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Cage-Making on a Budget

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

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I have Varnish - I'm sure I could get liquid nails (already have a caulking gun). I intend to varnish the cieling, and I may just have to put a thin coat of liquid nails on the back of all the side tiles - they just will not stick (I sanded, and then vacuumed the surfaces prior to adhering them.) I already planned to seal the seems with silicone, to keep moisture from getting under the tiles.

    Would silicone work to adhere them?

    I have tested out a few thing on the scraps, and puncturing the tiles deforms them, even if you use a drill. They warp and bend a little.
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I purchased some liquid nails today ($4.81)

    Will proceed to start adhering tiles later tonight, or in the morning. I'm going to run a small bead around the rim of each tile, weight it and press it in place for the 16 recommended hours.

    Once THAT is done, I will be varnishing the "ceiling" panel, and after that has cured, sealing the corners and such with 100% silicone aquarium sealant. Then it will be installation/assembly of front (sliding glass door track, glass, locks, pulls, etc, most of which I still need to order.)


    Priced tracks, pulls, and Ratchet locks. Cheaper to get locks and track from Rockler (Woodworking Tools Supplies Hardware Plans Finishing -, but Rockler does not carry pulls, so I will just make my own out of whatever is laying around. A pull is a handle. A thin piece of material that is glued directly to the glass, but thin enough to pass between the pieces when they slide back and forth. I could use spare plexi, thin wood, or a number of other materials. See picture below, of a clear pull, glued directly to glass on my BRB cage.

    The track and lock will run $30.93 after shipping.

    Once that's ordered, all I need it glass, and we're set.

    Original expenditures: $67.85
    Liquid Nails $4.81
    Tracks & Lock $30.93
    Anticipated price for Glass: $50.00 (Will update once ordered)
    Grand total so far: $153.59

    Attached Files:

  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    The liquid nails are holding up amazingly. I glued one end of the cage, let it cure, and then flipped it, and glued the other end, and the tiles on 'top' that had already been glued, showed no signs of giving in to gravity (when they were essentially hanging upside down). Previously, they had a hard time just staying upright. I can start varnishing tomorrow.
  4. Ace

    Ace Elite Member

    Glad to hear I hate unexpected building difficulties I just had a whole iguana cage full of problems awhile back! Can't wait to see the finished project.
  5. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    This morning, I had Grey get out the Jigsaw (we borrowed it) to cut the hole in the ceiling for the light. Then I got out the Poly to seal the ceiling (because it is not tiled.)

    "Use only in well-ventilated area"

    I live in a one bedroom apartment, with no balcony, or outdoor space where I would feel safe leaving this to dry for hours on end. I settled for doing it in the bathroom, because there is an exhaust fan in there, so currently, it is propped on the toilet and bath tub while the last (3rd) coat dries. The house, remarkably, does not stink (even with bathroom door open). I'll have to remember that for future use.


    Tomorrow, I will be attaching the screen, and the molding that frames the screen to the top of the cage, and applying the silicone to the interior corners of the cage to seal the cracks between tiles and walls, etc.

    Attached Files:

  6. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    Our first cage that we made was also from ordered glass and track and it did turn out to be the most expensive. With the second cage we shopped around at pet stores looking for already made cages. We asked one of the employees to give us the contact details for the guy who made the cages because we wanted a cage custom made to our size.

    We phoned him and one of the guys working for him offered to cut the glass for us at a fraction of the original price. The glass are now almost the cheapest thing of the whole cage.

    You never know, you might pick up a contact like we did.;)
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'm hoping to - The company I currently use has left me less-than-pleased a few times now, and I'm looking to find another, hopefully cheaper. There is a local specialty shop for people who make cabinets and do other woodworking - I will ask them if they cut glass, or can refer me to a person/company who does.

