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 #2276077


KrazyKelli
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 I want to build a small cage

For my golden gecko. He’s currently in two stacked tanks (I popped the glass from the bottom of one and screwed them together. Amazing, I know). He’s 10.5 inchs long and the tank humidity needs to be around 70%. If I build a large tank, I’ll likely get a fogger.

I want to make him a bigger tank with wood. Going to half- the dimensions (I mean, so long as it’s bigger than the current one. Maybe, like, 18X24X36) and see what Lowes or Home Depot had in stock. Wood on all sides but the front one with plexiglass making up the front (likely cut in two and hinged to make a side-swing or drop-down door for the top half. Idealistically, I was intending to screw some boards together in a box shape and work with that, no heavy-2by4 pre-frame (I mean, a gecko is going in this tank, not some monitor or igg). Then make a big hole in the top for a lamp, and screw some other holes in it for aeration and cords.

I was planning to start with Melamine, but now I’m hearing this crazy news that it’s toxic like pine or cedar. Is that true? Even after it’s sealed? If so, lame. I’ll likely use oak, poplar, or cherry wood then. But can you feesably screw those types of wood together in a box shape without a big pre-frame?

So my questions for this thread are as follows:

Can I build a small cage roughly 1.5’ by 2’ by 3’ by just screwing boards together with no frame? And can I use Melamine?



With that out of the way, the other materials I am going to use are aquarium glue (for the corners), a safe sealant of some variety (4 or more coats of it), and fudge my way around with decking out the inside of it, fancy it up a bit. Haven’t thought that far yet. It’s best to make the initial box first. The lower front will likely be screwed on, and the upper front will be fit with a piano hinge or two and fascinated with neodymium (or less strong) magnets. That or a metal clip, like you see on some kitchen cabinets. If you have any suggestions that I can use to really crank the awesome of this tank up a notch, I’m all cool with that.



08/08/12  06:46pm

 #2276137


Cphill58
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2276077


 I want to build a small cage

look here Kelli....great site with step by step instructions...cut list can be adjusted , build to suit.
Love the sliding front for ease of access.

timeless spirit

yes you can use melamine
use Alex Plus clear latex with silicone ...water cleanup ...EZ! Available at THD or Lowes or ACE
Alex Plus clear

caulk gun 10 OZ.
even Lowes and Home depot have these too.
10 Oz gun



08/08/12  11:11pm

 #2276191


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2276137


 I want to build a small cage

You are absolutely brilliant.

Once I get the box made, I wanted to goop up the inside to make it look natural (and add an extra=protective barrier from the humidity so the melamine doesn’t swell up). Are there any good websites for making funky tank walls and safe materials I can use for it?

Also, after looking at reptile forums and posts, people are saying to use polycrylic sealer, SafeCoat sealer, or fiberglass reinforced panels to line the inside. Any of those sound cooler than the others?



08/09/12  10:16am

 #2276192


Cphill58
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2276191


 I want to build a small cage

Ummm , yeah ....where did I put it
...................................................................................................................................................




















Found it
....................................................................................................................................................





Landscapes



08/09/12  10:19am

 #2276220


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2276192


 I want to build a small cage

Those are ’place in the tank’ items. I’m talking about fusing a material to the walls, itself. Just build it all at once. No prepared out-of-tanks steps. Kinda like what that dude in the gecko forums is doing. Link




08/09/12  01:02pm

 #2276227


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2276220


 I want to build a small cage

My brain is stating to really hurt at all the things I could do to the inside walls of this tank.



08/09/12  01:32pm

 #2276282


Cphill58
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2276227


 I want to build a small cage

You take these same materials and glue them to the wall...then you grout /paint/seal....add little bits of clear alex plus and glue in twigs /plants ....plastic floral items from Michaels /Joanne/hobby store...etc.
seal again if you have too.

A 4x8 sheet of insulation foam at home depot will be cheap....get some "Great Stuff" spray insulation to make wild shapes.....

