TamosClaro wrote: ↑
Tue Jul 07, 2020 7:14 pm
Well, @Vjsarlo I've thought about it all day, and I couldn't really think of anything that I wish I'd known before I started! Like yourself, I really researched and thought through all scenarios, and when something hasn't quite worked out, I always come up with a Plan B to fix or improve it. So far, my build is holding up great and I'm very pleased with how it turned out! I've never done a build using expanding foam, so I can't compare, unfortunately, but the foam builds that people make do look great.
You mentioned using glass to line the inside of the book shelf, but don't discount plexiglass! If you're not familiar with it, it's a durable plastic, lightweight, that you can have cut to size in hardware stores, or cut it at home with a saw or acrylic-cutting tool (the tool costs maybe $5).
Epoxy resin is basically liquid plastic that will become hard and inert once it's cured with time, often 48 hours or so. You just mix up a batch and pour it onto the surface you want to protect (or brush it on if it's a vertical surface). It will create a waterproof seal and is really effective. You could use resin to completely coat wood shelves, or use expanding foam on wood shelves to create a textured side with cocofiber (be sure to also apply a thin layer to all other sides too to seal the wood).
I also looked into using pond liner, but I kept having visions of my crabs destroying it, so I scrapped that idea.
As for maintenance, the shelves make it so easy! You just take a shelf out, dump it over the trash, and brush off anything that's stuck on.
Unfortunately, I don't have any advice in terms of heating for your specific situation. I specifically picked a piece of furniture with glass sides so that I could attach regular heating mats to it. If your bookshelf has a wood back, you could consider cutting a section out and installing a piece of glass to attach a mat to.
One other piece of advice, have rubbing alcohol handy! It'll make cleaning up silicone, resin, and other messes that you might make super easy! Along with that, it's my favorite cleaning solution for use with my pets. It's effective and evaporates completely and doesn't leave behind any harmful chemical residue.
Best of luck!
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