpick will hold up. But your right though because I found trying to hold then together with some sort of "prong" didnt really work for me. I think I used the coat hangers once and then just put the pieces in place by hand and let them dry. What problems is it giving you?
 
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