How to Build Reptile Rack Cages

Written by brandon salo
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How to Build Reptile Rack Cages
Provide a cosy spot for your pet reptile with a rack cage. (Snake image by Mark D. Farthing from

Reptile rack cages come in handy when trying to take care of multiple reptiles. Breeders, reptile salespersons and hobbyists use such cages for many animals, including rats and other creatures that are not reptiles. You may build your own rack cages for only a fraction of what pet stores charge for them. A conventional design will require a little lumber, time and money, and can be deconstructed as easily as constructed.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Safety Glasses
  • 6 plywood boards, 12 inches by 28 inches by 3/4-inch
  • Tape measure
  • Square
  • Pencil
  • 4 metal clamps
  • Jigsaw
  • Wire mesh, 2 feet by 2 feet
  • Staple gun
  • 4 peg boards,12 inches by 12 inches by 1/4-inch
  • 8 hinges, 1-inch
  • 4 drawing pins
  • Twine

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  1. 1

    Lay one piece of plywood flat. Measure from the left end 14 inches to the middle. Draw a line at this measurement that is 6 inches from and perpendicular to the 28-inch edge. Draw two more 6-inch lines, one on each side, 3/8-inch away. You will eventually cut along the two outside lines. Measure 12 inches from the middle line on each side and repeat this process. You should end up with three sets of three lines, all parallel, evenly spaced and along the same edge.

    How to Build Reptile Rack Cages
    Plywood is great for all sorts of animal cages. (Unfinished Plywood Background image by Gary Chorpenning from
  2. 2

    Clamp all six pieces of plywood together with the pencil markings on top. Be sure all the boards are flush. Cut three grooves along the pencil markings that are 3/4-inch wide and 6 inches from the edge toward the centre. Remove the clamps once the cuts are completed.

    How to Build Reptile Rack Cages
    Clamping your wood together saves time as it minimises the number of cuts required. (pipe clamp image by dwags from
  3. 3

    Stand three pieces of plywood on their 28-inch edges 12 inches apart so the boards are parallel and the grooves are facing up. Match the grooves with the remaining three pieces of plywood by fitting them together perpendicularly to form your rack. You should have four 12-inch slots in which to place your reptiles.

  4. 4

    Staple the 2-by-2 wire mesh over one side of the rack to cover the slots.

    How to Build Reptile Rack Cages
    Wire mesh will allow air to your reptiles and make sure they are secured. (rusty wire mesh background image by GoodMood Photo from
  5. 5

    Attach two hinges along one side of each pegboard square. Attach the other side of the hinges to the rack, opposite the side of the mesh. The hinges should be attached to the outer edge of the rack, four hinges on the left, and four on the right. Use drawing pins and twine to keep the doors from opening.

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