Attaching Screen - Custom Enclosure

#1
Hello everyone!

I am planning on building an outdoor enclouse 6'w x 3'd x 6'h (MOC, lol), divided up into 4 18"x36"x72" luxury apartments :) The goal here is to keep my chameleons outside full time for as long as the weather permits here in Cincinnati (hoping 6 months out of the year).

I am going to build this thing out of 2"x2" sealed with polurethane and I plan on using aluminum screening.

The thing I am struggling with is how to best attach the screen to the frame. I was thinking of using a pneumatic stapler, but am worried that the chameleons could be exposed to sharp edges. Any creative solutions to this problem from the smart folks on chameleon forums?

Thanks!
 

maxttu

New Member
#2
Hello everyone!

I am planning on building an outdoor enclouse 6'w x 3'd x 6'h (MOC, lol), divided up into 4 18"x36"x72" luxury apartments :) The goal here is to keep my chameleons outside full time for as long as the weather permits here in Cincinnati (hoping 6 months out of the year).

I am going to build this thing out of 2"x2" sealed with polurethane and I plan on using aluminum screening.

The thing I am struggling with is how to best attach the screen to the frame. I was thinking of using a pneumatic stapler, but am worried that the chameleons could be exposed to sharp edges. Any creative solutions to this problem from the smart folks on chameleon forums?

Thanks!
You could attach the screen or hardware cloth to the outside and just frame it out. Or you could do the same thing from the inside. Attach the screen and cut wood to size. Make sense?
 
#3
You could attach the screen or hardware cloth to the outside and just frame it out. Or you could do the same thing from the inside. Attach the screen and cut wood to size. Make sense?
Thanks Max... I think we are both embarking on similar projects. I want to attach the screen to the inside of the cage for cosmetic purposes (cage can be seen by neighbors). Any ideas on how to cover up the staples and rough screen edge?

So are you going to attach your screen before you build the frame or after? I would like to construct the frame, seal it, and then attach the screen. Is that how you have done it on your custom enclosures?
 

maxttu

New Member
#4
Build your frame and then attach the screen. Once the screen is attached you can either cut wood to size or go buy some trim. They sell trim at Home Depot , Lowes, etc. Frame out the screen. Cut four pieces to length and place over the edge of the screen. Am I making sense?
 

maxttu

New Member
#5


Look at this pic. Do you see the trim around the screen? I know you want to do yours from the inside, but it's the same principle. :)
 

maxttu

New Member
#6
Orrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, if this is too much work, you can always go over any of the sharp edges with a water based sealant or hot glue. :)
 

nightanole

Chameleon Enthusiast
#7
Heres what i do:

If you have a table saw, make some 1/2x1 or thicker stock. Then cut an out side grove half as thick as as the screen (or no grove if its screen door stuff). Lay the screen down flat, then screw the board to the 2x4. No exposed edges and you can make the screen super tight since you are using the entire length and not staples every few inches.

It works real well with the 1/2" spacing stuff since you cant get a good staple tightness.
 
#8
Build your frame and then attach the screen. Once the screen is attached you can either cut wood to size or go buy some trim. They sell trim at Home Depot , Lowes, etc. Frame out the screen. Cut four pieces to length and place over the edge of the screen. Am I making sense?
Thanks Max, this makes sense. The plan is coming together! :D
 
#9
What do you guys think about screen material? Hardware cloth versus aluminum screen?

I don't know if I could sleep at night worrying about invading insects getting into the cages through the hardware cloth, so I am leaning toward aluminum screen. Thoughts?
 
#10
Build your frame and then attach the screen. Once the screen is attached you can either cut wood to size or go buy some trim. They sell trim at Home Depot , Lowes, etc. Frame out the screen. Cut four pieces to length and place over the edge of the screen. Am I making sense?
Maxttu's idea is definitely the easiest and I did the screen on my cage's canopy the same way. You can build your cage's frame and cut the trim pieces to length and then while you're staining and sealing the structure you can stain and seal the trim pieces separately on a couple of saw horses. That way you can put everything together when it's finished and not have to worry about having to stain and seal everything after it's assembled and trying to masking tape everything off.

Another option would be to pick up a couple of the DIY screen frame kits from Lowes or Home Depot, cut them to the size you need, mount the screen material, and then attach them with screen/storm window clips or threaded nut inserts. That is how I did the screens on my doors and sides. It's a little more difficult but if you ever have to replace the screen it's a lot easier to swivel the clips and re-screen the frame than it is to tear apart the front of your cage. It also makes it easier for when you have to do some major cleaning since you can easily take them off and not have to clean with them in your way.

Here's a link to my last build thread that has some pictures that might help you decide: https://www.chameleonforums.com/diy-chameleon-mansion-build-102657/
 
#11
Maxttu's idea is definitely the easiest and I did the screen on my cage's canopy the same way. You can build your cage's frame and cut the trim pieces to length and then while you're staining and sealing the structure you can stain and seal the trim pieces separately on a couple of saw horses. That way you can put everything together when it's finished and not have to worry about having to stain and seal everything after it's assembled and trying to masking tape everything off.

Another option would be to pick up a couple of the DIY screen frame kits from Lowes or Home Depot, cut them to the size you need, mount the screen material, and then attach them with screen/storm window clips or threaded nut inserts. That is how I did the screens on my doors and sides. It's a little more difficult but if you ever have to replace the screen it's a lot easier to swivel the clips and re-screen the frame than it is to tear apart the front of your cage. It also makes it easier for when you have to do some major cleaning since you can easily take them off and not have to clean with them in your way.

Here's a link to my last build thread that has some pictures that might help you decide: https://www.chameleonforums.com/diy-chameleon-mansion-build-102657/
Thanks for the ideas. I saw these screen frame kits and was considering ways to utilize them. Your thread does a great job of showing how to incorporate the screen kits. I may end up going that route.
 
#12
Thanks for the ideas. I saw these screen frame kits and was considering ways to utilize them. Your thread does a great job of showing how to incorporate the screen kits. I may end up going that route.
Thanks, I'm glad I could help give you some ideas. Be sure to let us know how your cage turns out and post some pictures of how it turns out if you can.
 

Jamall

New Member
#13
I broke down a cage and am refinishing it I did not make the cage but when taking the screen off it was fastened with double sided sticky tape with flat tacks hammered into the sticky tape to give it extra weight my full grown vield hung out on the screen Ll the time no problem supporting his weight
he was a beast too one of the biggest I've ever seen
 
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