Shedding Box

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Introduction: Shedding Box

I have a new pet corn snake, and within days of arriving she shed her skin.

It was a fascinating thing to watch, and we noticed that she spent part of the time scratching and scraping against the corners of the hide I had made her.

This inspired me to come up with an enrichment toy that was, basically, nothing but edges and corners to help a snake shed its skin.

Step 1: Design

The box started as, well, a box. I used MakerCase to create a basic cube with finger joints.

Using Inkscape, I added variously-sized holes in each face.

To help avoid mixing up faces, I put the same shape holes in opposing faces.

I also added a bar across the inside of the box, to give a little extra scratching surface.

(The files you need to make your own shedding box are attached to this step, all sized for 3mm plywood.)

Step 2: Assembly

Assembling the shedding box is quite simple, as long as you pay attention to what you're doing.

Start by dry-fitting the parts to make sure they line up. If you are using my design without modifying it, you'll see that opposing faces have the same shape on them.

When gluing, make sure you use glue that will not harm your snake - PVA woodglue is good, and so is cyanoacrylate super glue (as long as you give enough time for fumes to clear before putting it in the vivarium).

Start by gluing together three faces with different shapes.

Then add the second "circles" face, making sure you line up the two rectangular holes.

The plywood is flexible enough that you can then bend them slightly to fit the bar between the circles faces. Glue isn't vital for the bar, but I used some anyway, to add a little extra strength to the box.

Lastly, add the remaining "squares" and "hexagons" faces, making sure that each is opposite their matching face.

Step 3: Using the Shedding Box.

All you need to do is drop the shedding box into your snake's vivarium.

Whether you leave it in there all the time as a climbing toy, or just put it in when you see signs of your snake is getting ready to shed ("in the blue"), is up to you, but I'd love to see photos of your snake climbing through their shedding box.

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17 Comments

very unique idea for a beloved pet. can you do instructable on feeding, vivarium, etc.?

Being a beginner snake-keeper, I'm reluctant to tackle those yet (if I get it wrong, somebody might accidentally hurt their pet), but they'd definitely be on the cards in a few months.

What a thoughtful snake daddy you are there! I love it! Do you do anything with the skin?

Not so far (especially since she left a special gift on top of the last one...)

Trust me, there's no need to be scared.

Zoos will sometimes let you stroke them with a fingertip...