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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hutch conversion build -Updated-

I'm going through with this project :)
http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=5751

Just went to Home Depot

Power Sander $30
3x6ft sheet of plexiglass $37
Plexiglass cutter $4
Odds and ends of screws/ties/fasterners $10
10 foot roll of galvanized stainless steel mesh (apparently galvanized is ok as long as I scrub with vinegar) $10

Day 1
Took the mirror out, it was held on the back with plywood and about 50 staples. Was annoying.


The finish is pretty thick, this was after about 15 minutes of power sanding. My arms are going to hurt like **** when this is through haha

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Your project is doing great. Please remember when you are sanding to use a mask so you are not breathing in that fine sanding dust. It won't be good for you lungs. Good Luck with the project. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
Ugh. Getting really frustrated with the sanding. Exactly how toxic are these wood finishes if anyone knows? I've gotten a good bit off, but there's still that stain color in a few patches that refuse to budge. And I don't want to sand too much and ruin the integrity of the structure.

I've managed to get all the "chewable" sections completely clear, but the walls and floors are a bit warped, making it a pain to sand.

I have more pictures that I'll post in one batch at the end of today. I managed to cut to size the plexiglas (Adventure in itself and I have a bloody thumb and vacuum full of shards to show for it).

You know those times where you feel like you've dug the hole a bit too deep.....haha? I've also bought some black non toxic paint for the outside. Leaving the inside bare wood (unless anyone knows of some bird safe finishes, because bare wood might be a horror to clean)


Oh, and the tiel cage is in the bathroom, door closed, with the vent on. Don't want him breathing the dust, but he's screaming and not happy lol.
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Sounds like you've done enough to me. You've got all the chewable areas clear. Now if you want the wood to have a nicer appearance than raw wood you could oil it with Olive Oil. That's what I do with my cutting boards. The oil soaks in nicely (you may have to do it 3 times) and you don't have to worry about water damage after that. Since it's an edible oil you have nothing to worry about if they ingest it. Heck...it's probably even good for them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I would think it's ok, but the sanding definitely brought out chemical smell and I'm concerned the residuals fumes would be really bad for the bird.

I checked out a sugar glider forum where someone posted about spraying down furniture with PureAyre, which supposedly breaks down the toxic chemicals. Apparently it's food grade and safe for use around pets. I'm thinking maybe I'll track down some of this stuff.

http://www.pureayre.com/
Eliminating odors from furniture

For hard finished surfaces, spray PureAyre directly onto furniture and rub onto the surface for a few seconds. Then wipe dry with a clean cotton cloth. For porous finishes like unfinished wood or unfinished surfaces of particle board or hardboard, spray a light coating of PureAyre directly onto surfaces. Wait a few seconds for PureAyre to penetrate, then wipe off any excess liquid. Allow the surfaces to dry completely before using the furniture. PureAyre also eliminates the formaldehyde and other dangerous fumes emitted by new furniture. Use liberally in the air and directly on the furniture.
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I've read more then once but now i can't find the websites

that you can not "clean" galvanized wire (I can't remember the term they used) but it said you can't get rid of the zinc that is on galvanized metal and Zinc is highly toxic

I always stay clear of Galvanized wire - even know Some ppl say you can clean it and they've used it for X amount of years w/out problems - BUT i don't want to take the chance

if they had a bird just up and die and no tests were done - how would they be sure it wasn't from the cage? Some metal poisoning takes years to show up and cause harm
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I've read more then once but now i can't find the websites

that you can not "clean" galvanized wire (I can't remember the term they used) but it said you can't get rid of the zinc that is on galvanized metal and Zinc is highly toxic

I always stay clear of Galvanized wire - even know Some ppl say you can clean it and they've used it for X amount of years w/out problems - BUT i don't want to take the chance

if they had a bird just up and die and no tests were done - how would they be sure it wasn't from the cage? Some metal poisoning takes years to show up and cause harm
I went to three different hardware stores but couldn't find anything that WASN'T galvanized. And all the online retailers won't sell less than 20 foot rolls (for over $200 with delivery). So I haven't really found any alternate options.

I spent a couple hours researching and it seems as long as it's galvanized AFTER welding and cleaned with vinegar every few months it's ok.
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That's why I bought poly coated wire. It's not a soft coating. It has a hard surface you would swear it was painted but it's thicker than paint and completely encapsulates the galvanized metal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
That's why I bought poly coated wire. It's not a soft coating. It has a hard surface you would swear it was painted but it's thicker than paint and completely encapsulates the galvanized metal.
How does it hold up against bird beaks though? My tiel is a major chewer.
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I hope it works out for you, i would have bought a unfinished one...be happy.

I'm going through with this project :)
http://talkcockatiels.com/showthread.php?t=5751

Just went to Home Depot

Power Sander $30
3x6ft sheet of plexiglass $37
Plexiglass cutter $4
Odds and ends of screws/ties/fasterners $10
10 foot roll of galvanized stainless steel mesh (apparently galvanized is ok as long as I scrub with vinegar) $10

Day 1
Took the mirror out, it was held on the back with plywood and about 50 staples. Was annoying.


The finish is pretty thick, this was after about 15 minutes of power sanding. My arms are going to hurt like **** when this is through haha
 

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That is looking like one big project. Iam not sure about the PureAyre stuff. It seems it is just an odour eliminator and won't get any chemicals out of the air. I would send them an email and ask if it is safe to use around birds. When people say safe to use around pets, they usually mean cats and dogs.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Long time no post. Life's been busy, meant to update this thread but in between setting up new internet service, work, and uni, I ended up not finishing this project until last week. Been working one afternoon a week here and there. It's still not done actually.

I painted the exterior black to match the rest of my furniture, then bought rails for the plexiglass to go through


Working with getting the measurements and cutting right. The back piece curves back behind the hutch to give it more width. Whoever invented nylon zip ties gets a cookie because trying to do everything without someone to help hold and position for you is an absolute pain.



Kind of a big jump here. Sanded down the old finish to the best of my ability and used an all natural non toxic zero VOC paint that's safe enough for infants. My tiel doesn't really chew anything except for paper products and straw, so not too worried about painting it. Put in the plexiglas, perches, toys. I need to do some branch scavenging for some new perches and climbing areas.



To do:
- Finish painting the drawers and bottom area
- Put in rails under the grate for the plastic drop tray
- Wait for the full spectrum light to ship and install it
- Probably remove one of the shelves and side mount a grapevine perch
- Drill in some steel rings to hang more birdy goodies
- Put in cockatiel


:p
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That look great. Good solution to the shallowness of the cabinet! I know what you mean about trying to do it all yourself. I had no help at all building the aviary. It took me a month. I wish I had thought of zip ties!
 
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