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Wood Tank Lid

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Frognut, May 29, 2010.

  1. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    I started making a wooden tank lid for my Corn snake tank - and after just reading Ryan's tutorial: Custom Glass Tank Lid, it gave me a few additional questions and answers :))).

    1. I have a concern about placing the heat emitter directly on the hardware cloth that covers the hole cut for that purpose. Athena regularly stretches up toward the top of the tank - is there any concern about her getting burned coming in contact with the hardware cloth directly under the heat emitter dome? Technically it shouldn't be any different from her current set-up as the heat emitter is sitting directly on the screen lid -- but maybe that's a problem as well.

    2. I purchased 2-part epoxy as it was recommended as a stronger hold than just silicone (I have aquarium silicone already from other projects, but maybe that is different). I am planning on hinging the lid to the back, so I don't have to take the entire lid off everytime I want to get into the tank (it's heavy). And I'm using 2 locks just like Ryanbp used --- what do you recommend for securing the hinge to the plastic frame on the top of the tank and the locks to the glass?

    Thanks to Ryanbp, I'm not going back to the store to buy vent covers (registers) for ventilation -- just cutting two more holes and covering them with the hardware cloth. It will be easier to make and easier to adjust the amount of ventilation needed. (Cover one up if it is too much and uncovering when needed :) )

    I think I am using the same material as Ryanbp - it's 3/4" thick and covering a 75 gal tank. It was cheaper than plywood and it looked nicer. It was also more dense then the plywood - thus adding to the weight.

  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Steph,
    I read the article, he made an excellent job of it, this is what I would do myself: You mention she can stretch up towards the top where the screen will be close to the heat lamp, what if you made a cage to fit over the screen on the inside, (Merlin made one in his enclosure to go around a ceramic heat lamp), that way, it shouldn`t get too hot if she did touch the surface; she couldn`t actually pull herself up to it, so it`s like a double barrier, it only needs to be around 3 inches deep, so there`s that much space between the lamp surface and the screen cage.
    As far as fixing the hinge to the glass, why not fix a piece of timber (2 or 3 X 1 inch) to the glass, it will be a stronger grip because it goes the length of the tank and has a large surface area, and it`s fixed on the top edge at the back, so it won`t be that noticeable, then just screw the hinge to that, instead of directly to the glass as Ryan did, because he says it came unstuck. Hope that makes sense?
  3. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Okay, I was thinking about making an additional 'cage' that drops down a little from where the heat emitter -- wasn't sure how much of a drop I needed. You think 3" would be good?

    When I add the heat emitter to the inside of the Skink's tank, I'll be making an exact duplicate (to the best of my ability, that is :p) of Merlin's. I had him e-mail me the directions so I didn't have to keep searching...

    The concern about adding a wood block to the hinge that will attach to the tank - is it will not allow the hinge to be completely perpendicular to the lid ("L" shaped from the top of the lid to the back of the tank) - now I hope that makes sense.

    The tank I bought from Liz has a hinge that I think is siliconed and works great - but it is a smaller lid and MUCH lighter. That's why I was concerned about getting a solid adhesive.

    Thank you for the advice!!
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I think a 3inch (or 4 if you prefer) deep cage should be sufficient space between the lamp face and the cage, it may get quite warm, but not as hot as if the mesh were directly under the lamp.
    It`s not a wood block, it`s a length of wood 3 x 1 inch (wide and thick), as long as the tank. and yes, it WILL be perpedicular if the tank is a rectangle, the back is flat?
    Glueing that piece of wood to the glass just means you screw the hinge to the wood, instead of glueing the hinge to the glass, as Ryan did. (The top edge of the wood is glued exactly level with the top edge of the tank).
  5. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I was just thinking that you could build a box that slides over your tank, I did this to my gecko tank, I did this for keeping the heat in and also gives them more privacy. It is basicly a box that is covered on the sides and back, open in the front, bottom and top. Then you can make the box higher than the tank which will give you the extra height if you want and also a wooden frame in which to attach a hinge for your top, I would also use a piano hinge which i would buy the lenght of the top. If this sounds confusing I could take a picture of the box for you which fits oven the tank. I still don't have my top done yet though. Just a thought
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Steph I wouldn't worry too much abut the screen under the heat emitter. My emitter in the dome sits directly on the screen top of my ball pythons' enclosure, and has for years.They seem to avoid that area.
  7. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Stefan - Now I get it, unfortunately I had Home Depot cut the lid to the proper dimension, if I added the piece of wood and made the lid flush to the back, it would be too far in on the front. I measured it out.

    I'll just give it a go with the two-part epoxy and see what happens. The one good thing, the lid is too heavy for her to lift as of now (she just tried it a few minutes ago and it didn't budge :p)

    Merlin - great, thanks! I had already put the hardware cloth away before I remembered that extra piece. I feel more comfortable letting it sit -- it currently is sitting directly on the screen lid and she doesn't bother it at all. We shall see how it goes.

    Tomorrow I secure the hardware cloth to the lid with washer/screws and then silicone the edges so she won't cut herself.
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Steph, easy; you can just fix a piece of 1 x 3/4 inch beading to the edge of the lid (simply screw and glue it in place), that way it`s the same size and you CAN attach a piece on the back of the glass which would be much more secure. I mentioned using 3 x 1 inch, but maybe just 2 x 1 inch would suffice to screw the hinge to?
  9. Frognut

    Frognut Subscribed User Premium Member

    Well, dang - that would work... IF I hadn't already screwed the hinge to the lid. BUT - if it doesn't hold this way, I'll take it apart and make the extension to the lid. It WOULD give me a better surface area for adhering the hinge to the back of the tank. Thanks for the idea!

    (I'm hoping it will just work.... but I now have a plan 'B' ;) )

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