Friday, September 20, 2013

Pallet Project: Rabbit Cage House

Since we got the pallet planter done so quickly I figured I'd add another pallet project to the mix. After all, I only have 3 partially completed projects so what's one more?

When it comes to rabbit housing I don't do wood, at least not anywhere they can chew or pee on it. You simply cannot get wood clean after a buck has spent half a year liberally spraying the entire back wall of his hutch. HOWEVER, I've doodled up a plan for a cage house where I'll use all wire cages, but mounted in a wooden frame that is a) out of reach of their teeth, and b) protected from flying pee.

If you like to design stuff but don't have any thing more modern than a pencil to do it with, I suggest you check out Tinker CAD. It's free to tinker with CAD online.

Using pallets we have, we'll rip the 2x4s from them for the framework of the cage racks.

Amazing how fast they turn into just so much scrap

Next I'll build 8 of these pieces (or 10, need to measure area this is going). Each opening will be 37" wide and 19" deep. My cages are 36" wide and 18" deep. The idea is to slide a cage through that opening into a slot where it will rest on metal hangers. It will take 2 of these frames plus the side braces to hang one cage, and then I can attach these horizontally to hang more cages on down the row. I'm going to do this facing our fence, and run a roof from the top edge of our fence down to the back edge of this hutch frame.

After putting together the first cage holder, it became clear I was going to need a lot more pallets. A lot of these 2x4s are beyond salvage, others have those notches in the worst possible place. I thought I had enough to make two of these, but one was all I could pull off, and that was after I retrieved a 2x4 that's been sitting in the yard all summer long. Least it wasn't too warped to use!

This is the frame that will hold the cage. It's 2' by 3' plus 1" on each side, which will allow the cage to sit slightly back from the wood frame. It's held together with 2.5" wood screws. Notice I've already begun to ignore my original plans above. This was bite me in the butt on down the road.

I added 2x4 legs, and don't ask me what size because I didn't measure them. Probably 42". I measured 4" from the top edge, marked that, then from that line measured 19" and screwed the base frame on.

Then I screwed these L shaped things on, flush to the top edge of the base frame. The rabbit cage will rest on these. 

Here it is all put together. When I build the next one I'll build it the same way, but minus the legs on one side. I'll screw it onto this one through the horizontal side braces.

Or wait, maybe not exactly like this one. 

Remember how I ignored my own design plans? I didn't think anything of it until I went to slide the cage into the opening and found it was wider than the gap I'd left. If I'd followed my plans it would have worked, but I got fixated on the opening in the base and forgot about the opening I needed in the front. I still got the cage in, but had to go in from the top. Not a huge issue, but an annoyance nonetheless.

This group of cage holders will be roofed off of the side of the rabbit house so I don't have a cover on it ATM. For now I'll probably just throw some sheet metal over the top and call it good.

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