I started making a second Tokay cage last weekend so I can pair up my third pair of Tokays. I will finish the cage today. I had to make a trip to Lowes last night for some 1.75″ x .75″ x 8′ pine strips last night to make the door frame because I ran out of cedar boards.
Below is the cage as it was yesterday morning.
I sealed the inside of the cage with Minwax Polycrylic. I used that because it is winter and I did not want to take it outside in order to apply the stuff – figuring that since it is water based and nontoxic I would be OK to do it inside. This stuff is less messy than the regular, oil-based varnish but still has a very, very strong odor. One thing that makes it worth it to use (it costs a lot more than the oil-based version) is that the brush can be cleaned off in my sink with no paint thinner – just water.
I made a couple of hides from scrap wood. Here is one of them –
You can see that I used 1/2″ plywood for this so it would be very difficult to drill through the side of the cage from the outside and then into the edge of the hide box with a screw, so I added a larger piece of scrap wood at the top of the hide so I could drill into that.
When I attached it to the inside of the cage it was flaring out from the top to the bottom. I expected this. I think the Tokays do not like to be seen, at all, during the day so I glued a smaller piece of plywood to the side of the box, blocking out the light, and I clamped it to dry.
Also, the smallest screws I could find in my tool box were 1 3/8″ – and since I drilled though 1/2″ of plywood and 3/4″ of cherry wood scrap that meant that 1/8″ of screw was poking out. That meant another piece of scrap had to be affixed (you can see that in the above pic). I don’t worry about this wood being unfinished because it is just attached with screws and if, after constant misting, the wood rots and falls away I will just make another.
Next I took an old sign I picked up off a burned stump in the Osceola National Forest in 2009 and nailed it to two pieces of cut-down 2×4.
If you look close you can see where two eggs were attached by a Tokay last year.
Then, with Ethan’s help, I attached that to the cage by having Ethan lean against it from the front while I drilled through it from the back of the cage with a couple of screws.
And below is how the cage sits this morning, waiting for me to make the door –