• Announcements

    • Admin

      Why I can't post or login to SHC?   01/31/17

      All new members please take note. Read here if you are having problem logging in, unable to post or reply any topics.      
timatworksg

Thoughts on an idea - feedback welcome!

18 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

 

While searching through the web, I'm sure many of you have seen how IKEA shelving or furniture items have been used to build beautiful habitats for the Hamsters. I have several ideas and since I love handywork, this wouldn't be a difficult task for me.

 

I'm either looking at a shelving unit and getting either a glass panel or acrylic panel with a wood frame and wire mesh cover top. This way one can have a great view of the hamsters with lots of ventilation and ease of access to the inside.

 

Has anyone here done such a set up? If so, any drawbacks? Also any thoughts, feedback on the safety for our Hamsters in such built up homes.

 

Any advice is totally appreciated! Thank you in advance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi everyone,

 

While searching through the web, I'm sure many of you have seen how IKEA shelving or furniture items have been used to build beautiful habitats for the Hamsters. I have several ideas and since I love handywork, this wouldn't be a difficult task for me.

 

I'm either looking at a shelving unit and getting either a glass panel or acrylic panel with a wood frame and wire mesh cover top. This way one can have a great view of the hamsters with lots of ventilation and ease of access to the inside.

 

Has anyone here done such a set up? If so, any drawbacks? Also any thoughts, feedback on the safety for our Hamsters in such built up homes.

 

Any advice is totally appreciated! Thank you in advance.

 

Drawbacks is coating the wood and letting it "cure". Is that even the right term? :o

Another thing is to ensure you have a bedding guard, so bedding does not fall off each time you open the door.

 

It's actually a great idea to do hacks, except our Ikea isn't the cheapest (although it is cheap). This plus the acrylic can easily set you back up to $300 if you're making a big one.

 

But since you love these kinda things, do try it out!

 

Just remember to ensure sufficient ventilation and block out all escape routes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi leily!

 

I guess if it's the natural pine wood finish that would need some kind of varnish layer. Obviously not solvent based lacquer but water based. However, I'm looking at the laminated ones. Most ideas I've seen on the web use the laminated furniture. They don't mention on any varnishing or wood treatment, then again...it is laminated. Majority use the BILLY Range which come in natural wood, black or white laminate. Depending on what I use I intend to have an open top (covered with a wooden frame and wire mesh cover) and glass/acrylic front panel (sides also dependent on furniture). Also prob saw out 2 vent holes at the sides and cover with venting louvres. Then it's the accessories for them to climb, gnaw, hide, play, roll, etc etc...lol!

 

I like the idea of the BILLY bookcase where some have made it a 2 level habitat and lower shelves to keep the Hamster equipment and food! Yes it can get expensive and time consuming. But the end result makes a nice house piece compared to a colorful Hamster Cage. Not that I don't like them,...just would be great if the Hamster Habitat blended into the home and becomes a center piece!

 

Will update when I can if this pulls through. Any other feedback from others still welcome!

 

Thanks!

 

Admit IKEA isn't cheap, but many possibilities tho. A case of visualizing and lots of drawing...haha! I'll go read up on more others have done

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi leily!

 

I guess if it's the natural pine wood finish that would need some kind of varnish layer. Obviously not solvent based lacquer but water based. However, I'm looking at the laminated ones. Most ideas I've seen on the web use the laminated furniture. They don't mention on any varnishing or wood treatment, then again...it is laminated. Majority use the BILLY Range which come in natural wood, black or white laminate. Depending on what I use I intend to have an open top (covered with a wooden frame and wire mesh cover) and glass/acrylic front panel (sides also dependent on furniture). Also prob saw out 2 vent holes at the sides and cover with venting louvres. Then it's the accessories for them to climb, gnaw, hide, play, roll, etc etc...lol!

 

I like the idea of the BILLY bookcase where some have made it a 2 level habitat and lower shelves to keep the Hamster equipment and food! Yes it can get expensive and time consuming. But the end result makes a nice house piece compared to a colorful Hamster Cage. Not that I don't like them,...just would be great if the Hamster Habitat blended into the home and becomes a center piece!

 

Will update when I can if this pulls through. Any other feedback from others still welcome!

 

Thanks!

 

Admit IKEA isn't cheap, but many possibilities tho. A case of visualizing and lots of drawing...haha! I'll go read up on more others have done

 

 

If you search IKEA hacks, I believe there's a forum that has a bunch of ideas on hamster cages.

 

I was talking about coating the wood so that it doesn't soak up pee though, like Plastikote or something. The edges of Ikea furniture traps bedding, dust and pee like nobody's business, so you may have to seal it with aquarium grade silicone. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi leily,

 

Understood what you were refering to...sorry about my explanation tho. Yes, agree that bedding and pee will get caught between the cracks of the shelves and joints.

My initial plans, if I get the natural wood finish, is to coat the base with water based poly urethane and seal all joints with aqua grade silicone. Also a polyurethane side border high enough for protection purpose. If its the laminated finish, I would just silicone the seams and joint areas (depeding on type of laminate as IKEA has a thin wood finish laminate which I hate...lol)

 

I've been to IKEA hacks before. Used many ideas there for decorative usage for various applications. Very useful when you think out of the box.

