Dalle Craft Enclosure Review

MetalMan2004

Arachnodemon
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
681
After my search for cheap materials to make nice looking enclosures was a bit of a bust, I broke down and bought a Dalle Craft enclosure for a whopping $28. It is the 9.5"x9.5"x9.5" size. It was requested that I let people know what I think since there isn't too much out there on them.

I'll start by saying that the cheapest I was able to easily source materials for a single enclosure of similar size from scratch would have been $35-$40. It would have been cheaper if I wanted to make several enclosures at a time, but at this point I can only convince the wife I need one more T... so far anyways.

The acrylic is 1/8" which is thinner than I would have bought if I were to make an enclosure myself. The construction method Dalle Craft used seems to give it more strength though. Each of the six sides fits together in a peg and slot type manner, kind of like a 3D puzzle. Then several flat acrylic pins are inserted and the whole thing is held together with screws and nuts. There seems to be no need to worry about warpage because the pieces are inserted into each other instead of glued/ melted/ epoxied together.

It went together in an hour and 15 minutes. Maybe half of that was spent peeling the protective paper off of small parts. The only tool needed per the instructions was a screwdriver. I used a pair of needlenose pliers as well to hold the nuts. I'm thinking about hot glueing around the inside of the bottom edge because its far from water tight.

All in all it seems pretty sturdy for what it is. There is LOTS of ventilation.

There are two potential drwabacks. First, there is no hasp for a lock and key. I'm sure that for a couple of bucks I can find a hasp that I could glue on if needed. Second, the screws all point to the inside of the enclosure and stick out just a little bit. They don't seem sharp or anything but I may put a dab of hot clue on top of them just in case. Link to the item I bought is here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01H...craft+acrylic+reptile+terrarium&pi=SY200_QL40

I'll post pictures tomorrow and will let everyone know what I think once I've used it for a while. Now its time to buy a new T!
 

sdsnybny

Arachnogeek
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
1,332
I have one of these, the small @ 6" cube. It was given to me, after looking it over good I wouldn't pay that much for it. It will loosen up at all the joints and as stated isn't waterproof. I put it together then took acrylic glue to all the edges. Now it is very stable, but there are better options out there if you can use a hand saw and acrylic glue for about half the price. check these threads on DIY enclosures.

http://arachnoboards.com/threads/cheap-enclosure-8-16-9-x4-x4.280587/
http://arachnoboards.com/threads/enclosure-making-time.289632/
 

MetalMan2004

Arachnodemon
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
681
Sdsnybny, believe me I read these theeads and plenty others before decidingn to go this way. Keep in mind I only need one unit at this point not 5 or ten. My main objective was to procure a somewhat nice-looking enclosure for as cheap as possible for an adult sized T.

By far the most expensive part is the acrylic. I have yet to find an acrylic box that can givd me the dimensions I really wanted. The 9"x5"x5" in the link above isn't going to hold the same T that can fit in the 9.5"x9.5"x9.5" enclosure that I bought.

Trenor's thread is very good and I was pretty impressed. However, once again the price does not add up for 1 unit. If you need 6 of them I am sure it is cheaper, but My wife doesn't think I need 6 of them (yet). Based on the links in his thread here are the costs for one:

Acrylic box: $14.90
Glue: $7.32
Hasp: $17.99
Hinge: $7.99 (didn't see a link for this in his post but thatsthe cheapest I see on Amazon).
Total: $48.20 for a single enclosure.

That is definitely not saving me any money, and I would probably add to the cost using trial and error since its my first time working with acrylic.
 
Last edited:

MetalMan2004

Arachnodemon
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
681
So I was curious to crunch the numbers on making several of Trenor's enclosures so here goes.

