DIY Snake Rack
Sick and tired of having tons of bins everywhere? Need more convenience? Building a snake rack is a great organizational tool used by both beginners and pros.
You will need 4x8 sheet of 3/4” melamine. This should run about $25 at Lowe’s or Home Depot.
You will need a total of:
- (6) 35” x 13.5”
- (2) 25” x 13.5”
To get this out of a single sheet, cut three 13.5” wide pieces the full length of the sheet.
Out of each 8’ piece, cut two 35” long pieces, to give you a total of six.
Take two of the leftover pieces from these cuts and cut them to 25”.
This will be all the pieces of melamine you will need. The two 25” pieces will be the sides, and the six 35” pieces will be the shelves.
Begin by pre-drilling three holes in the end of each 25” side piece, it’s not necessary but for a better looking rack, you can countersink the holes so the screws are then flush with the wood and do not stick out, making the end product appear more professional.
Now you’re going to install the first shelf, start with one corner and position the shelf so it is flush with both the front edge and the end of the side piece.
Drill the first pilot hole in the shelf by putting the bit through the hole in the side and drilling into the shelf. Tighten this screw, and then drill the pilot hole for the next one.
Once the shelf is secure, set the unit upright for the instalation of the remaining levels.
Now set 4 of the shoeboxes on the shelf you just put in. This will give you the proper spacing for the next shelf.
Now set the next shelf on top of the boxes. With a pencil make a mark on the sides along the top edge of the shelf.
Take the shelf out and drill your pilot holes in the sides about 3/8” below the lines, then countersink them.
Now put the shelf back in and line it up evenly with the front edge of the unit.
Check the shelf tolerance before drilling your first pilot hole. Make sure the shelf is close enough to the boxes to make a snug fit, but not binding the boxes making them hard to slide.
Once you’re satisfied with the position, drill and tighten the first screw, then do one on the other side to keep the shelf from pulling.
Contine this same procedure with the rest of the shelves. Take your time and make sure each one is positioned properly.
Next we will install the flexwatt heat tape.
Lay the rack down on it’s front. Slide in the boxes on some of the shelves as shown to use as a guide to place the flexwatt.
I initially was going to use 4” flexwatt, but the 4” I have can only be cut in one foot increments. I had some 3” on hand that can be cut to any length, and I decided to use it since two feet would be one inch shorter than what I needed.
I chose to solder the connections for the flexwatt, so I cut 4 pieces 25” long, and removed the plastic coating to prepare it for the solder before I attached the heaters to the rack.
The flexwatt is tacked with wire nails through the edge to each shelf. This serves two purposes. First it keeps the heaters close to the boxes, and second it creates a stop to keep the boxes from sliding too far back and leaving a gap through which a hatchling snake could escape.
If you chose to either not heat the rack, or to heat it differently, you will need to put a back on the rack or at least 4 wood strips to stop the boxes from sliding too far back.
Once the heaters are attached, we can move on to wiring them. You can wire them before attaching them, but I have found it much easier to do it this way.
I wired the heaters in series so that only one plug is needed to heat the entire rack.
Start by attaching the electrical cord to the top of one of the end pieces. Then you will run two wires from the metal strips on the bottom of that piece to the metal strips on the bottom of the second.
Continue this by wiring the top of the second to the top of the third, then the bottom o fthe third to the botom of the fourth.
Once completed, when you plug in the cord the electricity will be transferred through each piece to the next heating them all.
Just for reference, I connected the heaters together with 12 guage stranded wire I happened to have a spool of.
The 3” heat tape uses 10 watts per foot, so the entire rack which houses 20 hatchlings will use only 80 watts of electricity.
(Source: reptiglo)31 notes
Posted on Tuesday, 5 June
Tagged as: snake rack snake rack reptiglo diy personal reptile animal storage enclosure house
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