Hybrid Enclosure Assembly!

00:04 Chuck: I don’t care who you are, bubble wrap’s got nothing on that feeling right there.

00:27 Chuck: Hey guys, Chuck here. It is a Friday afternoon, it is coming down outside, and we’re approaching the end of the summer, and autumn is right around the corner. So all the animals that I have outside need to come inside. Big surprise for a couple of pair of knight anoles, and Lucky, my spiny-tailed iguana, is they’re gonna have new enclosures when they come back in, which will probably be in the next day or two. With the help with my friends at, Mr. Ted Judy, who has been out to my house a couple of years ago when I set up the suncatcher, which is a product, I was able to get three new hybrid enclosures of their H2 system, which is for their small to medium size enclosures, H3 is for their great, big, larger enclosures. So these are H2 system hybrid enclosures, I’ve constructed two of them already. We’ll walk over here real quick. That’s these two guys right here. All I gotta do is decorate ’em and get ’em out in the garage which I will do this weekend, but this larger enclosure is 3 feet long, 3 feet tall, 2 feet front to back, and that is for Lucky, the female Honduran spiny-tailed iguana. And this slightly smaller enclosure, 3 feet tall, 2 feet across the bottom, and 18 inches deep, front to back, that would be for a pair of knight anoles.

01:55 Chuck: The enclosure that I’m gonna assemble for you guys today is one of the… Of the same size for the knight anoles, so we’re gonna put that bad boy together step by step here in a moment. So to begin, get a packing list with all of your parts. Again, the H2 is the smaller variety of the hybrid enclosure, the anodized aluminum framework is smaller than the H3, but sufficiently strong for what I need it for, for the size of the enclosure. So I have all of my structural framework, I have all of my hardware. The U channels that are mentioned in the packing list, those come already installed on the top panel, as well as the acrylic side panels. And so I got a lock, I got my doors, that’s the back panel, bottom panel, top, sides, framework and packing list. Now, since this is the third one that I’ve built in as many days, I have it down to a science, at least I hope I do. And so what I’m gonna do is, some lessons learned as I put the other two together, and we will follow the instructions, the steps as per the instruction manual, but I don’t need to flip through it anymore.

03:12 Chuck: So this is a smaller enclosure, I can do this one by myself. Larger enclosures, you’re probably gonna need another set of hands or two ’cause when you’re dealing with panels and holding things upright while you’re putting the corner joints in or the corner hardware, sometimes you need somebody to hold it while you’re screwing it on or whatever. So without further ado, we will go ahead and get started. I’m gonna extend a little tripod that I have here on my GoPro, and the first thing that I’m gonna do is prep all of my corner hardware. So obviously it has eight corners, four across the top, four across the bottom, and your three-way. So they are vertical, and then they are horizontal. So let me go and set my tripod up and hopefully this is… Let me put my glasses on so I can see what the GoPro is showing here. Sorry for the shake. Hopefully, this is coming in well. So where the screws go for the horizontal, you can tell because you can actually slide them in on their side and it has to stick all the way through where they go for the vertical pieces. So I’mma put one of these together for you and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

04:33 Chuck: So screw those in and what happens is, as you tighten up the screws within the aluminum framework, so just for instance, this plastic piece is gonna slide inside the aluminum framework, and then as I tighten it up, it’s gonna expand and that’s what’s gonna make it tight, that’s what’s gonna give it its structural integrity. So that’s a vertical piece, and then I can’t do it yet ’cause there’s nothing for me to tighten it up on, but I’ll go ahead and pre-screw this one. And then that would set right in there like that for when I go to do a horizontal piece, which would be like the back, and then this one will be the side. So at the end of this, when I prep all eight of my corner joints, you guys will see I will have the ability… That’s what it’s gonna look like. So what I’m gonna do right now is I’m gonna go ahead and prep my hardware, just this, seven more times. So we’re not gonna time-lapse it or anything, but I’ll come right back once I get all seven of ’em done. Be back in a moment.

05:48 Chuck: Alright, so I got all eight of my corner hardware squared away, the pieces that I need for eight corners. We only see four right here, I’m gonna do the other four once we go do this side, or excuse me, we do the front. So what I’m working on right here is, this is the framework for the back panel. The enclosure is 3 feet tall, that’s the large one, and it’s 2 feet wide, side to side. So I’ve got my pieces of hardware ready. This is the back panel. I went ahead and had them, they don’t call it custom cages for nothing, I had them go and put a hole down at the bottom for a cord grommet in case I wanna have a waterfall on the inside or a heat mat or any other accessories that I wanna have, some sort of cord or airline tubing or whatever to go on the inside. And so they’ll do as many of those as you want, wherever you want ’em, you tell ’em. I said center-bottom, boom, center-bottom, there it is. So let’s go ahead. I will set the camera on the tripod and we’ll come over here, and I’ll start showing you guys how these corners go together. And again, make sure this thing’s coming in clear. Alright.

