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Old 06-05-2019, 10:24 PM   #1
spaghetti_on_a_budget
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Oregon, USA
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Smile Cage?

Hoi! I really wanna make a cage that will hold all my hamsters (separately) and I think I know where to start but I have some questions ^^

1. I wanna use wood for the most part and I've seen people use Melamine boards. Are they safe? Is there a better, cheaper alternative?

2. What are your recommendations for something to cover the wood and make it pee resistant? (I'm in US if it helps at all)

3. If I were to spray paint the boards before covering them in some sort of liquid-repellent sealant would it be safe?

That's all my questions for now. Thanks for taking the time to read them!
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Old 06-06-2019, 01:58 AM   #2
Shannonmcn
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Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland
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Default Re: Cage?

Melamine is a very popular choice for DIY cages, I think it is largely considered safe though there is some concern about the glue used to hold the chipboard together being toxic if chewed. That is going to be the same for any processed wood material though so your only alternative to that is solid wood (Eeeeexpensive and maybe hard to find in panels).

I am using IKEA Linnmon tables myself atm which are melamine covered but are a combination of cardboard and chipboard. They are like $9 each in the US I think and you can get a great 100x50mm cage out of 3 them and a glass/ perspex panel.

If you don't use melamine you can use contact paper to cover the surfaces to get a very similar result. Or you can use a sealant so long as it is low VOC, and safe for use on toys for human children (toy-safe/ child safe etc). The go-to in the UK is the paint-on Plastikote. Generally the spray on versions aren't recommended because of the extra aerosol nonsense they have to add to make it sprayable.
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:10 AM   #3
spaghetti_on_a_budget
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Location: Oregon, USA
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Default Re: Cage?

Thanks! The cage is gonna be about 6 ft tall and about 1100 sq inches with each level so I definitely wanna save money where I can XD
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:16 AM   #4
Shannonmcn
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Default Re: Cage?

Wow! Is it by any chance similar to the Test Tube cage Erin's Animals made? I've been wanting to try that myself
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Old 06-06-2019, 02:31 AM   #5
spaghetti_on_a_budget
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Join Date: Jan 2018
Location: Oregon, USA
Posts: 16
Default Re: Cage?

Hmm kind of but not really. (Just took a quick glance at the video) My cage is gonna have a mostly metal frame (Metal storage Rack) and be 4 separate cages. I saw someone on craigslist selling a smaller level connected version they made for mice and got the idea to make something similar but better for my hammies (The cage was very overpriced and had some fatal problems but I think if more research was done it would have been a great cage)
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