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Originally I was going to build a nice wooden cage. I drew up plans (still have them) but I didn't really want to build it because it would be pretty expensive and labor intensive. And I hate using table saws.

Luckily I came across one of those large, metal shelving units in the FREE pile at a garage sale. It came with 7 shelves and is a little over 5 feet tall. I stuffed it in the mini van and brought it home. (PS if you're in the twin cities area and want one of these things, my neighbor has likes 5 of em he is trying to get rid of)

First I ripped off the crappy particle board sides on the shelves. Then I removed all but the top and bottom two shelves. I then took two shelves that were in the best condition, used a drill and tin snips to cut a rat sized hole in them. I used a file and sandpaper to smooth out the rough edges.

I then reattached the new hole-y shelves where I thought they would work best.

I found a stack of old self stick linoleum tiles in the basement. Luckily they are only slightly larger than the shelves, and I left them that way so that they would be snug against the screen. I was really surprised how easy it was to work with. All you do is score the surface in a straight line (I used a swiss army knife and a ruler) and then bend the tile and it breaks right down the line. I was even able to cut out little squares on the edges for the holes.

I then attached the first piece of hardware cloth around the back (found in basement). To minimize cutting the stuff I just wrapped it around the back and sides and secured it tightly with zip ties (also free).

Then I used the leftover pieces of linoleum to create a backsplash - type thing for the bottom. I made sure that the tiles are snug together. In addition the tiles extended past the corner posts so I think it's a pretty good seal.


Tiles are yellow, light gray is screen, dark gray is shelf.

When I was done with that I filled the gap between the shelves and the mesh with more tile so no little ratsies can get stuck in between the shelf and the screen.



In order to make the bottom escape proof I left an extra 3-4 inches of hardware cloth under the bottom shelf. I then cut the corner and folded it around the corner post, securing with zip ties.

So now I'm about 60% done and tomorrow I will make the door, finish the top and update.

Making things is fun!

What do you guys think of it so far? Any suggestions?
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

that look like it has potential to be a VERY nice cage!! can't wait to see it when itis all done!!
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

That looks nice! Great job working on it. Yes, wood sucks. I'm making my own but im taking forever on it because i had to buy wood cutting tools and things break and have to buy more, so its costing a pretty penny. ><"

I hope to make one in the future with just wire and whatnot.
Cant wait to see it finished!
And Im curious, how wide is it?
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

Very nice! I can only imagine it's heavy though? Still, it looks like it's going to be a very nice cage! Are you going to have one large door or two, one for each shelf? Or even 4, like FN doors? Still, shows that the best things in life really are free.
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

I would do 4 Doors if it was mine.

Also, I Love the cage. and you gave me a great idea.
My dad dont want me having a HUGE rat cage so about have of that would work out great.
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

Looks cool! THe only problems I see are the rust on the edges and the galvanised wire not lasting too long. Be prepared to replace that when time comes.

Anyway you could cover that rust up or scrub it down with a wire brush?
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

woah, that looks sweet.
If I had room to build a cheap awesome one like that I would.
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

Looks good so far! :)

It looks kind of heavy though, is there a way you could put wheels on it so you can move it around? You'll have to post pictures of the finished product ;)
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

THe only problems I see are the rust on the edges and the galvanised wire not lasting too long. Be prepared to replace that when time comes.
that was my concern as well! Rust isn't only dangerous to your ratties. When you have to clean it you might get nicked and then tetnis (did I spell that right?)

It really looks like an awesome cage sans rust though! :)
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

"tetanus" but most people have shots for that anyway and if you suspect tetanus you can easily get a booster.

but yes, that cage looks fabuloso besides also looking ridonkulously heavy. :D i agree with seeing if you can't get wheels on that critter. you can keep it free by stealing a shopping cart and ripping those heavy-duty wheels off it, LOL.

suggestions, if you don't mind? see if you can polish the rust off with like, steel wool (very cheap) and paint over the bare metal with a lead-free paint. and you can get a roll of *pvc-coated* hardware cloth (the green kind) from home depot for about $8/roll, although looks like you'll need 2 rolls. so yeah, still less than $20, ha ha, but it might make the cage last longer in the end. overall, that looks friggin' awesome! :D

EDIT: is that a huge ass spider sitting on the tile in that third to last pic or what is that thing? *shiver*
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

Awesome, I have the exact same shelving unit that was left at the trailer we bought! I was talkin to my mum just the other day about how I could convert it into a rat cage, xD.
 

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Re: I built a rat cage - for free!

Alright, it is finished!

Top level:

Mid level:

Bottom level:

Side view:

Darn rats always begging:
 

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Re: I am building a rat cage - for free!

OnlyOno said:
EDIT: is that a huge ass spider sitting on the tile in that third to last pic or what is that thing? *shiver*
Daddy Long Legs? They're kinda cute.

Is the wood sealed? Else looks like a lovely cage.
 

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WOW. It's really quite nice looking!!! You should make cages and sell them :) I'm sure you can earn some $$$$

I'm really impressed with the front......

watch out for the and spiders ;)
 
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