Custom Enclosure Base?

Tihshho

Established Member
Went ahead and built a few custom screen enclosures that are semi clones of what's on the market, just in different dimensions. Only issue I'm running into right now are finding materials to use as the base of the enclosure. I'm not looking to get these enclosures setup as bioactive with a planter as I'm using them for QT purposes and baby grow outs. Ideally, I'd like to find a material that the consumer cages use. Initially I was going to use HPDE (cutting board type material), but my sources for it were going to take a few weeks to get a few 4'x8' sheets shipped and the shipping costs drove that option out unless I decided to make it worth while and order in bulk.

Now I'm looking at what the local hardware stores carry/can get and it's limited to corrugated plastic (to thin and flimsy), to foam PVC sheets that are on the thicker side (~1/4") to PVC board which is thicker (~.375".) I'm unfamiliar with the foam PVC board and it doesn't sound sturdy. Anyone use this stuff before? The PVC board seems like a solid option, it's just smaller sqft sheets for a higher cost, but I'm thinking they may be more durable, just like the foam PVC board I have no experience with this material.

Any input on this would be greatly useful!
 

Tihshho

Established Member
Considered it, the epoxies I've looked into that don't reabsorb moisture will require a mold to retain the core in place and then allow 3/8-1/4" of epoxy to encapsulate it. To mix up that much epoxy for something to cover a 24x24 or 18x18 core gets costly. At that point I'd rather just go with a material that just needs to be cut.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
2 gallons will cover 44sqft in 1/8” epoxy. No reabsorbing, no molds and you could easily drop the drains in after. But it’s your build, do what you want...

Anxious to see how it turns out.
 

Tihshho

Established Member
What brand of epoxy are you talking about? I'm curious to look more into it. Again, I'm sticking with stuff that I can readily get at a hardware store.
 

Tihshho

Established Member
Gotcha. That's what I thought, every epoxy product at your box hardware store isn't cost efficient as this stuff you mentioned. For a second I was hoping I overlooked something on a shelf.

I was considering acrylic, but it ends up bowing with weight and heat. Only other option I'm contemplating is going with glass. Would make it easy to clean, just adds the point of being fragile.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
epoxy product at your box hardware store
Never go to a hardware store for epoxy, ridiculously expensive, poor quality.

Crystal Clear Bar Table Top Epoxy... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M1RAW6D?ref=ppx_pop_mob_ap_share
064E78C6-786E-4F6E-BC75-DE4A8AB7C9BB.png
 

Tihshho

Established Member
Initially the scope for the enclosures was to write up a DIY on how to build your own enclosure for those who have and/or are looking to get multiple chams or are breeding and need to build multiple enclosures. Having a simple and attainable Bill Of Materials (BOM) that include items that anyone with one of the big box stores (at least in the US) could use makes this fairly universal. Nothing so far has required a significant investment in tools, so anyone can theoretically build multiple enclosures for the cost of one boxed one.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Initially the scope for the enclosures was to write up a DIY on how to build your own enclosure for those who have and/or are looking to get multiple chams or are breeding and need to build multiple enclosures. Having a simple and attainable Bill Of Materials (BOM) that include items that anyone with one of the big box stores (at least in the US) could use makes this fairly universal. Nothing so far has required a significant investment in tools, so anyone can theoretically build multiple enclosures for the cost of one boxed one.
Are you limited on thickness? The do sell epoxy based paints, or any 'exterior' grade paint and a piece of plywood.

I've used/use PVC in my "holidng/quarantine" cages. I put laybins and plants in there and they hold up just fine. Worst case, you can double them up.

Not sure how much weight you need it to support, but chances are the weight will distort you cage if the PVC wont hold it. I'm fairly certain one of the brands (or more) uses the PVC bottoms.

I've actually used "rigid insulation" in a few of my bottoms and cut out for plants. Then drilled a few holes for drainage. There's a TON of options based on any specific need...
 

Tihshho

Established Member
I'd like to stick to around 1/4" thickness.

The only weight u see this supporting is a potted plant or two.
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
I'd like to stick to around 1/4" thickness.

The only weight u see this supporting is a potted plant or two.
I have quite a large potted plant in my screened viv that hangs off the wall...

15742850037831503857952635398719.jpg

Paper towels for size reference.

I have a mister and a dropped for her, so the plant is full saturated, quite heavy. The PVC is maybe 1/8"-3/16... not exactly sure but it's well under 1/4".
 

Hashtag ChamLife

Avid Member
Perfect! Do you remember where you got it?
I want to say I found it at home depot or ACE. I personally LOVE Ace for hardware stores... they just have a different set of stuff. That being said, it has been quite some time. I do know HD sells FRP, which is a little pricey and not quite as sturdy. I am in and out of Hardware shops all the time for work. I can remember finding stuff, just not specifically where.
 

Tihshho

Established Member
ACE is one of my go to stops as I have one less than 10 minutes away. Sadly I called them before I posted this and one of the guys who knows their inventory said they didn't have anything in that was sheet PVC. Closest they had were corrugated plastic sheets.

I've got to run to the town that has a Lowe's later this evening anyways so I'll look again as I need to pickup some aluminum screen. Anyone have any tips for rolling in the spline and keeping the screens from warping?
 

JackRipper

Avid Member
Lows has it all. I finally found the perfect square pots there and for less than I seen online plus was able to pull out my measuring tape and see for myself exact measurements before purchase. They diddnt really have any hi pressure diaphragm pumps for indoor misting sytems but you can get a good one online for under 25 bucks.
 

Tihshho

Established Member
I was looking at the DIY misting systems, but decided to keep things simple and repurpose the mistaking I already had. That said though, I did have a wicked Raspberry Pi controller in the works...
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Initially the scope for the enclosures was to write up a DIY on how to build your own enclosure for those who have and/or are looking to get multiple chams or are breeding and need to build multiple enclosures. Having a simple and attainable Bill Of Materials (BOM) that include items that anyone with one of the big box stores (at least in the US) could use makes this fairly universal. Nothing so far has required a significant investment in tools, so anyone can theoretically build multiple enclosures for the cost of one boxed one.
Well I may be just a little bias since I do own and run a small Live Edge and Epoxy business, we build high end furniture. If you did decide to incorporate the epoxy, and wanted my input, Id gladly break it down into super simple steps for you that anyone can follow.

Cant wait to see what you come up with.
 
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