    I had to laugh, because when I went in there last time to get locks and such, I was the only girl in there, and the rest were a bunch of men discussing various aspects of cabinet making, then one of them asked what I was working on. I got a funny look when I told them I was making a new cage for my BRB, and then had to explain that I make many of my own cages for my exotic reptiles.

    This morning I got out my tube of silicone, and then went to dig up my caulking gun, only to discover, it still had an almost full tube of silicone still on it from my last project! If I had checked that first, I would not have bought another tube. Would have saved me another $5.97.


    You can see the silicone (still wet in this picture). This is coming along nicely.

    Attached Files:

  8. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    It is looking great! :D Keep it up. If I were you I would return the unused tube of silicone. ;)
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'm sure it will get used, I just have to remember I have it next time I start a project. One less expenditure next time.

    Sadly, I will not be able to move much farther forward with this project until after the 1st of the month - we gotta pay rent, and money is tight, so I need to wait until after rent and bills are taken care of before making other purchases - like glass and tracks.
  10. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    That's fine Jen, I'll keep everyone occupied reading the log and seeing the pics of me finally finishing my WTF enclosure.

    Your work looks great so far!
  11. wildheart

    wildheart Elite Member

    I can just imagine the look that you got from the men.:p x2 :p:p

    I know what you mean with buying another tube, the problem is we always discover the old one only AFTER we bought the new one. Will we ever change?:rolleyes:
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    We cut the molding and attached the screen - that's about as far as I can go until I have the door track, and the rest of the pieces.


    Attached Files:

    • 12.jpg
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  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I placed an order for the track and locks, ($30.93, that includes the cheapest, and most likely slowest, shipping.)
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    It's hard to tell from some of the pictures, but the plywood we used is actually warped a little. When I took measurements, I found the center to be about 3/8 of an inch shorter than the rest. That might pose a problem when we order the glass, and try to fit it in. For now, we have a car jack stuck inside, holding it open and even.
  15. kriminaal

    kriminaal HH Block Leader Staff Member Premium Member

    Now that's some thinking!
  16. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    what can I say, I may not have money, but my brain is in fine working order, lol. I just got the tracks yesterday (cheapest shipping it shipped 8.21.2009, and arrived 8.26.2009) and started gluing them in with leftover liquid nails.

    Having a bit of a setback - Grey lost his job, and our monthly income is now less than the sum of rent alone, so I might have to delay on the last and final part (how frustrating!) ordering the glass. I have yet to call the local cabinetry supply place for references. I suppose I could do that today.

    Attached Files:

  17. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    A small tip: It`s always best to fit a piece of 2X1 inch wood along the top and bottom, just to stop the plywood from warping like it has....although once the glass is in place, it should be o.k. The framework is VERY important, especially with plywood!!
  18. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Got a glass quote: $38.52, cut and ground for both panels, from a company that is closer and cheaper than the other one. I can pick it up tomorrow morning. Vlad might very well be living in his cage in 24 hours. (I owe Grey's sister a LOT. I'm donating a full half of my venison supply to help make it up for the money she infused us with)

    The glass is the final purchase to complete the project. I still need to drill a few vent holes, but that'll be work of minutes, and no more cost.

    Original expenditures: $67.85
    Liquid Nails $4.81
    Tracks & Lock $30.93
    Price for Glass: $38.52
    Grand total all expenditures: $142.11

    We did a cage a little over a year ago, for our male BP, and had 2 panels leftover - 1 tinted glass, and one wood, of identical size. I kept them around, just in case.

    I won't be using these, but I thought it was odd they should fit so perfectly when I held them up just for amusements sake to see if they fit.... surprise.

    I'm still picking up my glass tomorrow.

    Attached Files:

  19. Dragonscalestudios

    Dragonscalestudios Elite Member

    Very cool, sorry to hear about your set-back with the job loss.

    The enclosure looks great!
  20. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    well, we'll be okay, thanks to relatives with money, but if he stays unemployed for very long, he's going to get unhoused as well. I don't feed freeloaders here, lol, except my pets.

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