Author Topic: Check out my new 15" wheel!  (Read 4695 times)

Offline a1issa

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Check out my new 15" wheel!
« on: May 27, 2007, 08:30:59 PM »
One of my boys is too large for the 11.5" SuperPet Run-Around-Wheel, so I wanted to get something larger for him since he likes to run.  I had this old CritterTrail Revolution cage sitting around, originally purchased for $5 at thrift.  The wheel itself is 15" in diameter, and the attached axle sat in two brackets.  To modify this wheel so that it could attach to the bars of the cage, I had to cut off part of the metal axle, and attach a ball-bearing nylon patio door wheel to the centerl.  I used the basic principles in http://chinmania.tripod.com/chin_wheels.html

Best of all, it's wide enough that two adult males can run simultaneously, which is great since mine love to run in tandem.  It's also *really* quiet thanks to the ball-bearing!

This is Mister G demonstrating how you can make it roll around when it's not fixed to anything!



(And yes, it's covered with metal dust, so it needs a good cleaning before it goes in any ratty cages.)
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Offline DazzleMe

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2007, 08:57:26 PM »
Hah! What a fantastic idea. Good job :)

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Offline Lise

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2007, 08:58:58 PM »
My boys are very jealous!  That looks fantastic.
|| Lise ||

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Offline jorats

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2007, 10:09:14 PM »
Wow, that is an excellent idea!! :thumbsup2:
You've got a great creative mind!
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Offline BarbedDragon

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2007, 03:41:35 AM »
LOL I think I remember you or someone else mentioning they were going to do this in another thread. I was at a flea market yesterday and saw one of those for sale. Unfortunatly they wanted 20 bucks for it used, and I figured a Wodent Wheel was more cost effective. However if I see one of these again for cheaper I'll definitly pick it up!!

Love it!!  :heart: :heart:

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Offline Dori

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2007, 09:00:27 AM »
That is a great wheel, my larger boys would love one like that!

Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2007, 11:04:37 AM »
LOL I think I remember you or someone else mentioning they were going to do this in another thread. I was at a flea market yesterday and saw one of those for sale. Unfortunatly they wanted 20 bucks for it used, and I figured a Wodent Wheel was more cost effective. However if I see one of these again for cheaper I'll definitly pick it up!!

Love it!!  :heart: :heart:

Yeah, I saw it new at the local pet store for $27!  $20 is a total rip-off.

And if anyone decides to do this, I'd be happy to provide some tips on how to make this easier. ;) It took me three hours and two trips to the hardware store because I made a few mistakes!

Oh, and isn't the largest Wodent Wheel 12"?  I just looked that up, and I'm surprised they don't make a larger one.  I'm sure there they'd have good business from people who own large rats, chinchillas, etc.  I've also spent a lot of time looking at chinchilla wheels, since they're usually a lot larger, but they're all EXPENSIVE!  As it is, mine ended up costing less than $10, but only because I already had the old cage.  Even if you had to buy the cage new, it'd still be a heck of a lot cheaper than all of the 15" wheels on the market.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2007, 11:37:18 AM by a1issa »
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Offline jodieluvsrats

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2007, 09:15:04 PM »
I had this wheel in my girls tank, and they would go crazy in it, but I read that mesh was not good for their feet(could get toes caught), so I took it out and gave them another wheel that is solid plastic. But then I got thinking that maybe it was better for their playpen, so now I put in there for free time :BlueDumboSmile:. They still like it I guess, especially when Hymie goes one way and Bella tries to go the other...  :doh:
Jodieluvsrats - lovingly owned by Flora, Fauna, Tish (ratty girls) , Anton, Szandor, Remy, Little Chef, Samurai(rattie boys)  Gomez (cat) & Frog (husband)
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Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2007, 09:51:48 PM »
I had this wheel in my girls tank, and they would go crazy in it, but I read that mesh was not good for their feet(could get toes caught), so I took it out and gave them another wheel that is solid plastic. But then I got thinking that maybe it was better for their playpen, so now I put in there for free time :BlueDumboSmile:. They still like it I guess, especially when Hymie goes one way and Bella tries to go the other...  :doh:

I believe that this type of mesh is okay - it's the same type as in my mesh Run-Around-Wheel, and they've had no problems with this.  I think the problems come from wire bars where legs can fall through.  1/4 inch mesh is pretty safe, as far as I know.
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Offline jodieluvsrats

