My buddy, the one whose Corn Snake I've been babysitting, finally got a new place and picked up his Corn. I enjoyed looking after the snake, but I'm very happy to see that enclosure go away. Time to build something much more efficient to take its place! After much brainstorming and some doodling I came up with a design I liked, a Triplex! Three enclosures stacked in a single unit. A total height of 27 inches, width of 33 inches, and depth of 14 inches gives each enclosure dimensions similar to a 41 quart tub, just a bit taller. They will have sliding glass doors, be lit with LED strips, and heated with 11 inch flex watt heat tape under the floor on the right side. I'll have the lights on a timer, and each enclosure can be independently thermostat controlled, or wired together on a single thermostat .
The final design concept for this build, as laid out in my notebook filled with many such plans.
The cuts drawn out on a 4x8 sheet of Birch plywood. Always awesome when a whole project can be cut from a single sheet of plywood. There are a lot of ways to draw this one up really. I drew this with the very small trim pieces in mind, small pieces can be really tough to cut with a circular saw. Remember to account for the width of your saw blade when drawing your cuts. The lines here are drawn 1/16" thick to accommodate the hollow ground, 7-1/4" x 140 tooth plywood blade on my circular saw. The first cut is a full length rip along the largest pieces, then on through the sheet (the dotted line). After the first cut start cutting the smallest trim pieces off first, it is much easier to cut small pieces off of a large piece than try to split a small piece into even smaller pieces (unless you have a nice table saw, which I do not. Yet. This project convinced me it's about time to invest in a table saw). Once all the pieces are separated, trim off the excess and you're ready to start sanding.
A pile of parts and materials. This oughta be fun. Just about everything is needed is here, save electrical tape (because I forgot) and the glass for the sliding doors. I didn't get the glass cut until the enclosure was built, just in case I needed to make adjustments along the way.
One 4x8 sheet of 3/4 inch Birch plywood
1-1/2 inch #8 wood screws
Minwax water based Polyurethane
Three feet of 11 inch heat tape
Six heat tape connectors
Extension cords (to wire the heat tape)
LED light strips
Six 2 inch drains (for ventilation)
Hardware cloth (to cover the vents)
1/2 inch #6 wood screws (to install the vents)
Silicon to install the lights, tack down the heat tape and Linoleum flooring, and seal all interior seams
Six 6 x 16 inch panes of 1/4 inch glass
Glue for the glass track (I use Liquid Nails)
Thermostat(s) for the heat tape