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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I got 3 sheets of 30.25 x 48 pieces of 1/4 inch glass from Jeff Rassman of CVB (very very cool guy by the way) and started a slightly odd sized build. I have an old wood night stand cabinet thingy that belonged to my grandma. I figured it would make a nice aquarium stand. The dimensions are 30.25 wide by 17 deep. I wanted something kinda on the tall side and was gonna shoot for 36 tall. With how I wanted to build this viv, there wouldn't have been enough glass had I chosen that height. So, 30.25 wide, 17 deep, 33 tall is what I ended up with.

I cut all the glass myself and I wanted to post some simple things I did to make this happen without the professional tools used by glass shops. Some things someone on a budget could easily pull off. This is by no means a how to as there is already a wonderful how to on building vivs in the parts and construction section.

I started off measuring out and drawing the individual pieces of the viv on each pane of 30.25 x 48 piece of glass to make sure I will utilize each piece efficiently and not have waste. When measuring you must keep in mind overlaps for the seams where the 2 panes come together. Example, I have a 30.25 x 17 base. I cut the back piece at 30.25 x 33, the same length as the base. Now my viv will be side opening instead of front opening, so the front pane is the same as the back pane. The side substrate dams however are cut 1/2 inch shorter (16.5) as they need to be sandwiched between the front and back panes. With creating a front opening viv, you would do the same thing only with your substrate dam in the front vs. the sides.

Now on to some pics.

Here are 2 of the 3 panes of glass.


The glass cutter. Toyo brand. It's about $30 bucks at a good glass shop.


To break the glass after it has been scored with the above glass cutter, I used 2 small blocks of wood which I fashioned an inner curve on one and an outer curve on the other. I used my chop saw to do this. It's not pretty but it worked very well. I don't recommend following my foot steps. I'm stupid.


Now I don't have a straight edge or a fancy glass cutters angle, so I use another piece of glass as my straight edge. I mark my piece to be cut, lay a barely damp towel flat on the surface just behind my mark and then lay the "straight edge" piece of glass on top of the towel. The moisture prevents anything from sliding while cutting. Before you start cutting , be sure the cutting wheel lines up with your marks on both ends of the piece to be cut. There is no fixing it once you've made a score mark so be sure it is right the first time.


After you have made your score mark, remove everything from the top of your glass and get your wood blocks ready for action! The piece with the outer curve will go on the bottom. The inner curve goes on the top.


Then take a pair of channel locks and grip onto both blocks sandwiching the glass. Be sure the center of the curves are in line with your score mark. Once lined up, slowly and steadily apply pressure to the channel locks. If done slow enough, you can actually see the glass separating down the score mark before it completely breaks. Pretty cool!


Once your pieces are cut, it's time to sand the edges. A belt sander is a great tool for doing this job, but that means ya gotta have a belt sander ;) For those of us who don't have a belt sander, a sanding block works great! I don't recommend using an orbital sander as it seems to leave small chips or "scalloping" on the edges. After realizing this, I quickly switched to my hand block sander and the edges turn out very nice.


Be sure to sand the corners to take the edge off.


Here's half of the glass cut and ready to go.


Now that I've gotten that out of he way, I'll post the build next!

Josh
 

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you're not stupid. You're RESOURCEFUL.

i love the threads where someone builds a viv out of someone elses garbage!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
This was a different build than anything I had done before. The side opening design made it a little more difficult to get things going. I did not bother taping for nice silicone lines as I am going to trim this thing out and it will hide the silicone. Plus, that's just a waste of tape ;) I layed a bead of silicone down and put the back pane in place and taped it up. I had to lean the back pane against the wall until I could get my side substrate dams in place


I then layed a bead of silicone down the sides of the base and on the back side of the substrate dam and taped it all in place. From here, it was a balancing act as the little corner pictured below was the only thing holding that 30.25 x 33 pane upright.


Once I got the other side in place, it was much less ricketty. From there, it was time to put the front pane in place. Talk about sketchy!! Once I got the pane in place, I ran a piece of tape from the back pane to the front pane so I could let the front pane lean out, thus being held up by the tension of the tape. This allowed me enough time to scoot the front pane in place and tape it up. Phew!!! That sucked!!

I then got tape ready for my top braces and ran my silicone beads. Once I got those pieces in place, things got much much less sketchy with that front pane :)


Now time for the top pieces! Getting these in place took away all sketchiness and really solidified things. The top consists of 2 pieces. One at 30.25 x 3 and the other at 30.25 x 13. This leaves me with a 1" air vent.


And this is as far as I've gotten so far. I still have to cut some braces for the back that run top to bottom and then get the doors in place. Gotta figure out exactly how I'm gonna do the doors first....



Josh
 

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Discussion Starter #4
you're not stupid. You're RESOURCEFUL.

i love the threads where someone builds a viv out of someone elses garbage!!!
Hahahaha thanks! The glass I made this out of was actually top quality stuff Jeff gave me. All my other vivs I have are made from glass that was someone's garbage that I got for free. Some were panes used in a greenhouse. Others were double pane windows that I took apart and cut up. All of my vivs aside from 2 are made by myself from scrap glass. I enjoy it!

Josh
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm so inspired to make my own tank....... one day.


Great looking tank build!
It's really not that difficult to do and make it look good. Give it a shot for sure! I'd love to see your results! I wouldn't mind seeing other peoples DIY glass box builds either. Anyone feel like sharing?
 

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It's really not that difficult to do and make it look good. Give it a shot for sure! I'd love to see your results! I wouldn't mind seeing other peoples DIY glass box builds either. Anyone feel like sharing?
Hey Josh, nice job. Since you invited us, I'll link your readers to a few things. All my slope fronts are built with scrap glass. I get the mistake, dual panes from my insulated glass unit manufacturer. Actually, they are Denver Bronco vivs because they come from a former Bronco, Steve Busick, who now runs Busick Insulated.
Here is a link that shows a few. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/members-frogs-vivariums/60340-my-first-clay-backgrounds.html
Oh, and since we are talking Ghetto, mind if I link your readers to a cheaper glass cutter that still works great? Fletcher-Terry 01-128/07-CP "Gold Tip" Glass Cutter It's not as nice as an oil filled, but you just dip it and cut. I actually use these cheap ones professionally as I don't have to be as careful about the tips being knocked around in the truck.
Here is a set of measurements I worked up if anybody gets serious about doing their own build. It also supplies links to get the sliding door tracks. http://www.dendroboard.com/forum/parts-construction/76707-dimensions-euro-viv.html
 
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A little crooked didn't matter for a viv, though, did it? Silicone plugs up any gaps quite neatly. It would matter on a larger fish tank, but not a viv.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
I just did a Ghetto build too! Everything's a little crooked but it was fun and cheap :D
You gotta post a couple pics of your build! Even if it's a little crooked, it's still rewarding doing it yourself :)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I bought some aluminum tracking for the doors and installed it on the tank. It looks pretty good. The corners are mitered for a clean look.

The tracking is 5/16 or something around there. The 1/4 glass is a little loose in it but it's not bad.


And the tracking installed.



And here is a picture of a miter. They all turned out really clean. In fact, this is the worst looking one of the 4.


I had to notch out the side of the front of the tracking a 1/4" to slightly inset the tracking. This was done just to make the gap between the sliding pane and front pane as minimal as possible without them colliding when I open the doors.


Now time to put the sliding doors in!!
 

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Nice build Josh. Tomorrow you are going to show it scaped and full of frogs, right?
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Nice build Josh. Tomorrow you are going to show it scaped and full of frogs, right?
Hahahaha!!!!! I wish!!! I will be starting the hardscaping soon. I have been thinking about replicating strangler fig or rock fig roots and have them coming down across some fake rock and some aerial roots n' such. Any ideas are more than welcome and pics of an ideal setting are welcome too ;)

josh I think we'd all like to see some close up shots of those vivs...

superb style of cutting and use of glass by the way
Thank you! And I can definitely post some close up shots of the cubes. The bottom 3 are kinda just temporarily set up and nothing special. Here is a pic of the bottom right cube



Josh
 

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Hahahaha!!!!! I wish!!! I will be starting the hardscaping soon. I have been thinking about replicating strangler fig or rock fig roots and have them coming down across some fake rock and some aerial roots n' such. Any ideas are more than welcome and pics of an ideal setting are welcome too ;)



Thank you! And I can definitely post some close up shots of the cubes.
I prefer to give my ideas out "hands on". So ship it over this way and I'll show you some pics after I have frogs in it!
 
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