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Bearded Dragon Enclosure Help

Discussion in 'Bearded Dragons' started by dabiddabird, May 25, 2012.

  1. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The place you get the glass from can cut it. I paid about 25 dollars for the peice in the front of my boa cage. Plexiglass will be much more expensive.

    If you have a substrate it will be an ongoing battle to keep it out of the tracks.
    Not really. The bowing will be in the center of the panel and having support on one side will not make much difference.

    3/4 of an inch isn't much overlap. I would go at least 3-4 inches
    Coloring and sealing are two different products. For the color on mine I use Minwax stain, color is "Colonial Maple", followed by several coats of minwax Polycrylic.

    I have seen some very nice enclosures made from both cedar and pine. The sealant encloses them.

    You have about 5 minutes after posting to edit your posts. After that its locked. This keeps people who are spouting nonsense from going back and changing their posts to deny it.

    Actually polycrylic is safe a few days after it is dry. Thats one of the reasons we recommend it over oil based polyurethane. Thats the stuff that takes weeks before its useable.
  2. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    I would avoid hinging the door(s) from the bottom. I would use either side mounted hinges, pivot/glass door hinges (what I use) or a sliding door track. I would also recommend tiling the bottom of the enclosure, which not only makes for a great solid substrate but also looks great. Just get the tile precut to fit, add a dollop of 100% silicone without mold inhibitors to the bottom of each and then a tight bead around the perimeter and in the gaps to seal and fix the tiles. Allow 12-48 hours for the silicone to cure and voila.

    To give you an idea...
    And finished...

    Attached Files:

  3. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Matt, that is truely a piece of art! :x
  4. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    haha Thanks, Michele--just built another one a couple days ago :D
  5. Wolfbandit

    Wolfbandit Elite Member

    I really like the two opening doors. How exactly did you do them? Did you use magnets? What kinds? What kind of hinges? (links?)

    I got the enclosure cut for me today (Home Depot is awesome ;D ) and I purchased the stain/sealer (thank you for the type recommendation! I was standing in the isle incredibly confused!) so I can start staining it and sealing it. I also purchased a vent to install on the 'cool' side of the enclosure.

    What type of light fixture did you use and do you have a link? I walked around Home Depot for about an hour looking for something to use as a track and the heat light fixture and we could not find a 'complete' set anywhere. We could find the case, but we couldn't find one with the electrical work =/

    Thanks so much guys for all of the help! Lucy is going to be spoiled rotten once this is complete.

    Side note about the tiles, I just don't have the budget right now for tiles. However, I will be installing them in the future.
  6. DragonsKeepers

    DragonsKeepers Subscribed User Premium Member

    Matt - That is cool - Can you tell me how you created the background? I like that idea a lot. Great job!
  7. dabiddabird

    dabiddabird Elite Member

    What dimensions did you have then cut for you? I had eone employee telling me they don't do precision cuts so I'm not sure they'll cut for me
  8. Wolfbandit

    Wolfbandit Elite Member

    They cut out every piece I needed (basically what was drawn out on here). I asked Lowes and they laughed at me like I was an idiot. So I went across the street to home depot and they were more than happy to, especially after I told them how rude Lowes was.
  9. OldCorps

    OldCorps Member

    "I walked around Home Depot for about an hour looking for something to use as a track..."

    I just went through the same exercise for the enclosure I'm building. Couldn't find anything satisfactory, so found the following website. Very large selection. The shipping is somewhat ridiculous, but the product prices are quite good, as is the product. I ordered the rails last thursday evening, and had them Monday afternoon.

    Track Kit #3 | 1/4 inch door track | Sliding Door Track Kits | Sliding Door Track & Hardware | Complete Cabinet Hardware
  10. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    The double doors allow full access to the enclosure at once, as opposed to having access to only half when using sliding doors. I used pivot/glass door hinges for the plexi (lighter than glass) and a double magnetic push catch with these strike plates. As for fixtures, I used several different types depending on the lighting--I used standard porcelain keyless bulb holders for my 6500K CFL lighting (cool side ambient) and for a MVB (main basking) and an adjustable floodlight holder for an outdoor halogen (supplemental basking). The halogen is on a dimmer switch which allows me to control output/temps. The new enclosure implements a keyless for CFL ambient, an adjustable floodlight holder for an outdoor halogen (sole basking) and a 34" T5 HO fixture with an Arcadia 12% HO UVB bulb. I went with the latter setup due to the lower profile of the bottom enclosure. You can see the details here.
  11. Wolfbandit

