Author Topic: Making a rat cage :)  (Read 1599 times)

Offline Artistwolf

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Making a rat cage :)
« on: May 12, 2015, 10:55:47 AM »
So I'm making a rat cage. I already made a 15"x21" base out of coroplast, and I cut all the walls and the top. It's 30" tall (my parents were shocked at the height, LOL). I'm using quarter inch galvanized (I think) mesh. I will spray paint it after assembly (or would before be a better idea??).
My question is, how big should I make the doors? I think I will use plexiglass (I will kind of sandwich two prices of plexi with the harp wire edges in the middle and then hot glue them together) as door edge protector things (I'm getting free plexiglass for an art project; I'll just cut that up afterwards). So would two square doors of about 10" each be okay?
And I checked this all on the cage calculator, so I'm feeling good there.
Oh, and any idea how I could make a flip-top type lid without compromising sturdiness?
"We may have the numbers, but they've got the heart!" -Outcast of Redwall, by Brian Jacques

Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2015, 04:18:05 PM »
I can't give advice on the construction as I have yet to build a spare cage, I have a Critter Nation. However, 10 inches might be too small. A rat running wheel is usually 12 inches in diameter, plus the stand. Make sure you can get the wheel in and out of your cafe easily:)

Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2015, 04:20:34 PM »
Make sure to use non-toxic paint. Some paint might easily accumulate in the corners of the mesh and easily be eaten by your rats. Anyway, good luck with the building of your cage, post pictures for us to see;)

Offline Artistwolf

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2015, 04:33:51 PM »
Thank you :) I will be sure to post pictures!
I'm not 100% sure if I can get my doors to be bigger than 10 inches, but that is a good thought about the wheel there.
Can anyone tell me how big the doors are on the Martin's r-695? I'm kind of modeling my cage off of that one.
"We may have the numbers, but they've got the heart!" -Outcast of Redwall, by Brian Jacques

Offline Artistwolf

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #4 on: May 12, 2015, 10:35:25 PM »
I went ahead and made my doors 10"x10". I hope it's okay.
I actually might just not line my doors with anything and rather just fold the mesh over a couple times. I did this and it doesn't feel at all pokey inside, so I think it's all okay and safe. I've been folding over all of my sides because I don't have fancy sanding equipment :doh:. I just hope I can make this cage good for any future ratties!

Question: How can I be sure that a spray paint is non-toxic? We have two cans of white paint; one is a Rustoleum Automobile paint and I forgot the brand name of the other one, but it's an average indoor/outdoor spray paint I think. Still, I can't find any good conclusive info on the can about whether they are non-toxic. They just say not to breathe in the fumes, but that's pretty obvious. Do any of you guys know if the Rustoleum car paint is safe?
Thank you :)

Edit: It's Valspar Gloss and Rustoleum Protective acrylic enamel Automotive. Safe?
« Last Edit: May 12, 2015, 10:42:28 PM by Artistwolf »
"We may have the numbers, but they've got the heart!" -Outcast of Redwall, by Brian Jacques

Offline ILoveMyRatties

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 12:20:20 AM »
If it doesn't say non-toxic on the cans it is most likely toxic. Rats have very fragile respiratory systems and the smell/fumes might be lingering for weeks or more. Did you look for "paint cage" or similar keywords on this forum, someone else might have had the same problem. In any case let the paint cure for at least two weeks before putting any rats it it, I'm not an expert on paint lol, it is just my best guess. I hope someone will answer just with more detailed advice:)
Besides cutting the edges as close as possible, I used a dremel (about $50) to make it all smooth. It didn't do a cage though, just some stuff for their playground;)

Offline klnelson

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2015, 04:49:28 PM »
What Love said is good-any paint/finish once fully cured is non-toxic, and it takes about 3 weeks to fully cure.   I painted my first cage using milk paint and a beeswax-lanolin finish because i was really worried about my chewers ingesting ucky stuff.  Not my best idea-they really liked the taste of the beeswax. Rustoleum worked better the second time around. Some other people on here suggested getting the mesh powder coated-and apparently shops that do this do it so often that they put price coats on their websites and its pretty affordable. Also, i didn't like spray painting my wire-i felt like i wasted too much paint.  try a high nap roller first.

Offline Artistwolf

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2015, 04:59:27 PM »
Thank you!! What do you mean by 'high nap roller'? Could I just use a paintbrush?
So could I just use normal interior paint then, or would it flake off the wire?
"We may have the numbers, but they've got the heart!" -Outcast of Redwall, by Brian Jacques

Offline klnelson

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2015, 05:04:16 PM »
high nap means a roller used for painting rough surfaces-look for 3/4'nap.  and  regular interior paint won't give you a nice finish, the rustoleum protective enamel is best.  they make it in a spray or in quart or gallon cans.  you probably won't need a gallon unless your cage is huge.  Brushes will just frustrate you.

Offline Artistwolf

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Re: Making a rat cage :)
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2015, 07:21:52 PM »
Oh, okay, thanks.
I've decided that I'm definitely just going with pray paint though, because even though I understand what you're saying about wasting it, my mom told me it would be easiest.
So any kind of spray paint really is good, right? I'm not really happy with the white color that we have; I'd prefer purple or maybe even blue. I kind of just want the cheapest kind but if the cheapest isn't good enough, I'll get the Rustoleum one. I'll probably get Rustoleum Painter's Touch if I do end up getting Rustoleum.
I've been spending the day trying to file down a few sharp edges with a metal file, but I think I ended up causing more harm than good :doh:  :-\ This is harder than I thought it would be!!!
So on my shopping list: Zip ties, thin wire, and spray paint :)
"We may have the numbers, but they've got the heart!" -Outcast of Redwall, by Brian Jacques