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First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

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  • First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

    I have some 74QT tubs coming they are 44"Lx20"W. I purchased a 4x8' sheet of red oak plywood and I have it cut up into 23"x48" sections. My question is if I just set the plywood on top of each tub+spacers and screw it directly to the support posts (I was going to use 2"x4") will this be sturdy enough to not sag over time? The tubs have a two part lid so I can pull it part way out and open it so I was planning on just leaving the lids on. I don't really have many animals so the extra effort probably won't be too much trouble for me I don't think. I am planning on pulling the tubs out the long way rather than sideways because I've read it sags less that way. Thoughts? I can put a 1x2 or 2x4 under each plywood piece running long way if you guys feel it will sag without additional support.

  • #2
    Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

    If you decide to leave the lids on , you will regret It. Two pieces of advice --
    .
    - With tubs that long , make the rack to where the tubs slide in deep, or they will sag , like so (a rack built many years ago) --
    .
    2003_010466yy0001 by munchang111, on Flickr
    .
    - Asumming that you'll be using Flex-watt to heat .... route out a section for the Flex-watt to set into so that the tub doesn't rub the plastic coating off , and cause a house fire . Not doing this is a risky short cut --
    .
    2003_010466yy0003 by munchang111, on Flickr

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    • #3
      Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

      I agree 100% + with [MENTION=9045]Morgans Boas[/MENTION]. I have Boaphiles, other brands of racks and many homemade racks. Drop the lids, you will be so much happier and DO use a router to place your heat tape below the surface to prolong the life of it. We love pictures so you MUST provide us entertainment in the form of a DIY photo thread.
      http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

      Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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      • #4
        Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

        Do I need to treat red oak plywood if I remove the tub lids? I do plan on sliding them in longwise like you show in the picture. I just didn't know if I needed any additional supports or if I can just screw the plywood directly into the side supports. I am thinking of using three side supports to give it additional stability if you think it will help.


        SO frontwise it would look like this

        |_|
        |_|
        |_|
        |_|
        @@

        and sideways like this
        |_|_|
        |_|_|
        |_|_|
        @ @

        The bottoms are supposed to be castors.

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        • #5
          Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

          You should definitely protect the plywood. Even Marine plywood needs to be sealed against the humidity that can be generated in a tub. I prefer a marine-grade urethane like Sparta because it's so durable. Sealing also makes cleaning racks easier and, heavens forbid, minimizes area for mites if you ever have to deal with them. Just make sure you give it plenty of time to finish drying/airing. Read and follow the manufacturer's directions, but 48 hours minimum is a generally safe bet. How thick is the plywood? This will play a huge role in how much support/sagging you may see.

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          • #6
            Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

            It's 1/2". Which sags worse thinner or thicker? They also have 3/4 and 1/4" plywoods at the local stores.

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            • #7
              Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

              I found a can of procrylic in the basement and used that to seal the plywood tops today. I'll do a second coat tomorrow (can says to use 2 coats). Do I just do the top where the open tub will be or the bottom where the heat tape goes too?

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              • #8
                Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

                Personally, I'd seal the whole darn thing. Better have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
                http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

                Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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                • #9
                  Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

                  I assembled the rack tonight. It was kind of tough to flip it over without any assistance, I'd probably wait for a friend to come over if I had to do it all over again. It's 48" tall. I didn't want to make a taller one until I gave this one a test run. I bought expensive wood because the cheap stuff was bowed or so bent it was laughable. I used a dremel to make the probe holes at the back.

                  My biggest concern right now is the gap between the tubs and the top. I used a piece of cardboard which I thought was the right thing to use but the gaps look huge to me. My snakes aren't very big, caulker cays around 3' long and not very thick. In the largest place, I can almost push my pinkie finger between the tub and the top, too big?

                  I'll throw in a couple of pics to help illustrate.


                  Attached Files

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                  • #10
                    Re: First DIY Rack Advice for 74QT tubs

                    If that gap is too much maybe you could use some adhesive Velcro strips (or something similar), stuck to the bottom of the rack (between the rack and the bottom of the tub) to lift the tub up a bit.

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