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2007, 11:26:47 PM »
Well, that's good to know.  Its great for playpen time. I also have the best piccie of my girls sitting on the top with these little smug smiles, I have to find it and post it.....
Jodieluvsrats - lovingly owned by Flora, Fauna, Tish (ratty girls) , Anton, Szandor, Remy, Little Chef, Samurai(rattie boys)  Gomez (cat) & Frog (husband)
At the bridge:Hymie, Bella, Laveyna, Guinness, Stout, Shotzie, Shenanigans, Big Will, Mitch ..Mommie luvs U

Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2007, 11:54:32 PM »
If you're using the CritterTrail in its whole form - I actually might worry about toes getting caught between the rotating wheel and the side with the doors.  One of my boyfriend's boys used the whole thing for ~5 months with no problems, but it worried me nonetheless.  It's probably fine, though, if they always run in the center!
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Offline Zooy

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2007, 12:30:16 AM »
wanna make me one? lol
I've had a lot of pets in the last three years.
8 rats: Popcorn, Toto, Elphaba, Glinda, Humpty, Dumpty, Hansel and Gretel
1 degu: Jumpy
2 cats: Morgan and Luna
RIP the ones who left me.

Offline Lilratscal

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2007, 04:49:21 AM »
Alissa that is absolutely awesome and my rats would be so jealous. That is one heck of a great job you did with it and wish I could buy something like it.  :)

Even if it is a little expensive I would love just one for my rats. Do you know where you can buy any 15 inch ones?
I have the robust ones but I don't care for them any more. My rats chew them and the ppop gets into the groves and taking them apart has become a pain for me.  ;D

Also the mesh wheels are perfectly fine and I have one heck of a lot of them running in them all their lives. Babies too so don't worry about them. The old ones were not great but the mesh holes are way to small and my babies run in them as soon as their eyes open. They go for roller coaster rides. They know exactly how to hang on and jump right back in and no they don't fall off either, giggle.  :rattysmiley:




« Last Edit: May 31, 2007, 05:04:33 AM by Lilratscal »

Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2007, 11:39:16 AM »
This is the best list of large wheels I've seen: http://www.erodent.co.uk/Wheels.htm  There's another company who makes plastic wheels with mesh on the inside, but I can't remember who they are.  Everytime I checked their site, they were out of stock, anyways.

The flying saucer looks really cool, but my rats like to play on the wheel, just like yours in the cute pic!  Plus, they do run together a lot.  And we had one baby who would just hook onto the wheel while an adult would run, and he'd spin for HOURS.  Now he's the most avid runner we've got. ;)

Essentially, I came to the conclusion that there are no good extra large wheels.  I really love the mesh, and it allows the rats to use the wheel for play in addition to exercise.  Not to mention the fact that they're easy to clean, they don't get poopie feet, etc.  That's why I ended up making this thing.  It's exactly what I wanted, and it was very cheap.

I would be interested in making them for other people, but by the time all the costs added up, it would be like $50.  I was just lucky to find that cage used at thrift, and I haven't seen one since.  If I do see one, I'll definitely pick it up and make someone else a wheel!  Also, I want to make sure my wheel is well-tested before I make them for others as a business ;).  I'm worried that it won't last for more than a few years because the side plastic is not that thick.  It might need a slightly different design with a larger bracket to dissipate the stress on the plastic. 

I just wish they'd make the darn Run-Around-Wheel in 15"!  It'd make life so much easier. ;)
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Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2007, 08:28:23 PM »
Okay, I lied - there is a 15" mesh wheel on the market: http://www.chinchillarancher.com/wheel.htm



It's sold as a 12" that you can special order as a 15" - but the 12" is $50, so who knows how much the 15" is!  I'm also not sure if it's powder-coated, but it doesn't look like it is.

That really makes me wish I could weld so that I could make one myself!

Edited to add: Chinchillas must be pretty dumb if they hurt themselves when getting off the wheel.  But a ball-bearing mounted-wheel is definitely a plus b/c it's so quiet.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2007, 08:30:20 PM by a1issa »
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Offline mandycoot

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #15 on: May 31, 2007, 10:43:08 PM »
The spacing on that one is 1/2"x1" though; not exactly rat-safe.

Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #16 on: May 31, 2007, 11:09:51 PM »
Doh.  You're completely right.
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Offline mandycoot

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #17 on: June 01, 2007, 03:00:08 AM »
Also, it looks like a rip-off. :P I should get in the wheel-making business, looks like you can make an easy dollar!

Offline Lilratscal

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #18 on: June 01, 2007, 05:11:39 AM »
alissa I have quite a few mesh wheels. I also have some wodent wheels that I don't use. Could you think of a way using the mesh from two wheels and the axels and parts from something else to make a bigger wheel?

