How to build a Custom Snake Enclosure

By Snaketracks / May 31, 2019
how to build a custom snake enclosure
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Building your own custom Snake enclosure can be a rewarding project. At the same time it can also let you completely customize the appearance and size of your enclosure while possibly saving you thousands of dollars over buying from the store.

Below is an example of how to correctly build and full-function custom enclosure. The size and style can easily be changed to suit your own particular tastes and decor.

The directions below contain no real measurements so that you can feel free to explore cages of various sizes. With a little imagination it’s easy to make changes that you might want (solid wood sides, swing open doors, etc).

Suggested Materials

  • wood
  • plexiglass
  • drill
  • screws
  • countersinking

Snake Enclosure Guide

Step 1 – Building the sides

Snake Enclosure Side Panels

I Recommend using pocket holes to assemble all of the pieces if you have access to a jig. If not, then be sure to countersink the screws so that they can be concealed with wood plugs.

a. Countersinking Screws

Countersinking screws for the snake enclosure

Drill a hole about 1/[email protected] deep in the workpiece using a 3/8″ diameter drill bit. This allows the screw head to be sunk below the surface of the workpiece so that it can be hidden with either wood plugs (best) or wood putty.

While all of the screw holes should be countersunk, DO NOT use the plugs until you have finished assembling the entire piece.

Depending on how you choose to finish it, you may not need to cover the screws on the side panels.

b. Adding a dowel

Glue a 1/8 inch SQUARE dowel to all four inside edges of the side panels. Glue them exactly 1/8 inch from what will be the inside edge of the panels. This will hold the glass or acrylic in place.

Step 2 – Assembly

a. Sides

Attach all pieces as indicated with screws. When attaching the top 1×2, be sure to do so 1/2-3/4″ (depending on thickness of plywood) from the top of the side panels so that the plywood installs flush with the top.

b. Assembly

Attach 1×2’s to the inside bottom edge of the sides and front. The wide 2″ plane should be facing up, and they should be flush with the bottom edge of the assembly.

NOTE: If your cage is longer than 3 feet, you will need to add more cross members to the bottom as indicated in the illustration. This platform forms the support structure for the floor of the cage.

Install a sheet of 1/8″ thick PVC, plexiglass, acrylic or plywood to the inside of the cage using an appropriate adhesive. If you are using plywood, you will need to veneer it with formica or apply a sealer to waterproof it.

c. Assembly Part 3

Measure the back of the cage diagonally from corner to corner to check the squareness. (The measurements should be the same if the cage is square.) Shift the frame as necessary to get it into square.

Then place a piece of 1/8″ thick plywood onto the back and nail or screw it into place.

Install 1/8 inch thick glass or acrylic in the side panel frames. Hold in place turn-buttons (see finishing for detail).

Install 1/8″ or 1/4″ thick glass or acrylic doors in the front. Be sure to stick on plastic door pulls.

Finishing

Ventilation

If you use acrylic or another plastic for the side panels, you can drill holes in it for vents. Be sure to mark and drill before you remove the protective material.

If you use glass for the sides, you can drill holes in small pieces of acrylic and screw them to the back of the cage after you cut an appropriate size hole in it.

Grommet for cables

Grommet

Grommets like the one above are used to run cables through. Be sure not to make it excessively large.

Door Pulls (to open)

Turn Buttons

Trim

I usually glue 1/4″ wood trim to the front of the cage for a finished look. If you choose to bypass this step, you’ll need to cover any exposed screw holes with wood plugs or wood putty, assuming you care about such things. Just sand the plugs or putty flush after you apply.

Finished Product

Snake Enclosure Build

The below video is a slightly different build, but should give you some great ideas on what to do and how to put something together for whatever snake species you own.

Wrapping Up

We hope you learned a lot from the about and can take some action now towards building your enclosure. Let us know in the comments below how it goes and if you have any additional tips!

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