You are going to want to assemble this somewhere other than the ground.. a table or saw horse with a board on top is going to make moving around much easier than crawling around on your knees like I did this time.
Take the piece that is the bottom of the condo and remove the plastic film from the side you did not make the marks on. Place it with the marked plastic side up on several beanie containers [used to house bettas]. If you don’t have them you will need several containers/boxes the same size that can support the condo while you tape it together. They will need to be over 6″ tall or, if you are making a different size condo, taller than your condo is high. Then remove the plastic that is not marked from the front piece of the condo. Place it along the side of the bottom with the marked side out. You should see those marks on the plastic film lining up with the ones on that bottom piece. The front, back and sides of the condo sit on top of the base when complete. So, align the edges so the base/bottom edge is flush with the front of plexi pieces and use masking tape to secure it in several places along the edge. What you are doing is assembling the condo upside down on the supports.
Do the same for the side pieces.. removing the unmarked plastic and placing along the edges of the bottom and securing in place with the tape. The tape will allow you to make changes in placement until you can get everything all lined up. I did this alone without help so it can be done.. but a helping hand will make it easier. Finish up with the back of the condo.. again, removing the plastic from what will be the inside of the condo and leaving the outside protected.
What we need to do next is glue the outside to make the condo strong enough to handle and flip so we can glue the inside. HOWEVER.. we are NOT going to glue that back piece of the condo into place until the entire inside is DONE. Right now it is in place for support.. but we will be removing it shortly. Use care when glueing the side pieces NOT to glue to that back end.
A few words about the glue. When you apply the glue it works into the seam of the two pieces by capillary action. It is so cool.. you can see it creeping into the joint and often it is ahead of where you are actually applying it. Soo.. be mindful of that if you don’t want something glued. With the bottle applicator you never fill it over half full. To keep from dripping the glue when you are moving it to where you want to apply it, squeeze the bottle so much of the air is gone. Then, gradually releasing the vacuum you created, tip the bottle upside down and move into position. Then you just gently squeeze and run the needled along the joint.
Now.. back to the condo. What we are going to do is tack some places to get the plexi holding together so we can do some more glueing. I applied glue to the seam along the front piece corners and in several places that were not covered with masking tape. I did several places along the side pieces as well.. remembering to keep the glue well away from that back piece. I let everything sit for about 30 minutes then pulled the pieces of masking tape down to where I could glue under them. You want to allow the glue to set before you put the tape back in place.. so I kinda moved from front to side and kept moving until I had most of the front and sides glued. Everything sat like this until the next morning where I built the walls.
- Sherolyn Craig. “Assemble the Frame” BasementBettas.wordpress.com, . Accessed – December 25 2012 <http://basementbettas.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/assemble-the-frame/>