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Ferdinand's Giant Outdoor Cage Step 5: The Best Laid Plans...

Posted 08-09-2014 at 08:47 PM by Lathis
Updated 08-09-2014 at 08:56 PM by Lathis

So not everything will always go according to plan. I expected the hardware cloth to act as a diaphragm to hold the frame together... no such luck. The corners immediately stated to fall apart and pull out all the staples. So I needed to reinforce the corners.

Back to the hardware store! I purchased some flat-stock PVC for latticing and a box of 100 3/4-inch machine screws with nuts (1-inch would have been better, but this worked).

I cut the flat-stock into 4-inch...
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Ferdinand's Giant Outdoor Cage - Step 4: M*E*S*H

Posted 08-09-2014 at 08:38 PM by Lathis
Updated 08-09-2014 at 08:48 PM by Lathis

Now that the frame is together, it is time to install the hardware cloth. If you opted to use screen, the process would be nearly identical.

Place the frame face down. Fit one of the finished edges of the hardware cloth against the frame (inside the L-shaped piece for me). Staple in place with double staples at the corner and staples every 4-inches. Gently pull tight as you staple.

Staple across the top, again gently pulling the hardware cloth tight.
...
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Ferdinand's Giant Outdoor Cage Step 3: Cutting and mitering and fitting, Oh My!

Posted 08-09-2014 at 08:25 PM by Lathis
Updated 08-09-2014 at 09:14 PM by Lathis

First, measure out everything to make sure you have enough material. Then, realize you don't and return to Step 2.

Cut your first short and long piece. Now use these pieces to measure all the other pieces for consistency.

Because I used an L-shaped piece of PVC (and because Ferdinand is fancy like that), I decided to miter the corners. If you use flat stock, you can square the corners.

To miter the corners, place the piece in your miter box, clamp...
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Ferdinand's Giant Outdoor Cage Step 2: Shopping!

Posted 08-09-2014 at 08:22 PM by Lathis
Updated 08-09-2014 at 08:37 PM by Lathis

I don't have a workshop or power tools, so everything needed to be something that I could do by hand in my half of the garage.

Tools you will need:

1. Screwdrivers (not shown)
2. Miter box and saw
3. Sanding block (not shown)
4. 1" Machine screws and 1/2" self-tapping screws (not shown)
5. Staple gun and 1/2" staples
6. Tape measure
7. Nippers or heavy duty scissors
8. Frothy libation of your choice...
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Ferdinand's Giant Outdoor Cage - Step 1: Formulate a Plan

Posted 08-09-2014 at 08:00 PM by Lathis
Updated 08-09-2014 at 08:22 PM by Lathis

First things first - you need a plan. I sat down and listed what I wanted for an outdoor cage:

1. Collapsible without unscrewing anything.
2. Very light weight and easily moveable.
3. Weather resistant and maintenance free.
4. HUGE! With easy interior access.
5. Secure from birds and escape.
6. Self-supporting.
7. Sufficient for all-day but not overnight use.

Then, I made a list of everything I would need:
...
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