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Building your own Expanded PVC Enclosed Chamber – For Beginners

Discussion in 'Tortoise Enclosures' started by Sterant, Jul 16, 2017.

  1. leigti

    leigti Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    My local sign company, yes there's only one because it is a small town :) quoted me $150 for one sheet. A little more than I had hoped but I'm probably still gonna go for it.
  2. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    If that includes the labor to cut it up, then that's a great price, but I suspect it doesn't.
  3. Will

    Will Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    http://www.tortoiseforum.org/threads/live-naked-people.126107/page-19#post-1475310

    They are between 24 and 26 inches wide, 50 to 52 inches long, and 18 to 20 inches tall. Very variable. I put a wood frame on the inside lip and make them all 18 inches tall. I cut a door into each end. I use just a sheet of 1/2 inch foam board as a lid. RH hits 95% + real easy. To vent I push the foam board to one side or the other. Reach for access is 24 inches from either end.
  4. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    I think the top will be pretty sturdy with the sides used as the door frames rather than the front. Bracing the top isn't a big deal, so once you get it done, if the top is too flexible, you could always add a brace or two.
  5. Shaif

    Shaif Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much! Very helpful! I wish I had seen this before I bought my Animal Plastics cage!
    Clemsonturtle and Sterant like this.
  6. emdubz

    emdubz New Member

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    Couple of questions about this chamber.

    1) How sturdy is it? Like, could it be moved after being built?

    2) How expandable is it? If we build one 4' long chamber for one small (growing) tort, and need to add on the next year - is that possible, or is it just better to build big?

    Basically, we're considering starting upstairs with a smaller chamber, then potentially moving downstairs and upsizing! But.. I don't know how feasible that really is!

    Thanks!
  7. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    HI there,
    As far as moving them goes - absolutely. The bigger they are, the more internal support they need, but if you build it with enough support to begin with, you can move them just fine. I move my 3 X 5's twice a year with the seasons.

    Making an existing one bigger wouldn't be too practical. They are glued together or at very least, sealed with silicon. You could certainly do it, but I would just build bigger to begin with or keep the smaller one for backup and build a bigger one when the time comes.

    For the smaller one, buying it from Animal Plastics is a good option. The small ones are inexpensive and they make a nice product. One problem I run into with them is that they currently have a 13 week backlog, but sometimes they have cancelled orders or backlog enclosures available.

    Have fun!
  8. BevSmith

    BevSmith Active Member

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    Thank you for this write-up. I used your plans and made our first indoor small tortoise enclosure (with wood). I can’t wait to do EPVC for the next one.

    Still a work in progress but wanted to show you. I can’t thank you enough. IMG_4739.jpg
  9. kellygirl64

    kellygirl64 Well-Known Member

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    Wow !! Thanks for all this !!
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  10. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome!
  11. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    Well that's great! I'm really glad you got some practical use out of this post. Nice job - I hope it works well for you.
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  12. BevSmith

    BevSmith Active Member

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    And - I got to learn how to do a couple cool things, like use a jigsaw. Totally a win, all around!
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  13. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    Good to hear. Tortoises and Fabrication!
  14. RitaC

    RitaC New Member

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    Will likes this.
  15. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    It looks like the right stuff. I don't know that I've ever seen what they actually call it - as far as a product name goes, but cellular makes sense based on the manufacturing process. That should do it !

    Glad you find the post helpful !!

    Dan
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  16. Spencertretter

    Spencertretter Member

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    Looks awesome, I am trying to do something similar only bigger. Im sending in a quote to the local plastic shops. Im hoping to make a 5'x3' enclosure. quick question, what is the 33 7/8 dimension would that change for a larger setup? its probably something simple but I do not projects like this... Also I am attaching my layout, is this correct for a 5'x3' ? Thanks!

    Attached Files:

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  17. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    @Spencertretter - Glad you are putting this to use. I also built mine 5' by 3'. Its a great size. The 33 7/8" dimension would be used for any enclosure that is 3' deep, so that would be correct for you. It is the length of the two sides. Now, keep in mind that dimension is what it is due to the width of the specific lower door track that I outline above. I have included a picture above that shows the lower door track installed. That 33 7/8" is the side panel. That leaves room for the front piece, the door track, and a small bit of space in front of the door track. Check out the picture and you will see what I mean.
  18. Spencertretter

    Spencertretter Member

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    Awesome, thank you for the reply! very excited to start this build. thank you for clarifying that for me. I have been in contact with several different plastic companies around me all have fluctuating prices for the PVC. to buy enough material they are asking for close to $500. if you dont mind me asking, how much was yours all together for the specific 5x3 build? Looks like the my local home depot doesnt have the correct pvc. Have you heard of Veranda HP 1/2 in. x 48 in. x 8 ft. White PVC Trim?
  19. Sterant

    Sterant Well-Known Member

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    That might be the stuff. I use the smooth stuff - sometimes they press a fake wood grain into it. Those 4 x 8 sheets, when I bought them, were about $100 each. I think I needed 3 of the 4x8 sheets, so $300 ish. The plastics place is likely charging you at least an hour of shop time to cut it up. Did you consider buying one done fro Animal Plastics?
  20. Spencertretter

    Spencertretter Member

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    Alright I will have to take a look at it when I go by one day. I am considering buying from an online source such as Animal Plastic and the prices are fairly good however, the shipping is another few hundred dollars which is why I still havent comitted to it yet. Would you recommend I do that instead? I have not bought any of the clamps or glue or glass yet for the project. Im guessing that will be pricey as well.
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