Saturday, May 31, 2008

Adapting Snake and Other Reptile Cage Plans to Suit Your Needs

Many if the people who make their own snake or other reptile cages adapt other designs or continue to improve on the designs they have already used.

When you adapt a cage design from basic plan you can use it to make a reptile or snake cage to suit your own needs. You may have a space that is not quite suitable for the size of the original design. You may want to adapt a half built cage, a closet or an old cupboard. You may want to make a specific length, height or width. You may have limited access to materials or you may have an existing stockpile of materials that want to use.

In all cases, it is important to have a clear idea of what you want the finished product to look like and how you are going to construct it.

Detailed plans can contain a lot of important information for building reptile cages, but you should remember they are not definitive. For example many people who have used the “How to Build Reptile Enclosures” book site have altered the plans, in some cases quite significantly, to suit their needs and their skills.

They all acknowledge the benefits of using the book as a launching point for their cage building. They also found it helped them think more carefully about how they might construct a snake or other reptile cage to suit their needs. Then there are the other requirements for reptile cages and care eg heat mats, basking lights, UV lights, misting systems, substrates, decorations such as artificial walls, artificial trees and branches, and how these can be made and placed in the cage.

The book also gives you valuable information about construction techniques, making cages stronger and some useful hints and tips.

The original plans have been many individuals as a starting point for their cages and then adapted them to suit their needs, materials and skills.

You also find tha once you have started to make cages and adpat designs tat your building and design skills improve substantially and you continue to make and adapt your ideas.

Many people do not want to adapt the cages but want to build them exactly as described. There is enough information to allow you to do that to. Either way, a plan is an important part of the building process.

The main thing is to have some fun building something for yourself and your pet (and save a bit of money).

Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles". Find out how to build these cages as well as arboreal cages and other cage types. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and 10 easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Reptile Cage Making Tips

Reptile Cage Making Tips
By Mark Chapple

These reptile cage making tips are not comprehensive by any means but they will hopefully help those of you who want to build your own snake or lizard cage.

The first, and one of the most useful tips is:

If at any time you feel frustrated or stuck, walk away and think about it for a while.

Rather than persist, I have found it is better to give yourself a break for a bit. Often the solution to the problem will come to you when you least expect it or you will be more relaxed to tackle something that have found difficult.

It is important to know the needs of you reptile before you start even designing a reptile cage.

Ask yourself questions like:

• Is it an arboreal enclosure or terrestrial or a bit of both?

• Does your herp need lots of water?

• Would it do well with a sandy cage or desert vivarium setup?

• What sort of substrate is best?

• Do you want sliding doors, perspex doors - drop down or swinging or a wooden/glass/perspex combination? Each of these has advantages and disadvantages. Think about how you would like to access you herp

• Do you want openings at the top or sides as well?

Another question you need to consider is what materials will you make the snake or lizard cage from? There are quite a few choices and you need to spend some time find out about this.

Have a reptile cage plan and draw it up. It may take quite a few sketches before you get it right or satisfy yourself that it is what you want. Draw your final cage from different angles. Use a ruler and pencil to make accurate pictures of your reptile enclosure so you get your measurements correct. Drawing from different angles, eg side view, front view, top view, back view will allow you to not only get your measurements correct but helps to give you visual cues when you start making it.

This also has the advantage of reducing the materials costs as you know exactly what you need. It avoids making multiple shopping trips – although, I always forget something.

Make a list of materials you need from your drawings, including sundry items like screws, glue, nails, hinges, sliding rails, vents etc. This is useful for when you go shopping.

Determine how you will set up heating and lighting for your snake or lizard enclosure.

For example:

• Will the lights sit above the herp cage, above a mesh or a circular hole or will they be fitted inside the cage to allow stacking

• Do you need to stack the reptile cages or allow for the possibility of stacking?

• Do you need protective coverings for the lights?

• Are they purely for basking or do you need UV lighting and if so how long will your cage need to be? If you do need UV light, this can impact on door locations should you want an opening at the top.

• Will you make your own heatmats? What sort of temperature control will you use?

Will your reptile cage be moveable? If not there is no need for castors, or it can be places on top of cupboard. However, if the cage needs to be moved from time to time it is useful to put heavy duty castors on it. Alternatively, place it on a cupboard that has castors and can be moved.

