DIY Tutorial: Ladder

1 - Tutorial Cover

This simple tutorial will teach you how to build a ladder for a pet rat cage.  Fair warning – pet rats love to chew wood, so depending on the temperament of your rats, this ladder may not last very long!  The good news is that this ladder is a quick and cheap project, so it won’t cost you much to make another.   I made this ladder in under an hour, including time for photography.

Note:  many rat crafters recommend freezing craft wood for at least 24 hours prior to introducing to your pet rats. This is to kill any bacteria, mites, or other undesirables that may be in the wood.

 2 - Supplies & Tools

Supplies needed:

  • 1 wooden dowel
  • 10 wooden craft sticks
  • 20 plastic zip ties
  • 2 screw-in mug hooks

Tools needed:

  • Yardstick
  • Hand saw
  • Drill

3 - Step 1

1.  Begin by measuring the wooden dowel and cutting it to size.  In this example, I cut the wooden dowel into two 18″ pieces.  Remember, measure twice, cut once!

4 - Step 2

2.  Screw the hooks into one end of the 18″ dowel pieces.  You can do this by hand, as I did in the example, or pre-drill a hole with your drill.

5 - Step 3

3.  Using a pen or pencil, mark the drill holes on the wooden craft sticks that will become the ladder rungs.  Do this by laying the wooden dowel across the craft stick and marking either side with small dots.  Each craft stick should have two holes on each end.

6 - Step4

4.    Select a drill bit size that is just large enough for the plastic zip ties to fit through (pictured above).

7 - Step 5

5.  Carefully drill holes in the wooden craft sticks.

 8 - Step 6

6.  Attach the craft sticks to the wooden dowels using one plastic zip tie for each side of the craft stick.  These will need to be very tight, but don’t tighten the plastic zip tie until the rung is positioned exactly where you want.

9 - Step 7

7.  Continue adding rungs to your ladder, spacing as you go.  In this example, I used my yardstick (1.25″ wide) to keep the spacing even.

10 - Step 8

8.  Trim the excess plastic on the zip ties, positioning the lumpy fastened end towards the middle of the ladder.  This will keep your rats from poking themselves on any sharp ends.

11 - Completed Ladder    

Tada!  Your completed ladder.

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