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  1. #1
    Registered User Naginii's Avatar
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    Cement tub BP rack

    I thought I would share how I built my newest snake rack since I haven't seen much about using cement tubs for ball pythons. The medium tubs have the same footprint size as a 41 quart tub; they're just a little wider and a little shorter in length. This is also a small rack as I am planning on getting just a couple more snakes. I modeled this after my rodent racks with a couple minor tweaks.

    Materials used -
    Melamine cut into 20" x 28" pieces (Can have HD or Lowes cut to size.)
    2" screws (I used size 6)
    2x4 cut to 30" long
    3 medium cement mixing tubs
    6 1x2 cut to 28" long

    The first step is to cut your wood pieces to size. I had a bunch of 28" long 1x2 boards from my rodent rack builds already. I also had my melamine cut into fourths at Lowes and cut it down to size on my table saw at home. I chose that route because I cut the 24x48 board by removing two 24x10 shelves from each quarter. I will use these 8 pieces that are 24x10 to build a hatchling rack later. It would have been more efficient for a larger rack to cut that 4x8 sheet of melamine into 6 20x28 pieces at the store - just FYI.

    Now that everything is cut it's time to build. I started by putting a board down on the floor and attaching legs. Just like a rodent rack, we build this thing upside down. Drilling your holes first then screwing together will really help make sure the wood doesn't split on you.
    Side note - measure the width of all of your boards. While I obviously aimed for the exact size, small variances do happen. I had boards at 20", 19 15/16", 19 14/16" and 19 13/16". That small of variance is totally fine but I put my widest board on the bottom of the build and the least wide on top. I think that it's better for legs to slightly pinch together than to be slightly bowed outward.

    Once my bottom board was attached to all four legs I set my tub, upside down, on top of the board. I then took my two runners (1x2 board) and put them on the sides of the tub. I screwed them to the legs on each side then tested my build by pulling the tub in and out. You want a snug fit but not difficult to pull with one hand.


    Now that the runners are verified to be correctly working I put four screws on the corner of the tub. Then I placed my next widest sheet of melamine on top. The screws will give me a very small gap between the tub and the shelf. I did this so that my tub would not be sliding directly on the heat tape as well as not adding friction to the slide when I open and close my tubs.


    Screw the melamine shelf into the legs using 1 screw per leg initially. Slide the tub out, remove the screws, and slide the tub in and out a few times. The reason we start with 1 screw per leg is so that if the tub is pinched somewhere we can easily fix it. It's easier, and faster, to fix one screw than 3. Once verified the tub slides correctly and the board doesn't pinch the tub, which it shouldn't since we added a small gap, we add more screws to where the legs meet the shelf.


    Now it's as simple as repeating these steps until your done. Put the next tub on top, add the runners, place the screws then the next board until you're done!



    A couple of other things I want to share is that 6" heat tape would be perfectly fine here. I ordered 12" tape but after building this I realize that 6" tape would be better. This is because the edges are curved upward and not at a straight 90 degree angle. I might just order 6" tape and use the 12" tape for a build that might use the large mixing tubs that are 24" wide x 36" long for fully grown snakes. I also used one screw in each place I put a screw for the entire build with the exception being when I first added the legs to the very bottom board. I used 3 there and 1 screw everywhere else until the project was finished. Just in case things didn't turn out straight or I needed to make adjustments. After it was all done I went back and added a bunch of screws to everything to make it more secure. last, the tubs are made out of PVC. I will probably drill holes carefully because I have heard that melted PVC puts off some nasty chemicals. If you choose to melt holes - maybe do it outside.

    Anyways I hope this helps someone else. I'm happy with how it turned out. It's a small, 3 bin rack that sits on top of my metal table which is exactly what I wanted. It's a heavy beast for being so small but that's ok. It's going to house my juvenile snakes for a while; if I had fully grown snakes I would probably use the large cement tubs. Let me know what you think!

  2. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Naginii For This Useful Post:

    gunkle (01-17-2020),wnateg (01-17-2020)

  3. #2
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    Nicely done. Hope to see pics of the heat tape etc.

  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran gunkle's Avatar
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    Re: Cement tub BP rack

    Good job and well written. Looks good. Thanks
    1.0 Bearded Dragon
    0.1 Super Pastel Lesser Ball Python
    1.0 Pastel Bamboo Ball Python
    0.0.1 Halmahera Blue Tongue Skink
    0.0.2 Crested Gecko
    1.2.0 Guinea Pigs
    0.1 Dog
    0.2 Cats

  5. #4
    Registered User Naginii's Avatar
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    I didn't take pictures of putting the heat tape on but this is what it looks like finished. Excuse the sawdust underneath, need to vacuum up a bit


    The 12" tape actually works really well. It keeps the cool end in the mid 70s and the warm spot is 90. I put just a small amount of reptichip in there and so far the humidity has spiked. I wiped down the moisture in the tubs this morning and cracked them open to see if I can lower it a bit before I put snakes in it. Thermostat is keeping temps stable so that's really nice.

    Any questions just ask

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to Naginii For This Useful Post:

    gunkle (01-17-2020)

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