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New Iguana Cage

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by TitoAndKatt, May 7, 2010.

  1. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Ok, so I am building Tito a new cage (STILL). Now that it is summer though I have been able to make a little more progress. I have had several frustrating set backs. I am looking for some feedback on the doors though. I have a few ideas and I will explain them at the end. But first! Pictures!

    Plans for the base:


    One "cube" of the base. I have since added an additional crossbar along the center for extra support and sturdiness.


    How the two cubes fit together:


    I painted everything and then used a nut/bolt system to attach it so that it can be easily taken apart. I have stood on the base and it is very sturdy! My bf was able to stand on it and I was able to (gently) bounce on it so I am confident that it can hold a decent amount of weight! :) The floor is a plywood (not particle board) but it is all painted with multiple layers of high gloss, water based paint and will be thoroughly sealed later.
    I put one bolt on the top (the actual inside) for additional stability, and multiple on the bottom to actually hold it together.



    Top (floor)

    Bottom (under cage)

    I only attached the wheel at three points in each corner, but it is very sturdy.



    Center Wheels:
    The side that has one attachment site is the side where it can be removed. The other side the wheel has 2 attachments on the other cube (they are thus slightly offset) so that when removed each cube will have 3 wheels. But together then entire cage has 6.



    The ceiling is similar in design only instead of the 2 horizontal and one vertical cross beams, there is only one crossbeam lengthwise in each cube as they don't need to be able to hold much weight. If I decide to use it for heavy-ish storage (which I just might) I can easily add another cross beam to stabilize it. I am finishing up painting the side boards and then I will start building the walls. I will post my "blueprints" for that and pics as I go. :) I plan on wiring the lights into the cage so that I can handle higher voltage. Does anyone know - if I have say a 160 Watt MegarRay, but standard houe voltage is, I believe, 120 watts, the light is only emitting 120 watts anyways correct? So I might as well not bother getting anything over 120 watts? Or is it volts and I need to convert? I am not even sure on the 120, it is just a number I vaguely remember from physics. haha

    Ok, so for the doors... As you can see to do sliding glass doors with my cage design I have created a bit of a problem. If you look at the cube, where they meet in the center there is a raised part because the floors are set down about an inch or two. I WAS going to buy a vinyl fabric that I found online for a decent price and just attach it all around the front with nails or something at the top and with (Strong) velcro holding the sides (at least 1 side) and bottom so that it could be easily lifted/rolled up to be open for free roam time (which lately is always with the current, smaller, cage haha). Now though I am kind of leaning towards plexi sliding doors. However, I have 2 problems. One is how to affix the sliding door track at the bottom (ANY IDEA????) the other is the enclosure is 6 feet tall, but so far the tallest plexi I have found is about 4 or 5 feet tall! So I would have to construct a window or something at the top so as not to block out the view of the top of the cage, and to create an edge for the top of the doors to fit in. In which case I think I'd be better off financially and work-load in getting the vinyl. It is a 40 gauge clear vinyl fabric used in tents and stuff. Kind of like Jeep soft cover windows. It is sturdy and easy to clean and flexible.

    Ideas? Input?

    Attached Files:

