How to Build Your Own Bearded Dragon Cage
A good enclosure for your pet lizard is crucial for this will be the area where most of its time will be spent in. Building one is a more fun idea than buying the readymade varieties that are available in plenty commercially.
Below is a model that can be built within the comforts of your home. This is for a 4’x2’x2’ size bearded dragon enclosure.
Materials Required: 4×8 ft sheet of ¾ Melamine; 8”x16” vents with screen behind – 2 nos.; 3” circle vents – 6 nos.; liquid nails; 36” fluorescent strip light fixture; caulk; 24×48 Plexiglas of ¼” thickness; Melamine edging tape; 1 ½” finishing nails; extension cords – 2 nos.; 6’ sliding panel tracks, and basking lights.
Tools Required: Jigsaw, table saw, hammer, screw gun, and hole-saw bits.
- Cut 2 pieces measuring 24”x48” each from the Melamine sheet for the top and bottom of the cage. Cut another set measuring 24”x24” for the two sides. Mark the spots on the side walls as to where the 8”x16” vents need to go by placing the measuring tape horizontally from the side and marking 4” and 19” respectively. From the top place it vertically and mark 4” and 10”. At one end of the marking drill a pilot hole big enough for the jigsaw blade to pass through. Once this is done begin cutting out the vents.
- With the side walls ready, pre-drill holes on the sides of the top piece and place it on the 2 side pieces. Position and allow the 2 side pieces to extend out a wee bit to give a perfect fit when finally taped down with melamine tape. Then nail down the top to the 2 side pieces securely. Follow the same procedure while fixing the bottom piece too.
- Now cut 46-½”x24” of Melamine for the back piece and pre drill holes. Draw markings on the top of the back piece for the vents. Since 6 vents are to be placed, space out the markings accordingly. With the help of a 3” hole saw bit, drill 6 vent holes. Trim and file the edges to make it flush. It is time now to fix the back piece by nailing it to the sides, top and bottom pieces.
- For making the front bottom pieces, measure from inside to inside and make total 4 cuts for the plastic runners to sit. With the measurements in place cut the first piece out with height measuring 2” where the track will sit on and measure and cut 2-¼” for the other piece. Pre-drill both the pieces.
- For making the front top pieces, cut one to 1-¾” where the track sits on and the rear piece cut to 2-¼”. Again pre-drill both the pieces. With all four pieces measured, cut and pre-drilled, nail them into place. Place melamine tape around the exposed edges except the pieces on which the tracks will be placed on and iron them out. Apply liquid nails on the track slots and fix the tracks in place.
- Drill a 3/8 hole at the top where the basking spot will be for the wires to come out and pre-drill holes to screw the fluorescent strip light fixtures at the spot where you want them fixed. Cut the edges off the extension cord that you would plug another one into, determine which is negative and positive, and with a wire crimper crimp both the negatives and positives together. Plug in and check if the fixtures are working.
- Now cut the Plexiglas panels. To get your measurements correct, divide the total width of the front opening by 2 and add an extra 1/2“ for sufficient overlap. Measure the height of the front opening and cut 3/8” less. Using a ¾” hole saw bit drill ¾” holes in the center plus 1” in – from the side edge of each panel.
- Then first place the back panel. Start by inserting in the back panel of the top track, raise and insert into the bottom rear track. Repeat the same with the front panel.
If you have the time and money, you can make a separate frame out of wood, like oak or teak, for the front portion and fix it in place to make the cage look more appealing. You can fill the nail holes and seams with caulk to prevent entry of moisture. Seek professional help if you have no prior experience at carpentry work.
Download Bearded Dragon Guide :
Complete instructions to build cage & keep your Bearded Dragon Healthy & Happy .