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Old 11-04-02, 12:38 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Racks & Enclosures!!!

Just curious...im in the process of making some of these for the up coming Toronto Reptile Expo...Would like input from you in the know as to what you would look for...ie racks...how many compartments...what materials? Enclosures..same thing...sizes etc, features?

I currently have two large enclosures ready for the show...These are white melamine...4'x2'x12"....they feature solid oak trim...solid oak doors...brass hinges, brass door opener..and brass lock set...with full sized plexi window......i wont put prices here as i am looking to sell them at the show...for a discount and this is not the place to do a for sale add.....so anyones advice would be great.....i will also entertain building stuff for ppl ahead of the show if you are looking for something...Thanks, Shane
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Old 11-04-02, 01:14 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Those sound like great pieces, but they sound expensive.

Personally I would like to see some very plain functional racks for rubbermaid containers with heating tape installed. Simple racks for Ball pythons, corns, and hatchlings could be produced very quickly by someone experienced, once a system is in place.

Here is what I was thinking:

Hatchling rack: 2 columns of 10 shelves.

Corn rack: 2 or 3 columns of 5 or 6 shelves

BP rack (Adult) : 1 column of 4 or 5 shelves

The above are just guess but you get the idea. A lot of people are looking for rack systems for their herps but the $2-$300+ price tags are the killer.

Just my 2 cents
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Old 11-04-02, 02:37 PM   #3 (permalink)
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What size would the rubbermaids need to be? I am thinking of trying to do some racks and some easy cheap melamine cages for the people who are looking for more functionality as opposed to display cages. I know nothing about rubbermaid sizes so Iwouldn't know what size to build.
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Old 11-04-02, 02:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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We find that plexi glass does scratch up easy and is harder to clean than glass.
If you go to your local Speedy auto glass or somewhere to that effect they cut the glass for cheap and to the exact size you want.
The enclosures do sound great!
If you want to make some affordable go with other some of the cheaper styled knobs etc, you can get some awesome looking door handles at Home Depo of lizards for a lower cost than brass knobs. Instead of using solid oak also look into some of the softer woods like cedar and pine that are more affordable but look great as well.
Also make some that are just frames like Zhar mentioned that are a little more functional for smaller species untill somebody could afford something a little more luxurious!
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Old 11-04-02, 05:13 PM   #5 (permalink)
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A nice piece of Birch will stain almost the same as Oak, and is alot cheaper
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Old 11-04-02, 06:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I just picked up my terrarium yesterday. The person I bought it from was very helpful and accomodating in customizing it to my exact specifications.

For racks, I like something plain and simple. If gave you a rubbermaid container, and told you that I would need rack to fit 8 of those containers, you should be able to do that. Also, it would be helpful if your racks came prewired with heat tape etc.

For enclosures, I am more fussy about its looks, as it will be in my living/dining room. I personally like maple and oak, but any type of wood (except cedar) is OK too.

Pricing for racks should be fairly cheap, in the $150-200 range, like Zhakrin mentioned, unless the customer wants them for display purposes. Enclosures would be highly dependent on the type of materials you use, size, features etc. I would like to see plain vanilla melamine 6x2x2 cages for about $200-300, and those using oak or maple for around $600+.

Hope this helps. Do you have any pictures of your completed cages?
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Old 11-04-02, 08:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Who did you get your cage from Edwin? It looks pretty nice.

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Old 11-05-02, 12:00 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Hehehe, yeah the oak trimmed cages are meant for someone who wants a nice display enclosure....and hopefully i can sell them for the price of a regular enclosure..that is my goal with those....but i am also building ones that are of the plain jane variety.....my goal is to keep them affordable....hopefully when i price them..ppl will find even the fancy ones cheap!
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Old 11-05-02, 06:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thanks, Greg. I got my cage from John at JD Terrariums. He will be at the next Toronto Reptile Expo. He is a very nice guy, and I fully recommend him if you are looking for a terrarium. He was very willing to work from my horrible doodles, and his pricing is aggressive. Like you, he does all kinds of shapes and designs, I saw him making a bird cage and he sent me a picture of a round cage he recently made for a client. It looks interesting.

Shane, all the best with your enclosures, I feel that while price plays a big part in the equation, the quality of your product and how well it fits the needs of your customers are just as important . See you at the Reptile Expo!
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Old 11-05-02, 08:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I too personally agree that nice display is a big part of the equation. I have 5 snakes right now and am planning to get lots more But I want them to be all set up in nice display cages so I can enjoy looking at them in my big living room. To me they are the best decoration I can have and I very much enjoy coming home and seeing all my creatures right there in a esthetic setting. Cost can be a bit hard to deal with but it's a fact of life and a reality to deal with wanting this kind of stuff, so I'm saving up to have what I really want!
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Old 11-05-02, 08:34 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey pixie, you left out your tarantula!
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Old 11-05-02, 10:45 AM   #12 (permalink)
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@ edwin.... $200-$300??? for 6 x 2 x2 melamine... Damn im trying to sell mine for 150/175 with no luck, just a bunch of bogus offers...

As for the racks, Shane isn't really in the position to be selling them with heat tape, seeing that it is not approved here in canada and he would be liable if anything went wrong.
However, it is easily attainable from the US, and even easier to put together and use. The hard part is getting your rack reutered (sp??) for the proper functionality of the tape, i think if anything Shane, u should look into that as the main selling aspect of a rack.
It would be great to see more reutered racks for sale in canada.

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Old 11-05-02, 10:52 AM   #13 (permalink)
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To be honest we have only considered custom enclosures for our big snakes... something like a 6X4X2 enclosure.
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Old 11-05-02, 12:02 PM   #14 (permalink)
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tai_pan, I didn't forget about my tarantula, she's the first thing I see when I open the door (great to freak out visitors !!!) but she's all set up nice in her 10gal, no need to have an enclosure specialy made for her.
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Old 11-05-02, 04:30 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Grant, maybe you need to show them those pics with you showing them off ala Vanna White. I remember you posting those pics on the 'other' website when you first built them. Don't worry, I am sure that someone will take them off your hands soon.

The cheapest 6x2x2 that I found was for $80-100, but it was basically a melamine crate with chicken wire air vents. Most of the people I spoke to were willing to sell in the $200-300 range for a standard melamine (front access, 2 air vents, sliding glass) cage. The prices shot up drastically once I asked for an installed hide box, wood trim etc. JD terrariums offered the best value for my money, which is why I went with him.

I forgot about the liability issues associated with heat tape in Canada, but Shane, if you could find some way around it, or alternative equally efficient methods of heating racks, this would be huge. I think I speak for most people when I say that I am afraid to fool around with anything electrical which may burn my home down.

Grant, if you throw in a blood with your enclosures, I may be interested *wink wink*
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