Tom’s Nightbox Realized…with some additions…

Gotro17

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@Tom ??????
We are just about finished with things here, after a few small finishes. We have 4 adults, 1 juvenile, along with 3 babies (who live indoors)… The run was recently fenced in and planting is beginning this weekend.

We fortunately have the room so went ahead with the 8x4 double box. We added hinges to the back so I could actually lift the lid. Along with tha, heavy duty hydraulic arm was necessary. We found one that could take 300 pounds. It works perfectly. We set the box where we did on purpose…in case we’d need separate anyone from the group, the tree helps us form the barrier. If needed, we just have to put a few blocks between the tree and house. The isolated one(s) then get the barn side with the orchard around the back.

The inside is coated with pond shield to make cleaning easy, and the substrate is just dirt from the run with orchid bark on top. Finishing touches will be the electrical run and sunk into the ground, shelving for water dishes and the small fan, along with a latch to help anchor the lid. Thank you Tom for the inspo and plans- this was quite the project, but worth every effort! ?
875938DB A0F7 40A2 A7A7 200D1E972912
 

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TeamZissou

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Nice construction! Is one oil heater going to be enough for a box that size?

You seem to live in leopard heaven.

Life is good when you're sitting on the food pile.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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I've built about 20 of these now. Need to build two more pretty soon. It gets easier with time and practice. :)

I love the hydraulic arm. I think I want to incorporate that into my next build. Can you tell me where you got it? Were the mounting brackets included?
 

Gotro17

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Messages
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Let me ask my husband…he was the engineer behind it. I’ll have to email you the clip of when we used 2, thinking we needed them after the first 2 (lighter load arms) failed. It took a grown man to sit on the lid to close it, then it literally flung him off when he went to Scooby off! Lol
I do know it’s an automotive hydraulic arm and he purchased the mounting brackets separate. The only issue is that we did not put a block on the backside of the plywood when mounting the brackets before final assembly (since we figured 2 of the lighters would work) so we are waiting for them to rip out of the wall at any moment. LOL

ALSO- and super important… adding the hinges created a gap in the lid articulating. We’ve added weather stripping which helps close the gap mostly, but we also had to add extra vinyl strip to the back and posterior sides to shield from water.
 

Tom

The Dog Trainer
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Let me ask my husband…he was the engineer behind it. I’ll have to email you the clip of when we used 2, thinking we needed them after the first 2 (lighter load arms) failed. It took a grown man to sit on the lid to close it, then it literally flung him off when he went to Scooby off! Lol
I do know it’s an automotive hydraulic arm and he purchased the mounting brackets separate. The only issue is that we did not put a block on the backside of the plywood when mounting the brackets before final assembly (since we figured 2 of the lighters would work) so we are waiting for them to rip out of the wall at any moment. LOL

ALSO- and super important… adding the hinges created a gap in the lid articulating. We’ve added weather stripping which helps close the gap mostly, but we also had to add extra vinyl strip to the back and posterior sides to shield from water.
Ahhh... The finer points...

What I've learned to do with the hinges is to mount the box side of the hinge where I want it, and then apply the weather stripping, then carefully set the lid on top in the correct position, without dragging it and rolling the weather stripping, and finally screwing in the hinge to the lid which is sitting perfectly.

Your problem of ripping the bracket off the plywood wall is EXACTLY why I haven't tried to retro-fit any of my boxes with hydraulics. There is no place in the wall that I thought would be strong enough to hold it. I'm going to have to add in a 2x4 inside the wall and lid ahead of time wherever I want to attach the arms.
 

Gijoux

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I hope you will update your plans for the rest of us once you get this all figured out. Thanks again for all you do for TFO members.
 

Gotro17

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Joined
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Messages
37
Location (City and/or State)
California
Ahhh... The finer points...

What I've learned to do with the hinges is to mount the box side of the hinge where I want it, and then apply the weather stripping, then carefully set the lid on top in the correct position, without dragging it and rolling the weather stripping, and finally screwing in the hinge to the lid which is sitting perfectly.

Your problem of ripping the bracket off the plywood wall is EXACTLY why I haven't tried to retro-fit any of my boxes with hydraulics. There is no place in the wall that I thought would be strong enough to hold it. I'm going to have to add in a 2x4 inside the wall and lid ahead of time wherever I want to attach the arms.
Yes- if I were to known I would’ve just applied a 2 x 4 and cut out the insulation around it. That being said however, the hydraulic is heavy duty enough that it seems to be taking the load well. We also used a heavy duty bracket and longer screws. So far so good
 

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