The Dragon's Lair

magicmagni

Hatchling Member
Beardie name(s)
Jackson
With much excitement I want to share my latest project I'm calling "The Dragon Lair" ๐Ÿ™‚ . A while ago I picked up a baby Bearded Dragon named Jackson.
He's chilling in his temp enclosure for now,
Baby J's Temp Home | Enclosures
Hi. I wanted to share a new setup I threw together for my baby bearded dragon named Jackson who is just over 3 months old now. It's just a temporary one while I build him his forever home. I'm experimenting with a DIY substrate and watering system for the plants and humidity management. Tank...
www.beardeddragon.org
๎œ‘

but he has bigger and better things in store for him...

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.. A Kages 5ft x 3ft x 3ft Enclosure.. and if things get bad, I can live in there too with him lol ๐Ÿ™‚
5'x3'x3' Custom Reptile PVC Enclosure | Kages
Custom PVC Reptile Cages! American Made! Free Shipping! Our PVC reptile enclosures can be customized to create the ideal home for a variety of species. Do you own an Ackie Monitor or a Young Tegu? This one is perfect!
reptilekages.com
๎œ‘
More to come...
 

magicmagni

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Jackson
Plenty of room for him to move around and to decorate it to.
Exactly.. all those years ago folks were recommending a 75 gallon for adult BD but I went with a 120 (4x2x2) and didn't regret it. My guy used every inch of that thing and whether I'm working on an aquarium or an enclosure or even a yard.. once you start putting stuff in there, it gets crowded fast. Bigger is always better and we are so lucky now to have so many good options without going full custom route like we had to in the past.
 

magicmagni

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Jackson
So Kages was really nice to work with. I emailed them with a lot back and forth asking all kinds of questions and they were very helpful and never pushy. I really like that they had 5ft enclosures as with many others you have to do a 4 foot or 6 foot so ultimately decided to go with them.

So the enclosure is made out of PVC so it will not rot out. This is especially important since I am planning on going bioactive. The PVC is nice too because it holds heat and insulates very well. This will be a welcome upgrade from the glass and screen top enclosures I've used in the past. I really was impressed with the quality of the materials. They use sturdy 1/2 inch thick boards, but the material is actually not as heavy as you would think.

Basically it came as a "kit" Think IKEA furniture.. No cutting drilling. All the PVC panels are pre-cut and drilled out so you just screw it all together. To make it easier they even label all the panels for you so you can't mess it up.

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They CNC machine all the vents... and the outside of all the boards are covered in plastic so they don't scratch.

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They even CNC the tracks for the doors...
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They also CNC out a groove that the glass doors slide into to make it close more securely.

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xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
It looks pretty good. What was the price point if ya don't mind me asking?
 

magicmagni

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Jackson
It looks pretty good. What was the price point if ya don't mind me asking?
They are pretty much in line with other premium PVC cage builders like Toad Ranch and Custom Reptile habitats, but not as inexpensive as the Dubia brand enclosures or Zilla. The main costs on these things are the PVC material and the shipping. Kages offers free shipping, but you know that's reflected in their product pricing or they would loose money and go out of business.

The main difference is the materials used. The latter two of the group mentioned uses thin 1/8" ?? PVC walls with aluminum framing. OK if you don't add a lot of weight, but in my case I will be adding over 300lbs of dirt and rocks so I want it to be as solid as possible.

Here is a link to the one that I got from Kages where you can check out pricing, but it varies a bit based on the options you choose:
 

magicmagni

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Jackson
So as the song says.." It's all about that bass".. or base in this case ๐Ÿ˜‚

As I was mentioning, I plan on putting some serious weight into this thing, so I needed a solid table to put it on. I looked around, but nothing I could find would really work. Most tables I found only have 150lbs weight capacity with the occasional 250lbs rating. I also really wanted something to match my existing furniture so it would blend into my decor. Then it dawned on me.. why not use my furniture as THE base? ๐Ÿ’ก

Here is an old couch that I have... It's solid Maple, but the pads and cushions were really beat up and honestly at 30 years of age it was ready to be re-upholstered OR have a second life as the base for the enclosure!! I like the second option! ๐Ÿ™‚

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With some modifications it has magically become a table!! The top is actually a butcher block countertop that I had delivered from my local Lowes. It was the size they use for islands (39" deep). It worked really well. I just needed to cut off about a foot off the length. Also, I had to modify the "siting area" of the couch to be level so it can be a shelf. It had previously been angled for seating.

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I also didn't like that the tabletop was so low. Standard table height is about 30 inches, and this was short of that. What better than to use the excess butcher block wood that I had cut off! So I added more blocks to the existing foot and tapered them to try to make it look better.

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Then just sanded and refinished to match the new wood and the old wood. I tried to match it as close as I could and while not perfect, I am happy with the results.
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xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
That's damn rad!!!!
It looks fantastic. It's a point of pride to envision, plan and execute a project like that also. You will appreciate something more when you do it yourself.
Much respect ๐Ÿ™‚
 

magicmagni

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Jackson
Thanks. I enjoy thinking outside the box and coming up with solutions. Just wait until I show you what else I'm cooking up :cool:. I really enjoy sharing the project and I hope people are inspired to take their husbandry to the highest levels whatever that means for you and your pets.
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Thanks. I enjoy thinking outside the box and coming up with solutions. Just wait until I show you what else I'm cooking up :cool:. I really enjoy sharing the project and I hope people are inspired to take their husbandry to the highest levels whatever that means for you and your pets.
I'm looking forward to seeing whats next.
 

magicmagni

Hatchling Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Jackson
Now that I have a foundation to put the enclosure on let's assemble.. It helps to have two people, but with some extra tools I was able to assemble it myself. It also helps to have a hard flat surface to work on like a cement floor or wood floor. I found that this tool from Harbor Freight was very handy to clamp the corners together while I screwed them in.

3 in. Corner Clamp

Basically, I just lined up edges and locked it in with the clamp before screwing them in. This really helps to get a perfect fit. What also helps is that they predrill the screw holes for you. I contacted Kages about this tool and for only $5 why not throw one in the box to help assembly? They responded that they are considering 3d printing something like this to include in the future. That is one thing that has impressed me with this company is that they listen to their customers and are always improving the product. Some things worth noting are the addition of the slits in the walls for doors (previously mentioned) and the included upgrade of glass instead of acrylic. Also, that the glass doors are now removable for easy cleaning and setup. All suggestions from customers that were added to the product over the years.



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So basically, I just continued attaching the sides, bottom and top. The stickers help you know what goes where. I took my time and got it all together in an afternoon, but with help it would have been faster.
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