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Old 03-30-2020, 12:50 AM
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Default Front opening, sliding door Tank design

Hi everyone, here are my plans for my front opening conversion of a 48x18x18" tank (picture below)

I'm planning to make the bottom-horizontal piece of glass 1/4" thick and the rest 3/16" or 1/8" thick. That bottom piece will be 6" in height in order to support the e-frame track for the sliding doors

Thoughts on how this will work out? I'm not the most handy guy around, so tips to make this as simple as possible would be great.
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Old 03-30-2020, 01:32 AM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

One of the issues you might have is the support for your e track. Your E track will be around 3/4 wide and the glass you are using is only 1/4". That should be a nice size viv. But why not just make the sliding doors go all the way across, it would be easier to build.
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Last edited by boardingfool; 03-30-2020 at 01:47 AM.
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Old 03-30-2020, 02:16 AM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

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Originally Posted by boardingfool View Post
One of the issues you might have is the support for your e track. Your E track will be around 3/4 wide and the glass you are using is only 1/4". That should be a nice size viv. But why not just make the sliding doors go all the way across, it would be easier to build.
One of the things I've always seen as a big plus for sliding door vivs, is that if they ever get permanent water/mineral etching on the front glass, you can cut a couple more doors fairly cheaply, and have a brand new viewing surface. If you have the doors go all the way across, it will also be so much easier to work on.

Before you get too far, check out the Sherman Vent. It is a brilliant design by Chris Sherman. Personally, I've built at least a hundred vivariums from scratch, and I would never build another without a Sherman Vent. https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...ntilation.html
I owned and operated my own glass business for, well, too long. I would not trust 1/8" glass on 4 foot vivarium. Not even in my own home where I could treat it gently. 3/16" should be the bare minimum you should consider.
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Last edited by Pumilo; 03-30-2020 at 02:18 AM. Reason: added link
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Old 03-30-2020, 02:29 AM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

Thanks for the input guys.

So I understand it, the Sherman vent is essential doing two things:
1) ventilation
2) creating a ledge for the door track to go on

Correct?
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Old 03-30-2020, 04:29 AM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

It was created for ventilation. Original Euro vents took up valuable floor space. I just happens to work perfectly for a place to mount your track to. Yes, you still have to bond the glass Sherman Vent onto the top edge of your front, lower glass. Yes, that is still a thin edge, but now you are bonding glass to glass, which is a much stronger bond.
I have some videos of my viv posted here. https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/me...ungle-gym.html
You may be able to see how I did mine.
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Old 03-30-2020, 12:58 PM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

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Originally Posted by Pumilo View Post
It was created for ventilation. Original Euro vents took up valuable floor space. I just happens to work perfectly for a place to mount your track to. Yes, you still have to bond the glass Sherman Vent onto the top edge of your front, lower glass. Yes, that is still a thin edge, but now you are bonding glass to glass, which is a much stronger bond.

I have some videos of my viv posted here. https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/me...ungle-gym.html

You may be able to see how I did mine.
Would a competent glass shop be able to cut one piece of glass to do both the sides and the bottom as well? (Would this be sturdier than 3 separate pieces of glass siliconed together?

(I would then add the Sherman vent and door tracks onto this piece)
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

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Would a competent glass shop be able to cut one piece of glass to do both the sides and the bottom as well? (Would this be sturdier than 3 separate pieces of glass siliconed together?

(I would then add the Sherman vent and door tracks onto this piece)
I don't understand this at all. The bottom of the viv is on one plane. The bottom front of the viv is on a second plane, and the sides of the viv are on yet another. Cutting one piece of glass to do this would require bending the glass. Bent glass is extremely expensive.
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Old 03-30-2020, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

Finding someone to cut Sherman vent strips of glass may take a few calls. It's a difficult cut. Some hobbyists have reported being turned away for such a skinny piece. It's just very easy to break when you snap it at the scored line.
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

Do you mean all three front pieces cut as one, like a big horseshoe? Sooo expensive!
Your requested tips to make this easier, are to follow a tried and true design. This is one of the best put together tank build guides I've seen to date. It's kept simple and to the point. Katie truly rocked this guide. https://www.dendroboard.com/forum/pa...-vivarium.html
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Old 03-30-2020, 08:21 PM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

Thank you for that link. The pictures in it finally made the sliding glass doors click on my head! I was going to have them slide outwards, each able to slide out from the middle rather than slide inwards, and overlap.
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Old 03-30-2020, 10:51 PM
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Default Re: Front opening, sliding door Tank design

You can also do a 3, or even 4 door design using the same dual track that everyone uses. By the way, you can get your track at Outwater Plastics.
For 3 doors you put the left and the right door, in the rear track. Center door goes in the front track.
For 4 doors you put the far left door in rear track, next one in front. Third goes in rear and the final one in the front track. 4 doors, two tracks.
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