Red's Arboreal Builds.

Red Eunice

Arachnodemon
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
667
So, instead of creating a new thread each time I'll just add new builds on here.
When it comes to arboreals, I personally, will build from acrylic sheets and normally 3 sizes. The size of the enclosure will determine the acrylic thickness I use. I've built using .080" up to .220", but .160",.180" are used most often. The 2 most often used thicknesses cost $65 for a full sheet (48"X96") and depending on enclosure size will yield many. IMO, .250" is overkill, costly and heavy, might as well modify an aquarium, less costly.
I use a 2 part epoxy specifically made for use on plastics and sets in 20 minutes. From sheet to finished enclosure, actual hands on time, requires less than 1 hour to build.
One DOES NOT need power equipment nor a lazer to build from scratch, although they do speed up the process. Use of a straight edge, hand clamps, a sharp edged surface, razor knife and patience, result in clean, straight cuts. I'm referencing the "score-n-snap" method, I built my first ones in this manner. I found them to be as good looking as the ones I currently build w/h power equipment.
I prefer using brass hardware for 3 reasons, durability, they're eye appealing and cost less than acrylic ones. Lowes is a 5 minute drive and always have them in stock, no S&H charges.
Well, enough of that and on to yesterday's builds. 7"X7"X15" pair, thickness .120" material, a partial sheet that was given to me. Can't pass up free acrylic, besides I've got 5 rehousings in the near future. ;)
 

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Ghost56

Arachnobaron
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
443
Looks great, but I've had a horrible time with custom acrylic lids on glass tanks warping insanely bad even with 3/16" thick acrylic. Do you have any trouble with these warping?
 

obie

Arachnosquire
Joined
Nov 8, 2014
Messages
115
I can never get straight lines when I'm dealing with acrylic and hand tools. Any tips
 

Ghost56

Arachnobaron
Joined
Aug 28, 2016
Messages
443
I can never get straight lines when I'm dealing with acrylic and hand tools. Any tips
Ditch the hand tools, and go with the score n snap method. It works way better for me than a dremel does.
 

Red Eunice

Arachnodemon
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
667
Looks great, but I've had a horrible time with custom acrylic lids on glass tanks warping insanely bad even with 3/16" thick acrylic. Do you have any trouble with these warping?
Thank you.
The first builds using .080", the doors did warp so live prey escaped, but not the occupant. Only warping thats occurred so far are the doors not on the main box. I simply affixed a strip of extruded aluminum to the doors latch side and solved the prey escapes. Had I thought ahead and used acrylic angle, they would be more eye appealing.
Photo of early build using .080" and using the aluminum stiffeners. I now use .180" acrylic when building this size enclosure, very solid and doors still seal straight.
As far as using it on the top of say an aquarium w/o a brace of sorts, will warp over time. 3/16" mics at .184" and is what I have on 5 gl. and 2.5 gl. aquariums there may be warping, but I haven't noticed it. Yet. ;)
Using acrylic horizontally, thicker is better and depending on the span may still need bracing. On a 10-20 gl. aquarium I would use either. 220" or .250" and not be concerned about warping/bowing. Also price on acrylic above .220" dramatically increases in price. Might be cheaper to have a piece of glass custom cut instead. See what I'm getting at?
 

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viper69

ArachnoGod
Old Timer
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Dec 8, 2006
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Looks nice as usual. I bet the plastic hasps are more pricey because of the oil required to make plastic..could be wrong.
 

Red Eunice

Arachnodemon
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
667
Looks nice as usual. I bet the plastic hasps are more pricey because of the oil required to make plastic..could be wrong.
Thanks.
That could very well be the reason.
2 pair of brass hinges are $1.89, hasps are $.79 each. Cheaper, I rough up the surface w/h the Dremel to aid the adhesion. No failures so far.

@Ratmosphere Thank you, they're fun to build.
 

Belegnole

Tarantula Guy
Old Timer
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Nov 30, 2005
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171
Good job, those are nice looking. I'm looking into using glass for a new build or two as I have a growing dislike for plastics.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Dec 8, 2006
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11,556
Thanks.
That could very well be the reason.
2 pair of brass hinges are $1.89, hasps are $.79 each. Cheaper, I rough up the surface w/h the Dremel to aid the adhesion. No failures so far.

@Ratmosphere Thank you, they're fun to build.
That's significant.

Funny, I thought this thread was going to be called "Red's Arboreal Ordering Service" :D
 

Xafron

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
82
@Red Eunice I am not a handyman so am not familiar with this kind of thing. Is the epoxy for attaching the sheets together after they have been cut/snapped, like aquarium glass panels? Do you or anyone have a certain kind you use? Just asking because I wonder if all of them are T safe.

