Polycarbonate and Plastic Tubs

Jeff23

Arachnolord
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Jul 27, 2016
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Does anyone have experience creating a clear polycarbonate window on their Sterilite or similar plastic tubs?

I am now using Sterilite tubs for my adult T's. I would like to have a clear window (1/4" thick) on the wide side(s). I am less concerned with appearance versus getting a nice view of the T. I must also be able to trust the glue will hold over time.

What glue would be best for polycarbonate attachment to polypropylene or polyethylene?

I am also curious if there are any concerns with warping or other problems over time.
 
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sdsnybny

Arachnogeek
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You could cut the poly-carbonate a little bigger than the viewing hole and drill small holes to attach with zip ties, nuts/bolts or rivets. A thin 1/8th thick sheet would flex enough to conform to the contours of the tub.
 

Jeff23

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Jul 27, 2016
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You could cut the poly-carbonate a little bigger than the viewing hole and drill small holes to attach with zip ties, nuts/bolts or rivets. A thin 1/8th thick sheet would flex enough to conform to the contours of the tub.
That is a good point. I haven't thought about it from that perspective. I see plastic rivets on Amazon.

I am currently really liking the size of some Sterilite tubs (16" x 10.5" x 10.1" high) that I have bought. And at a price of around $8 per tub it is quite a difference from official enclosures. They are fairly clear in that you can tell the tarantula's location and kind of what it is doing. They also provide more substrate area which is a plus for Tapinauchenius and Psalmopoeus. The one negative is that I can't enjoy the appearance of the tarantula well or take pictures. And I certainly don't want to get Tapi's out of their enclosures for a picture day. lol.
 

Red Eunice

Arachnodemon
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Mar 2, 2014
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667
12345.jpg
Glue it or screw it.
Photo of epoxy I use on arboreal builds or brass screws and .061" pilot bit.
Lowes carries nylon nuts and bolts if you want to go that route.

@Jeff23 I use Sterilite tubs (17"X11"X13") w/h my fossorial species (adults). Very sturdy, each w/h nearly 40 lbs. of topsoil and little to no bowing on the sides. I haven't modified the tops, but .180" acrylic w/h Loctite epoxy would be my choice. Lightly rough up the lid surface for better adhesion, acrylic can be smooth, have a 1/4" surface overlap. I would place the clear material ( acrylic/ poly/lexan ) on the outside surface.
 

Jeff23

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Jul 27, 2016
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View attachment 236593

Glue it or screw it.
Photo of epoxy I use on arboreal builds or brass screws and .061" pilot bit.
Lowes carries nylon nuts and bolts if you want to go that route.

@Jeff23 I use Sterilite tubs (17"X11"X13") w/h my fossorial species (adults). Very sturdy, each w/h nearly 40 lbs. of topsoil and little to no bowing on the sides. I haven't modified the tops, but .180" acrylic w/h Loctite epoxy would be my choice. Lightly rough up the lid surface for better adhesion, acrylic can be smooth, have a 1/4" surface overlap. I would place the clear material ( acrylic/ poly/lexan ) on the outside surface.
Thank you. I think I will first try it on one side of the tub and I will probably limit it to something close to the same width as my cork bark which is the best place to get a good picture and enjoy the view of my arboreal T's when opportunity permits. The tubs I am using have no curve on the side which is good. I think making a nice smooth cut on the Sterilite material will be the hardest part because I can buy the plastic sheets already pre-cut to a desired size (probably 8" x 8"). I have noticed that I can get the plastic in either Extruded or Cast. Cast appears to be better quality but may be harder to harder to work with if what I read is correct.
 

Red Eunice

Arachnodemon
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Mar 2, 2014
Messages
667
Thank you. I think I will first try it on one side of the tub and I will probably limit it to something close to the same width as my cork bark which is the best place to get a good picture and enjoy the view of my arboreal T's when opportunity permits. The tubs I am using have no curve on the side which is good. I think making a nice smooth cut on the Sterilite material will be the hardest part because I can buy the plastic sheets already pre-cut to a desired size (probably 8" x 8"). I have noticed that I can get the plastic in either Extruded or Cast. Cast appears to be better quality but may be harder to harder to work with if what I read is correct.

Buy the cast, much better IMO, little to no warping even spanning large horizontal surfaces. Cast is no harder to cut than extruded, using power tools, just an FYI. Cast is slighly more expensive, due to the manufactoring process, but structural a better material, IMO.
The tubs I've got have rounded edges. The tops have approximately a 12"X7" center area that's nearly clear. Ideal enclosures for the tenants occupying them. ;)
 

Jeff23

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Jul 27, 2016
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621
Buy the cast, much better IMO, little to no warping even spanning large horizontal surfaces. Cast is no harder to cut than extruded, using power tools, just an FYI. Cast is slighly more expensive, due to the manufactoring process, but structural a better material, IMO.
The tubs I've got have rounded edges. The tops have approximately a 12"X7" center area that's nearly clear. Ideal enclosures for the tenants occupying them. ;)
I haven't found any Sterilite that are clear like glass but mine are fairly clear. But I can't tell if fangs have hardened after molt through it. I can't attempt to check sex through it either. The sex check is where I am hurting the most. I want to offer males for breeding, but with my inexperience and failures to obtain old molt in time, my progress is slow. I don't have guesses on more than one or two of my juveniles.

Edit* I actually might be able to check fangs since this is more about color. I only have a couple T's in these and haven't got a molt yet.
 
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DrowsyLids

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Dec 4, 2016
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95
@Jeff23 did you have any luck with the project? I'm about to try something similar with either a RUB or a sterilite box
 
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