Tortoise Table

by Vickie Hale

tortoise table front

How I built my 3'x8' Turtle table.
This tort table has a 3'x8' floor and 18" high walls before instillation, actual wall height after assembly is 14".  
Using 1/2" thick plywood, cut:
1 - 3'x8' (floor)
2 - 1'-6"x8' (side walls)
2 - 1'-6"x3'-1" (end walls)  

Using 2x4 lumber cut:
4 - 8' long (frame)
8 - 2'-9" long (frame)
4 - 1'-2" long (corner nailer's) I used 2x2s on my table
4 - legs (mine are 18" tall, plus I have wheels attached which makes a finished leg length of 21")  I'm short, you may want your table higher.  

Using screws, build 2 frames with the 8' long pieces overlapping the 2'-9" long pieces. (See diagram) You want the frames to be 3'x8' outside measurement.

table plans

Screw down the 3'x8' floor plywood to one of the frames.  Square the frame to the plywood.  The plywood should be flush to the outside of the frame all the way around.
Flip this assembly over and attach the legs to the inside of the frame-with-floor and the second frame assembly.  The outside of both frame assemblies should wrap around the outside of the legs.
Attach wheels at this time if you want to.
Flip this assembly over so that it is now standing upright on the legs.
Attach the plywood walls to the outside of the 2x4 frame. Make sure the bottom edge of the walls is flush to the bottom of the 2x4 frame all the way around.  Also make sure the 8' long side walls are flush to the frame at each end.  This will give you a nice, tight corner. The 3'-1" end walls will overlap the 8' side walls.
Install the corner nailer's to secure the corners of the walls.


If you want to install a Plexiglas window:  
Cut the height and width of the window opening in the wall 3" smaller than the piece of Plexiglas.

Pre-drill the Plexiglas to accept the mounting screws.  (Wear safety glasses when working with the Plexiglas) Drill the holes at least 3/4" in from edge of Plexiglas or it will crack.
Drill the holes a larger diameter than the screw threads. When you drill the holes, lay the Plexiglas on a piece of scrap wood and drill through slowly or it will crack.  Hold the Plexiglas down while drilling, it will try to ride up the drill bit and will crack.

Attach  the predrilled window to the inside of the wall.  Use a screw driver (not a power screwdriver) and only "snug" the screws down.  If you put too much pressure on the screws it will crack the Plexiglas.

Seal the table with 2 coats of water base paint or poly. 

Staple down roll vinyl to the floor of the table and run it up the wall 3 or 4 inches for easy cleaning.  

The mirror mounted to the back wall of my tort table is shatter proof.
The bottom frame makes a nice storage shelf for your tort stuff if you cover it with a piece of plywood.