View Full Version : Papa builds a cage (how piggy learned some new words!)

01-28-02, 08:39 pm
MamaDean's little piggy, Gerta, spent her first week (wheek?) at our house in the old hamster cage, a 2 ft. x 3 ft. plexiglas-sided thing I built over two years ago for Mama's 2 dwarf hamsters.

In the meantime, I studied this web site and collected the parts for building a Cube Cage. The new Target store right up the road had a 6 cube set and a local wholesale (to the public) banner company had a 4 ft. by 8 ft. sheet of white Coroplast for $12.

I assembled a cube fence of 2 squares by 5 squares on the living room floor and Mama put little Gerta (I call her "Miss Piggy") in it for some floor play time. The first thing the little rascal did was to put her head most of the way thru a grid square. Mama hollered and piggy ran! Into the hamster cage with her (piggy, not Mama).

Next I took measurements with my trusty carpenter's rule and jotted down dimensions of the inside of the cube fence. [/b] WARNING:[i] be sure to figure in some clearance for the coroplast to fit inside the fencing! I thought I had, but later, to my chagrin, I was just a little long on my length measurement. Anyway, I laid out the coro so that I would use the whole 4 x 8 sheet on this project, centered inside the cube fence.

Instead of using the suggested method of cutting thru one layer of the coro and then folding with that to the outside, I used the rounded end of an old bottle opener to score (not cut) the coro on the inside and then folded the flaps up. To keep from bending the plastic in a wrong place, I put the edge of a piece of board along the seam, held it down with one hand, while bending up the plastic with the other. It was easy doing this WITH the grain of the coro, but very difficult doing it ACROSS the grain. Still, I was able to fold it to my satisfaction. By centering the cube fence inside the 4' x 8' sheet, I wound up with high sides and ends so that Miss Piggy wouldn't be putting her nose thru the fence.

Upon trying to install the coro inside the grid fence, I learned that I was about 1/4" too long on the end-to-end measurement. Oops. Still, we were able to "jam it" down in there, popping off a couple of the plastic connectors along the way. Thank goodness I had the sense to buy some plastic tie wraps at the hardware store before starting the assembly. Using these, I secured many of the grids that wanted to become disconnected.

Alls well that ends well. When Mama put Gerta inside the new cage, she made like it was Saturday night at the sprint car races by doing several hot laps around the place. "Wheek, wheek, wheek" told us she was one happy little piggy-camper.

As it is now, the circumferential flaps of coro are 10 inches high on the long sides and 13 inches high on the ends. This serves several purposed for the time being: it keeps piggy's head out of the grid openings; keeps bedding scatter off the living room rug; and keeps a skitterish young piggy a little more isolated from seeing major movement in the room. When I modify the sides to be shorter, I will cut off one end at the fold, shorten the bottom and sides by about a half inch and reattach the end by using heavy duty clear plastic shipping tape.

PapaDean (my grandaughter calls me that)
Glendale, Arizona

01-28-02, 09:18 pm
Hey PapaDean,

Well, congrats! Looks like one way or another you got it done. What prompted the "deviation" from the scoring method? I'm just curious. :)

I think you need another piggie now!!

01-29-02, 12:07 am
I deviated from the razor blade scoring method for several reasons, not the least of which was concern that I'd cut myself <chuckle>. Being a "ham handed guy", I thought I might accidentally cut completely thru the coro and even cut the rug below (we're temporarily living in a small apt.). I also had used this denting style scoring on Fome Core brand sign board, which is a clay treated paper/platic foam sandwich, in a giant scale model airplane project. That material scored more easily and was easier to bend. This coro stuff is TOUGH STUFF!

One thing I didn't tell above is that, with my "loosey goosey" side of my cage because of missing plastic connectors, I used a piece of heavy twine tied to the bottom rail of one long side of the cage, run under the coro flooring to be tied to the other side bottom rail. This keeps the cage from bowing and possibly falling off the edge of my table.

One last cage item: I got an email answer from Seville Classics that one can mail order those plastic cube connectors by mail instead of buying them over the internet. A personal check or money order can be used. Send it to their main California address, which is on their web site, found elsewhere here.

OK, one more last cage item (while I'm thinking about it): I'm on the trail of some really heavy duty plastic tape, which uses a special 3M "killer" laminating glue. It is also referred to as "Delrin" tape, which is the name of a tough DuPont plastic. I think that this tape would be good for connecting various pieces of coro in unusual design cages, such as L shaped or U shaped or "weird" shaped, where more than one piece of coro is needed and the connection needs to be secure. I'll post the info when I find out just what the heck it is.

01-29-02, 12:20 am
Sounds good.

Actually, the part where you ran heavy twine underneath the cage--I did the same thing when I was using linoleum. The linoleum would put pressure on the grids in the wide middle part. I bought some of that coated picture wire and ran that underneath the linoleum to help provide support to the grids.

Actually, the coroplast is pretty cool stuff! We used some last year for an 11-year old's school project. He had to make a cut away Egyptian pyramid, and this stuff worked great for that!

01-29-02, 09:42 pm
hey, my father insists on laying down a storage shelf and cutting holes on each shelf so the pigs could run around. He wants to use a plexiglass bottom and wrap chiken wire around the sides. How does this sound to you...

01-30-02, 05:45 am
Well, it sounds like it would work, however it would be MUCH more expensive. My husband wanted to use plexiglass as a lid. You might try and get your father to have a look at this site...he might decide that these cages look nicer (which I think they do).


08-08-02, 12:43 am
Hi Neighbor! I'm in Peoria, AZ. Where did you find the Coroplast? I found one place, but they're on the other side of town...kind of hoping to find someplace a little closer.


08-11-02, 10:39 pm
Does anyone know where i can get those cubes in saskatchewan?
Please contact me at [email protected]

two and two
08-14-02, 01:09 pm
Hey PapaDean and Jen. I am in Peoria, AZ also. I recently purchased coroplast from Regal Plastics off of 32nd Street and the freeway. Couldn't find much on the west side.

Hey PapaDean, new you had to be from around here somewhere when I saw sprints and hot laps. I grew up watching the races every Saturday night at Manzy!!

Wow, it's great to see other folks from around here with pigs!

10-05-02, 01:12 pm
Hey your cage sounds purty good :)
I call my pig piggy cause i wasn't sure whether its a boy or a girl and just couldn't come up with a name. My grandma calls piggy Miss piggy even though i'm purty sure its a boy. :)