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Thread: DIY Large Rack

  1. #11
    BPnet Veteran twh's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    sean....i'm curious as to why you put the heat strip near the front of the tub.also do you use hides?

    BTW your rack has given me some ideas for my next rack,great job !
    TIMOTHY W. HURKMANS

    " Do you really believe that what you believe is really real ? "

  2. #12
    BPnet Veteran lord jackel's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by twh View Post
    sean....i'm curious as to why you put the heat strip near the front of the tub.also do you use hides?

    BTW your rack has given me some ideas for my next rack,great job !
    Thanks for the compliment

    As for the heat when I first built it I wanted to make sure they were working correctly and that I was getting uniform heat distribution so I put the bars up front so I could get to them easier. This rack has been up for almost a year now, with no issues, so the heat strips are in the back now.

    My rack is in a quiet room so I only use hides on a few young girls that are picky about eating...the rest don't have them and don't appear to mind at all.
    Sean

  3. #13
    BPnet Veteran Gloryhound's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by twh View Post
    sean....i'm curious as to why you put the heat strip near the front of the tub.also do you use hides?

    BTW your rack has given me some ideas for my next rack,great job !
    I'm building a rack system currently and was going to put the heat strips in front. Your rack gave me the idea in a way. I figured BP's spend most of their time on the hot side and by making the hot side the front you would not have to pull the tub out as far to access them or the female when she lays her eggs normally on the hot side! I guess that isn't why you did it.

  4. #14
    BPnet Veteran lord jackel's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Gloryhound View Post
    I'm building a rack system currently and was going to put the heat strips in front. Your rack gave me the idea in a way. I figured BP's spend most of their time on the hot side and by making the hot side the front you would not have to pull the tub out as far to access them or the female when she lays her eggs normally on the hot side! I guess that isn't why you did it.
    I agree with your logic my concern was since I don't use hides that the back is darker and that they might feel more secure (the tubs are transparent so more light and movement would be seen up front. In the end it probably doesn't matter.
    Sean

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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    What's the best thickness of flexwatt to use on these racks? 4", 6" or 11" wide?

  6. #16
    Registered User MDB's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    very nice Im thinking about changing my racks up for something new, I defintely like what you did and Im going to incorporate it into my new rack system

  7. #17
    BPnet Veteran lord jackel's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by Drake_Marcus View Post
    What's the best thickness of flexwatt to use on these racks? 4", 6" or 11" wide?

    It really depends on the amount of heat you need. In my case the room is heated so I used 3" which is also the same thickness as the metal channeling I used to support the heat with. If you could figure out a support you could use whatever size flexwatt you wanted to.

    Hope this helps.
    Sean

  8. #18
    BPnet Veteran lord jackel's Avatar
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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by MDB View Post
    very nice Im thinking about changing my racks up for something new, I defintely like what you did and Im going to incorporate it into my new rack system
    Thank you...I have changed this rack a couple of times...the top now has a custom cage I built for my yearling Burm (used to be a hatchling rack)...so the rack has lots of uses depending on need and configuration.
    Sean

  9. #19
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    Re: DIY Large Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by lord jackel View Post
    It really depends on the amount of heat you need. In my case the room is heated so I used 3" which is also the same thickness as the metal channeling I used to support the heat with. If you could figure out a support you could use whatever size flexwatt you wanted to.

    Hope this helps.
    I'm in eastern Canada and my room is usually around 20 degrees C in the winter, if not a tad cooler. Standard under tank heater pads that petstores sell (the kind that stick on the glass from below) only seem to bring my 60 gal aquarium up to about 80 F...

    I'm planing to copy your rack but use the sterilite tubs walmart sells that are about 33 inches long (41 qt?). My girlfriend gives me hell about it being too small for the snakes otherwise. I'm thinking I should do 5 rows with 4 bins in each row. I'm not a huge fan of the idea of buying 10 41 qt bins when they're $14 each! But I need to set the rack up for 10 snakes now with room to expand later.

    What do you think?

    I've already purchased a pair of Ranco temperature controllers.

  10. #20
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    Question Re: DIY Large Rack

    Quote Originally Posted by lord jackel View Post
    After I posted pictures of my rack I had several people ask me to write up a DIY on how I built it. So this is my attempt at just that, let me say this is the first time I have attempted to write one of these so if I am not clear or missed a step please let me know and I will fix it.