07:01 Chuck: Now this is the first one that I’ve done sitting at the table; the rest of them I was just all comfortable on the floor. And by the way, I started this at 3:25 PM, so it’s not a race or anything, but we’ll go ahead, I’ll let you know how long it takes me, one person, to put this enclosure together by my lonesome, and please don’t… It’s not any kind of standard, ’cause I am not the most mechanically inclined person in the world, but… So again, I already told you guys where you can put the bolts in this way, these are for horizontal framework where you have to actually insert it into the hole and it won’t fall out.

07:43 Chuck: That is for vertical framework. So vertical piece, three feet tall. I’ll slide that bad boy in there and we’ll go ahead and I’m gonna… With the handy Allen wrench, Allen-type wrench, it’s got like a star star head on one end and a Phillips head on the other, we’ll go ahead and tighten it up. And quite honestly, the longest part of the whole process putting these cages together is just tightening these things. If I was doing this for a living, installing custom cages enclosures, I’d probably get some sort of special ratchet screw head or something to do it, but I can knock it out with just three. So I don’t tighten them all the way, I just do it until it’s a little bit snug ’cause at the end, I’m gonna go through and make sure they’re all sufficiently tight.

08:39 Chuck: So I hope this is coming… Make sure I’m not… Okay. So now we’ll take this, we’ll put it there. This is tracking, okay. I probably ought to put this GoPro on my head, but… And then that goes like that, and now we gotta tighten this one. There we go. And always remember, righty-tighty, lefty-loosey, and so I’ll just drag this to the… So I can show you what I’m doing. See? Now I’m tightening that one. Just until it’s, it’s… I’m not tightening it as far as it’ll go, I just wanna make it snug so that it’s sturdy while I’m working with it, while I’m sliding the panels in and everything, so… Alright, so that’s sturdy.

09:49 Chuck: Now after I get the back, the whole back panel done, just… So after I get the whole back panel and the piece within the framework, then I’ll start doing the other horizontal, which will be the sides, the 18-inch sides on all four corners. So I’ll get the back and then the sides, bottom, top, then we’ll take the front and put it on, which is probably the trickiest part of the whole thing, but let’s go ahead. Let me not get ahead of myself. I apologize, and I’m gonna go ahead and work on that corner over there, I’ll stop the camera and work on that corner there, do just what I did here, and then we’re gonna take the panel, we’re gonna slide it in and then we’re gonna work on this side, in these two corners. So stand by.

10:41 Chuck: Okay. Two corners are done, not tight as I can get ’em, but snug enough for me to work with them, and now I’m gonna go ahead and slide, and I just kicked over dog food bowl ’cause my dog didn’t eat this morning. I’m gonna go ahead and make sure I’ve got enough space to work. I’m gonna slide the back panel into the grooves. And this is probably where, I can do this by myself, but if you had two people working, it would go a lot smoother, a lot less opportunity for things to pop out on you while you’re working. So that’s what the back… That back panel is gonna look like, a little dusty. And then here’s the other upright, the other vertical structure, and that’s gonna go like that.

11:34 Chuck: And now I’m just gonna go ahead and do my other two corner mechanisms, the corner hardware, and then we’re gonna start working on the 18-inch aluminum supports that are gonna be… Make up the sides. So let me go ahead and knock out these two corners and then we’ll come back and do the uprights, well, not the uprights but the sides. Alright, so obviously, when you’re dealing with needing to move things around, you gotta pop stuff out, so I just wanna show you guys everything that’s involved. So I’ll go ahead and slide that one in there, and I already put this… Again, this is the vertical piece, so that’s that. And then let’s go ahead and we’ll pop out over here, so here’s vertical. And we’ll get our other… And this is again another reason why you don’t tighten them up all the way ’cause you still need to work with… You still need to be able to work with this as you’re putting it together. And if you tighten it up all the way it’d make it more difficult. Alright. So now I’m gonna snug up these two corners, and then we’ll get back to doing the side structure.