I didn't know they made cages out of the mesh they make wheels with. If you find another I sure would be interested and been beating my head against a brick wall trying to come up with some way here myself.

I am not as talented as you are for making things though.  :)

Are you in Canada or the US by the way? Was looking in your profile to see if it might say. lol


Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #19 on: June 01, 2007, 11:21:42 AM »
Also, it looks like a rip-off. :P I should get in the wheel-making business, looks like you can make an easy dollar!

You'd have to sell quite a lot to get paid back for welding equip + powder-coating setup.  The kiln's the biggie - and it might make more sense to just contract someone to powder-coat them all.  Obviously, I've been thinking about this too. ;)

Quote
alissa I have quite a few mesh wheels. I also have some wodent wheels that I don't use. Could you think of a way using the mesh from two wheels and the axels and parts from something else to make a bigger wheel?

I didn't know they made cages out of the mesh they make wheels with. If you find another I sure would be interested and been beating my head against a brick wall trying to come up with some way here myself.

I am not as talented as you are for making things though.  Smiley

Are you in Canada or the US by the way? Was looking in your profile to see if it might say. lol

Well, it'd be a shame to destroy good mesh wheels and Wodent Wheels.  And the axles and parts from Wodent Wheels aren't necessary for that.  You can buy pretty much everything you need at the hardware store.  And if you really want a huge mesh wheel, I'd advise contacting a local metal fabrication business/welding shop to get a quote.  That'd be the easiest, and you'd end up with something that would last without the headache of trying to do it yourself.

Oh, and I'm in Wisconsin.
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Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #20 on: November 09, 2007, 10:25:27 AM »
Well, folks, it looks like my homemade wheel has finally come to the end of its useful life.  It was a huge hit with the boys, so much so that they've worn it out!  The plastic was just not study enough to hold up long-term, and it has been progressively cracking.  Now it's at the point where it's barely hanging on.  This was my primary worry when I made the wheel, and I think even with an adapted method of attaching the ball-bearing the plastic just can't hold up long-term to boisterous, highly active males.

And now I need to figure out what I'm going to do to replace their wheel asap, because they're all so addicted to running. I've been contemplating having a friend weld a 15" frame with a track that's 6 inches wide, plenty big to accommodate two big boys running simultaneously.  Otherwise, I'm really not happy with the commercial options, and I'm not sure what I'd do.

Why are there no good gigantic mesh wheels out there???
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Offline Dearpie

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #21 on: November 09, 2007, 04:28:44 PM »
It might be worth the investment for the larger wheel from one of those other companies, considering you KNOW the boys love their wheel!  Sorry to hear about the death of the wheel.  It was a fantastic item.

Offline a1issa

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2007, 04:42:49 PM »
It might be worth the investment for the larger wheel from one of those other companies, considering you KNOW the boys love their wheel!  Sorry to hear about the death of the wheel.  It was a fantastic item.

If someone sold a 15" wheel with small mesh and an extra-wide track, I'd be snapping it up in a heartbeat.  Heck, even if it didn't have an extra-wide track I'd be all ears.  Until someone starts making something like this commercially available, custom-made is the way to go.
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Offline XxPixieSworldxX

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2007, 05:18:01 PM »
I had this wheel in my girls tank, and they would go crazy in it, but I read that mesh was not good for their feet(could get toes caught), so I took it out and gave them another wheel that is solid plastic. But then I got thinking that maybe it was better for their playpen, so now I put in there for free time :BlueDumboSmile:. They still like it I guess, especially when Hymie goes one way and Bella tries to go the other...  :doh:

All of my ratties wheels are the mesh run around type... I've never had any problems other than after a year or two they start to rust after a few hundres cleanings :p But they are the cheapest running wheel around here that size...

I LOVE the huge 15 inch wheel idea. so creative and it looks like such fun!
Melissa Hubbard

Offline Lmbswimmer

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Re: Check out my new 15" wheel!
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2007, 05:57:02 PM »
It's not mesh but check out the ChinSpin (below the flying saucers) http://www.qualitycage.com/exwheels.html

I have 2 flying saucers, 2 chinspins, and 1 leo braun wheel for the chins - I would take the chinspins any day of the week over the other wheels.  They are worth the money. 

The problem with chins is how fast they run on the wheels - they also don't just run, but they jump up, they do somersaults, ride the wheel around, and if you have 2 + chins in the cage they also will stop the wheel on a chin who is running.  So there is potential with some types of wheels for accidents.  The three named above are all as safe as can be expected, but for the money the chinspin is the way to go- also the durability, it's the quietest one we have. 

My rats have never shown interest in running, so no feedback as to how they work with them.