How to build multi-family C&C cavy condos, part III

11 Jun

This is the third in a three-part series on the construction of custom, multi-story C&C cages. Click for part I or part II.

With the frame for your condo complete, the third and final step is cutting the plastic coroplast pans.

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Start by measuring the inside perimeter of your frame. Subtract an inch or two from each measurement to ensure the pan will be easy to remove. then begin marking those measurements on an uncut sheet of coroplast. If the sheet you are working with is significantly larger than the necessary size, you might consider cutting it down in advance to make the sheet easier to work with.

You can mark your coroplast according to whatever system works best for you, but I personally like drawing a small line at each corner, indicating where the bottom of the pan should meet the lip. In this case, you can see that I’ve planned for three-inch lips surrounding the pan. This is short, but all this small piece of coroplast would allow. If you do this, you should end up with two marks in each corner that will outline the pan’s future shape.

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Next, begin cutting with a box opener along the outermost edge of what will be the flat, outside surface of your pan. Use a yard stick to make sure you cut as straight as possible. For this first cut, apply just enough pressure to score the coroplast — you want to cut through the top layer of plastic, but not the second. If you cut both layers, you’ll end up with a leaky pan. You should end up with four intersecting cuts, outlining the bottom of the pan.

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When you’re finished cutting, flip the coroplast over and begin to shape your pan by folding the lips up along the scored creases. You may need to re-cut some places if your box opener didn’t cut smoothly. You might also need to apply a little force to get the lip to pop up, and the plastic may make a loud cracking noise as you do so. This is normal.

If you’ve done this correctly, you won’t be able to fold all four lips into place at the same time just yet. There should also be no holes in the side of the pan — the coroplast should fold smoothly. The scored edge will form the outside of the pan, leaving the uncut edge on the inside intact.

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Now, select two parallel lips, and make a second cut through the remaining layer of plastic at each corner, up to the perpendicular crease. This should allow you to separate a square of plastic that is the same width and height as the pan’s lip, leaving one edge attached.

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Finally, place your double-sided tape on the outside edge of one of these square cut-outs. Fold the perpendicular lip up to meet the cut-out, and press together until the tape stays in place. Repeat for all four corners.

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Make as many pans as necessary to fill the remaining pens in your caviary. You’re well on your way to a finished condo!

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