View Full Version : Plastic Bin Cage Roof

03-09-2011, 08:41 AM
So I've decided that I will put holes in my box lid (I figure it will still hold things even if it has got holes in it, I just won't put holes in the sides). The lid is roughly 23" (60cm) by 15" (40cm), how big should the holes be and how many (i.e. spacing)? Am I best to just fit as many holes in it that I can? I know not to make the holes bigger than like 1cm - I will be using a knife and a lighter (it's like a mini-blow torch haha), so I don't think I can make the holes much bigger than like 0.5mm wide anyway.

Another idea I wanted to see if you DIY folks could help me figure out is that I was thinking about making the lid easy access. I thought I could basically break it in half and then make a "hinge" out of tape... But I worried that that might backfire on me somehow... I could put cable ties on it or something.... hmm I just don't wanna ruin my lid... Any ideas? Basically I want this lid: Buy Hinged Lid Box, 60L online at JohnLewis.com - John Lewis (http://www.johnlewis.com/173704/Style.aspx?source=63258)

Thanks in advance for any help.

03-09-2011, 10:04 AM
Hi. Here's what I did (picture 1). I used a drill but with very little weight on it, as in I did not lean on it to make the holes. No cracks so I think this process works fine but takes a little longer than melting as you have to deburr the holes (take the pointy bits off ;) ), however this does mean that you avoid the nasty smells from the melting and doing it indoors is ok so long as you have a vacuum cleaner on standby. Initially I made holes about 0.8cm wide (the size of drill bit I had lying about) and about 6cm apart on the lid (picture 2), which seemed to work ok, I also made a series of holes on all 4 sides to improve cross ventilation, (picture 3) however these are quite small to try and keep it fairly cosy. So far there was no sign of condensation and Buster seemed to be quite chipper, so I presume it was good enough for him.
However I have since then put more ventilation on top in the form of (don't laugh) the front guard from an old fan (picture 4). This also helps to hang things from :D

I would advise against cutting the lid in half and using tape as a hinge. The ones you get in shops usually have a bit of extra support and an extra clip in the middle where the 'hinge' is. Without this little escapees, as well as catastrophic faliure if you attempt to hang things from it, may be a strong possability.
Hope this helps!

03-09-2011, 10:20 AM
Sorry i cant help, but just wanted to say the fan idea is genious, i love it :)

03-09-2011, 10:50 AM
Haha the fan looks good.

On picture 1, you've only got holes around the edge, is that enough then? (without the fan case) It's not her main cage - just an extension. (her main cage, where she sleeps is a wire one) I hadn't thought about hanging things in there... hmm.

I really do want to make it easy access though and the tube going from her other cage goes into the corner of it... making it hard to lift without disassembling them... :/ Any ideas what else I could do instead?

03-09-2011, 11:32 AM
I did make little holes all around the middle of the bin it's self (as in picture 3), except for in the corners so It is still a strong structure, as well as the holes in the lid to provide enough ventilation. As for easy access..... well the lid comes off doesnt it?
You could make a hinge at the back I guess, but if you intend to hang anything from the lid the easiest way is just to lift the lid straight up and off.
Other than that you could cut a BIG hole in the front and make a mesh door or something. It really depends on how much work you want to put in to it as well as what resources you have to use.

03-09-2011, 01:10 PM
Well this is what I've ended up with - should this be enough ventilation?

And I don't think I was clear in how difficult it is to remove the lid when there is a tube coming down into it. So this is what I have to do to open it:

And she's already learned that that's where mummy comes in to pick her up haha.

Now I need to figure out what to put in there! :D

03-09-2011, 01:55 PM
Aahhhhhh. I see.
Doh. Silly me. I understand now.
Ventilation looks ok for the lid, but I would still make a few lower on the actual bin it's self. My thought is: carbondioxide is heavier than air, CO2 fills bottom of box and suffocates little hammie. This is probably wrong as people use fishtanks but....
No, I am not paranoid.
Ok, maybe just a little bit. ;)

Hmmm.... Access to the bin... Gimmie a minute..
Umm.. Ok. You could make a trapdoor on the top by cutting a square section out of the top(keeping this bit), make a frame from flat wood or something and gluing this onto the lid, make another frame for around the bit you just cut out and joining the two with a hinge and maybe a snib or something to secure it closed.
Just a thought. ;)
I made sliding doors (just from stuff lying about) on the side of mine where the tube comes in to make separating the bins easier if he is in one during cleaning. I put another water bottle in the other bin when I added it too... just in case. ;)
Hope this gives you ideas :)

03-09-2011, 04:20 PM
Simplest solution I would suggest is cut a square panel on the right side of your lid.
If you look at your lid from above (as in Pic1), you have a hole in the top left where your tube goes into the bin. I'd recommend maybe cutting a square shape (maybe 4 ribs across) on the right side of the lid....

