Progress on setting up some racks

indyana

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,286
Location
Massachusetts, United States
Getting ready to breed a pair of leopard geckos for the first time next year, so I invested in a couple racks to provide baby housing. These are Five Drawer Sideways Blanket RhinoRaXX from Boaphile Plastics, purchased with the divider option to convert them to 10 sweater boxes (15-quart #1753 Sterilite bins).

I have them hooked up to my HerpStat 4 today to make certain all the heating is working. Stage one in preparing them for next year was to install a bit of cat security! We all know cats + small animals is a bad combination, so I wanted a way to make sure nobody played with the drawers while I was at work...

After a bit of brainstorming and searching hardware on Amazon, I came up with the idea of using some screen clips to retain the drawers.

The screen clips are flush, black metal with a 1/2" reach (about 3/4" total length), and they attach using #10 screws. [link] I experimented a bit with how to drill the holes for the screws before I got the sizing right. I ended up needing a 9/64" pilot hole size to get the screws to go in. The rack material was hard enough to necessitate drilling in three stages - 7/64", 1/8", and 9/64". Then, I could screw in the clips on the lowest torque setting. I screwed them in sideways, with the clips lying against the edge of the shelf, so that they would be able to be turned back and forth.

I think this is going to work very well, and it makes me feel a bit better about gecko safety!

Next, I have to figure out how much ventilation I need to drill in each bin...

 

indyana

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,286
Location
Massachusetts, United States
Now working on drilling ventilation into the 15-qt Sterilite bins. I'm a big fan of airflow; nothing seems worse than being closed up in a plastic bin with poop! *blech*

I had a step drill bit, but unfortunately, it just wouldn't bite into the soft plastic of the bins. It was pretty much just spinning, heating up from friction, and then melting its way through. I didn't want to wreck it, so instead, I drilled in three stages with standard bits: 7/64", 1/4", and 5/16".
EDIT: Later figured out that I could drill the 7/64" pilots, then switch to using the step bit at very low speed (3/16 - 5/16" steps).

Ended up with 44 holes (5/16" diameter) in each bin: 11 on front, 13 down each long side, and 7 on back.

Equipment: Drill, standard bits for wood/plastic (7/64", 1/4", 5/16"), #2 X-ACTO knife, ruler, marker, safety gear (goggles, dust mask, ear plugs).
EDIT: Later used 7/64" bit and step bit (3/16" through 5/16" steps)



Marking holes on front: Measured and marked center using the bottom of the rim and the outermost vertical bars (full width ~7.5", so 3.75" in from one line is center). Marked two additional holes 1-1/2" on either side of center.



Then, measured 1" down from rim on other side and made guide marks for next line of holes. Eyeballed from center dot above to line up a ruler mark, then marked a 1/2" on either side. From each of those dots, put additional marks 1" apart (three on either side for a total of eight marks).



On each side, tucked ruler up under rim and made guide marks 1-1/2" down on either end. Measured center from the top rim, then eyeballed a dot on the guide line at center. On either side, continued marking dots 1" apart (six on each side of center for a total of thirteen dots). Repeat on other long side.



On end, measured 1" down from rim as I had on the front to make a guide line. Measured center along the rim (~3.75" from one of the outer vertical bands) like I did on the front, then eyeballed down to the guideline to mark a center dot. Made dots 1" apart on either side (three on each side of center for a total of seven dots).



All the dots marked! (Having fun yet...?) Now, drilled in three stages. The 7/64" pilot holes on low speed, then the 1/4" and 5/16" on high speed.
EDIT: Later switched to 7/64" pilots on low speed, then step bit 3/16 - 5/16" on VERY low speed.



Cleaned up the rims of the holes of any plastic bits or sharp edges using the #2 X-ACTO. Finished!



Only 19 more bins to go... lol This is going to take a few weekends, as my poor arms/hands get tired after a couple hours.
 
Last edited:

indyana

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,286
Location
Massachusetts, United States
I'll be honest, I wanted something a little more professional looking. I figure these racks are going to last a long time, so might as well put the time in up front to get something visually pleasing. :)
 

indyana

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,286
Location
Massachusetts, United States
Did another set of 5 bins this morning and played around with the step bit after doing some more online research. Drilling the 7/64" pilot holes on low speed, then following up with the step bit at VERY low speed did the trick and allowed me to use the step bit without melting the plastic.

My bit runs from 3/16" through 1/2", so I used the first three steps (3/16", 1/4", 5/16").
 

indyana

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,286
Location
Massachusetts, United States
Used the same method to do some larger adult bins this morning (blanket size, 32 qt).

Pilot holes at 7/64", then step bit up to 1/2".
Holes centered on sides and spaced 2" apart.



IMG_20190608_085027.jpgIMG_20190608_090935.jpgIMG_20190608_090950.jpgIMG_20190608_094837.jpgIMG_20190608_095028.jpgIMG_20190608_114628.jpg
 
Last edited:
Top