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  #1  
Old 11-05-2006, 07:18 PM
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Post How to build 4x2 enclosure for $100

Hey guys,
I used this guide to make my own enclosure. Worked out great! (Reference source Striking Serpents).
"Supplies
To build this cage you will need the following tools and supplies:
2 sheets of 2ft by 4ft 3/4 inch melamine*
2 sheets of 1 ft by 4ft 3/4 inch melamine*
2 sheets of 1 ft by 2 ft 3/4 inch melamine shelving*
Glass Track - Rockler.Com
2 sheets of 1/4 inch glass cut to 25 inches by 8 inches
Vents
Liquid Nails
Squeeze tube of White bathroom caulk
1 5/8 inch #6 drywall/multi purpose Screws - pre-drilling is not needed if these screws are used
Plastic screw covers(Optional)
Drill
Saw
Clamps
Screwdriver
Hammer
A helper - its easier to hold and screw with an extra set of hands
*Melamine can be purchased at Lowe's or Home Depot in pre-cut sizes

Step One - Cut Top & Bottom
We designed this cage to be easy to build by making as few cuts as possible. There are better ways to join the sides of the cage but they would be more difficult. Because the sides of the cage will be screwed to the end of the top and bottom the top and bottom will need 1 1/2 inches cut off of them to allow the back to be long enough to cover the side boards. So measure 1 1/2 inches on each of the 4ft by 2ft sheets and cut them. Here is a pic that shows the line we drew on ours...

Step Two Screw On Sides
Screw the sides to the outside end of the bottom...


Step Three - Screw on Back
Screw the back to the sides and bottom...

Step Four Screw In Top
Place the top between the sides and screw it in place...

Flip it over and screw the back to the top...

Now your cage should look like this...

Step Five - Litter Dam
Cut a 2 inch by 4 ft strip from the remaining piece of 4 ft by 1ft melamine for the litter dam. Put the litter dam in place and screw it in from each end...

Flip over the cage and screw in the litter dam from the bottom...

Step Six - Vents
We prefer using a lot of ventilation because we heat our room to 80F. We put four inch vents at each end and a two inch vent in the back at each end. There is also some ventilation between the glass. This part of the building process is up to you, your snakes needs, and your room temperature. Keep in mind that the more ventilation you have the harder it will be to keep temperatures and humidity high. Choose your vent size wisely.


Push the vents in from the inside out. This way the snake can't push the vents out and there are no rough edges for them to rub on.
Step Seven - Caulk
Make sure you use bathroom caulk that resists mold and mildew. The cage must be clean for the caulk to stick well and to esure that debris does not get stuck in the caulk. Clean out all of the debris from inside the cage. We use compressed air and then wipe out the cage thoroughly. Caulk all the inside edges with the squeeze tube of bathroom caulk...

Step Eight - Glass Track
Cut 1 1/2 inches off of the glass track. Place a bead of liquid nails down the glass track and stick it in place. We have found that it stick better if you wiggle it back and forth for awhile and then clamp it. This stuff really does stick like nails!

Step Nine - Trim
Using a clothes iron carefully iron on the melamine trim. The trim will adhere better if is pressed on after heating using a dowel or round screw driver...


Now at each end you can tap on the plastic screw covers...


Step Ten - Install Glass
Push the first piece of glass into the top back h channel and drop it into the bottom back channel. Then do the same with the second piece of glass in the front channel. You can then stick the adhesive handles on the center of the glass at each end of the cage. These adhesive handles can be purchased at any glass cutting or cabinet supply shop.

Heating
These cages can be heated with radiant heat panels, flewatt heat tape, or any other type of heat mat. We stack our cages and put a 1/4 inch gap between them. If a gap is not used the heat tape may get too hot or malfunction causing a fire. We use two feet of 11 inch heat tape running from front to back at the far end of the cage."
Hope this helps some people it sure helped me.
-Pete
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Last edited by natas; 11-28-2006 at 07:03 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-05-2006, 07:24 PM
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Gee, that looked easier then mine.
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:35 PM
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Holds up real good if you calk all the inner seems. Wipes clean easy too.
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:50 PM
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hm. I'll have to try that ; )
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Old 11-05-2006, 07:52 PM
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ya melamine is like counter top material.. just need to make sure you seal any ends that arent white, any extra holes you drill for wiring, and the joints.
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  #6  
Old 11-05-2006, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sanman View Post
I am going to have to give it a try
cool, remember to post pics of it
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:56 PM
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Moved to the how-to section.

Great article!!
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Old 11-28-2006, 09:45 PM
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i'm guessing this basic principle would work for a smaller enclosure as well?
I really need to marry some rich person so I can have a million snakes.
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Old 12-24-2006, 05:24 AM
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I'm going to build one of these after the new year. I'm glad I checked this thread out. My borneo will love a cage like this. I'll make two, might as well have one for my BP too.

Last edited by toker; 08-30-2007 at 03:10 PM.
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  #10  
Old 12-27-2006, 07:52 AM
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great article, the picture is good to of the set up. I got a kick out of the top cage with the boa trying to hide its large body under the little bucket hide...LOL
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Old 01-15-2007, 05:01 AM
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Love it! I want to give it a try.. maybe i will build one for a friend or something sometime lol
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:06 AM
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Can somebody help me with drilling into melamine?
I always strip the screws/
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Old 01-25-2007, 01:21 AM
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I got most of those supplies around my house
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Old 03-04-2007, 01:42 AM
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Wow, Great enclosure. What do you house in there and how big of snake/s?
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Old 03-05-2007, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gaujo View Post
Can somebody help me with drilling into melamine?
I always strip the screws/
The best way to stop from stripping the screws is to pre drill a small hole first before screwing in the screw..
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Old 06-15-2007, 04:51 AM
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Re: How to build 4x2 enclosure for $100

where did u find the liquid nails. never seen that before
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:43 AM
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Re: How to build 4x2 enclosure for $100

Liquid nails can generally found at any hardware store. I have usually found it by the rest of the caulk. If you can't find it there, just ask. I know Menards by me has it by the caulk, and in the building supplies department, so ther may be multiple locations.
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:45 AM
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Re: How to build 4x2 enclosure for $100

thanks!
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Last edited by rey; 06-16-2007 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 06-16-2007, 03:48 AM
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Re: How to build 4x2 enclosure for $100

btw... is it only me, but the images for step 2 dont appear.



Step Two Screw On Sides
Screw the sides to the outside end of the bottom...
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Old 06-16-2007, 04:00 AM
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Re: How to build 4x2 enclosure for $100

I didn't get them either, but You should be able to get the gist of what's going on from the rest of the pics after those two.
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