Monday, October 25, 2010


Welp, eight feet of 1.5 inch diameter transparent acrylic tubing cost me $52, including shipping. I've instructed that it should arrive precut into sixteen 6 inch long sections. Overkill for what I need but there was a minimum on the amount you could order.This means the sky (or budget) is basically the limit on potential future expansions. I can add damn near anything with at least one flat surface, made of transparent material, and watertight or easily made so.

I still need materials to build the platform to which the enclosures will be bolted. I'm thinking erector set. They have large panels govered in a grid of holes with standard sized bolts, perfect for building exactly the size and shape platform I need. I'll position the enclosures, drill holes in their floors, bolt them down and then seal the area where the bolt passes through the enclosure floor with silicone sealant.

I'll be bolting them down after I dremel-out the holes for the tubes, but before I actually add the tube and glue/seal it into place. My reasoning being that if I fix the tube to the two enclosures with glue and sealant beforehand, when I bolt them down, forcing them flat like that might crack the seal where the tube passes through the enclosure wall. Better to add the tubes when they're already bolted down and let the glue dry, then add sealant.

So, a general purpose erector set with plenty of large panels, and a dremel. Can anyone suggest good candidates for either?


  1. You can find several Dremel tools and bits on ebay but i dont know if there is even an erector set that large that can supply you with that base. Might have to get one made.What is the over all length and width? You might be able to find a shop that can take a 1/8 steel sheet and make you a 3 foot by 3 foot t with several holes drilled around near the edges.

  2. The nice thing about the erector set idea is if they don't make a single plate large enough I can bolt them together at the edges.

    Unless someone has access to a machine shop and wants to cut a custom platform for me I don't see any other way to go.

  3. Why not use plywood? It would be easy to work with, allow for additions (or easy modification), wouldn't rust, if pressure treated would last forever (or close to it, I've had a trebuchet sitting outside for 3 years with no mold or damage) even underwater, and would be strong enough for what you're using it for.

  4. You may want to consider a support bracing the bottom of the tubes and the base, to prevent weight cracking or unforseen things falling on top of the tube during submersion. That would also prevent any sagging after you attach the boxes.

  5. I would be concerned for the silicone sealant and its possible appeal to hamsters as a chew toy. If it sets to one of the consistencies I am thinking of, this seems like something the hamsters I had years ago would have decided to try to eat.

  6. Why is this turning me on? I need more information. Why are you putting all this shit under water? Are you a crazy under water mad scientist?