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Bearded Dragon Custom?

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Leanea, May 4, 2015.

  1. Leanea

    Leanea Well-Known Member

    I really would like to build a custom for my bearded dragon. Do you have recommendations on the materials I should use and stuff? Preferably cheaper materials. Also, does anyone have pictures of their custom tanks for beardies?
     
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Well, I built a cage out of a single sheet of 3/4" melamine in less than 2 days, and it works fine, but there are some issues that make me think I would just go back to using regular plywood and sealing it myself. Cage is 48×24×18, with drop down acrylic front doors.
    Now the things I ended up not liking: first and foremost, the darn thing is heavy. Very heavy. As in takes 2 people to safely move it or at least a dolly to put it on. Next, it's a bit fragile. Although it hasn't happened yet, I know a drop of any significance will blow the melamine apart, and the cage will be trash. And there's the issue that if the plastic coating gets the slightest scratch, the glue that they use is not moisture resistant at all, so it will absorb moisture, swell up and be trash.
    Now there were good points with this build too. The cage holds heat well, actually too well. I had to add some vent holes to one of the doors and put a rather large vent in one end to get a handle on temps and humidity. It was cheap and quite fast to build. Assuming you have basic woodworking tools, the entire cage can be done for under a hundred dollars. That includes aquarium safe silicone for the inside corners, the acrylic and hardware for the doors, and the basic lighting. UV lighting will be extra. And I was able to toss my beardie in on the 3rd day after starting. I let the silicone cure an extra day. I will check and see if I have any pics of it or the build.
     
  3. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    I agree. Plywood seems to be the more expensive route to go and it is. But after having a melamine enclosure you'll wish you did it in plywood.
     
  4. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    20131015_204956.jpg Well, I'll have to get you a shot of the cage later, but here it is during the build, no doors or fixtures yet. A couple more things, drop down doors will be a pain if the cage is not on a stand or something, and acrylic is easily scratched. I also used some I had laying around to finish the build so it wasn't new when I made the doors.
     
  5. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

  6. Leanea

    Leanea Well-Known Member

    Curious question... I want to make it multileveled but accessible to the dragon... would a ramp like thing be okay?
     
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, yes a ramp would be o.k.
     
    Leanea likes this.
  8. Leanea

    Leanea Well-Known Member

    Thanks! How should I make it grippable?
     
  9. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    You can spread some white glue on a piece of plywood and then sprinkle sand and grit in the wet glue.
     
  10. Leanea

    Leanea Well-Known Member

    That's probably the easiest idea of my whole design lol
     
    kriminaal likes this.

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