  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    First off the wheels. I would add wood under the remaining bolt hole so the whole things sits solid. The way you have it the wiggle factor will eventually wallow the anchoring bolts out.
    And the bolts where they protrude thru the board. With the nut on them and snugged, take a dremel with a cutting wheel and grind the end of the threaded bolt off. This will elimate any sharp edges.
    For your door. ANything over standard sizes 4ft wide is going to get horribly expensive. Just build a window in the door.
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    It`s looking good Kitty, I`m impressed! (Truly).
    I`m a little confused about the electricity voltage question, are you asking if a 160watt Megaray will work if your electricity runs on 120watts??
    You, mention the floor`s painted with multiple coats of gloss paint, and it will be sealed later? gloss paint usually IS reasonably water proof (if it`s exterior paint), it doen`t need any extra sealing? Thirdly, (sorry), I don`t quite know what you mean with the door, but Merlin seems to, so that`s o.k.
    Wait, maybe I do... You want to know how to fix the tracking for the plexiglass, I just drilled some small holes in the track and put small screws through into a piece of 6 x 1.5 inch timber that runs along the bottom front of my tank to hold it in place, and I`m using 1/4inch (6mm) plate glass, which is VERY heavy, no problerms so far. (If that`s what you wanted to know).
  4. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Um, thanks guys. Good input but not the answer to my question? I will see what I can do about the wheels but, for now at least, they will probably stay as they are unless I can find some little pieces of wood somewhere around my place. As for the paint it is a high gloss indoor paint (like for your walls) so I will be sealing the entire interior just to be safe. I don't want to take the chance of any of the wood degrading and/or releasing chemicals into the air in the cage.
    For the door, I am not sure that I understand what either of you are saying?
    Merlin - what do you mean put a window in the door? Like build a normal wood door and just put a window on it? I want the entire front to be clear...also due to where the cage is going to be, I do not have the space for a swinging door so it needs to be sliding or (for the vinyl fabric) roll-up style.
    Murrindindi (or should I say sTePFHan? lmao) - I think you are misinterpreting my question. The cage front will be 4 feet across by 6 feet tall. The biggest plexi I have found is I think about 4 or 5 feet tall (I' have to go back and double check the exact size). I need a way to fill the gap, and to create a place at the top (or maybe the bottom?) for the doors to attach since it can't attach to air. ;) Also, if you look at the picture I showed of the top view of the floor you will see that where the two cubes meet along the middle there is a ridge. Obviously, a sliding door can't slide past a solid object, and I don't have the tools to cut a slot there. Not to mention that is where the boards are screwed in. So, I would have to somehow attach the door track above the ridge to do that. Do you see what I am saying?
    *light bulb!* If the Plexi is 5 feet rather than 4, I may just get 2 long (4') boards that are about 6 inches tall, and attach the sliding door track to those and attach those to the front. That will fill in the missing gap and give me a way to attach the door without worrying about the ridges!

    Hey, so the sliding door tracks here are meant for like closet doors - 1.25 inches thick or so. So I will have to thicken the plexi with some wood (I would probably make a frame of some sort). However, the way it works is like this: there is a sliding track at the top. Then, at the bottom there is a little plastic thing that catches the door (they way the person described it to me) as opposed to a whole track. This sounds like it will not work too well. Do you guys know what I am talking about? I can't really explain it very well...sorry. :( If I can buy a metal track of some other type (like just a long, metal piece that would hold the plexi in it) how would I attach wheels and stuff to the plexi for the actual sliding part?
  5. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Oh yes, and Merlin - I do not have that type of equipment! haha I have a hammer, and a power drill. That is it. All of the cuts are made at the hardware store and they don't do any precision cuts or anything either.
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Sorry little Miss Muffet, I have no idea what you`re talking about (well, hardly), but here goes: The sides and back of this construction are made from wood (plywood)? the front piece, (the door is a sliding plexiglass)? but it`s approx 12inches short on height, all you need to do is fix a piece of plywood? and attach it at the top and each side, then the gap is the desired measurement. Once you have that measurement, you glue/screw/nail/? a solid piece of 2 x 1 inch timber to the edge of that piece and attach the aluminium/plastic track to that, do the same on the bottom, there you have it!! (Surely KatTrReanorR, even you can see that??????
  7. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    *sigh* Nevermind. I just can't quite describe it correctly. And I do not want to fill in the foot with solid wood and block off my view of part of the cage. That is why I said 2 six inch pieces would work better. I think I have an idea now. We will see.
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    * Big sigh* Two six inch pieces, one at the bottom another at the top would work perfectly, good thinking KkatTt! (Pretty obvious, though).....
  9. shwknight

    shwknight Elite Member

    For the lighting, here is a definition that should help you understand your question;

    What is the definition of Electrical Watts or Wattage?
    Watts is a measure of the amount of electricity being used - a rate of electrical power consumption. Most people use a very simple mathematical formula to determine how many watts an electrical circuit can carry or how many watts an electrical device will require: Watts = Volts x Amps.

    This formula shows how Watts relates to Volts and Amps. You can rearrange this equation using simple algebra or you can re-write it using Ohm's law. (Ohms is a measure of electrical resistance, which also measures the heat that will be generated in a wire carrying a given current.)

    Amps = Volts / Ohms.

    Given those two equations just cited, we can also write:

    Watts = Volts x (Volts / Ohms), which lets us also write Watts as

    Watts = Volts 2 / Ohms.

    How do we calculate watts, volts, and amperage for an electrical device like an air conditioner?
    Watts (W) as used in a simplified manner here and by electricians, is a measure of electrical power and is expressed by any of the formulas shown below. [All forms of power are measured in units of Watts, W, but this unit is generally reserved for real power (see definitions further below.]

