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Discussion Starter #1
Right, I've decided to build my own viv! I'm not interested in the money savings, it's just because I'm bored, and it might be fun! :lol:

I'm cheating a little by using an old computer cabinate as a start, but let's get one thing clear - I'M HOPELESS AT DIY!!! :oops:

Really. To put this into context, here are some of my previous 'projects' :roll: :

Shelf. Drilled the holes, then realised I couldn't fit the bracket cos of the light swith. Must plan more.


Shed. Didn't line up quite right. Cover blew off 2 months later. Must check alignment before screwing together!


Bath. It leaks. I find changing the nappy once a fornight works well!



Need I go on? OK, so the point is, if I can build a viv, anyone can! Or, I'll prove that there really is no hope, and other unfortunate people who are better with a keyboard than a screwdriver can save the effort and go flat pack!

So, this is what I'm starting with:


I've already removed the doors, keyboard shelf and runners. I've bolted one of the doors to the inside to make a shelf to put my BRB cage on, using 2 fixing blocks at one end. It should be level, cos it's resting on a 'H' section of wood, which is also supporting it. It's the perfect width, just gotta extend it somehow, possible using part of the other door and some mending plates :?


So far, all I've spent is about 9 quid on various size screws, fixing blocks, and mending plates from homebase. I won't use them all on this viv, so we'll call the cost to date 3 quid.


The final plan is to have a 34.5" x 19" x 18" (LHW) viv at the bottom, for a male BRB, and a shelf that can hold 2 large, flat exo terras for hatchling snakes.

I'll post updates, pictures and details of costs as I go. This may take some time... Wish me luck! :)
 

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Go Deano go !!!!

Sounds a plan there mate. I ( hopefully ) will have my first self build viv completed by the weekend . Lol had a minor set back , the runners would not take the glass I ordered . Measure twice ...order once as it were :!:

Keep us posted with the progress mate . I will post mine when completed , and hapy with , lol

Take care
 

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Discussion Starter #4
neilb said:
http://www.snakepictures.co.uk/vivarium_building.htm

hope this helps you mate! :D
Thanks, I need all the help I can get. It says I could die if I don't know how to use the tools :shock: !!!

I've given the other door to a mate to chop up, just in case... Anyway, I don't have a saw. Tools on my xmas list, should make life easier!
 

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I like the bath drain and nappy situation.

It's no wonder your bath leaks with all those wierd fittings botched together. Needs simplifying.
Call a plumber. lol

I think you should be okay converting that to a viv. All you need is some conti blocks (those blocks for joining boards in the corners) and a few pieces of wood.
 

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Nice one Deano, I have a few things to do round the house, I'm thinking of calling you to help me if you're available.

I think the 2 of us doing DIY together would have great results :roll:
 

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Discussion Starter #7
No probs Dexter, I'm particularily good with electrics or gas plumbing :lol:

I'll be spending the first part of the new year working in sunny Slough, so anything you need bodged, I'm ya man!
 

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You drive a yellow Robin Reliant Deano :?:

I'm stuck waiting on Ceramic Heat lamp ...two I got dont work . So no viv set up yet ...really hacked off about that actually ...ah well waiting on new one's coming start of week.

Take care
 

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Keep us up dated Deano............This should be funny :lol:

Any consolation to ya, my shed roof blew away 2 nights ago.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I nearly caved last night and bidded on some viv's on ebay - a 20" one went for £55 (Keep it!), then a big unit with 2 4ft vivs, and a base that could of made a 3rd was on for £104, I didnt' confirm my bid in time! :cry: Think of all the big snakeys I could have put in there!!!

I don't drive a Relient, though if you know anyone who is selling one...

I plan do do a few more bits to the viv this week, but mainly gonna wait till after xmas, got some tools on the xmas list...
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Right, got some bits from homebase yesterday:

- A 'proper' bit of contiboard for the shelf, gave up on the idea of sticking 2 pieces of door together, would have looked pants. Also got a bit that gives me an optional divide length ways, to give two 17 x 18 vivs, and a strip to go along the bottom front of the viv(s) (more on that later). 9 quid.

- A sheet of 6mm wood for the back or the whole unit. 3 quid.

- Sealant. 5.49. Won't use all of it. Say 3 quid for this viv.

- Repair wood. 5.99. Won't use all of this, but there is a big chunk missing from the inside of one of the sides, which needs filing, along with a million screw holes. 2 quid for this viv.

- Wire mesh. 4.49. Enough for LOADS of light / heater guards! 2 pound for this viv.

- Wood for a second, 2 ft viv, I'm gonna build from scratch after this one (Getting brave!!!). A tenner.

Gonna put it all together at the weekend, and look for some bits for the glass front.

The plan has changed slightly - instead of a tall viv, and a shelf, I'm gonna go for 2 x 13" high viv's. Figured the original viv was too small for an adult BRB, and too big for anything else I fancied. The shelf may have got too hot at one end to put an exo terra in there, which are proving a pain anyway, as I have to pull them out every time I want to do anything, and keep spilling the water!

The new setup is perfect for 2 corns, or kings etc, and if I use the divide in one of them, could hold 2 hoggies!

The main problem I have now is the strip for the bottom of the vivs - I have a 6 inch wide strip, which I wanted cut in half to give a 3 inch piece for each viv, but the bloke wouldn't do it cos it was too small and he might cut his fingers off! I'll try cutting it myself. I'm also keeping my fingers crossed for a good drill for xmas!

