Enclosure Build

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by baker, Jan 10, 2017.

  1. baker

    baker Well-Known Member

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    Thought I would put a post up of a recent enclosure build that I did for all my elapids.
    First up is a picture of the old setup. While this setup had been working extremely well for the last year I never really liked the look of it. Add in that the snakes were all starting to out grow their enclosures it was time to build something new.
    room.jpg

    First step was designing what I wanted and determining lengths and how much material I would require. Once I had that all sorted out I headed into bunnings to pick up all my materials. I tried getting quotes from other supplies but in the end bunnings was the cheapest, along with cutting the materials to size for free.

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    After getting all my materials it was time to start construction. Instead of sliding glass doors I opted to utilise front mounted clear acrylic doors. This decision meant I needed to create a single front piece with all the door openings cut and routed out. Creating this front piece was by far the hardest and longest part of this build taking an entire day to finish.

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    While I did make some small mistakes while routeing I was quite pleased with how it ended up and how it would look once completely together. Once finished I then sealed the plywood with clear polyurethane to protect it against moisture and elapid crap.

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    Now that the front piece was finished and had its first coat of polyurethane on I could begin on the rest. To provide extra strength along with making assembly a lot simpler I aluminium brackets I had left over from another project where each enclosure shelf would sit.

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    After this was completed I than routed out heat cord channels in each shelf.

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    After this routeing was finished it was then time to start construction of the entire enclosure. This part was a lot faster than I had thought it would be and was done in just under an hour. During this part I was extremely great full for the bracket pieces that I had installed on the vertical sides earlier, made construction and squaring everything up a lot easier. Due to the size of the enclosure (1500 mm wide) and to prevent dirt from being kicked out the back I also installed 90 mm strips of melamine across the back of each enclosure. I also placed a vertical divider across the top enclosure to split it into two smaller 750 mm enclosures. At this point I finally realised just how big of an enclosure I was making and was very happy I opted to put it on wheels.

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    I forgot to get a photo of this part but once everything was together I rolled the enclosure onto its front to secure the backing on. For the back I used white pegboard to provide a large ventilation area to keep things cool inside. Originally I was thinking I would have to paint the peg board black but once it was together I ended up liking the white across the back. Once this was firmly secured I then got help from my roommate to pick it up and then roll it onto its back to secure the front piece along with the doors.

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    After all this was done I got the help of my roommate again and we flipped it back onto its wheels and it was practically finished. To lock the doors I used small cam locks and clear screen window locks on the corners to be safe. All that was then left to do was seal the edges with silicon and it was time to take it up stairs.

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    Now an important thing I learnt from this project, make sure to measure where you have to carry something through to make sure that it fits. I almost learnt this mistake the hard way with it just fitting up the staircase to my apartment.
    Once up stairs and in position I then connected up an LED lighting system that I made with my dad over Christmas. Once happy with the lighting it was now time to decorate and do the final fit of the enclosure.
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    At my parents place I was able to secure a number of very nice pieces of wood along with some dried grasses that I used to decorate each enclosure.

    Northern death adder (Acanthophis praelongus) enclosure.
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    Eastern brown (Pseudonaja textilis) enclosure.
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    Spotted black snake (Pseudechis guttatus) enclosure.
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    Overall the enclosure measures 1500 mm wide, 1200 mm high and 600 mm deep. This is split across three levels ~400 mm high with the top level split in half to create two 750 mm enclosures. I am extremely happy with how this enclosure turned out. The snakes all seem to love the extra room and stimulation they now have as well.

    Cheers, Cameron.
     
  2. danyjv

    danyjv Active Member

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    They look great mate , good job .


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  3. Nero Egernia

    Nero Egernia Subscriber Subscriber

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    That looks great, baker. The set ups look natural and visually pleasing.

    I was able to secure a decent amount of old plywood from my parents place when they took down the ramp to use on my new monitor enclosure. Probably one of the biggest enclosures I have and trying to fit it through the door was something that I considered from the start where we made it that you can take the top portion off to enable it to fit. But really, houses should just come with bigger doors!
     
  4. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Great job, Cameron, and thanks for the clear explanations of the process for anyone else wanting to attempt a project like that.
    I too have encountered the door problem. Our new reptile room is not overly large, and the doorway is on the small side too., so I had to put together a new rack for the lizard enclosures in the room.
     
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  5. baker

    baker Well-Known Member

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    Thanks all.
    Hahaha well the doors were actually one of the easier parts of getting it into my apartment. I ended up stuck on the stair case hahaha. I managed to just get it up the first flight and around the corner with my friend helping me lift, after their though we were stuck. Luckily a neighbour from upstairs came down to help lift it high enough to get above the hand rail and around the corner. I was extremely happy I decided not to make it 1500 mm high as well. At 1200 mm high it was just low enough to get above the hand rail and still run slightly on the staircase above it. Was almost quite an expensive lesson haha.

    Cheers, Cameron
     
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  6. Ricko

    Ricko Very Well-Known Member

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    Very impressive and I thoroughly enjoyed reading the ups and downs of your process in building the new cages.
     
  7. Imported_tuatara

    Imported_tuatara Well-Known Member

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    taking notes..
     

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