i have been a member of iHerp for just over three years now. iHerp has been the most important part of my husbandry ever since. it means more to me than paper towels and sterilite tubs :) thank you aaron, you are the king!
recently, i got a few requests to do a "how-to" blog for my new perch design. i've been busy, so i will beg forgiveness for the delay. hope you enjoy it:
i needed a perch design that followed a few specific ideas. one, it has to be easy to clean. two, it has to be easy to remove from a "slide-out" tub. three, it has to be cheap. four, it has to be safe and sturdy for the babies to actually enjoy it. five, i'd like to buy all the parts locally. six, i like horizontal perches, not angled perches. seven, it has to be easy to set on a counter while i clean a tub.
this seems like a pretty strict guideline, but it just took some thought and planning.
a while ago, i found a product at Home Depot called "No Rot" window and door moulding. it is made of extruded, cellular vinyl. it is basically a plastic replacement for the trim around your windows. it is relatively cheap, easy to clean, easy to cut, sturdy and solid white all the way through. they sell it in several shapes, but i like the 5/8" square X 8' long for this project. it was only $6. the UPC is shown in the following picture. i use this material for "legs" to my jungle gym.
using a PVC cutter, i cut this into 4 sections, each measuring 3.5" and set them aside.
next, i get inexpensive plastic coat hangers from the Dollar Store. again, solid white and easy to cut. these will make the actual perches. you can cut them to size with whatever you like, but the PVC cutter works well.
there are two @ 10.5" and two @ 5.5". rounding the ends of helps later. my Dad thought to use a pencil sharpener. he's extra clever.
now, using a drill bit that is exactly the same diameter of your newly made perches, drill holes all the way through the legs as seen in the following pictures. it is important that the perches fit very snug into these holes. i use a rubber hammer to get them to fit.
and, finally drill a hole below and cross-wise to the existing hole as shown.
install the longer perches as shown. i like the longer perches to be lower than the short ones, but you should try to suit your animals and the tub they are going in.
feel free to copy this idea or get creative :) i'd love to see what you come up with using these materials!
and a few tips if you want to make a whole rack full of them: use a drill press to get uniformity and speed with your hole drilling. use a table saw to cut the coat hangers. get your family or friends to help you, i'd like to thank my Mom for help with the hangers and Mel for help putting 44 Jungle Gyms together. but mostly, my Dad for spending 6 hours helping me cut and drill plastic in his workshop. making just one of these takes about 30 minutes, but 44 of them is an entirely different story. thanks Dad, you are the best :)
to see shots of the perches in action, go to Mel's recent blog about our baby chondros :) thank you all for your kind words and interest!
and finally, a few shots i took today:
thanks as always, guys and gals. you are the very coolest :)