    Wolfbandit Elite Member

    Ok, thanks. I looked up a video on youtube as to how to wire the keyless lights (that was the part I was confused about) and I also found something that will work for tracks for my enclosure. They aren't MADE to be tracks, but when I'm done with them, they will be. 8D

    Now I just need to find someone to cut the glass for me without charging me an arm and a leg. Ace hardware didn't have glass, and the plexiglass pieces I needed were gonna cost me 20$, and it wasn't very strong =/

    On a good note, the staining process has begun! I have one more piece to stain, but I'm waiting for le boyfriend to cut the area out for the vent first. It's gonna be a 7" x 7 3/4" vent on the cool side. I think that'll be plenty of ventilation? When I get home tonight, I'll be staining the other sides of the wood and the edges, and the piece that has the vent cut out of it.

    You guys have no idea how much your helping me! I would have NEVER attempted this before. Now, though, it seems fairly simple to do! And it is STILL gonna cost less than getting a 40 gal breeder tank, and it'll be the size I want! And It will look nice ;D
  12. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    You should be able to find sliding glass door tracks at home depot/lowes or online (grainger, mcmaster carr, amazon etc etc). They are offered in both aluminum and plastic. Also, be sure that you do not apply the clear coat until the pieces are glued and screwed/nailed together, otherwise the glue will not adhere properly. Also, if you intend on using particulate substrate ensure that the bottom front lip of the face frame is high enough (~4"), otherwise you're going to end up with substrate in the tracks, which can get annoying real quick.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Hardware stores usually won't have anything but the thin window pane glass. What you want is 1/4 inch thick.
    Call around to glass specialty shops. They should not only have the thickness but the machinery to do the cutting and polishing for you.
  14. Wolfbandit

    Wolfbandit Elite Member

    So I should put the enclosure together before using the polyacrylic on it?

    As for the door tracks, I looked and asked around home depot, lowes, and ace hardware and no one had anything. I'd love to order something, but the problem with that is I have to have this enclosure done in a very short amount of time. The bottom frame is 6" tall, so I shouldn't have an issue with substrate getting into the tracks.

    For the glass: I know home depot cuts glass. I'll have to call up there and see if they will be able to cut it for me to the sizes I need.

    I wonder how much it would cost me to have something shipped overnight... what i'm looking to use is [video=youtube;QaEfiz5XB_o][/video], what she used. Basically an aluminum channel type deal. Maybe it's going 'cheap' but I'm sure it will work. (and if it won't, I'll be ordering the piece).
  15. dabiddabird

    dabiddabird Elite Member

    What Merlin said is correct the hardware stores (home depot /Lowes) carry 16/32 thick glass much too thin. I have used the aluminum channel on one of my enclosures before and well it did work it was not very smooth. The plastic glass tracks will give you a much smoother sliding motion.

    Try calling a cabinet maker or even the glass suppliers they sometimes have the tracks for sale.
  16. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    Absolutely...unless you plan to take it apart at some point, in which case you wouldn't use glue, only screws.

    A little bit of wax in the channels solves that issue.
  17. dabiddabird

    dabiddabird Elite Member

    Question for you Vers with the swinging doors you have is there gaps around the perimeter of the glass? I like the look and easy access but am afraid of food items squeezing their way out.

    Oh also, what kind of glue did u use when assembling?
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I am going to disagree with that. I would put at least 3 coats of the polycrylic on the wood before assembly and then the final coat after it is together. That way you are sure to seal all of the surfaces.
  19. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    If you do this the glue will not attain nearly the same amount of adhesion. You do not need to seal each piece before assembly to ensure complete coverage.
  20. Vers

    Vers Elite Member

    There are 1/8" gaps around the perimeter...not nearly enough space for the animals to escape. Feeders, on the other hand, would be able to. Lucky for me the vegetable matter given to my Uromastyx is dead well before being fed :D

    In any case a simple lip or small piece of trim around the door frame would take care of any gaps.

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