I have thought about making some hides for my Tokay Geckos for quite awhile but just did not know how I was going to go about it or what a hide for these geckos should look like. I knew that I wanted to make something with many entry and exit holes and also with slats or louvers for the geckos to cling to inside the box.
Yesterday I made two boxes and they are both different. The smaller box is for a 12″ x 12″ x 18″ vertically oriented cage and has staggered slats inside it for the geckos to climb on and around – and for them to cling to while they are sleeping.
This picture below shows the box after I made the cuts and before I assembled it.
The next pic shows it with the top on and a hinge attached. This is really a flaw in this design because I will not be able to lift the top completely up and over in an 18″ cage, I think. I could not put the hinge on the back because the 45 degree angle of the cut means that the screws for the hinge will pierce the back side of the wood and show through. I’ll have to figure out a solution for the next boxes; probably a shallower angle for the roof.
Below is a picture of the box with the top open.
The front of the box does not have the traditional, round birdhouse opening. I made it a full opening to simulate a crack that a wild Tokay might slip through while running around on a shed or barn in the wild. I also painted the roof with flat black to absorb the heat from the overhead heat bulb I provide for them and I coated the outside sides and back with semigloss polyurethane. A picture of that is below.
I also made a much larger box with a different design. This one has a lift up roof and removable louvers inside for the Tokays to hide on and in.
First I used my table saw to cut the 3/4″ pine boards and I also had to use the table saw to make the 45 degree miter cuts because the span was too great for my miter saw. Then I drew out the dados for each side, giving a 1 -1/2″ space between each louver and I drew the stop point so I would not over-cut with my router.
Then I cut the dados, freehand, with my router –
Next I fitted the sides to the back with screws and started adding the louvers, which I cut from 1/4″ pine plywood.
I used my drill and a 2″ hole saw to make the openings for the geckos to come in and out.
Then I painted the top of the roof and I sealed the outside sides and back with multiple coats of semigloss polyurethane. I have found that unfinished pine will soak in a few coats of poly before you can tell it is there. I know it’s there but you just can’t tell until you put four or five coats on it.
And below are some more clear shots into the front of the big box, showing the louvers on and in which I hope the Tokays will hide and lay eggs.
Below are some pics of both boxes, complete, and waiting for the paint and poly to cure so I can add them to the cages (to be continued).