Create water falls for a serenity type pump...table top "serenity " running water ...what do they call those things anyway?...lol
Look at the forum about Chinese Water Dragons there are some very cool builds using these same techniques ....maybe you don’t. Need all the humidity so keep it dry...forego the waterfall.

When I get to my desk top I will get you another link.....



08/09/12  06:29pm

 #2276298


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2276282


 I want to build a small cage

Thanks. I might put a waterfall... fountain thing in there. I mean, I’m going to put a fogger in there, and may install some life plants like pothos as well as a few fakes I have laying around. And I can get sticks from the woods and beachwood from Lake Michigan.

When you say insulation, my mind goes towards that stuff in my walls and attic... Which makes me think of toxic fumes and gas masks. How safe and non-toxic is this spray and insulation foam stuff? I want my goldie to die of old age, after all, and not ’snuff out’ in the next year.



I went to the lowes and home depot website to scout and crap is that melamine expensive. I may shift gears and try out oak or maple ply, or double-check my budget to make sure I can buy Everything that will go into this. I also have to consider making a stand to go underneath the tank so it’s at a good height in case it’s too heavy to put back on the furniture.



08/09/12  08:29pm

 #2276347


Cphill58
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2276298


 I want to build a small cage

Melamine is close to 40.00 for a 4x8 sheet
The insulation is also a solid sheet of dense styrofoam 4x8 or bigger...it’s safe for humans ...instead of using rolled goods or blown in loose stuff they make the foam panels as well.

The "great stuff" is non toxic as well ...just need to let it dry and air out ...you can also trim and cut to shape when dry.

Most enclosures will take a 100.00 bill and use it up and that doesn’t include lighting
Just build the box and get the front acrylic done and then worry about decor later. You can always build the rock wall and stuff later.



08/10/12  11:00am

 #2276376


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2276347


 I want to build a small cage

Awesomesauce.

I have 150$ to blow, with a 50$ safety net in case I forget to buy something on the side. So 200 total. I’ll be good. I also already have tons of extra lighting equipment around the house, accessible plants and sticks, digital hygrometer/thermometer, and all the general lizard-caring equipment. The only things I’d really have to buy to set up the inside of the tank is the fogger and fountain, since I’m currently using a home-built humidifier to keep Sade’s tank misty. Need to figure out if I should install those ahead of the GreatFoaming or not.

But price is still a concern. Melamine has the benefits of being sturdy and easy to manage, but it’s downfall is that it’s pricey and heavy. Maple or oak plywood are light and half the price, but wont be as sturdy and will be lighter as a whole. Will be porous, too. Things to consider.



08/10/12  01:23pm

 #2276378


Cphill58
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  Message To: KrazyKelli   In reference to Message Id: 2276376


 I want to build a small cage

Stop analyzing so much and build the box...you can always add later.

If you use the great stuff you fasten the AC line to the enclosure ...cover with foam and paint later....after the foam dries carve out a place for the fogger to sit...silicone that in as well ...then paint some more ...sprinkle cypress mulch into a thin paste of silicone and so forth

Build the box ...leave the front off and do the walls and fogger / water / whatever

Go get the materials and I can help you figure out the cuts

if you need them to cut it for you , we can figure the cuts before hand



08/10/12  01:35pm

 #2276978


KrazyKelli
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  Message To: Cphill58   In reference to Message Id: 2276378


 I want to build a small cage

Going to be ’drive up a wall’ crazy, but the day I was intending to get some maple wood, screws, and glue for my box (Monday), my favorite cat started seriously chewing off her fur. So the money I saved up for lizard tankage is instead going to her vet trips. It’s no biggie, I’ll just make more cash. ’Cept the lizard cage is on hold for a little bit while I juggle her, the doctor visit I’m getting tomorrow for my back, and the trip to Indianapolis.



08/16/12  12:35pm


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