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  • Cutting holes in plastic bins?

    For those of you that have made enclosures with plastic bins, what did you use to cut the plastic in order to put in the screen? I've tried a box cutter with no success, the plastic seems to be very hard. I also used my woodburning tool to cut out the square but it has left the edges more jagged than I like. I want to do another enclosure so I figured I would check with all of you and see what has worked for you.
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  • #2
    I've used a Dremel tool for the harder plastic. Than used a knife to clean it up after.
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    • #3
      Click image for larger version

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ID:	1067076 not the best picture but here they are.
      Crested geckos 4:5:15
      Chewie. 0:1:1

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      • #4
        If you dont have a dremel. you can melt it depending on if you have a handheld torch, 1 razor blade, and pliers. Trace what you want cut with a sharpie. Grip your razor blade with a good pair of pliers and heat the blade up until red hot. You will only get a few seconds of cut before its cool and needs heated again. If you melt with anything thicker than a razor blade it will give a nasty cut. Go slow and be careful you only get 1 shot or make a larger hole.

        Also I have tried this for my dubia bins with good success. You can use hole-saw bits for perfect circular holes and just screen over those. Not much clean-up required. There is hole-saw bits over 4 Inch diameter too.

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        • #5
          You can also use a soldering gun from Walmart 7.99

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          • #6
            Love the hole saw idea! I use a soldering iron and just make tons of holes on either end in a circular pattern. Pretty much equals screening that way...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by JumpinJewels View Post
              Love the hole saw idea! I use a soldering iron and just make tons of holes on either end in a circular pattern. Pretty much equals screening that way...
              I tried the method of putting a bunch of holes around the bin but I found it tended to smell after a couple of days. I much prefer the live vivs (no smell from them) but I'm getting too many geckos so I will need to do the bin thing for some of them. I might try making a live bin one of these days as well just to see if it would work.
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              • #8
                I just finished renovating an aquarium using a plastic boot tray as a divider and also to reinforce the aquarium top. To cut the plastic I used tin snips. I bought a set of 3 on sale, one has a straight blade, the others have left and right-curved blades to cut in a curve. For finer work like ventilation holes I use either a hole saw bit on my drill, the cutting wheel on my Dremel or I just use my chef's torch and heat up a metal tool to melt the plastic. The torch comes in handy to smooth the edges as well. Here's another cage building tip: use metal sink drain screens from a dollar store as vents. They come in different sizes and are made of stainless steel so they don't rust.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Creepella View Post
                  Here's another cage building tip: use metal sink drain screens from a dollar store as vents. They come in different sizes and are made of stainless steel so they don't rust.
                  How do you fasten the sink screens to the plastic?
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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Pugwinkle View Post
                    How do you fasten the sink screens to the plastic?
                    I make the hole in the plastic smaller than the outside rim of the screen. Then I use either epoxy or aquarium caulk. Hot glue gun might work but I've never tried it. It's a good idea to roughen the plastic using sandpaper or an emery board, to help the glue bond. You may need to use tape or a clamp to hold the pieces together for a couple of hours while the glue sets. I normally just lay the plastic container on its side with the screen side up and let gravity hold the parts together.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Creepella View Post
                      I make the hole in the plastic smaller than the outside rim of the screen. Then I use either epoxy or aquarium caulk. Hot glue gun might work but I've never tried it. It's a good idea to roughen the plastic using sandpaper or an emery board, to help the glue bond. You may need to use tape or a clamp to hold the pieces together for a couple of hours while the glue sets. I normally just lay the plastic container on its side with the screen side up and let gravity hold the parts together.
                      Another idea is to purchase them from Repti-ledge. The are more expensive but then again you don't have to mess around so much. Just cut the hole and install. Jeff will likely have some for sale at the expo.

                      http://www.reptiledge.com/2-round-al...-vents-2-pack/
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                      • #12
                        I use a Unibit, also referred to as a step drill. If you don't know what this is, you need to look into it... it will make short work of making holes from 1/8" up to 1 3/8" and every size in between.

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                        • #13
                          you can get cheap step drills at Harbor Freight.

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