How to make a terrarium | page n°2
I trace now the place where i plan to drill for screws which will permits to make the final assembly. I use screws of 4x25mm and a drill with a diameter of 4mm with incorporated router bit . I trace all the parts now. Adapt the size of screws and drill a the thickness of you panels. Router bit will allow us to hide the screws.
6. Trial assembly:
Then I make a trial assembly which permits to see all surfaces to past.
I drill the holes.
I glue all surfaces with wood white glue. Take care to remove the dust of those surfaces. I clean surplus of glue with wet rag. When parts are glued together you can screw. At this step, the whole terrarium is assembled (excepted the doors).
9. Finishing - holes caping:
I use wood filler with a spatula to cap the hole and all the screws holes. Now we don't see the screws anymore, it is the reason why it's essential to use a router bit. Be sure that the humidity and temperature of the room are not too low because it can impact the hardening duration.
With very sharp wood chisel remove the reliefs on the wood filler for getting very plane surfaces
11. Drain tubes:
This step seems to be like beginner plumbing. I planned to add two bulkhead unions, one for draining water if needed and the second being water overflow pipe. Bulkheads unions link one pipe for rejecting water in a small tank in the cabinet. This small tank can be turn into filter.
12. Drain holes:
I make the holes with adapted bit. As usual, holes diameter depends on bulkheads unions diameter.
13. Drain and bulkhead union:
Then i cutted tubes starts (20mm diameter) for making a last drain trial assembly. I take a photo of a bulkhead union example (first photo en right).
Now it's time to create doors. I decided to fix the doors. I chose concealed self closed cabinet hinges. For the tracing, distance between drilling and side of the door represent the wished gap between the door and the cabinet (in this case 2mm or 0.07 inches). Drilling is done using router bit specialized for concealed self closed cabinet hinges of the brand Wolfcraft.
Doors are screwed on the terrarium. Be careful, it is not very easy but concealed hinges have advantage to be adjustable.
I fix the doorstop. I could be better to remove it before varnishing.
17. Begin of ventilation:
Then I glue and screw the piece that will support the bottom ventilation grid. I make the drill for doors handle too. Handles are not definitely fixed because it will be removed before varnishing an painting
18. Bottom reinforcement:
For reinforcing bottom of the terrarium, I glue and screw pine wood brackets (25x25mm). You had to drill brackets before screwing otherwise wood will burst. Then I begin to apply a primer (soloplast yachtcare G4). this is a single component varnish which will waterproof the surfaces.
19. Holes for cables:
Cable will go through the back panel so I drill large holes with hole saw (about 9cm /3.5in).
I apply primer on the whole terrarium. Inside of tank get 5 layers and outside get 4 layers.
21. Mastic sealant:
After the second layer of primer, I apply a mastic sealing compound with polyurethane silicone usually used for boats water tightness apply this seal in all the angles in the tank and in the cabinet. This step is important.
22. Aluminium profiles:
Next I cut lengths of aluminum profiles which will be fixed in the light gallery. In the bottom of this, will stands 4 profiles for supporting top glass panels and on top will stand 2 profiles font supporting the wood top with lights. Profiles are drilled by fitted bits, then they are glued with the same polyurethane mastic as I used for water tightness and all is screwed with stainless-steel screws. Take care to choose length of you screws according to the wood tank thickness