    Materials:

    (6) 2' X 4' X 8' (total rack)

    (3) 2' X 2' X 8' (per level)

    (1) 2' X 3' X 8' (per level) - note the HD and Lowes near me don't carry 2X3's so I had to use 2X4s but 2X3s are all that are needed

    (1) 4' X 8' (per 2 levels) tile board (like used in a bathroom) This is basically thin MDF with a waterproof while vinyl coating (in HD it is found between the wood and bathroom dept)



    If you want the hatchling rack portion then you also need another tile board and a 1/2" X 4' X 8' MDF board



    For heat (3 tubs across):

    I used metal wall studs - these are like 2X4's they are used as wall studs (but they have only 3 sides...see image)

    About 5' of Flexwatt and Refletix per level + aluminum tape to hold it together.

    Thermostat of Choice (Herpstat or Helix are best)



    Tools:

    Table Saw with a Dado blade (a Dado blade is basically 2 normal table saw blades with cutting spacers between then that allows you to cut grooves - you find them wherever they sell table saw blades. Using this method it only takes about 10 mins to cut all the tub grooves. Alternatively you could use a router but it will take hours as you cannot cut deep enough with one pass.

    Chop Saw

    Cordless Drill and a lot of 2.5" woodscrews

    Hammer and finishing nails (I used a brad nailer which is much easier but not everyone has one of these)



    Finally you need your choice of tubs. I used 31QT Rubbermaid tubs (but this design is easy to "grow" to 41QT tubs as your snakes sizes dictate.



    Getting started:

    1. Measure the length of the tubs you are using (front to back of where the lid sits).

    2. Cut the 2X2's you need 2 pieces cut to what you measured and 2 more cut 3" longer for each level (NOTE you will need 2 more of these longer ones later on for the base).

    3. Cut the 2X3s to the same length as the +3" 2X2s, you will need 2 for each level.

    At this point I cut all the wood I needed for each level (of these parts).



    Time to cut the grooves:

    5. Set up the Dado blade (according to its instructions) you want it 1/8" larger then the thickness of the tub edge (for Rubbermaid this = 1/2").

    6. Cut one corner of the longer 2X2's (they will look like L's then cut both corners of all the 2X3's to make a "T" (see images).

    You now have all the rails for the tubs.



    These next steps are tough to explain and I didn't take pictures during the building process so bear with me.

    7. Lay one of the grooved 2X2 on the ground groove up,

    8. Place one edge of a tub (tubs will be upside down) in the groove then a grooved 2X3 under the other edge, then a tub in the opposite side groove then another 2X3, tub and finally a grooved 2X2.

    So you will have 2X2 - tub - 2X3 - tub - 2X3 - tub - 2X2. This will stretch out about 5' long.

    9. Measure from the outside to outside of the 2X2. Cut another 2X2 to this measurement, again about 5'.



    Make the levels:

    10. Connect the long 2X2's (cut in last step) to the non-grooved 2X2's (the smaller ones on the inside) with 2.5" woodscrews to create a square frame.

    11. Measure the outside of this frame and cut the tile board to fit.

    To put the level together you want to sandwich the tile board between the frame and the rails.

    12. Place the frame on a flat hard surface and attach the tile board to it (use the finishing nails) with the waterproof side up

    13. Attach one of the grooved 2X2 to the frame (from step 8) - If looking at the left side the 2X2 will look like a backwards 7

    14. Place one of one of tubs under this 2X2 - then place a 2X3 at the other tub edge (will look like a T), repeat with another 2X3, tub and finally a 2X2 at the other edge. If you measured correctly in step 9 the 2X2s will land on each edge perfectly. Screw all this down with woodscrews to the frame (through the tile board)

    I recommend predrilling the screw holes so as to not split the tile board.

    At this point you should be able to turn the frame over and the tubs will remain suspended and slide in and out.

    15. Repeat steps 10-14 for each level



    As this is unwieldy for a single post I am going to stop it here and “put it all together” and the “hatchling” and “heat” portions in a separate post.
    what kinds of 2x4 did you use

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