    W = V x I

    W = I2 x R

    W = V2 / R

    W = Watts, V = Volts, I = Current or Amperage or Amps and R = Resistance measured in Ohms

    Example: if we have a 50 watt light bulb running on a 120V circuit we can solve for the missing number, I or "Amps"

    50 = 120 x I

    50 / 120 = I

    0.416 = I

    Our 50 watt light bulb is drawing .4 amps of current. :)

    And if you REALLY want to get into all of the calculations and stuff you can read this;
    Electrical definitions: definition of amps, definition of volts, definition of watts :D

    But to answer your question simply, If you use a 160W bulb you will get 160W ;)
  10. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    haha Shwk you are funny. :p I could have done the math if I remembered how circuits work, but I am saving the physics portion of my MCAT studying for last. ;) haha So thank you! :)
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Don`t know why I didn`t think of this in the first place: Why not just put another piece of plexiglass at the top, measuring 12inches deep, fix a 2x1inch frame around the edge (like a picture frame, but no need to mitre the corners), then you have something to attach the tracking to, plus, you can view the whole front instead of it being in plywood etc that you can`t see through? (Perfect, Kitt-Katt). :D
  12. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    That was my first thought but Plexi is Very expensive. So that is a no-go. :(
  13. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Sorry, Kitty, I thought you said the doors are to be plexiglass, and how much would a piece of that extra measurement cost, because it would have the frame around it, it only needs to be 1/8inch thick?
  14. hangtown530

    hangtown530 Elite Member

    You should be able to get 6ft plexiglass if that helps you at all :) If you have a homedepot anywhere near you or if they can deliver to your home you can get some....

    Here's a link so you can browse....

    Search Results for plexiglass

    Well I didn't see the couple of post before this but you can get the plex for like $50 a sheet....

    Personally I would try and go with 1/4in plate glass if you have a good glass place close by to cut it for you. Only because plexi seems to get pretty bad looking after a while.

    I've even heard that some places might have some big "junk glass" that they will sell cheap and cut for you.

    Just some thoughts...
  15. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    I live in AK and we have limited resources here :( Prices are MUCH higher on things, and we have a much more limited selection. Subway's $5 foot ling? It's a $6 foot long here! haha Arby's $1 menu? Try the $.39 menu :D lmao Anyways, I have looked around and right now glass is WAY too expensive. Plexi it is or the vinyl. We will see, I think I have an idea. I only have 3 more boards to paint and I can start putting the frame together. :) I will post pics soon - probably not until next week sometime though, busier things to do this week. :(
  16. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Well I am still working on painting and right now my thesis proposal is taking up all of my time, but I have some pics to post at least o the frame for one side.



    To give an idea of what it will look like attached...



    And a size comparison to the old (current) cage...


    Attached Files:

  17. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Well I got the entire frame together, I just need to put on the walls and doors, hang the lights and shelves and branches, and voila! haha Trouble is I want to pain the inside and stain the outside, so that will take a while. I need to get the wood for the sides cut to fit better too. My bf's dad said that he could do it when he comes back to town, otherwise I might just buy a cheap little circular saw and do it myself. My camera battery is dead and Tito pooped all over the charger. :mad: I ordered a new one so whenever it gets here I will post pics! :)
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Kitty, if you`re using plywood to cover the framework with, a normal handsaw would be sufficient, and much cheaper than a circular saw, although it takes more effort of course, but if it`s only 1/2 inch thick it`s easy to cut. (If you can cut straight with a hand saw that is, and I think you could do that, blonde hair taken into consideration).
  19. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    I might try a had saw but that takes SO much more time, and is far less accurate. Not to mention that I would hate to start and find out that I can't cut in a straight line! I am pretty terrible even with just scissors after all. ;)
  20. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I need to ask this question, why are the pieces of wood on the frame different lengths, and is that what you need to cut off, if so, it will take very little effort, it`s only softwood (pine), it looks to be around 3 or 4 by 1 inch? Are you forgetting you`re a perfectionist, just practise on a piece of scrap wood first, (with a handsaw), the circular saws are excellent, but VERY dangerous if you aren`t familiar with them! (I would hate to see you get hurt Kitt-Katt)...
    A tip on how to cut straight with a hand saw; when you`re holding the handle, place your first finger along the side of the handle (you will understand if you pick a saw up), that will steady it, do NOT force the blade, just use long, quite slow strokes, if you try and force it it will stick.

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