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#35879 - 02/04/05 02:17 AM Wire Shelving Cages

[:"blue"] Several people have posted threads here at GC about building cages out of the wire closet shelving sold at H/D and the like. While each situation requires a different solution, it is my opinion that the wire shelving is not the "best" cage solution for the average cage builder. My concerns are in three areas: weight, price and workability.

Troy just finished a 40"x20"x5' cage and had the following to say:
</font><blockquote><font class="small">Quote:</font><hr /> weighs, I'm guessing about anywhere between 40-60 lbs, but I could be way off.....

<hr /></blockquote><font class="post"> [:"blue"]

I think Troy is pretty close. That wire shelving is very heavy!! I'm going to visit H/D this weekend to see if I can find out exactly how much that stuff weighs. To my way of thinking, the weight is a major objection to using this stuff for glider cages. Imaging trying to move around a 60 lb cage or carry it outside and down a flight of stairs to give it a washing?? A comparably sized cage made out of the Klubertanz 16 gauge wire would weigh around 34 pounds and if made out of the H/D 19 gauge wire would weigh about 14 lbs. Don't know what a big Reptarium weighs; but would guess it is between 5-10 lbs.

Considering cost, note that you could buy the necessary wire for that size cage from Klubertanz, including shipping for about $75. H/D wire would be about half the cost of the Klubertanz cost. Some people have been lucky enough to find remnant pieces and returns at H/D that were deeply discounted; but if you are paying full retail, the shelving is a more expensive option.

And finally, there is the matter of workability. The H/D and Klubertanz wire can be easily cut with a pair of diagonal cutters and the rough edges touched up with an inexpensive file. The wire shelving, on the other hand, requires a hack saw, bolt cutter or rotary cutoff tool(Dremel) and a lot of filing and grinding to smooth out the rough stubs. I understand you can get the store to do a lot of the cutting for you so if you have a good set of plans with all of the dimensions accurately figured out in advance some of the cutting headache may be avoided. Regardless, there will be some fine tuning to be done at final assembly and if you miscalculate on your initial plan, you may have a real mess.

My point, here, is not to "trash" wire shelving; but rather to make folks aware of some of the down side of the material so you can make an informed decision when deciding on your cage material. The original idea for the use of this material, to the best of my knowledge, was a builder in Canada(Krystal, I think; but need to check to be sure) who just could not find any other PVC coated material to use for a glider cage. Another advantage of this stuff is it's color. It is the only commonly available cage material that is white. No doubt that it makes up to a very good looking cage; but if color is not a prime concern other materials may be a better choice. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/thumb.gif" alt="" /> [/]

Edited by RANDY (02/04/05 02:29 AM)

#35880 - 02/04/05 05:10 AM Re: Wire Shelving Cages [Re: ]

Yes that was why I asked about weight/ My reptarium does probably weigh in at around 10 lbs.max for the 260 g. <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/yelclap.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/heartpump.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/read.gif" alt="" />

#35881 - 02/04/05 07:01 AM Re: Wire Shelving Cages [Re: ]

I use the wire shelving because I live on the second floor of my house. The wireshelving is nice in that you can pop it all a part and you have small managable pieces to carry down stairs for cleaning... It is heavy, but it's what suited my needs best. I agree that it is important to inform people of the pluses and minuses of everything Randy <img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

#35882 - 02/04/05 10:02 AM Re: Wire Shelving Cages [Re: ]

I have 9 cages made of the shelving, I made stands with castors on them to set the cages on so I just roll them out to clean them .I would say the average cost for shelving and the stand would be 130.00 to the very most 150.00. veris getting wire shipped to Canada (to get the wire in Canada you are looking at about 10.00 a ft). I can hook the stand together to make a bigger stand and re-vamp the section of shelving to make a bigger cage if I wanted just by get more sections. I can make the cage any heigth as well (at least up to 8ft high). Also if I don't need the cage I can brake it down to store it and it takes alot less space . I have pics of my cages on my web page if you would like to see.

#35883 - 02/05/05 12:21 AM Re: Wire Shelving Cages [Re: ]

PenGwen - I've seen 12' X 40" sections locally, if you ever want more than 8'! hehe

I agree that for the average cagebuilder that wire shelving may not be the best option. Corey put about 20 - 30 hours or more into ours. He was very meticulous about using the dremmel to finish the ends, so they weren't dangerous, but I can see people getting frustrated with that pretty quickly. I don't think mine is 40 lbs, but I'd guess 20. I usually have Corey help me lift it, so I don't drag it and scrape our hardwood floors, though - but then I have an injured shoulder and try not to lift anything I don't have to.

All told, I think I spent about $130 on my 3' X 40" X 20" cage. I wish I'd made it a little taller, though. But I really wanted something nicer than the hardware cloth stuff. When we move next month, it will be to an apartment, and I may put the cage in our living room, so I didn't want it to be ugly. It also seemed like the least expensive for the size - everything else was either ugly and big or cute and tiny. Since then, I figure that it's not really all that cheap considering the labor. But for me, it was worth it.

So for someone who is (or has access to) the hobbyist builder-type - go for the wire shelving cages! If not, if you're looking for cheap, or if you're looking for lighter - it's probably not for you.

#35884 - 02/05/05 12:57 PM Re: Wire Shelving Cages [Re: ]

As stated above the wire shelving cages are alot of work,I had to use a hacksaw to cut the pieces to length then use a file and dremmel to get rid of the sharp edges, but I think it is worth it in the long run because they look nice and are very sturdy. I enjoy building things so it was actually fun and a challenge putting it together, figuring out a new door latching system and building the base with wheels so it can be easily rolled from room to room. But like Randy said they are heavy which is the biggest problem with these cages. The main reason I didn't order from Klubertanz was I didn't have a set "plan" in my head. I knew what I wanted and just kind of built as I went. If you know your exact dimensions and what size pieces you need, go with Klubertanz.


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