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Lid Cover?

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by TitoAndKatt, Apr 14, 2013.

  1. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    It looks like I am probably going to be moving in a few weeks. The place I am moving into is much drier (if that is even possible!) than my current house. The heating system just fries every last drop of moisture out of the air. I need to come up with a way to seal Shiiva's tank to keep the humidity in better (heat isn't a problem). She is in a 40 breeder and the lid that I have is a metal screen that folds in half to open. (Held down by cage clips). I need something that is thin so I can still open the cage all of the way, that will be ruined by water exposure (I can seal if needed), a material that is relatively easy to work with (I only have basic construction tools - jig saw, drill, sander), and ideally something that will not catch on fire or melt near the heat lamps. I have a few ideas of my own, but I was hoping perhaps someone here might have some better suggestions. :)

    My plan is to cover about 3/4 of the screen. The other 1/4 will be open for the heat lights (Right now she has a light and a CHE). In the covered portion I would like to cut a small hole to allow a hose to be secured for the humidifier. I have a fogger, but it broke quickly and I feel certain that if I buy a new one that will break too. What I am hoping to do is to modify my humidifier to attach it to a hose that can feed into her tank via the hose attached to the screen lid. I also do not intend to cut big holes in the screen itself, and any drilling into the screen should be kept to a minimum (though I sexpect some will be necessary to secure it). I don't want to mess the lid up or have the potential for wire edges that Shiiva might cut herself on.

    I do have some spare plexi glass scraps, but that is so easy to scratch and crack. I can also paint and varnish wood if that is the best option, I just worry about it getting too close to the heat lamps (esp when I open the cage and keep it open for a little bit to clean it). Money is not a big issue right now, but I don't want something drastically expensive of course. I would even be willing to pay someone to make it, but shipping would be an arm and a leg.
     
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Kitty, good to see you posting again, even if it isn`t a very hard question... ;)
    The easiest way will be to simply cover the screen with something (plexiglass or sealed 1/2inch plywood), that way you just lift it off.
    I think you must cover the whole thing, otherwise much of the humidity will still escape.
    I`ll make it for you and drop it round this evening.... (saves on shipping)....:-"
     
  3. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    lol Well I can't cover the whole thing, because her heat lamps need a place to sit. I would also like to attach it if possible so it doesn't slide off every time I open her cage. Sealed plywood or plexi have been my only 2 good ideas too. Plywood might be too thick though to open the cage fully, and plexi is a pain to work with! :p I'm thinking Plywood might be the better of the 2 choices. I can paint it black and seal it so it will look nice and be water proof. I'm not sure of the best way to attach it to the screen though.
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Yes you can cover the whole thing, you simply make a frame that fits around the outside of the screen which is nailed/screwed to the piece of plywood (in other words a separate lid).
    Measure the outside edge at the top, use 2 x 1inch softwood as the frame, it means the wooden top simply drops in place (draw around the ceramic bulb holders so the cut out holes are nice and tight), obviously you would have to unplug from the sockets to remove the lid each time. If I haven`t made it too clear I`ll do a sketch and email it you..
    EDIT: Kitty you wouldn`t need to unplug, just lift the bulbs up out of the way a second while you take the wooden top bit off (easy)!
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  5. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    The cage screen is hinged in the middle. You can see what I mean here:
    [​IMG]

    I don't want to have to turn the lights on and off every time I open the cage, nor do I want to have to remove them. That's the whole reason I bought the folding lid in the first place. ;) My goal is to completely cover the front half of the lid. Then the back half I will cover the portion that does not have the lights on it and make a hole for the humidifier hose. I know it won't be sealed, but I want her to get air flow still anyways, and it will at least hold a lot more of the humidity in.

    Don't mind the mouse cage in the foreground. ;)
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    O.k, now it`s clear, so forget everything I said, it`s of no use, another letdown for me.... :(((
    You can still cover the back part which has the lighting, doing almost what I suggested, here`s what I mean by a frame, then on top you fit the piece of plywood with the holes cut out and no need to remove anything: Instead of the 4 pieces you only need 3 (the back piece and two sides), when the ply is nailed on it will be very sturdy (trust me, Kattriiiiinnnaaaa). So as I said, it simply sits on top. then maybe cover the front part with a piece of plexiglass, again, just resting there.
    8648793111_91258afab2.jpg
    10_1370 by murrindindi

    Another edit: You can glue a piece of plexi or thin plywood to the front half, it will still fold back.
     

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    Last edited: Apr 14, 2013
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    In my tiny mind this was such a simple problem, so where did it all go wrong, Blondie????? :-&
     
  8. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    lol your image didn't work
     
  9. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    The second suggestion will work, just using the back and two side pieces of 2 x 1inch sortwood, as I say, nailing the the plywood on will make it very firm, no need to fix the corners together (as in a picure frame). I would use small screws to fix a piece of plywood on top of the screen on the front half (screw from below the screen to fix in place). You built Tito`s giant enclosure, I`m sure you can manage this!!!





















    (Well almost sure)..... :-"
     
  10. RomanLA

    RomanLA Elite Member

    I used aluminum foil and packing tape, but it looked pretty tacky. I bought a sheet of coroplast (plastic cardboard) at Home Depot and used it to make a cover for the lid. I cut an opening for my UV light and left one end open to move my heat lamp back and forth when opening the cage. It has a melting temperature of 600F, but I set a heat lamp on it one time and it warped a little.

    coroplast+lid.jpg
     

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