How to make a pet turtle basking platform, part 1
See How to make a pet turtle basking platform for part 2 of this series.
After looking through many commercially available pet turtle basking platforms (see all my pet turtle basking platform reviews) and looking through custom made basking platforms (such as these turtle basking platforms), I made my own custom basking platforms for my pet turtles.
So how would you make your own basking platform? There are many ways to make one, here is part 1 of how to make one like mine.
The steps below are for making a non-floating type basking platform that has one leg on one side and is connected to one side of a turtle tank on the other side. See photos of the finished basking platform.
Note: I don’t remember the exact measurements for the basking areas I made. You should make them fit the dimensions of your own turtle tank anyway.
Materials and Equipment Needed:
- clear acrylic sheets, such as this 12″ x 12″ sheet
- corkbark sheets. I used the 12″ x 18″ Zoo Med Natural Cork Tile Background
- a saw, I used a jig saw
- optional: acrylic saw blades. Otherwise use a regular saw blade, just be careful when cutting the acrylic sheets
- a drill
- a small blow torch
- optional: acrylic drill bits, otherwise, just be careful when drilling through the acrylic
- lots of zip ties
- A pencil/pen and a ruler
The basking platform has 4 main parts, namely the:
- main basking platform
- climbing ramp
- support pieces
- corkbark surfaces
Step 1: Prepare the main basking platform
You need to decide how tall the platform should be and how much basking area you want on top.
I used a 12″ by 24″ sheet of acrylic to make two identical basking platforms. I cut the sheet in half, thus making two 6″x 24″ pieces. Do not remove the paper/plastic protective film off the acrylic sheets – you need them to write on and to protect the acrylic from scratches and whatnot.
Then, draw a line across the acrylic sheets. Measure from one end of the sheet the height you want your platform to be, then draw a line across that.
Next, you need a work area that is fire-safe (I used soldering blocks). Get a fire extinguisher handy in case of accidents. Lay your acrylic sheets flat with the line you marked for the platforms’ height hanging out from the edge. Carefully use a blow torch to heat up the area that you marked with the line. Heating the line up will melt the acrylic and will cause the acrylic sheet to bend down. Make sure you have a nice 90 degree bend in your acrylic.
Bending acrylic photos:
Step 2: Prepare the climbing ramp and support pieces
You need to decide the dimensions for your climbing ramp, which also influence the steepness of the ramp that your pet turtles will use.
Using another piece of acrylic, cut a section that is the same width as the main basking basking platform and use the remainder to make 3 support pieces needed (remember, I’m making two pet turtle basking platforms, so I made two climbing ramp and 6 support pieces).
After deciding the dimensions the basking ramp should have, draw a line across it and bend it to 90 degrees using the same steps in step 1.
The support pieces are two square/rectangle pieces and a triangle for each basking area. Since I was making two platforms, I made double that amount. Each square/rectangle piece needs to be bent 90 degrees as well, so use the same steps in step 1 to bend them.
This will be continued. See How to make a pet turtle basking platform for part 2 of this series.