Finally choosing the wood and having the sheet of 2440mm x 1220mm cut to my required measurements at my local hardware store. 12mm external plywood with cedar (I think) facings. This was just for the sides. The base is the original desk top as the veneer offers a very good waterproof facing.
Bits of wood and some big boys toys (tools)!
Off we go!
Cutting out the curve.
Thomas helping Daddy!
A better idea of size.
This is more like it!
And a bit further on.
And if you are wondering why all the kids toys it is because the tortoise table will be situated in our son's bedroom. They will live indoors in this room and in the summer we will take them out into the three or four days of summer sunshine we are graced with...
Here are the dimensions. My wife said I made it too deep and the kids won't be able to see in. She suggested 30cm height. I went for 40cm on the sides as I wanted enough depth to fill with a good amount of 'digging depth and I was worried that if the lights were mounted too close they could overheat the tortoises and with a decent depth of substrate and shorter sides the tortoises could, if they had something to climb on, get out over the edge (although incredibly unlikely).
Welcome! Both the tortoises in those photos are 100% Eastern Hermann's tortoises (Testudo hermanni boettgeri) and although they have poor growth, you certainly sound like you're doing right by them now.
HermanniChris thank you so much for that information. We have wondered since 2006 about Ramesses and of course we have had Nefertari we have owned for 4 days so it's great to know that our pot luck has given us 'matching pals'. Now we need to get them both on track and get their new home up and running asap. But it is still going to take time and that's why we sought the expertise in this website.
Thanks for the warm welcome all! So kind! And thank you for your patience when I came in and effectively 'shotgun blasted' a load of questions at you all in my first post. I really appreciate the advice given so far. I think the new place will be great for them. As I see it there are four areas of concern for us in developing this new habitat in order for us to make it as comfortable as possible for my two tortoise.
1. Space. This is almost dealt with. Their covered area will be to the far top left in the 60 x 40 area.
2. Substrate. What to put them on, how deep to make it. I would like about 10cm so they can have a real good dig. Nefertari loves digging. Ramesses not so much. Maybe she'll teach him a few new things, who knows?
3. Lighting. Where to place UV and heat lamps for their best health benefits.
4. Diet. What these two should be eating to keep them both happy and healthy for long years to come.
I only had the briefest of scans through HermanniChris's care sheets last night but I think after careful reading they should answer most if not all of my questions.
Can't wait to get this tortoise table up and running!
HermanniChris' care sheet should answer everything you asked. I would like to add that for your UV lighting, just make sure your tortoises have a place to get out of it. Too much UV can also be an issue. Hiding spots and foliage can help with this.
My wife told me a little more about him being found. The dog did damage his shell (I can't remember how badly) to the point it had tooth marks in it. two of which can still be seen. One of them is that red mark to the front of his shell under his neck and there is a split next to it. The other is next to one of his back legs, again underneath. His shell was crushed too but we think our poor understanding of what he requires (and his open hatred of anything calcium related) has not the uniform growth of his shell.
We found Nefertari's chip. It came up on scan immediately. And of course the previous owner hadn't bothered to register her so if she did get lost or stolen then the chip would have been pointless. She is now registered safely with us.
Ramesses definitely doesn't have one. He was either from a time before chipping and registration (we think he was born 2005-6) or alternately brought in illegally or bred and not registered for some reason.
This is Nefertari's x-ray.
The tortoise enclosure is coming along, although a little behind schedule due to pressures of work. It was varnished yesterday and today get the light bar fitted, sleeping area wall cut for the access and the two holes in the base blocked off.
How it looks this morning.
Work has stopped for a little while so I am swatting up on HermanniChris's info sheet. Progress to resume this afternoon when it should be read for lighting (when it arrives) and substrate and the happy couple...