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Cage-Making on a Budget

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Dragoness, Aug 4, 2009.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    After seeing a bunch of threads stating that "I can't afford a bigger cage" and trust me, I know what it's like to be poor (I work for $7.28 an hour), I am going to start a thread with detailed pictures and explanation on how to build a cage on an extreme budget. I am going to save my receipts from the hardware store, and shop like the cheapskate I am, and see just how cheap I can make a cage for my young Central American Boa.

    I am starting out with a discarded dresser (minus drawers) I scavenged out of the dumpster. Other than missing drawers, it's in great shape.


    Thursday will be a trip to the hardware store. As of right now, my shopping list is:

    Brackets with corresponding sized screws
    Clear silicone
    Self-adhesive Linoleum tiles

    (This might very well expand as we are shopping)

    As I move further along with the project, I will need sliding glass door track, and doors (perhaps the most expensive parts!)

    Things I already have laying around, but someone building from scratch would need to obtain:
    Hardware Cloth/steel mesh
    Assorted Cage decor/furniture (plants etc)
    Ceramic socket

    Attached Files:

  2. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    Love the idea Dragoness! Can't wait to see how it turns out.
  3. Sinlightened

    Sinlightened Elite Member

    sweet! I'm thinking about building a new cage soon. planning on a BRB in the near future. This will be great help!
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    BRB was my latest project - and I did something similar, scavenged an old wood cabinet thing, popped on some sliding glass doors, made cage decor, etc. Here is the thread for that one:
  5. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    This will be interesting so see the final cost and how cheap it could be done.
  6. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    As always Jen, I am anxiously awaiting to to see awesome creation that you come out with. Keep the ideas coming!
  7. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Jen, I think it`s a great idea, why will you need to fit doors if you`re having a sliding glass front?
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Went to Lowe's today. At the moment, I believe I have everything I need to complete the project, with the exception of Sliding glass doors, track for the doors, lock for the doors, and pulls. The last project I did, the sliding glass doors cost $42.00 for glass, $9.24 for locks and pulls, and $23.84 (after Shipping) for the track.

    Here is what I spent Today at Lowes. Values given in USD.

    Pine Molding - $7.14
    1/4" Hardware Cloth - $13.97
    plywood (2 pcs. 20x40") - $10.27
    screws $4.97
    Clear Silicone $5.97
    Computer Grommet $3.48
    Slate-textured linoleum tiles (20 pcs) $17.60
    2 Cans Great Stuff $7.76

    Total after all taxes: $76.15

    Pine molding is what I will use to 'frame' the hole I will be cutting in the ceiling of the cage to install a light. I will nail the pine molding to the cage, around the hole, with the hardware cloth between the cage and the molding.

    The hardware cloth comes in 10' rolls. I only need a foot of the stuff, so I will have lots of it left over for future projects.

    The computer grommet is a little plastic plug with a notch in it so you can drill a hole large enough to fit a plug through it, and then use the grommet to fill the hole back up, while leaving a small space for the cord. I have a heat mat that goes INSIDE the cage (Kane heat Mat, see here:Kane 18" x 18" poly heat mat) so I will need a way for the cord to safely exit the cage, without leaving an escape route for the boa.

    The Great Stuff I grabbed because it was on sale ($3.88/can). I have no official plans for it, but I know it will eventually get used, if not on this project, then on the next. It is not truly an expenditure for this project.

    Technically, that would bring the total down to around $67.85

    I do not need a ceramic socket lamp, but they are $12.94 at Lowes.

    By doors, I meant the pieces of glass that ARE the doors. It will have sliding glass doors (with locks.)
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Well, we tore the dresser apart into it's base components, and removed the plastic rails that hold the drawers on. It came apart pretty easy, as most of it was stapled together. All you needed was a screwdriver.

    I had fully intended to screw it all together today, but last night, came down with Strep Throat, and it has really slowed me down. I managed to screw 2 pieces together before losing my energy, and going back to bed (again)

    I used a dremel to drill pilot holes (holes slightly smaller than the screws) This prevents the wood from separating and cracking.

    I have a dremel, and have borrowed a saw and drill from someone - One more way of saving money. Borrow tools from people you know.
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Drilled holes and started screwing pieces together today.
    The plywood I purchased will from the floor and ceiling of the cage, once finished. The interior will be done in slate-patterned linoleum tile.

    *Update* Moving right along!
    Got everything fixed together.
    Started the peel-n-stick linoleum tiles - it goes quickly.
    Vlad (for whom this cage is being constructed.) getting a sneak peak of his new home.

    Attached Files:

  11. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Technical Difficulties:

    I'm not sure if the adhesive on the bottom of the peel-n-stick tiles needs to "cure" but the tiles on the walls are tipping and falling off. For the moment, I have a bag of sand, and other household items propped up against them, and a few clipped in place, and will leave as is for a few days to see if they just needed some time. Otherwise, I will be borrowing and testing a staple gun on the scraps I have left over.

    I may try to glue them with silicone if they really don't want to stick.

    I will have tiles, dammit!
  12. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    Looks great so far, can't wait to see what it looks like finished! You are very creative, so no doubt you will amaze us all :)
    I would forego the staples, there is a possibility that they could eventually come loose and you don't want Vlad (love the name!!) getting hurt
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    If I try staples (and they don't warp the linoleum tiles, which they may very well do) I will use long ones so I can bend them on the outside of the cage, to secure them. I think these tiles were just not intended for vertical positioning. We'll see though.
  14. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Another option is to use Gorilla Glue or something similar, and be sure that it dries 100% and leaks between the gaps as little as possible. That stuff is like liquid concrete and not very expensive...or at least it didn't used to be...
  15. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I know and love Gorilla Glue. All I'd need is a dab in the center of each tile, and as long as I keep it pressed in place, in theory, the glue should spread out and adhere the whole thing.
  16. Knox

    Knox Elite Member

    Coming along very nicely! Thank you for keeping a log for us.
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If you can't get the tiles to stick, try "Liquid Nails" adhesive. Get a tube of it and use a calking gun.
    I have hung paneling in the house using just that!
  18. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Remember though, some of that adhesive is highly toxic.
    I wouldn't use staples either. It won't take long before they begin to rust. The rust color will end up running down the tiles.

    I would dab the corners and a few in the middle with the strong adhesive. Then seal in between with aquarium grade silicone.
    Just run a little bead on and then rub it in with your finger.

    You will need to lay it flat though to put weight on until it dries.
  19. fire2225ems

    fire2225ems Subscribed User Premium Member

    I honestly got fed up with trying all kinds of different things and finally used liquid nails and screws for the tiles on the ceiling of Skif's tank. I was able to cover them later with dabs of silicone.
  20. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Jen, I`ve used these tiles a few times without any problem with sticking them vertically, It sounds as if there`s a problem with the glue on the back of the tiles... Is it too late to put a coat of varnish on the sides, (wait `til the varnish is "sticky"), then try sticking the tiles on that? It would give you a nice smooth finish, rather than sticking just the corners, they never look "right" like that...

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