Adding a Second Story to Tort’s Enclosure!!

turtlebean

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
190
Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
Hi all!
Some months back I built my tortoise a homemade enclosure. It turned out awesome and has held up amazing so far! I designed it with the intention and capability to turn it from a rectangle, into an L shaped enclosure so that Tortillini could have some more space. That’s still the plan but I was hoping all of the extra furniture in the loft would be cleared out by now. Since that hasn’t happened yet, I decided to have a bit of fun with this and build up instead of out:)

This brings me to Tortillini’s newest addition, a little upstairs loft for himself!
The first step was to go to home depot and get some wood, some dowels, and a hinge. We got 3/8” wood so that it would be sturdy enough to build with, but thin enough to cut in the laser cutter. It was tough to try and figure out exactly what size loft to put in, since we had the slanting supports of the original box to work around, as well as the ledge that traces around the top of the box.

(OG enclosure) 415449EE-35A5-4DC6-9678-C4531B07BBE8.jpeg

I decided on 24” by 18”, which wasn’t much but it was ultimately adding some more space for my little guy and would give him a cool addition to hangout in.

We got on the computer and designed the dimensions of the box into a puzzle locking pattern, so that the sides would interlock for stability, as well as get reinforced with a bonding agent. AA178579-07DE-43D8-A055-5058FAE743A0.jpeg

Like I stated in the original build, before I bought any sealants, adhesive, or wood I checked to see what was toxic and what was not.

We laser cut the box and fit the pieces together. The first cut of wood didn’t fit quite how we wanted so we put another sheet of wood in the machine, adjusted the dimensions and did a second cut. BD4B9010-87E2-400B-B652-9961E03F0F39.jpeg

It fit PERFECT!! So we pressed the pieces together and put some adhesive on.

DD9C2949-DED4-4816-ACA9-BAD94BD0FFB6.jpeg

We cut some square supports to reinforce the dowels and put those on the box. We then measured and cut out the dowels to 7.5”. I figured it was tall enough for tortillini to live under but short enough for the box to exist under the supports of the big enclosure. 890E993C-BD0E-4542-A46F-27FD772E4B00.jpeg

Next we figured if we couldn’t put an elevator into this enclosure... we would have to build a ramp. It’s fine. We put a cobblestone design on the wood so it would offer some degree of traction. I opted for a longer ramp so it wouldn’t be as steep of a climb for Tort.

Here’s the test piece we cut out. A3589913-3AD1-40DE-8B4B-08922157A3E1.jpeg

After this was all done we were going to put the ramp onto the box using a metal hinge but I didn’t want to have these metal screws poking through on either side so we designed a working wooden dowel hinge and cut out the pieces of the laser as well.

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After everything was constructed I used the same sealant on the inside and stain on the outside that I used on the original box to make it look pretty!

Then I realized this box was gonna be a hazard if I didn’t put some sides on the ramp lol. One more laser cut and done!

9EA47146-F08F-4DF4-85A3-3D4B4E692F61.jpeg

Time to take this thing home and set it up! I’ll post some more pictures when it’s fitted into the enclosure. I hope Tortillini likes it!:)

-Julia R
 

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turtlebean

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 25, 2020
Messages
190
Location (City and/or State)
Connecticut
Okay everything is set up and it seems like Tortillini is doing great with it! He was not scared at all and as soon as the loft got put into his enclosure he went right up the ramp and started exploring :)

I’ve been checking up on him all day from work, through the nest cam and he’s been acting pretty normal! I snapped this screenshot of him eating and you can see the loft set up in the corner. When I get out of work i’ll try and snap some better photos! EAE3D9E2-81BC-4C7D-A148-C0CAB368E262.png
 
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