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Old 01-23-2023, 03:06 PM   #1
timidLittleHamster
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Exclamation DIY Double cage help!

Hi there,
I'm making a double cage similar to this one from Hammy Time:


The main differences are the following:
  • Both cages will be 120cm x 60cm x 60cm
  • The full piece will be 160cm in height instead of 140cm
  • Both cages will have cut to size 3mm glass of 120cm x 60cm x 60cm
  • There will be no side holes, wallpaper or lights like on Hammy Time's cage

The reason I'm posting here is because I'm unsure whether my choice of wood thickness was the right one...

Instead of buying the wood from IKEA, I decided to buy from Selco since it would be a lot more cost efficient and I could ask them to cut all the pieces of wood for me (I don't have a saw). I ended up buying 12mm Poplar Plywood since there wasn't any thicker.

After buying and having it all cut, my boyfriend's father called him saying that the bottom of our top cage could start to sag...

Do you think it will sag? What can we do to make sure the double cage will stand strong?
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Old 01-23-2023, 03:36 PM   #2
sushi_78
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Default Re: DIY Double cage help!

I think the bottoms of both cages may sag due to the weight of all the bedding and other cage contents. I had this issue with my Living World Eco Habitat which is a 100cm cage on wheels. I fixed it by adding additional wheels apart from the four at the corners to provide more support. I think the base should also probably be thicker than 12mm.

For the top cage, you might actually need some kind of metal bracing.

This cage makes me a bit nervous to be honest. It looks lovely, but I'm not sure how structurally sound it is especially when made of Ikea panels which are often compacted cardboard with a plastic veneer.

The height also worries me. That top cage is going to be incredibly heavy and the whole thing could quite easily topple over, potentially onto a pet or person. It needs to be fixed to the wall to be safe (which defeats the purpose of the wheels).

Have you considered making the cages separately and placing them on a heavy duty garage shelving unit? It will be better designed for such heavy objects.
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Old 01-23-2023, 03:45 PM   #3
timidLittleHamster
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Default Re: DIY Double cage help!

The reason I'm making them stacked is because of lack of space, can't do them separately.
Regarding the bottom cage, I'm adding 6 or even 8 wheels to the base to avoid sagging.

I'm not using IKEA wood on this, I'm using 12mm thick Plywood. What kind of metal bracing could I add?

I wanted to make a pretty double cage instead of 2 cages and a table or something like that. It would also be more affordable as well.
I have already invested money on the wood and cutting for this so I'd like to not waste all of that... What can I do?
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Old 01-23-2023, 05:08 PM   #4
sushi_78
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Default Re: DIY Double cage help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by timidLittleHamster View Post
The reason I'm making them stacked is because of lack of space, can't do them separately.
Regarding the bottom cage, I'm adding 6 or even 8 wheels to the base to avoid sagging.

I'm not using IKEA wood on this, I'm using 12mm thick Plywood. What kind of metal bracing could I add?

I wanted to make a pretty double cage instead of 2 cages and a table or something like that. It would also be more affordable as well.
I have already invested money on the wood and cutting for this so I'd like to not waste all of that... What can I do?
With the shelving unit, I was thinking of something vertical where youbcan have one cage on each shelf. So similar to the DIY cage, but sturdier.

I'm not sure about the metal bracing. It's probably best to run it past a carpenter as it's quite a big project.

If you end up making the cage, I would recommend fixing it to thr wall which also means leaving the wheels off. It doesn't seem safe to me otherwise.
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Old 01-24-2023, 07:51 AM   #5
timidLittleHamster
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Default Re: DIY Double cage help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushi_78 View Post
With the shelving unit, I was thinking of something vertical where youbcan have one cage on each shelf. So similar to the DIY cage, but sturdier.

I'm not sure about the metal bracing. It's probably best to run it past a carpenter as it's quite a big project.

If you end up making the cage, I would recommend fixing it to thr wall which also means leaving the wheels off. It doesn't seem safe to me otherwise.
I left a post in a carpentry forum asking for help. I thought about the shelving unit but after I saw this build online, it looked much better than going down the shelving unit route.

I'm willing to buy thicker wood for the sides and bases if that helps. Will see what the people at the carpentry forum say...

The build on the video looked so good and something not impossible to do if I'm following the steps, but now I feel a bit foolish
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Old 01-24-2023, 10:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: DIY Double cage help!

I hope you get good feedback from the carpentry forum!

I’d be surprised if the 12mm ply would sag significantly, assuming it’s firmly attached to the sides and the back.
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