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Castle fit for a king

Discussion in 'Tegu Enclosures' started by Compnerd7, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Compnerd7

    Compnerd7 Member

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    Well, I have spent the last 6+ months building this cage for my Argentine Red Tegu Ryion, and the cage itself is finally finished. I have yet to add cypress bedding, furniture, hides, and other decor. That will all be finished in 2 days. I am also adding a warm air humidifier ( vaporizer ) but I have not found the right one that I can pipe in. Besides those things, my cage is complete!

    The cage is 6'X4'X30' . It has two front acrylic doors 30"X30" that open inward. There is an acrylic viewing window in the front as well that is about 8"X25". I have another viewing window at the top that is inset in wood flooring and measures in at 9"X30". Also on the top are two rear vents with screen that are 11"X11". The right side of the cage has a doggy door that is 18"X2'X2'. The back and left side I left bare because they are going against walls. I can always add wood in the future if I was so inclined, but for now, i'm leaving it just plywood.

    The wood used to decorate the exterior is as follows:

    Brazilian Cherry for the top and bull nose.
    Mango Wood for the front, top stripes, and boarder of the top window / vents.
    Quartersawn Walnut for the right side / doggy door.
    The front pillars of roses are made of Maple, Mahogany, Teak, and Brazilian Cherry.

    The Mango Wood is especially precious to me because it is vurtuly impossible to get a hold of. I just happen to do a flooring job a few years ago for a man who had a son who owned a Mango grove in Hawaii, and he had to cut down a grove of his. He then had it milled into planks and flooring and sent to the mainland of the U.S. That's how I was able to get a hold of such a beautiful rare wood.

    Now, here are the pics and lay out of the entire operation, enjoy!


    3/4 ply wood pre-sanded on one side. Cut the sides and top to shape.
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    Dry fit.
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    Cross support for strength and lights.
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    Interior routing to house the front window.
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    I put 3+ coats of deck sealer, this picture shows it after one.
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    These are rubber cleats that are usually used on basketball floors to make them portable and give them some flex. I used them to protect the wood floors in my house.
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    Installing the windows.
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    Cut-outs for the vents and windows.
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    Covered the doggy door in a piece of thin Walnut to avoid issues with the door opening / closing.
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    Had to clamp on the front pieces to make them tight.
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    Installed flooring on top.
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    Puttied the cracks in the flooring.
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    Pre-sanded.
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    I had to sand each side 4 times. Once with 60 grit then 80 grit sand paper on a flooring edger. Then I used 80 and 120 grit sand paper on a RO ( Random Orbital Sander ).
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    Flooring Sealer.
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    After one coat of flooring finish.
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    Here are some characteristics of the Mango wood up close that make it so unique.
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    Installed some plumbing so I never have to take his huge water dish out. A large pump pumps out all of the water / refuse.
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    Installed the lights. Two 24" Repti-Glo 10.0 strips and one 150W basking bulb.
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    Shots of it finally inside!
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    Thanks for looking, I hope you enjoyed it! I will post pictures when the inside is complete, this weekend.
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    Here is how much Ryion grew while I was building his cage. I started drawing the plans for his permanent cage the week I brought him home.

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  2. m3s4

    m3s4 New Member

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    Super dope....Nice build pics and enclosure.
  3. frost

    frost Active Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    looks good. your red looks kinda like my rosy.
  4. BretF

    BretF New Member

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    Love the design! I'm definitely going to use this when I make Bernie's next enclosure. What did you use to seal the inside of the enclosure?
  5. Compnerd7

    Compnerd7 Member

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    Honestly I don't know haha.. It's an old deck sealer that I have had for many years, and they don't sell it anymore because of the off gas it gives when drying. When it is dried out it is safe. I have had it stored for years in one of my sheds, and it works really awesome.. on the inside I coated it many many times and let it off gas and dry for about 3 months just to be on the ultra safe side.
  6. BretF

    BretF New Member

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    Nevermind, i read the rest of the post haha.
  7. BretF

    BretF New Member

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    That's a really good idea.. How exactly did you mount the fixtures on the inside?
  8. mattlagrone19

    mattlagrone19 Member

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    Wow that's awesome
  9. Compnerd7

    Compnerd7 Member

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    It was pretty simple.. I screwed them to the cross member. Then ran the cords out a hole in the back that was 1 1/8in. Plugged the lights into a strip and all I have to do in the morning is flip a switch and everything comes on. it's easy to change the bulbs as well because you can crawl into the cage pretty easy haha.
  10. BretF

    BretF New Member

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    Where did you screw into on the fixtures?
  11. Logie_Bear

    Logie_Bear Member

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    That is astoundingly beautiful. Literally my jaw is on the floor right now. :eek: That mango wood really gives the whole design an extra oomph and the finished piece looks fantastic. Are the holes on the top just holes, or is there some sort of screen there?

    And sorry if I have too many questions, but just for curiosity:

    aprox how heavy is the finished thing to move?
    did you do the inlay for the wood roses design on the front?
    when you install the flooring on the top, do you have to have to have a lip/border around the edges to start?

    I just soooo in love with all of this. Your tegu is a real looker as well! <3
  12. Skeetzy

    Skeetzy Member

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    Wow. That's amazing. You seriously didn't skip a single step to perfecting that cage. I hope if I ever have to rebuild my cage, that I can do it half as good as that.
  13. Quartzyellowjacket

    Quartzyellowjacket Member

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    Now all we need to do is find a warehouse so the government can start the U.S.A Tegu army. All jokes aside, fantastic design with the different kinds of wood, your Tegu also looks great.
  14. Compnerd7

    Compnerd7 Member

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    Thank you for all the kind comments, I went into building this with one goal in mind: perfection haha. I really can't wait for the inside to be complete as well.

    Here are the answers to your questions:
    aprox how heavy is the finished thing to move?
    did you do the inlay for the wood roses design on the front?
    when you install the flooring on the top, do you have to have to have a lip/border around the edges to start?

    I would have to estimate that it weighs around 300-400lbs
    I did do the inlay work, a long time ago. It was one piece then I cut it in half for the vertical window boarder.
    Yes I did install the bullnose ( lip / boarder ) first. That was another separate piece that I had to build, then route to make round.
  15. BretF

    BretF New Member

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    How much did you spend on just the bare minimum, like the plywood, the 2''x4'' structure, and the glass?
  16. Josh

    Josh Administrator Staff Member 1,000+ Post Club 5 Year Member

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    Wowie! That's some enclosure. Nice work! Your gu looks stoked to be living there too!
  17. chitodadon

    chitodadon Active Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    That's nice I wish I had your skills to.build my lil guys like this

    Sent from my LG-P999 using Tapatalk 2
  18. Dom3rd

    Dom3rd New Member 5 Year Member

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    That is awesome!!!
  19. TeguLouie

    TeguLouie Member

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    i love this enclosure!! do you mind if i steal this design for my own? an absolutely beautiful enclosure. i am at best an amateur builder but i think i could pull this off!!