4 pack of deep shoe boxes: $49.99
Glue: $7.32 (I assume you could get 4 enclosures out of one tube)
Hasps: $17.99 per 6 pack
Hinges: $7.99 for 12
Total: $83.29/ 4= $20.82 per enclosure

You would have a couple of pieces left to build more enclosures with, and if you did the price would go down even more. I still don't know bow you make just one for this price though.
 

sdsnybny

Arachnogeek
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
1,332
The first link shows items from Hobby Lobby that can be bought as individual items with a printable 40% off a single item coupon. Post #9 shows 4 diff version/sizes, one of which is a 10x10x10 [3.) Basketball/Soccer Display Case (10x10x10) - item # 347344 - 19.99] Further along in the thread there is a downloadable/printable PDF file with great instructions and printable templates for the DIY
Total for the 10x10x10 enclosure would be closer to $25

So the same size container would be $11.99 using the coupon
Hasps, hinges, and glue can be bought from E-bay cheap as individual pieces
Hasp $2.99 shipping included
http://www.ebay.com/itm/CLEAR-1-X-2...813278?hash=item27d8ba4f9e:g:XwsAAOxyyjpRwK-t
Hinges (pick your size) $1.89-$3.29ea shipping included
http://www.ebay.com/itm/10X-3-Sizes...hash=item3ac8a74774:m:m2mYF8DU2NzAdpHXqMyjD-A
Acrylic cement $7.10 shipping included
http://www.ebay.com/itm/SCIGRIP-16-...952131?hash=item51ebc5af03:g:pkAAAOSwTA9X4l~h
 

MetalMan2004

Arachnodemon
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
681
Here is the math using your links then:
Box: $11.99
Hasp: 2.99
Hinges: $2.39x2= $4.78
Cement: $7.10
Total: $26.86

So I can save $1.14 and spend an extra hour in the garage to get the same thing that I bought and assembled while watching tv and drinking a beer. Everyone seems to be convinced that this saves money so I can't help but think I'm missingn something, but what is it?
 

sdsnybny

Arachnogeek
Arachnosupporter
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
1,332
Unfortunately the total cost of cement is what kills it when only doing one enclosure. If you were doing multiples that would make it much cheaper as that much glue will do dozens of enclosures. If you need to waterproof the Dalle enclosure are you going to add the total cost of a full tube of silicone used to one container purchase?
 

MetalMan2004

Arachnodemon
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
681
I figured I'd just use some hot glue around the bottom. If the hot glue doesn't work and I have to buy silicone then yes I will add the cost of the entire tube.

I think the conclusion we are both making here (at least it seems that way) is that it is plenty cheaper to make your own if you need several. If you only need one, I think the Dalle Craft is a pretty good deal.
 

Red Eunice

Arachnodemon
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
667
I think the conclusion we are both making here (at least it seems that way) is that it is plenty cheaper to make your own if you need several. If you only need one, I think the Dalle Craft is a pretty good deal.
Agreed.
Depending on the number of enclosures one needs.
Once your collection increases, most do, more enclosures and space is needed.
I've seen few, very few, keepers that build their own from scratch. Most just modify a container to suit their needs and are happy with the results. Absolutely nothing wrong in doing so. Some of which are more appealing than the overpriced "custom" ones offered online. IMO
Trenor's, modded containers are a good example of this. The only thing I would have done differently is the cutting of the lid. He used a table saw resulting in a wider cut than using a band saw. These are for larger Ts, so the resulting gaps won't lead to an escape. Live prey..... maybe.
Another item is available equipment, not everyone has or access to, tablesaw, bandsaw, router bench, drill press and etc. Mine are so old that I don't consider them in the cost of a build. Lol!
Time can be part of the equation, cost wise, that is. @MetalMan2004, 1+ hours to ready and assemble your 1st kit. Betting the next one will take less than 30 minutes. ;)
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
11,672
but at this point I can only convince the wife I need one more T...
Are you able to disassemble with relative easy and reassemble the container if needed?

Thanks for the review, most helpful. See I think you are looking at this from the wrong perspective. It isn't the issue of materials that is costing you, rather preventing you from saving money on builds, it's your wife.

You really need to trade her in for the 2017 model. I heard they fixed that non-compliance issue in their programming so your life isn't like HBO's Westworld. :wacky:
 

MetalMan2004

Arachnodemon
Joined
Oct 14, 2016
Messages
681
You can indeed unscrew everything and disassemble it. I would think that once you see how it goes together the first time it wouldn't be hard to reassemble without the instructions. There are a lot of little pieces but the concept is pretty simple.

I did put some hot glue over the bottom screws and around the corners so it might be a bit more difficult for me at this point. Rubbing alcohol gets rid of hot glue surprisingly easy though if need be.

I don't think I'll need to trade in for the new model wife, as she is coming around much quicker than I expected. Then again it helped that I owned a G Rosea back in college when I met her so she knew what she was getting into.
 
Top