Building the shelves
shelves are my favorite part of the cage to build -- and
they add so much style and function -- I just love 'em.
If you read my
web page on the history of my cage-building endeavors,
(see Q&A), you know that I used to build my corner cages completely out of real bamboo.
However, practical considerations have eliminated almost
all of the real bamboo from my cages now.
The only bamboo
you need for this project is what
Home Depot sells as 'Natural Reed Fencing'.
It comes in 6'x 15' rolls for under $20.
You'll have plenty for the shelves, and enough left over
to add some beautiful trim to your new enclosure.
(Home Depot will
transfer a roll to your local HD store, if you ask.
Florida HD stores carry this year 'round.)
you're making this cage-building project a family affair,
you can get someone started on making these shelves right off the bat.
Let's start with
the corner shelves...
These shelves fit well in either cage: the Mini Jungle Gym or the Big Jungle Gym.
For the Mini Jungle Gym, a nice option is to use six corner shelves...
The measurements are:
pvc pole for the front
(2) 19" pvc poles for the sides.
Assemble as shown
with two 45 degree angle connectors joined in the rear corner,
and one 90 degree connector joined with a 45 degree connector on each side.
Use three 1 3/4" pvc sections to join the connectors.
Next, cut a piece
of plastic mesh to fit the frame.
To keep the mesh from rolling, I attach it with a couple of ties,
while I cut it down the center of the pvc poles.
Once the mesh
is cut to size, attach it to the frame with ties
every 4 or 5 inches. Clip the excess tail ends from the ties.
Using 3/4 pipe
insulation, cover the frame.
This adds thickness to the shelves, as well as
helping keep the bamboo in place (from spinning when climbed on)
on the lower shelves - the ones without floors.
The bamboo has
been cut into 7" wide strips and then
had the outer two bamboo sticks removed so that
the remaining wire can be twisted together and folded under.
The 6 1/2"
bamboo strips can be cut to size with strong scissors.
Use 11" black cable ties over the bamboo. Pull the ties tight
with pliers so that the tails are underneath the shelf
and clip the tails off.
Make four more
of these, omitting the floor. For the chains,
make 17 sections of 9 links each to connect
each shelf. The bottom shelf only gets two chain lengths -- up front.
open links to the cage frame top with cable-ties,
then just lift the stack of shelves into the cage and
hang them from the open links.
This allows you
to easily install or remove the shelves,
just by lifting them off of the open links cable-tied to the cage frame.
Use the same
'open link' technique at the floor level to stretch the shelves
across the cage so that they cascade down under the Basking Hammock.
This allows you
to un-hook the shelves and let them just
hang straight down in the enclosure, giving you room
to step into the cage for cleaning or
spending a little quality time with your iguana.
To make the Basking
Hammock, just use the same techniques
with these measurements:
Cut (2) 30"
and (2) 15" pvc poles.
Assemble with four 90 degree corner connectors.
Add the mesh
floor, pipe insulation and bamboo,
all held together with cable ties.
with 10 or 11 links to the rear corners.
I like to use several extra links in the front chains
to create a slight forward angle.
Using the 'open
top link' method to hang the shelves also allows
you to adjust how close the shelves are to the lights.
No matter what
cage you build,
the shelves will be your iguana's favorite spot!
Now we're done!
Although a floor would be nice...
I've got a few different ways to handle that project...
wait... I do, after all, I want to entice you to
order the Material List, which will answer a few more questions -- and
save you a lot of time figuring out exactly what you need to buy.
I hope that alone will be enough to get you to click on that Paypal button down below.
-- or to drop a check in the mail...
And it's only $19.95.
If you stop to figure out just how many hours you'll save by not making repeat trips to Home Depot, add to that the aggravation you'll avoid by not wondering if you have the right parts, and factor in the HUGE value of having these great plans given to you up front to begin with...
think you'll agree that it's a very small price to pay.
please, drop a check in the mail - for just $19.95 - to: Keith Van Zile
1125 Clare Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
just use Paypal right now. You could even get $5
just for opening a free Paypal account!
I'll promptly email you the Material List, with more helpful tips,
and some great ideas for making the floor!
Use Paypal to get the measurements now.