Tag Archives: hood

The Canopy: Building a wooden hood

In the past I have always had wooden hoods on top of my paludariums which I call “the Canopy”. The latest one did not have a hood, as I placed lighting and fans in the open on top. For this new and big design that will not work, so once again it is off to the store to get wood cut to size.

Modules, modules everywhere.

In the past I used the Canopy to mount everything I needed directly in to. I even had a version that had a full-blown PC power supply mounted on top. Not this time. I want everything to be removable, modules everywhere. So I had plywood sawed to size not just for the Canopy itself, but also for up to 4 modules which slide into the Canopy. As I do not want to remove the canopy whenever I need to make a change, this time I will build a detachable front element which is held in place by magnets.

So far I have only two modules in mind, one that carries a few pumps (rain pump, backdrop moisturization pump), nothing too fancy.

The second module is more interesting. It holds the complete “air conditioning” system. There are two 120mm regulated fans in there, an air heater and two mistmakers. This is quite a complex module, as it will measure air going in (to get an ambient reading), and have multiple connections for osmosis water pumped through (for the mistmakers), connections for the air heater and of course the fans.

These modules will be covered in a later post.

Constructing the Canopy

For the Canopy itself, I just need some holes for feeding through cables, sliders to mount the modules, and a system rail in front where I can mount a series of power leds. Also, I’d like to maximize accessibility. The idea is that I’ll build an “inner layer” of plywood that sits on top of the paludarium, and a thinner “outer layer” that neatly falls over the edges of the glass paludarium, hiding the top two centimeters or so. First it is off to the inner layer construction. Yet it always seems to start with a saw:

Why do things always seem to start with a saw? Anyway, sawing some corner beams to form the shape of the Canopy.

Assembling the inner layer of the Canopy

Using the sawed corner supports it was relatively simple to build the basic construct. As usual the fit was ALMOST right. So I guess there will be some sanding and filling in my near future 😉

I needed to add some holes in the rear of the Canopy for feeding through cables and such. Not quite sure how big the holes should be, so I settled on a slit of 28mm high (just because I had a 28mm drill handy 😉 ). Hopefully all connectors I will ever use will fit through! In line with the other 2 holes I just added some holes in the back (yes, 28mm as well 😉 ).

Slit added to the rear for feeding through cabling and hoses. On top you see the two holes for the 120mm fans which will sit in the “air conditioning” module.

Furthermore I have added fan guards to the 120mm holes on top. The biggest struggle will probably be to get the air conditioning module to align with these holes 😉

Fan guards added to the Canopy. Bring on the module that actually has fans 😉

Finally, a cozy look from the inside of the Canopy that demonstrates the shape of the Canopy a bit more:

Inside view of the Canopy for as far is has been constructed. It clearly shows the cable feedthrough and the fan holes with their fan guards.

What next?

So up next is figuring out a way how to fix the top in a more solid way and not just on the edges. Anyway, I’ll figure that one out soon enough. Then it is on to constructing the outer layer and the sliders for the modules and the lighting rail. Not to mention the lighting rail itself 😉

Stay tuned for more!