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  1. #1
    mecoat is offline Junior member
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    Default How to make your own vivarium, with removable floor for easy cleaning


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    The problem – to find a vivarium of maximum size to fit a specific space in a small flat.
    The solution – make one!

    I've popped a picture of our final viv in so you can see what it looks like.

    We wanted a viv to fit in a space 935mm wide by 500 deep by 415 high. Contiboard is available in 457mm, so that was the width board we used, and therefore the depth of the viv. Allowing a little space to slide the viv in, and for cables etc, we decided on 910 wide by 400 high.

    To make your own you will need:
    Contiboard– cut to size (how to calculate sizes shown below)
    Faced hardboard for the back
    Track for the doors
    Doors of glass or acrylic (we recommend you measure these when the viv is assembled)
    Two small pieces of plywood, or hard wood, as catches
    Screws
    PVA wood glue
    Glue to fit track
    Water-based varnish, or iron-on edging strip to seal cut ends of Contiboard
    Panel pins
    Drill
    Screwdriver
    Try square
    Pin hammer
    All appropriate heat mats, CHEs/Lights, hides for your gecko and fittings
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    Last edited by mecoat; 02-10-2013 at 07:39 AM.

  2. #2
    mecoat is offline Junior member
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    1. Decide on the size of your finished vivarium. These measurements will be called W [910 for us], D [457 for us, width of Contiboard], and H [400 for us]. The other important measurement is the thickness of the board, called T, which is usually 15mm.
    2. Cut pieces as follows. It is important that all cuts are exactly at right angles:
    a. 1 x top of full width Contiboard = W long [910]
    b. 2 x sides of full width Contiboard = (H – T) long [400 – 15 = 385]
    c. 1 x floor of full width Contiboard = (W – twice T – 1mm) long [910 – 15 – 15 – 1 = 879] [Note: If you plan to seal the cut ends with iron-on strip, you will need to allow for this when calculating the measurement. The finished floor must be a good fit, see instruction 4 below]
    d. 1 x back of faced hardboard = W x H [910 x 400]
    e. 3 x struts of Contiboard = (W – twice T) x 30 [880 x 30]
    f. 1 x strut of Contiboard = (W – four times T) x 30 [850 x 30]
    g. 2 x struts of Contiboard = (D – T) x 30 [457 – 15 = 442 x 30]

  3. #3
    mecoat is offline Junior member
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    3. Assemble one of strut e, strut f and both of struts g, as shown.

    Drill and screw the joints. We made sure the whole viv fitted before we glued the joints, so don’t glue them yet.
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  4. #4
    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
    Elizabeth Freer is offline Senior Member
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    Cheers for your detailed share !
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

    Click:
    Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
    Health Questionnaire

    ===> URGENT: No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium EVER <===


    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Lygodactylus kimhowelli ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ P. tigrinus

  5. #5
    mecoat is offline Junior member
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    Sorry Elizabeth, had to pause for dinner. More instructions now :

    4. Fix the sides (part b) onto the ends of this frame.
    Make sure the floor (part c) is a tight fit (so mealworms can’t get between the walls and the floor) but the floor can slide in and out – this is why the floor is 1mm shorter. If the fit is not accurate, this is the time to fix it, as you won’t be able to fix it later.
    Drill and screw.
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  6. #6
    Elizabeth Freer's Avatar
    Elizabeth Freer is offline Senior Member
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    makes more sense to post on a full tummy!
    "Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass. It's about learning to dance in the rain."

    Click:
    Leopard Gecko Care Sheet
    Health Questionnaire

    ===> URGENT: No plain calcium, calcium with D3, or multivitamins inside a vivarium EVER <===


    Oedura castelnaui ~ Lepidodactylus lugubris ~ Phelsuma barbouri ~ Ptychozoon kuhli ~ Cyrtodactylus peguensis zebraicus ~ Phyllurus platurus ~ Lygodactylus kimhowelli ~ Eublepharis macularius ~ Correlophus ciliatus ~ P. tigrinus

  7. #7
    mecoat is offline Junior member
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    5. Fix the top (part a) onto the sides. Drill and screw.
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    mecoat is offline Junior member
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    6. Check the back (part d) fits the back of the case.
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  9. #9
    mecoat is offline Junior member
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    7. Your two remaining struts (part e) are for the top and bottom of the front opening. Fix one to the underside of the top at the front edge, and the other to the top of the floor at the front edge.
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  10. #10
    mecoat is offline Junior member
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    8. Make any holes you need for vents, electrics etc and fit these now. Be careful if you are putting things at one end (like the heating), check and double check they are going to be at the end you want. We were going to space the vents as though there were 3 (in case I wanted/needed another later), but leave the one at the warm end not cut out. We slipped up and cut that end out, so used some of the offcuts of hardboard to fill it. Just as well we double checked before finally putting the viv together. It would have been much more difficult to fix once put together.
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