Ant farm/shadow box - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 5 Old 12-18-2018, 08:13 AM Thread Starter
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Ant farm/shadow box

Hello! Newbie... just posted my introduction in fact. My daughter is very into nature and has been wanting an ant farm. But as a teen who is very much a girly girl and loves all things pretty, she wants one that’s asthetically pleasing - no store bought acrylic farm for her! There are of course some very beautiful, handmade items available for sale, but overall, the design seems fairly simple, so I thought I’d give it a shot at making one for her on my own. Basic idea is a shadow box with both front and back made of glass and a removable top for watering. So, I’m going to need to cut some slots for the glass (planning on using clear silicone adhesive to seal the glass panels in the slots and ensure no ants escape!) and I think probably a half lap joint for the top of the frame that will be removable. I’ve watched numerous videos on how to do these pretty basic cuts with a router but no clear direction on what type of bits would be best. It seems I can use any number of them. As a newbie, I’m not sure if there is a benefit to one over another though. Any thoughts on this or any other tips you might have?

Tara
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post #2 of 5 Old 12-18-2018, 07:56 PM
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Hi PowerT,

I have a Natural History background on top of my daily profession in woodworking. I have kept both "Leaf Cutter" (Acromyrmex ssp) and other fossorial species.

I think for a simple wood frame, a table saw would be a better tool for speed and ease of use for your needs perhaps, not a router. I've made a few more of these over the years for nature centers and science class rooms. They are really simple and straightforward int there basic format. Or (my preference) is to do them all by hand as they are really simple to make...

Do you have a plan you are currently following for the design and what species of Ant are you building for?

Regards,

j

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post #3 of 5 Old 12-19-2018, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for your input J. She hasn’t decided for sure which species she’s keeping. She thinking either Camponotus, Tetramorium, or Formica as she’s heard these are all fairly easy to keep. I don’t have a diagrammed plan I’m using, just a mental image of what I’m trying to accomplish. The idea is basically a shadow box design, both front and back made of glass set in a wooden frame with a removable top. The glass panes would obviously need to be close together so the nest is kept narrow and easy to see but I haven’t determined the exact width yet. Maybe 1/4? Maybe less.

I do have a table saw that I inherited from a family member, but I have yet to even try it out so I have zero experience using it. I’m more comfortable with the idea of using the router simply because I have used it a few times and feel confident enough with it that I think I can accomplish my goal using it.

Tara
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post #4 of 5 Old 12-19-2018, 07:08 AM Thread Starter
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Thought I should add that this will hang on the wall as an art piece, hence the need for a slender shadow box frame.

Tara
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post #5 of 5 Old 12-28-2018, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PowerT View Post
Thanks for your input J. She hasnít decided for sure which species sheís keeping. She thinking either Camponotus, Tetramorium, or Formica as sheís heard these are all fairly easy to keep. I donít have a diagrammed plan Iím using, just a mental image of what Iím trying to accomplish. The idea is basically a shadow box design, both front and back made of glass set in a wooden frame with a removable top. The glass panes would obviously need to be close together so the nest is kept narrow and easy to see but I havenít determined the exact width yet. Maybe 1/4? Maybe less.

I do have a table saw that I inherited from a family member, but I have yet to even try it out so I have zero experience using it. Iím more comfortable with the idea of using the router simply because I have used it a few times and feel confident enough with it that I think I can accomplish my goal using it.
Hey Tara,

Sorry I missed this...

Your basic idea sound plausible...Post more questions if you have them...Look forward to pictures of the project progression and completion...

Good Luck!!!

j

Tosa Tomo Designs
Confucius (551 BCE): "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand..." "...Real knowledge is to know the extent of one's ignorance..." Socrates:ďI cannot teach anybody anything. I can only help them think..."
Stephen Covey:"Seek to understand, before seeking to be understood..."
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