The Snake Ladder




About: The answer is lasers, now, what was the question? If you need help, feel free to contact me. Find me on Reddit, Tumblr and Twitter as @KitemanX

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.



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    23 Discussions


    3 years ago on Introduction

    Elsie has finally deigned to use the ladder at the same time that I had a camera handy...


    I know it's expencive, that's why I'm trying to determine if it'll work or not. ;)

    I'm wanting to start doing customs soon, when we have the budget that is...

    For doing customs I need to get 2 of the same figure, so that I can customize one, and keep the other as it is.

    I'm also hoping to get some Gundam paints and markers (even the metallic ones) and do some pretty sweet paint customs too.

    The "homemade sugru" is called Oogoo, and I was about to suggest the same thing. Especially when you are doing something for the first time and you may need to experiment a little to find what works. Experimenting with Sugru will empty your wallet pretty fast.

    I just made Oogoo for the first time last week, and I have to emphasize that it is important to do it outside, or with a lot of ventilation. The fumes don't seem like much to start with, but it gets worse after you have been breathing them for a bit.

    I just looked at this for the first time. When it was featured I saw it and thought "snake ladder" was a creative name for some type of ladder. Now I get it.

    I'm away from my main computer right now, but if you check my Facebook timeline, I've just added a photo of her "killing" a defrosted mouse.