Similar to what I did with my lid for the extension I recently built.

This will give you great ventilation AND easy access without having to remove the lid itself.

Off course, you'd have to make sure that Hammie can't climb out of the right side and keep the floor space clear.


03-09-2011, 04:49 PM
Yeh, I'd like to do something like... but Sen is WAY to clever to allow me to have any section of the cage open. She would move stuff around just so she could get out of the hole haha (she actually did that yesterday - under supervision, so I caught her!).

I could even combine both of your ideas. Cut out a section on the right half, and then make frames (for support) but then could just make a kind of handle on the top so that the lid slots in place and the handle can weigh it down. And then I can hang things from the rest of the roof should I want to.

I'm gonna need to borrow my brothers junior saw I think haha, I'm not melting that big an area, that little circle for her tube took SO long! Lol.

These are just some final pictures...
Her entire cage! :D It's huge and she loves it!
http://a6.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/195947_554033851791_223001644_2556628_1238330_n.jp g

And Sen enjoying having her big tunnel in her cage (you'd think she woulda had enough with all the other tubes lmao) she'd just run out of it and is climbing to get the pop corn :)
http://a5.sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/188257_554033836821_223001644_2556627_2932050_n.jp g

03-09-2011, 05:10 PM
wow amazing cage, he is super lucky!!!!!!

03-09-2011, 05:18 PM
Thanks. She seems to be enjoying it anyway. :)

Although she has been trying to chew the holes she can reach, but I don't think she can actually bite them. Will check on them in the morning though and will need to sort something if she is biting them :(

03-09-2011, 06:21 PM
hey, what size of bin would you use for a syrian? :]

03-10-2011, 10:16 AM
Depends what you are using it as, is it an extension or as the main cage?
In either case you want as big as you have space for, but I would not go for anything below 40 Litre even as an extension. I use two, one 80 litre has turned into his 'play and food' area the shorter 40 Litre (under bed storage type) one seems to have become his 'living quarters'. He decided this himself, the 80L one used to be his living quarters where he slept and spent all his time, but one morning I checked on him and he moved his bed down there so I guess he feels more comfortable in the smaller bit.
Generaly speaking, as big as you can find is the size to use for a syrian, but I went for one a bit smalller than the largest as it was a lot more transparent than the larger one.

03-10-2011, 10:26 AM
as a main cage im thinking.

03-10-2011, 10:34 AM
Maybe a 110 litre if you can find one thats fairly see-through. I didn't like any of the ones around here as they are quite cloudy so I had to go for two smaller ones. I must admit I'm tempted with the Ikea glass unit thing turned on it's side though.....
Damn these twisted genius Germans for putting the idea in my head! ;)

These things:

03-10-2011, 12:22 PM
Maybe a 110 litre if you can find one thats fairly see-through. I didn't like any of the ones around here as they are quite cloudy so I had to go for two smaller ones. I must admit I'm tempted with the Ikea glass unit thing turned on it's side though.....
Damn these twisted genius Germans for putting the idea in my head! ;)

These things:
Naturnahe Hamstergehege: Detolf (http://hamstergehege.blogspot.com/search/label/Detolf)

i would love the glass ones too =]

03-10-2011, 12:30 PM
what about a 34 litre?

03-10-2011, 03:32 PM
A 34 litre would be too small for a Syrian as its main housing.

03-10-2011, 03:42 PM
ok ok its for the babies i thought making a bin cage would be easyer than buying loads of other cages. lol

03-10-2011, 04:11 PM
Possibly be okay for the babies.

03-11-2011, 09:20 AM
Could be ok so long as it is the long low 'under bed' type and not the high sided type due to the available floor space inside them, but only really suitable for a few weeks I'm thinking, so you'll probably have to buy new ones all over again in about a month or so.

03-11-2011, 02:49 PM
A 47litre bin is about the same size of a mini-duna. If that's any help? :)