13:04 Chuck: Alright, back panel’s done, let’s work on the four corner supports for the side panels. So again, that’s what it’s gonna look like, and you slide that in there. It’s much easier on this table to tighten up my bolts than sitting on the floor and needing to prop it up on my foot or something, so I can get underneath of it. How about let me get my hand out of the way so you guys can see what I’m doing, there we go. And doing this with my off-hand, little awkward, but just gonna snug it up to make it so that’s it’s not gonna go anywhere on me, fall over or anything. Maybe I can get back to my other hand so we can get this done just a tad bit quicker, maybe, I don’t know. It’s not a race. Take your time, attention to detail, do it right. Alright. So, as I put my hand on the front of the camera, boom. Make sure you can see it okay. Nice and snug.

14:35 Chuck: Now I’m gonna do the other three supports, and then we’re gonna put the top screen in, the bottom laminate panel and the two acrylic sides, and then I gotta slide the whole structure out of the way, ’cause then we gotta work on the front panel with the doors. And a little bit of paying attention and getting your situational awareness when you come to do that, but again, let me not get ahead of myself, let me go ahead and stop, I’ll go ahead and put the other three on and then I’ll show you guys sliding the… Alright, so the side support aluminum framework is on and now we’ll go ahead and install the bottom panel, the top screen panel and the two acrylic side panels. Let’s make sure you guys can see what I’m doing. There we go. Okay. Now… Sometimes it’s easier not to try to go through the top, but to slide them into the… Just push, press them into the sides. You guys can see what I’m doing here. It’s nice and snug. There we go, alright.

16:32 Chuck: The instructions say, “Do not remove the protective film on your acrylic until you’re done.” So I do not remove the protective film on my acrylic until we’re done. One thing you can do, which we’re gonna do here in just a second, just to help… See how this is kind of, it’s a little wobbly, is I’m gonna get a little bit of masking tape, something that’s easy to come off, and I’m just gonna put some tape on the bottom and the sides. Tape really won’t stick too well to the screen top, but just to help with the integrity of it while I’m still working on it. Let’s turn you that way, start on the sides here. Oh, maybe I won’t… Yeah, I’ll go and get a little bit of masking tape, just to be on the safe side. Let’s see what we’re looking at here. Here we go. Nope, that’s not masking tape. Where’s my masking tape? Okay, never mind. I thought I had some masking tape readily available, I do not.

17:57 Chuck: So let me see if I have enough room to keep this on the table without needing to try to pick it up and then work on the front. Effectively, most of the back panel and the sides and the top and the bottom are done for this enclosure. Alright. Now we’re almost back to where we started ’cause we have to do the front. And I’m gonna do it the same way, I’m gonna get two corners done, and then I’m gonna slide the two acrylic doors in, and then I’m gonna do the last side. Let me go ahead and get these two corners with the hardware on them and then when I come back to slide the doors in, I will come right back to you guys. Be back in a second.

19:00 Chuck: Alright, so we got the long edge, and then across the top and the bottom for the front. So the way I like to think of this, and just so you can see, my workspace is limited, the way I like to think of this is based on the decals, the stickers that I’m gonna use to guide me is that I’m inside the enclosure looking out. So this first panel is, inside door, the side faces in, as in faces in to the enclosure and it’s the inside door. Obviously you can see… Can you see… Not the best lighting in here, but that’s a channel, so that channel has to go along this inside edge ’cause we’re in the enclosure looking out. Now let’s put it up here. I’m sorry, this is all new to me, doing these assembly things but see if we can figure it out, so… In faces in and up, so it’s gotta go on the inside channel or the inside edge of the… And, see, this is where having another set of hands or some masking tape might come in handy, but we will knock it out. Just get it all the way over to the edge here. There we go. Alright.

20:54 Chuck: And then this one, outside door faces out. So again, we’re putting this thing together as if we’re inside the enclosure, so now this has to go on the bottom. I’ll just lift up and lift up.

21:37 Chuck: That’s not good, it just popped off. Alright. Okay, so I think I got it. Now I just gotta put the last two corner pieces on, and the vertical support. And once I flip this thing over and we get it closed up right, you guys will see what I’m talking about here. So let’s go ahead and let me get the last two sets of corner hardware on, and the vertical support, and I’ll be right back.

22:26 Chuck: I don’t know why the GoPro keeps wanting to cut off on me, but let me go through and lift everything back up. Maybe. Alright, Put you in there. And again, we tighten down later. Put you there. Put you there. Okay. This corner over here wants to be difficult for some reason. There we go, alright. Let me show you what I was talking about with the door. Nope, I screwed it up. No I didn’t. Did I? See? We learn together. Nope, I didn’t screw it up. Okay, yep, the hole’s on the inside. Whoo! See, I’m not very mechanically inclined, so when we put… We’ll put the latch in that way and then it’ll stick out over here and the lock will go there. Alright, I thought I was losing my mind for a second. Alright, let me go through and tighten up all of my corners, and then we got to… We’ll put some covers on, put some casters on and we’re almost done. Be right back.

