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Old 08-04-2020, 04:14 PM
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minorhero minorhero is online now
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Default Re: 4 Foot Vivarium Build From The Ground Up


A little time has passed and I have been out in my garage/shop almost every day for at least a few minutes and sometimes a few hours. Since I last posted I processed the rest of that giant beam of walnut.

Here are the longer horizontal support pieces:

This piece was not as nice as the first chunk in that it had cracks, knots, and the tree's center in it. This is why I didn't use it at first and I was planning not to use it at all for this build. But I eventually decided that I wanted the thickness this piece provided and I couldn't get that from the other stock I have on hand.

The cracks and knots I either cut around or stabilized with epoxy tinted black.

Once I had the pieces cut for the visible portion on the frame I could do some mockups to see how it was going to come together:

I am planning to fit plywood into slots I cut for short sides and probably the back as well. This requires half-laps for the short side horizontal supports, through mortises for the vertical legs and stopped mortises for the long horizontal supports.

Here is one of the mortises on the long horizontal support I made with a router. Not my best work but the part that's wonky will be covered up.

The horizontal supports with joinery:

Through mortises for the vertical legs:

Another dry mockup:

And then I decided to do a full size mockup minus most of the plywood:

While I don't have the full sized plywood installed I did stick in some scraps just to get an idea of how it would go together:

A look at that corner from the outside:

And that brings me to current.

I was originally planning to stain the plywood to match the walnut but I am thinking I like the contrast and may just leave it as is.

My issue right now is that I am out of supplies ;P

I have enough plywood to make the short sides, or make the bottom, or make the back, or make the doors. BUT I can't make any 2 of those let alone all 4. In other words, I need to buy some more plywood! I also need to buy more concrete for the top, hinges, handles, and stain if I'm going to stain the plywood.

For finish I think I have settled on General Finish's "Arm-R-Seal". I am going with this one because I discovered I have 2 nearly fully quart containers in storage ;P

Anyway, next time I update it will hopefully be a glue-up complete with plywood!
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