 

So far I have several ideas in hand which will need a visit to IKEA to check on prices and feasability. I'm leaning towards a lengthwise habitat rather then squarish and tall. As for glass/acrylic...I have the sources figured out. It's now case of what works, less hacking away and overall cost. DIY is largely dependent on what the finish product will be like. But I guess the rewards are priceless.

 

Will update and thanks again for the feedback! Always appreciated!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi leily,

 

Understood what you were refering to...sorry about my explanation tho. Yes, agree that bedding and pee will get caught between the cracks of the shelves and joints.

My initial plans, if I get the natural wood finish, is to coat the base with water based poly urethane and seal all joints with aqua grade silicone. Also a polyurethane side border high enough for protection purpose. If its the laminated finish, I would just silicone the seams and joint areas (depeding on type of laminate as IKEA has a thin wood finish laminate which I hate...lol)

 

I've been to IKEA hacks before. Used many ideas there for decorative usage for various applications. Very useful when you think out of the box.

 

So far I have several ideas in hand which will need a visit to IKEA to check on prices and feasability. I'm leaning towards a lengthwise habitat rather then squarish and tall. As for glass/acrylic...I have the sources figured out. It's now case of what works, less hacking away and overall cost. DIY is largely dependent on what the finish product will be like. But I guess the rewards are priceless.

 

Will update and thanks again for the feedback! Always appreciated!

 

There's some really cool stuff online other than the expedit/kallax or detolf hack. People have used Billy too! Some people use Lack cause it's cheap. But I think the US has a better selection of the Akurum line cause in Sg it's not so great. 

 

Endless possibilities, really.. Hahaha. I would love to see the whole project through pictures!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I noticed that the range is bigger in US. They have a LAK coffee table where we have the smaller corner unit. The LAK is one of the considerations as well. Not limiting myself to IKEA stuff only. I may find something suitable at another furniture shop. As you mentioned, endless possibilities.

 

Once I find something suitable, affordable as a project, not too much customization needed, I will start a build log here for sure. So till then, will be project hunting and keep all posted!

 

Thanks leily!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah I noticed that the range is bigger in US. They have a LAK coffee table where we have the smaller corner unit. The LAK is one of the considerations as well. Not limiting myself to IKEA stuff only. I may find something suitable at another furniture shop. As you mentioned, endless possibilities.

 

Once I find something suitable, affordable as a project, not too much customization needed, I will start a build log here for sure. So till then, will be project hunting and keep all posted!

 

Thanks leily!

 

Yay, would love to see what you come up with. I do love the Kallax hacks but the Kallax itself is sooo expensive o.O

 

I tried using the Harlig doors but I'm not very handy and they didn't hold up very well. Ended up throwing it away except my acrylic piece.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Will see what I can do leily! It will be a slow process as not in a rush and would rather get the Hamster's habitat confirmed and working before even getting a Hamster. Wouldn't be a large one as we're looking for a single Syrian and enough room to keep him/her busy and cozy! Probably a shelf rack where one level will be the habitat and the bottom for storage. Wish the Hamster to take center stage in the living room!..lol!

 

Till then, wish me luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi all....delayed...sry. Been in and out of SG so didn't have time to plan yet. Besides, Detolf glass shelf is too Ex to make a habitat...so looking into alternatives.

Will update for sure!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Understand this thread has been silent for now, but I'm back! Looking into getting a hamster soon and decided to take the cheaper DIY route. The IKEA tho nice, is too long and cost a little too much for my liking. Ended up going with the BIN Cage. If anyone is interested in how I am making mine, lemme know and I'll be glad to post some pics and the process! Till then Cheers!

Tim

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, timatworksg said:

Understand this thread has been silent for now, but I'm back! Looking into getting a hamster soon and decided to take the cheaper DIY route. The IKEA tho nice, is too long and cost a little too much for my liking. Ended up going with the BIN Cage. If anyone is interested in how I am making mine, lemme know and I'll be glad to post some pics and the process! Till then Cheers!

Tim

IKEA SAMLA. The largest one. No need for a cover

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Didn't think about that one though, Thanks for the heads up! But halfway thru the bin project. So will finish that off and see where we go from there. Thanks!

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Hey all! Just an update. I went the Bin route with a TOYOGO bin as I have them unused and new at home. Will be housing a Syrian and expansion works will be the next step for more adventure room. Be it a 2nd level or side by side expansion...it's still an option space depending. So sharing the progress of what is planned. I cut the holes with a heated Kitchen Knife over the stove. ** Do this in a ventilated area and if you can...use a filter mask (I used the ones I had from SARS..lol) as the fumes are dangerous! Never inhale and if at any time you feel tired, giddy or weird, STOP and head outside. If like me your doing this in a HDB apartment, make sure your kids dont come near and work near a sink or bathroom in case you get burnt.**

That aside, the holes with be covered with wire mesh and screw held in place. I've already sanded smooth the cut lines and working on the wire mesh as I type this. Hopefully completed by today, pending excited interruptions by my 2 daughters! HAHA!! 

Thanks to 'leily' and the suggestion of the IKEA SAMLA this may end up the 2nd level with the SAMLA as the base....Rest assured the expansion is the next project! cheers!

 

20170401_103016.jpg

Edited by timatworksg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites