Tuesday, March 14, 2017

DIY Turtle "Tank" Pt. 1.

Yesterday I introduced you all to our newest family addition Yoda, a red footed tortoise (see that post HERE). I also talked about how the wonderful pet store that we went to gave us some wood - along with other fantastic stuff - to help us in our mission to build a special tortoise tank. Well, we officially decided to tackle that task. 

For the time being, Yoda has been "hanging out" in his pool with all the amenities he needs. He even gets to walk around all day and just be free - yes we watch him carefully so he doesn't hurt himself. Now that it's been a few days, we decided to take apart the wood pieces the gentleman at the pet store gave us and attempt to create something magnificent. 

Let me tell you now, it's not been an easy process. Between research, trying to figure out how to make a suitable tank waterproof, and designing the actual layout, I've darn near gave up. 


So far, we've made 4 trips to Home Depot (needed screws, needed a new drill bit, needed silicone, needed plywood) and tomorrow will make 4 days of construction for this "tank" of sorts. 

With things finally coming together, we were able to come up with a solution to almost every problem and create what will [hopefully] be the perfect home for Yoda. 

First, deconstruction. 

The pet store gave us an old tank that was used for what seems to be bunnies (?), so it was cleaned, sanded down, sprayed with a waterproofing spray, and broken down into sections. Some pieces were plexi glass, some were mere 2 by 2's, and one piece was just one chunk of plywood. 

With a very simple sketch, we got to work. 

Problem after problem arose. From our piece of plywood bowing and having to straighten it (clamping it and tightening the frame all around), to having our drill bit become ruined and needing to be replaced, I'm surprised I haven't ripped my hair out completely. 

All in all, we've got ourselves a table top, some of the frame posts put up, our pieces cut out, the plywood leveled, and the layout pulling together. 

My house is a disaster, I'm loosing my mind with this freaking tank, I've changed the vision so many times I want to cuss myself out, but it's almost done.

A few things I've learned so far, is that if you truly don't have a straight edge or the necessary tools needed to finish the project with complete accuracy, you won't be let off easy. I think we've unscrewed and re-leveled this damn thing a thousand times, but I'm confident it will all work out in the end. 

For now though, I have this work bench looking table thing in the middle of my dining room, waiting to be finished. The OCD side of me wants to finish it now, regardless of how late it is, while the practical Mom side of me says "go to sleep, you're too exhausted and it will still be taunting you in the morning". 

Tomorrow [hopefully] I'll have a completed turtle tank and quite possibly a very happy Yoda. So help me if he doesn't like this tank, I'll probably lose my shit. 

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