24:35 Chuck: Alright. Now remember I told you guys this was a funky star thing on one end and a Phillips head on the other? Well, now we get to use the Phillips head part and we’re gonna go ahead and put these caps on all of our corners that serve to hide the hardware. And I am not gonna be able do that with it that far off the table because I won’t be able to twist and turn. So let me see what that looks like. Pretty self-explanatory, you’re just putting a screw in there and screwing the cap on. So I got eight of these to put in, and now we’ll go ahead and… Sorry I have you staring at the floor, but they also have a hole in which the caster pops in. Maybe. There we go, alright. So let me go ahead and knock out the three more bottom ones, three more casters, the four on the top, and we’re gonna set this bad boy upright, put the lock on, and then we’ll chat. Be right back.

26:19 Chuck: I don’t care who you are, bubble wrap’s got nothing on that feeling right there. It’s well packaged, protective film on both sides of the acrylic. The casters are on, super mobile.

27:29 Chuck: I’m very satisfied. Alright. I was worried about nothing with the lock. Not that I need to worry about anybody trying to get out or get in or anything. Alright, I am not going to put the core grommet in yet because I still need to put a bead of black aquarium silicone all along wherever the laminate composite paneling is. Now, this itself, getting a little bit moisture on it, on the actual laminate’s not gonna hurt anything, I just don’t want it seeping into where the composite is and having that swell, so I’m gonna put a bead of silicone on that before I install this, and a bead all the way around. These are not wet, gonna be wet enclosures per se, but they are subtropical animals, I do need to mist off the knight anoles at least once or twice a day, that’s how they drink, off of droplets of water on the leaves of the plants that I’ll have in here. So I just wanna shore up the moisture-proofing in the enclosure, and I’ve already done it with these two over here. And I apologize the lighting’s not the best, but you can see it’s black, and you can see the bead of black aquarium silicone along the bottom. So those ones are done. And once I do that for this, it’s gonna be all about decorating and getting the animals in probably in the next day or two.

30:00 Chuck: As I mentioned, These are hybrid enclosures. The custom is they’ll make any size you need. The custom is they can be all clear acrylic around, they can be composite, they can be aluminum panels, they can be screen panels. And so when they say custom cages, that’s what it means. And they have a calculator where you can put in your size, all your different options, and it’ll tell you what they can do for you, how much it’s gonna cost and all that good stuff. They also have the suncatcher enclosures, which is what you guys have seen more than once. [30:35] ____ outside. I’ll link to some of my other discussions that I’ve had about the Custom Cages products, so you guys can visit some of that stuff as well.

30:46 Chuck: But what time is it? It is quarter to 5:00. I told you guys we started at about 3:35, so about an hour and 10 minutes for one person to take his time and put together this… To me, it’s a larger cage, but it’s nowhere near as big as what people can have. People have room-sized enclosures, but for a small lizard, this is a large cage, but it’s a smaller/medium product for what can build. So it took me about an hour and 15 minutes to put it together. And I’m not a 100% done, but putting the silicone on there, that’s me just wanting to have a little extra safety as far as moisture, but it’s not necessary, it’s not in the instructions. And it all depends on what kind of panels you have and what kind of livestock you plan on keeping in the enclosure.

31:36 Chuck: And that’s it. So until next time, I know you guys have seen it. Those of you who have been with my channel before, you’ve seen how I’ve incubated eggs in the old styrofoam Hova-Bator, well, surprise, I’ve kicked up my incubating ability quite a bit. This bad boy just came yesterday, there’s no eggs in it yet, I’m still testing out the heat and humidity and all that, but I finally got me a little bit nicer incubator, and we’ll have more on that. With any luck, Indy the leopard tortoise will lay eggs. With any luck, Lana the Russian tortoise will lay eggs. With any luck, Tiamet will double clutch this year and she’ll lay some fertile eggs, ’cause all of her other ones were infertile. So I got this nice incubator. And I got a couple knight anole eggs I can put in there, but I was really hoping for some tortoise and iguana eggs too. But anyways,, hybrid enclosures. They are awesome, go check ’em out. And I hope this video, just, if somebody is interested in it, show you how you put ’em together. So until next time, take care.

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