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Scooterpig
09-27-13, 09:26 pm
I've finally finished the expansion of my Midwest cages! Took a bit of planning, especially in how to support the lids. Here's a picture of the girls enjoying their new cage:55695

Scooterpig
09-27-13, 09:33 pm
Here's a picture of the boys in their cage too. They only moved in yesterday so they are still a bit wary. I made their kitchen area a little smaller to allow more room to run around, which I think is better, so I'll modify the girls' kitchen as well to be a similar size.

The new cages are each just under 4ft x 4ft, so there's almost almost 16 sq ft of space.



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Scooterpig
09-27-13, 09:49 pm
Making a Midwest cage bigger is actually pretty straightforward. You can easily open up the hooks between the panels to add additional sections. I also used cable ties (zip ties) to make it extra secure.

For the base, I used two of the canvas bottom sections. I opened up two of the corners along a long side of each, then overlapped them in the cage. You need to remove the black binding in the corners you're opening, and cut the binding at the top edge at the opened corner. It's a bit fiddly but a seam ripper or small sharp scissors will do the job. If you keep the short pieces of binding you've removed, you can reattach them along the opened corner on the short sides. It means that when you've attached the bases in the cage, you'll have a neat edge where the short sides of each canvas bottom meet.

You could add velcro to join the bases or sew them together - I decided not to make make it easier for cleaning.

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Scooterpig
09-27-13, 09:56 pm
I've had my original Midwest cages on the floor on carpet and found it to be a pain for cleaning, so I decided to make a firm base by using two desktops and six 8" kitchen cabinet legs (all from Ikea) for each cage. It makes it easier to clean and gives me storage space for all the piggies' stuff! I also opted to put a 4ft x4ft sheet of coroplast in each one, under their fleece flippers. Each cage uses six flippers.


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Scooterpig
09-27-13, 10:13 pm
The thing I found most tricky was figuring out how to support the lids for each cage. As it's a square cage, I wanted to use two lids for each. I think I bought every shelf bracket and support mechanism in Home Depot! In the end, my husband came up with a nice simple solution - two 4ft lengths of dowel (I think it was the 5/8" size). We attached them to the side panels using four 1/4" cable clamps for each rod - 2 at each end to hold it securely (found in the electrical aisle of Home Depot). You just loop the clamps round the wire and attach them with a nice big screw to the rod. The spacing of the two rods means it's easy to open each of the lids independently.

http://i1313.photobucket.com/albums/t555/Scooterpig/Rodclamps_zpsb2862407.jpg

KaLeigh
07-20-14, 09:01 pm
Awesome. Thanks for posting this! Any updates?

pigger123
07-21-14, 11:14 am
That's a really good idea for Midwest cages! I don't feel that having one Midwest cage really offers enough space, but having two together like that seems nice and roomy.

Scooterpig
07-23-14, 10:02 pm
Well, I am planning an extension!

I want to add an upper level, at half the height of the cage so approx 7 inches above the existing floor. It's probably going to be 1ft x 4ft. I'm going to use rods to support the base of the upper level, but I need to come up with some additional support - probably some kind of metal bracket that came be attached outside the cage (possibly to the table). That's the bit I'm still working on.

Not sure what the base of the upper level will be made of (maybe acrylic with coroplast on top). The sides will be clear acrylic though to let the light in.

blessedmom
09-01-14, 12:02 pm
I've had my original Midwest cages on the floor on carpet and found it to be a pain for cleaning, so I decided to make a firm base by using two desktops and six 8" kitchen cabinet legs (all from Ikea) for each cage. It makes it easier to clean and gives me storage space for all the piggies' stuff! I also opted to put a 4ft x4ft sheet of coroplast in each one, under their fleece flippers. Each cage uses six flippers.


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Are these fleece flippers the ones you can order on here or did you make your own?

LucidCavies
09-01-14, 01:16 pm
Looking good! I like what you did with it :)

Scooterpig
09-05-14, 05:43 pm
Hi Blessedmom,

I made these flipper cases myself. I do have fleece flippers that I bought from the store (2 sets of the 3 Midwest flippers fits my cage), but I now make my own fleece cases as I prefer them to be a wee bit looser as it makes it easier to get them on and off.

stephaniegee
11-10-14, 09:15 pm
this is a super late reply, but that looks awesome! this is how i have my two midwests connected (side by side), but i never thought to take out the panels on the inside. it looks so much more spacious! i'm really interested in the kitchen area-did you make it yourself? they have this (http://www.guineapigcagesstore.com/midwest-diner-kitchen#) in the cages store section, but yours looks much bigger. if you made your own can i ask how you did it??

Scooterpig
11-10-14, 11:39 pm
Hi Stephaniegee, I did make those kitchens myself. I bought coroplast from Home Depot (if I remember correctly they were 30"x36" sheets). I cut and scored them with walls of about 4.5 inches high, and the front was about half that, and stuck them together with packing tape. They worked well and I used them till they were pretty trashed by my pigs. The one thing I would have done directly is attached the sides with either velcro or cable ties, as my boys tended to chew on the packing tape.

I then bought a couple of the midwest diners you linked to from the cages store. They were okay too, although I found the front walls were so low that they would just climb over them and they pulled forward (the sides wouldn't stay stuck). I still have them though I'm not using them at the moment as I've put in a mezzanine area (using acrylic and the lofts from the cages store). It's not quite finished yet as the upper level is basically 1ft x 4ft, though the pigs can currently only get into the coroplast lofts (a little over 1ft x 2ft) as I need to decide how I want to line the rest of it. I'll post more photos when it's done. I suspect I'll modify the the structure of the upper level at some point as it's very strong but awkward to clean underneath it.

dani_starr
11-11-14, 01:20 am
Scooterpig what table legs and table bases did you get from ikea? Did they perfectly fit your cage, or did you have to cut them? That looks much sturdier and nicer than using a grid base. You must have some very happy piggies! :D

Scooterpig
11-11-14, 09:49 pm
I used the Torlinden desk tops (2'x4', 2 for each cage) and Capita cabinet legs (8", 6 for each cage). I know there's another desk top which is the same length and width, but slimmer, which is half the price, but I preferred the look of the thick desk top. We joined the desk tops together using deck joining plates from Home Depot, which are only a couple of dollars. No cutting needed, and I think we constructed each one in about 20 minutes. The Midwest cage is just a fraction under 4', so it sits perfectly on the desk tops. It is VERY strong - my husband jumped up and down on it and it didn't move!

I wanted my tables to be low which is why I went for cabinet legs, but you could use table legs too if you wanted it to be higher. I'm really into interior design and my piggies are in an open room of the house, so I wanted my cages to look nice as well as being practical for the piggies which is why I went for this option over grids. It also gives me a decent amount of storage underneath.

The only change I would make is that I'd like the sides of the cage to be a little higher, just to allow a little bit more headroom in the loft level. I'm looking at ways to resolve that. Changing to grids would not fix that issue as they're the same height.

Portal_Corgi
11-11-14, 10:58 pm
I love it! I'm going to do the same thing with my two cages once I know my two boys get along (two more weeks of quarantine to go!)except my tables are going to be waist height. I cut all four corners of the canvas on mine because it caused the sides of the cage to curve inward for some reason.