How to make a terrarium | page n°2

Tracing of terrarium elements for assembly 5. Tracing:
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.

Trial assembly of terrrium elements 6. Trial assembly:
Then I make a trial assembly which permits to see all surfaces to past.

Holes drilling for terrarium construction 7. Drilling
I drill the holes.

Terrarium construction Terrarium assembly 8. Assembly:
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).

Wood filler for terrarium construction 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.

Dimensions of differents parts of terrarium Terrarium building 10. Finishing:
With very sharp wood chisel remove the reliefs on the wood filler for getting very plane surfaces

Drain plumbing for terrarium Plumbing 3D visualization for terrarium construction 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.

Bulkhead union hole drilling for terrarium drain 12. Drain holes:
I make the holes with adapted bit. As usual, holes diameter depends on bulkheads unions diameter.

Pipe and elbows drain for terrarium Bulkheads union for paludarium drain 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).

Hinges for terrarium doors14. Doors:
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.

Cabinets doors for terrarium vivarium15. Doors:
Doors are screwed on the terrarium. Be careful, it is not very easy but concealed hinges have advantage to be adjustable.

Doorstop for terrarium16. Doors:
I fix the doorstop. I could be better to remove it before varnishing.

First part of terrarium ventilation17. 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

Terrarium primer protection18. 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.

Holes for cables with hole saw19. Holes for cables:
Cable will go through the back panel so I drill large holes with hole saw (about 9cm /3.5in).

Varnish for protecting terrarium20. Primer:
I apply primer on the whole terrarium. Inside of tank get 5 layers and outside get 4 layers.

terrarium angles sealing21. 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.

Dimensions of differents parts of terrarium Aluminium profiles for terrarium22. 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