Intro: The Snake Ladder
Who can resist an appalling pun made real?
Elsie, our corn snake, needed something to climb, but you can't just pick up any old stick for a snake, since you don't know what pathogens you are exposing your snake to.
We could have bought a treated stick, but we didn't fancy spending £10-£15 on, well, just a stick.
So, we decided to make Elsie a ladder to climb...
Step 1: A Note on Design
The first plan was to cut the ladder from a single layer of 3mm plywood, but that proved too flexible - Elsie wasn't happy on it, and I was nervous that it would break under her weight.
The easy answer was to cut the ladder from a very flat box, effectively creating a box girder.
We don't want the ladder to slip on the smooth floor of the vivarium, so we're going to a sachet of Sugru to make a hook to hang the ladder from.
Step 2: Cutting
Press Start, and...
This is actually a fun step, but I can rarely think of enough to write to make it worth a step of it's own.
Bit of advice, though - you don't have to jump straight into cutting the final object from your best-quality materials Test it first with scrap card.
Oh, and don't leave the laser cutter alone when it's running - there is always a risk of accidental fires*, especially when running on scrap card.
*Not that I have any experience of that at all...
Step 3: Assembly
Plenty of glue, and a bit of pressure when drying. Simple.
Or maybe not so simple - none of my clamps open wide enough to clamp the ladder end-to end, so we used a Spanish windlass - lengths of string tied around the ladder, with scraps of wood slipped into the string as well, then twisted in place to add tension to the string, and pressure on the wood.
Step 4: Fitting
Never used Sugru before? It's awesome stuff.
I will be moulding a single sachet into a simple, rugged hook on the wall of the vivarium, and leave it to cure for 24 hours.
If your snake is very nosy, she might have to stay in her RUB* while the Sugru is curing, but Elsie left it alone while it cured.
I have no idea if there are any toxic fumes during curing, so I left her vivarium doors open as much as possible.
Once the Sugru was cured, I hung the ladder on it, and... go for it, Elsie!
*Really Useful Box.
Disclosure: The photo is temporary - we're up against a holiday deadline, which means we don't have time to let the Sugru cure, so we'll do that when we get back & add new photos.