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cage questions

imagin

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Yes, I've looked around the site, but so far, have found a lot of interesting ideas and no answers for some of my concerns. (I have no piggies at this time, considering adding some to our family.)

I like the idea of the c & c cages. They look like fun, creative endeavors, and more appealing for fun to both the people and the cavies.

My first thought, though, is this: Several years ago, thinking the cubes would be a great storage addition to my children's room, I tried them. We had two sets with connectors. After fighting with the connectors for quite a while, (they were very tough to get on!) the shelves were finally put together. After just a couple of days of use, fairly gentle use, I might add, they started coming apart. (Use by small kids not climbing on them, and one cat that liked to sit on top.) So back together they went. It finally occured to me to try zip ties, and I bought fairly heavy duty ones at the parts store I worked at. That lasted a couple of weeks, and then the zip ties started snapping. (I've never seen one of those break on anything before, and I was raised in a house with the motto, "duct tape, baling twine, superglue and zip ties will fix anything".) I tried different zip ties. After a couple months of fighting with the situation, I realized they just were not going to work and built wooden shelves.

So, to me, all of these pictures look creative and interesting, but extremely unstable... especially the ones with the cage cubes on top of more cubes. How are you guys getting them to stay together? (Especially the ones with the cat sitting on top?? We have three curious cats.)
 

Ly&Pigs

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Simply connectors and cable ties.
 

Piglet

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I don't think many of use here have had problems with cubes collapsing. How much did you store in the cubes? I assume whatever it was, it was heavy! To make C&C cages strong, use 3-4 cable ties to attatch one cube to the next.
 

stipma

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I had to use the hammer to really get the grids into the connectors and then cable ties as well. There is NOTHING that will get my cage apart.
 

imagin

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Piglet said:
I assume whatever it was, it was heavy! To make C&C cages strong, use 3-4 cable ties to attatch one cube to the next.
Very little. Lightweight toys and blocks. Before I finally got so irritated I took it apart and stacked in in the garage, I tried zip ties every other square then finally every square... which is why these look so impossible to me, I think.

To start with, I assumed it was the particular zip ties, but a couple brands and half dozen sizes later, I figured it must be the instability of it causing some weird sort of pressure on the ties.
 

Piglet

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Oh... that does sound unusual. I really don't know why yours weren't sturdy! If you only make one level then it should be fine.
 

Furkidsmommy

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I have made many C & C cages over the past 3 years. I used to foster and so had as many as 12 cages at one time. I use a combination of the connectors and cable ties plus I use a hammer and pliers to get the cage good and snug. I have never had a problem of collapse. Although saying that I did trip over the playpen once when it was up which is constructed of cube panels connected with cable ties and the cable tie did snap. (Luckily no piggies were in the pen and I was the only casualty). So unless someone fell directly into the cage with force you should be fine.
 

pookczek

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Push the grid ends as far down into the base of the connector (where the base is the part parallel to the rounded part). I use pliers to 'pull' the grids into the connector part that's perpendicular to the rounded part ... so, you have grid end (in connector) - connector - grid end (in connector) - using the pliers, pull the grid ends together. Works like a charm.

Then, use cable ties (or zip ties). Cable ties don't actually break - the end are usually cut too short and they don't have "room to move" so the cut end slips through. I've got tonnes of experience with this one - I used to wire motor control centers. Try leaving the ends a little bit longer.
 

pennick

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Is it possible you used the ties incorrectly. Sometimes as I was using a tie I accidently used it the wrong side. One side wont stay tight, while the other does? Just a thought
 

imagin

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pennick said:
Is it possible you used the ties incorrectly. Sometimes as I was using a tie I accidently used it the wrong side. One side wont stay tight, while the other does? Just a thought
Um, no, they snapped. Broke, not came loose. As zip ties were a staple in my dad's shop, I've used them on everything from bicycles to camping gear, with some pretty odd combinations along the way. That was why I used them on the cube shelves when when the connectors wouldn't stay no matter how I pounded on them, and why I was so frustrated with the darn things. I've never seen anything before or since repeatedly break them like that. Generally they take cutting.

Anyways, I'm hoping it was some weird fluke, maybe the cubes that I had or something, since all your comments here have been positive. I think I'll try some again, first as shelves, and see what happens.
 

imagin

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pookczek said:
Push the grid ends as far down into the base of the connector (where the base is the part parallel to the rounded part). I use pliers to 'pull' the grids into the connector part that's perpendicular to the rounded part ... so, you have grid end (in connector) - connector - grid end (in connector) - using the pliers, pull the grid ends together. Works like a charm.

Then, use cable ties (or zip ties). Cable ties don't actually break - the end are usually cut too short and they don't have "room to move" so the cut end slips through. I've got tonnes of experience with this one - I used to wire motor control centers. Try leaving the ends a little bit longer.
And no, they didn't "slip through" either. They broke. Snapped. Repeatedly.
 

pookczek

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imagin said:
And no, they didn't "slip through" either. They broke. Snapped. Repeatedly.
Strange, I've never seen that. Maybe you should take a trip to your local hardware store and buy cable ties that are thicker than the ones that you already tried. They come in at least 3 thicknesses (the thicker they are, the longer they are).

(I'm rather impressed that you got them to break - I've never seen that! Good on you!)
 

guineagurl

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I've had some zip ties snap but only when 2 grids were bent in opposite directions (sort of) I was deliberatly trying to pull the joined ones apart.
The tighter they are pulled the easier they will break if you try REALLY hard! hehe
I pulled mine apart and redid it with connectors now apart from joining ramps etc and its as strong as with cables if not stronger because its all square now. Cables arne't good if you want all the grids to stay inline etc. IMO. .
 

Katie

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first as shelves, and see what happens.
Some people find making the shelves harder then just a cage, since a cage is just that, a cage, a wall around a piece of coroplast.

I once made a whole computer desk out of grids using connectors and zip ties and it held together just fine.
 

bubbleguine

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What my dad did was to make a piece of wood the was like a connector that went up the whole side of the cube. He then hammered the cubes in and zip tied them and they have been staying together great
 

AuroraBorealis

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They snapped? That IS strange.
I have a second level on my C&C. I used connectors and secured with cable ties. It's been standing for years now, never had any problems.
 

pookczek

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Cable ties do have a weight limit to them. The small ties can only hold 18lbs. Try a larger cable tie
 

Michelle

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I'm thinking about adding a second floor. Can someone tell me how to make a ramp? I have a c&c cage. Thank
 

Christys GPS

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Michelle, you can use two grids bent to a u shape, connect them together and connect to the upper level, I used electrical ties you can see my photo to see how I did it, well good luck. Others use coroplast, you can go to photo galleries and click on ramps, and you can see many pics on ramps.
 

Michelle

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Thank you Christys GPS.
 
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