Did not know about score and snap for acrylic...closest thing to what you used that I see on Lowe's website is 0.118-in x 36-in x 72-in clear acrylic sheet for about $70. Would that work fine? Is it difficult to score and snap a piece so large? Also found 0.118 x 12 x 24 cast acrylic on Amazon...if buying smaller pieces makes that easier.
 
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viper69

ArachnoGod
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Dec 8, 2006
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@Red Eunice I am not a handyman so am not familiar with this kind of thing. Is the epoxy for attaching the sheets together after they have been cut/snapped, like aquarium glass panels? Do you or anyone have a certain kind you use? Just asking because I wonder if all of them are T safe.

Did not know about score and snap for acrylic...closest thing to what you used that I see on Lowe's website is 0.118-in x 36-in x 72-in clear acrylic sheet for about $70. Would that work fine? Is it difficult to score and snap a piece so large? Also found 0.118 x 12 x 24 cast acrylic on Amazon...if buying smaller pieces makes that easier.
If you are a very good handy man, scoring will work, not the best. If you aren't that good, scoring will turn out not the greastest IME. I cut all my acrylic. Only little squres get scored by me.

@Red Eunice is definitely the go to person for arboreal building. It's just a matter of time before the web has "Red's Emporium- Arboreals and More" :D
 

Xafron

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
82
score-n-snap
If you are a very good handy man, scoring will work, not the best. If you aren't that good, scoring will turn out not the greastest IME. I cut all my acrylic. Only little squres get scored by me.

@Red Eunice is definitely the go to person for arboreal building. It's just a matter of time before the web has "Red's Emporium- Arboreals and More" :D
@viper69 what is your method for cutting exactly? Do you use the little saw on the dremel or something else? Was looking at dremels and theres a one-speed for like $30 bucks.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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@viper69 what is your method for cutting exactly? Do you use the little saw on the dremel or something else? Was looking at dremels and theres a one-speed for like $30 bucks.
DO NOT get the 1 speed model. I use a coping saw for some pieces, and a Dremel for others.

You will find a Dremel spins at RPMs that basically melt acrylic, it appears you are cutting, tech. you aren't, you are melting. A 1 speed model would not be useful, you need the variable speed.

@EulersK is a DREMEL PRO, he has experimented far more than I have with it. He's the go to person more so than me IMO.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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@viper69 what is your method for cutting exactly? Do you use the little saw on the dremel or something else? Was looking at dremels and theres a one-speed for like $30 bucks.
Yeah, what viper said, don't get the single speed model. I use a two speed model (15k and 30k RPM), and it works just fine. It was about $50 and it came with a bit set of everything you'll need.

Do not use the saw blades or diamond cutoff wheels! They both crack acrylic. Use the fiberglass cutoff wheels and set your speed to 30k. You'll have to cut pretty slowly, but a steady hand will give you a decent cut. It's nowhere near precise enough to build solid acrylic enclosures, but it's more than good enough to create lids for modifying screen tops or plastic bins. I have an in-depth tutorial on my YouTube channel; I won't put it here because I don't want to hijack a thread, but it's in the video where I make enclosures out of Really Useful Boxes.
 

viper69

ArachnoGod
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Messages
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Yeah, what viper said, don't get the single speed model. I use a two speed model (15k and 30k RPM), and it works just fine. It was about $50 and it came with a bit set of everything you'll need.

Do not use the saw blades or diamond cutoff wheels! They both crack acrylic. Use the fiberglass cutoff wheels and set your speed to 30k. You'll have to cut pretty slowly, but a steady hand will give you a decent cut. It's nowhere near precise enough to build solid acrylic enclosures, but it's more than good enough to create lids for modifying screen tops or plastic bins. I have an in-depth tutorial on my YouTube channel; I won't put it here because I don't want to hijack a thread, but it's in the video where I make enclosures out of Really Useful Boxes.

Maybe make a specific video on the Dremel itself, and why one may use it, plus/minus etc. I forget if you have made exactly one on that. I don't recall what was in the RUB lid cutting box, hence this reply.
 

EulersK

Arachnonomicon
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3,290
Maybe make a specific video on the Dremel itself, and why one may use it, plus/minus etc. I forget if you have made exactly one on that. I don't recall what was in the RUB lid cutting box, hence this reply.
Yeah, I went over very basic stuff with the Dremel in that video. I really should make a dedicated Dremel video, you're right. Such a great tool for this hobby.
 

Xafron

Arachnosquire
Joined
Apr 5, 2017
Messages
82
Yeah, I went over very basic stuff with the Dremel in that video. I really should make a dedicated Dremel video, you're right. Such a great tool for this hobby.
I would love that. The model number you use too would be nice.
 
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