Got/getting a Guinea Pig? Only got a small budget for an enclosure? Want a cage that will be the exact dimensions you want? Like building and constructing and have a couple of hours? THIS IS THE PROJECT FOR YOU!
In this instructable i will be showing you how i made an expansion on my current hutch!
I made this a few months ago now and it is still standing strong however i added hinges to the roof of the part i made to make it easier to access guinea pigs (not in this instructable but fairly self explanatory if you need/want to add them).
If you are making this as a hutch and not an expansion follow the * indicator! If you are making this as an expansion ignore the *.
NOTE: YOU CAN ALSO MAKE THIS INTO AN ORDINARY HUTCH AND I WILL EXPLAIN THIS AS I GO!
3 months later i have had to add 90 degree brackets to the corners of the roof that opens due to rough use from my brother and sisters.
Step 1: STEP 1: Get Some Inspiration
Before you can start constructing your expansion/hutch you need inspiration. Its hard to come up with a specific design you want if you dont know whats possible!
- How many stories you want.
- What shape you want.
- How many doors you want.
- How much room do you have to work with.
- How much money you can spend.
The list goes on!
Step 2: STEP 2: Measure and Draw Blue Prints
Before going any further, you must decide how big you want you extension/hutch to be.
After measuring and deciding how big your hutch will be, you need to draw up a design for you extension/hutch. Be sure to add all dimensions to avoid later confusion!
You can see the design i drew above.
*you will need to draw a back on your blue print.
Step 3: STEP 3: Gather Your Materials and Tools!
There are a few basic materials and tools you will need to get started!
- Wood Staples
- Phillips Head Screws
- Chicken Wire
- Wood (i used the wood from our old TV cabinet!)
- Latches (galvanised)
- Pre-made doors (or make you own).
- And obviously, wood.
- Electric Drill (drill bits and Phillips head bits)
- Jig-saw or Circular Saw
- Wire cutters
- Ruler/tape measure
- Safety goggles
- Right angle.
Step 4: STEP 4: Dimensions and Cutting.
If you don't make you cage exactly to mine, they will obviously different and you will need to accommodate this when drawing up your dimensions.
I made my cage 114cm x 82cm x 41cm.
After you have decided on your dimensions, you will need to write up what size cuts you will need and how many.
These were my cuts:
6x - 114 x 5 cm.
8x - 82 x 5 cm.
6x - 41 x 5 cm.
1x - 41 x 5 cm.
*8x - 114 x 5 cm.
8x - 82 x 5 cm.
8x - 41 x 5 cm.
1x - 41 x 5 cm. More cuts are required because you are making 6 sides.
Be sure to double check before you cut your wood!
Once you have cut, sweep up saw dust and throw away off cuts.
Step 5: STEP 5: Make the Thing.
Assemble your pieces into the 4 (or 5 if your making a cage) sections.
Use your drill, with a drill bit slightly smaller than the shaft of your screw, to drill a guide hole on the corners (pic.2).
Using the drill bit, screw your screw into the hole you just made.
Repeat till you have joined all the pieces together to make the frames.
Take all the frames, measure the chicken wire to the right size and cut with bolt cutters.
Use a hammer to hit the wood staples on the edges of the frame to hold the chicken wire in place.
Make sure all sharp edges are either hit into the wood or cut off so your guinea pig does not hurt its self.
Take the pieces to the location of your new hutch and assemble using the same drill-then-screw (lets be mature about that) method to put the sides together. Make sure the side of the frame that the wire was put on is facing IN. Attach door/s and latches.
Ok now attach to your existing cage, or if this is your only cage, your done. Let your guinea pigs in after you check there are no gaps they can get out through, check all joins are strong and secure and there are no screws or parts of wire sticking out.
EXTENSION PEOPLE ONLY:
To attach the extension to the pre-existing cage, i used long rectangular off cuts, and drilled 4 screws in. 2 that went through the extension and 2 through the pre-existing cage. I did this on both sides (in picture above)