Total cost to date for 2 x 3ft vivs: 22 pounds
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I've now started putting this all together:

Cleared out all the junk to give an empty cabinate.


Took out all inside shelves. The frame was a bit wobbly, and the top lifted off, so I've fixed it on using fixing blocks.

I then attached the inner shelf using fixing blocks:


There is a small gap in places, but this will all be filled with sealant anyway. More importantly, it all seems square, only 2mm out at the front, this will be OK when I come to fit glass, won't it?

Fitted the hardboard to the back with 9 screws.


And here's how it now looks, and it doesn't wobble!


The divider on the top shelf is not fixed in, as I've not decided exactly what I want to put in there yet.

Next step will be getting the bits for the front, putting the sealant around the joins, and using wood repairer to fill in all the old screw holes and the missing 'chunk':


So far, so good, this is proving easier than expected, but it's not over yet :D
 

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Nice one, some good progress there.

It's good that you seem very entertained in doing it which is great for your mind as well :D
 

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Discussion Starter #14
My beginners mistake is costing me time, here's where I went wrong:

I had a 2ft wide piece of wood, which I wanted cutting into an 18" wide shelf, and 2 3" strips for the front of the vivs... So first I asked the guy to cut me the 18" bit, then chop the remaining 6" bit in half... Problem, the 6" bit now doesn't fit in the machine, so can't be cut.

Lesson learnt - Next time, get them to cut the 3" strips off first, to leave the big bit!

Now gotta borrow a saw from a mate to try and cut it myself... unlikely to be straight, but I'll give it a go. Can't order the glass until this is all sorted and fitted.

In the meantime I've got various bits - Runners (9 quid), finger pulls x 4 (8 quid), locks x 2 (9 quid), vents (3 quid), 2 x ceramic bulb fittings (5)

Cost to date - 56 pounds... hmm, this is getting expensive!
 

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Nearly there! Got my drill, and also bought a saw. Chopped the 6 inch piece of wood in half, a bit of sanding, screwed them to the front of both viv's, sorted!

Filled in the hole and all the old screw holes with wood filler.
Been round all the edges with sealant - a bit measy at first, but got there in the end!
Fitted the vents on the back.
Fitted the runners using no more nails - sanded down the back of the runners to help it grip.
Wired up some plugs, heat resistand cable and ceramic bulb holders, and got bulbs and thermostats on order.
Ordered all the glass, due on 5th Jan.



To do - Fit glass when it arrives, fit heating equipment, build and fit wire heat guards, add cage furnishings and snake!

And here's the other, 2 ft viv I'm building with the extra wood I got, it's at the same stage as the big one:



Lost track of cost now, will summerise it all at the end.

Some leasons learnt for next time:
Fixing blocks are crap - uses too many screws, leaves gaps, messes up sealant. Gonna drill straight through the contiboard next time and use big screws.

Make sure wood used for backing has water proof coating. Leaving it for these ones, as will be dry, but have had to paint the back of the little viv I'm building for my BRB with sealant!

Using an old cabinat doesn't save that much money, and looks crap cos of all the old screw holes! Wood is the cheap bit, it's the glass, and all the bits and bob's that cost money!

See previous post re: getting the wood cut.
 

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Deano said:
Some leasons learnt for next time:
:roll: oh no, don't tell us you will try again in the future :lol:

Just joking, it looks brill :wink:
 

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its looking ok mate, considering ur disasters beforehand.
there i was wondering if anyone can rival me for being useless lol
 

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Discussion Starter #18
It's finished!!! I have 2 new 3ft vivs, and it was easy! Yes, anyone can build their own viv, even DIY numptys!!!!

Before I go on, can I say a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped with all my stupid questions on the Habitat board - you know who you are.

I wired some heat resistant cable to a plug, drilled a whole through the back of the viv and passed the wire through, wired it to a ceramic holder from Maplin, fixed to the lid of the viv, then screwed in a bulb - sorted. Check out the bulb guard - I bought a sheet of mesh for 4.49 and made 6 of these, kept me busy one evening!


I've fixed a 1ft square piece of wood half way up on in the cool end to maximise the use of space.


Glass arrived, only 7.50 a piece for toughened! Bargain! It slotted straight in, and I've added the finger pulls and viv lock. And here it is!


So how much did it cost?
To compare to what you get with a flat pack, I spent:

Contiboard for the shelf 9 quid (excuse me, I have no pound sign on my keyboard!)
Hardboard for the back 3
Glass 30
Fixing blocks 3.50
Screws 5
No more nails 2
Trim 1
vents 3
Glass sliders 9
Finger Pulls 6
Wood filler 1.50

Total 73 pounds. For 2 3ft viv's. Half price at least!

Extra that I have also bought, and would have to be added to any viv:

Sealant 6 pounds
Viv locks 9
Wires 2
Bulb holders 4
Bulb guards 1.50
Plugs 1.50

An extra 24 pounds (Not included the bulb, stat, hides etc). So a grand total of 97 pounds.

Using the old cupboard saved me about 27 pounds in wood, but I could have saved 1.50 on wood filler, and 5 pounds if I'd screwed straight through the wood, rather than using fixing block and 86 screws!!!

So this could be built for around 120 pounds from scratch.
Oh, the 2ft viv is finished too, cost 53 pounds from scratch, with all the same fittings.

There is already a new corn in the bottom viv, the top one is spare, and my BRB is going in the 2ft next month. What shall I build next? Might try a 4 ft...
 

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Discussion Starter #20
About 13 inches. Floor is 36 x 18.
 
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