Exellent post, I hope it encourages more people to think about building their own.
Originally Posted by nick gilchrist
Starting with cutting a board EXACTLY 380mm wide leaving the long thin strip shown..(We will use this later)
The piece you now have should measure 2440mm x 380mm. from this cut lengthways 2x pieces EXACTLY 760mm long. then 2 x pieces EXACTLY 430mm long. there will be a tiny offcut.
Then retuning to the long strip, cut 2 x pieces EXACTLY 430mm long. the remainder is offcut surplus
Minor mistake, long strip should be cut to 2 x pieces 730mm long.
This is correct in the final list, but should be noted if someone is building it 'by the book'.
It should also be noted that these dimensions are designed for 15mm boards, some furniture boards are 18mm deep and this would lead to inaccuracies.
I'm currently building 2 x 4ftx2ftx18" for a refit of our living room/reptile house, & need to build at least 3 or four more before I think of finishing.
I recomment people have a go, it's fun and you get exactly what you want. It's not that hard, and significantly cheaper than buying ready-made, especially if (as I am) you build with MDF.
I wouldn't recommend MDF for anything other than arid type reptiles though, as even sealed properly I don't think it's as water-resistant as melamine boards. It is cheap though... £32 for the MDF to build the two I'm doing now. Sealed with watered down PVA I quite like the golden brown finish.