Description: Internally reinforced, melamine sheathed base, providing a sturdy base for the overhead structure and flooring - the base unit measures 10" high x 3' deep x 6' wide and is covered with a 36"x72" sheet of 3/4" melamine. The flooring sits down on the 8" tall center supports with triangle brackets secured at all four corners. Screws from underneath and several "L" brackets secure the floor to the frame.
Tools Needed: 1 Power Screwdriver, 1 Circular Saw, 1 Jigsaw, 1 Utility Knife
Note: If you follow the pictures above, you should end up with a 1" lip all the way around the inside of the base. Caulk this well. It will be used later as an attachment point for the sidewalls and back panels. Use the jigsaw with a fine blade to create wire channels in the bracing, and the hole the lagoon sits in - the carpet goes over the whole thing, and is trimmed in place with a utility knife.
I've gotten questions relating to the sizes mentioned above, and the use of so many brackets. If you decide to build IguanaWORLD any larger than the 8x6x3 mentioned here, you may have to add a) more fixtures to the lighting unit described in the next step OR b) go with ceramic sockets to support more than the 150 watt bulbs currently used. As it sits, IguanaWORLD stays around 88-95 degrees with the supplied lighting, if the interior becomes much larger, an increase in heating requirements will result.
As for the brackets. Keep in mind that the whole unit is stressed construction. There is no underlying frame to support the habitat's weight. Melamine is very dense, and therefore rather heavy. It's these qualitys that add to the habitat's sturdiness, heat retention, and sound isolation qualities. Expect in the area of 450-500 pounds resting on the base when the structure is complete. Better overengineer it now, than worry about it later. Add a 200 pound person stepping inside the enclosure for cleaning etc, and you can quickly see the brackets are cheap insurance.
Heres the bracket breakdown: the
triangle braces secure the four corners and provide a ledge for the
flooring to sit down on. Each 8" tall support uses 4 L brackets
to secure it to the sides. The remaining L brackets are used to secure
the floor with 4 L brackets attaching the center supports to the flooring.
Construction Time : About 1.5 hours