One of the hardest parts is getting perfect right angles and nice straight cuts on large MDF or melamine sheeting should you choose to make your cage from these materials. One way around this is to get the timber accurately pre cut from either where you purchase it or from a local cabinet maker. They may charge you a few dollars but it is well worth it if you do not have the tools at home for accurate cutting. Clamps and timber pieces with electric or hand saws will work but you only need a clamp to slip or go a bit awry as you cut and the edge will be awful, or worse still, the piece has to be thrown away or the cage resized.

Before you start making it, are there some tools you need to borrow or purchase? If are unfamiliar with tools, do you need someone to help you? Make sure you know how to handle a particular tool. If you are uncertain, get someone who knows to show you. Chisels, drills and electric saws can all be dangerous if you do no know what you are doing.

Plan the assembly. Does something need to be done before something else? In what order will you put the pieces together. Does something need two people to make it easier? It is better and less frustrating to ask for help and make a task more successful and easier rather than doing it alone and making a mess of it.

The order of putting things together is not always intuitive. Making large vent holes is easier with the cage in pieces than after it is assembled. For small vent holes, this does not matter. Another example is if you have a top door, putting a UV light in before attaching it, and other doors makes it easier to attach. If you intend to paint the inside, it is sometimes easier to do so inside before you assemble it.

Are you going to paint your reptile cage? If you make if from MDF you probably need to paint it but if it is made from laminates, than there is no need. If you are going to paint it, will you spray paint it or paint it with a brush? Are you going to line the inside of the cage? If so, what with? When should you do this?

If you do paint your reptile cage, makes sure you leave adequate time for the paint to dry between coats. Give more than one coat and leave the paint to dry for quite a few days at the end before you house animals. This makes sure that the fumes are removed or reduced to an acceptable level.

If you want to decorate your reptile cage, what are you going to do it with? If you intend to put a rock wall in it, you will have to make it a bit wider than you would otherwise to allow for the wall. If you want to have branches in your cage, you need to make sure you can install and remove them easily. How will you attach them in order to do this? You need to treat any timber you use in the cage to remove parasites and unwanted visitors.

Making your own cages can be a rewarding, fun and satisfying experience provided you spend a little time planning and above all, don’t rush it.

Mark Chapple is the Author of "How to build enclosures for reptiles"
This ebook shows you how to build homemade snake cages, lizard enclosures, large cages, arboreal cages, waterproofing them and a host of building tips and ideas. Full color pictures, detailed diagrams and easy to follow, step-by-step instructions.

Article Source:

Friday, November 30, 2007


A judge has decided not to put a man's reptiles under the control of the courts as he awaits sentencing for running a cannabis production line at his home.Judge Graham Cottle was yesterday considering whether to impose a restraint order on Neil Mounce's animals, to prevent him from disposing of them as assets. Orders can be used to secure assets which could be confiscated as a result of drug-trafficking convictions, to stop criminals dissipating or hiding assets.

Detectives discovered cannabis plants being grown, dried and bagged up for sale and £4,500 in drugs-related cash, in a raid at Mounce's home in Pinwood Meadow Drive, Beacon Heath, Exeter.

The city's crown court heard that he bred reptiles as a hobby. Prosecutor Ann Reddrop told Judge Cottle: "I don't want an order Your Honour - we don't have to manage the beasts then if it goes wrong."

Judge Cottle replied: "It's one thing to have a restraint order on a top-of- the-range BMW car and another to have one on a baby alligator."

Mounce, 26, had earlier admitted various offences on the basis that he dealt cannabis to fund his own heavy habit. The prosecution claimed he had used it to fund a comfortable, but not lavish, lifestyle.

But Ms Reddrop told the court yesterday that Mounce's pleas were acceptable as the Crown Prosecution Service was going to try to claw back any of his profits through an application to confiscate proceeds of crime.

Mounce, who now lives at another address in the city, has admitted producing cannabis, possessing the class C drug nitrazepam and possessing criminal property, the £4,500 cash. He has also pleaded guilty to possessing cannabis with intent to supply and two charges of supplying class C drugs, involving cannabis and cannabis resin.

Detectives discovered a hydroponic system in his spare bedroom, with 24 cannabis plants being grown, and previously cultivated and dried cannabis in his freezer, in a raid on October 24, last year.

The court heard yesterday that the prosecution raised questions about how Mounce could afford a guitar collection, a large television and the money to buy a new house, while working as a labourer.

But defence counsel Nicholas Bradley said there were innocent explanations for how Mounce afforded his lifestyle. He was bailed for sentencing on December 21.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Reptile Cages

Learn more about reptile cages and custom reptile cages.