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Old 03-19-2017, 03:40 AM
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Default Modifying Metal Mesh Lids

Hello all. I've been scouring the internet in hopes of finding an answer, but can't find anything! I'm trying to figure out how to modify one of the basic black metal mesh tank lids to include a door or other access panel type thing. I HATE having to take off the security brackets and then taking the light system off and find a place to set it down. Plus, when trying to do maintenance to the tank you basically have to have the whole lid off to do anything, which is an open invitation to try and escape. Has anyone ever done this before, or have any ideas on how I might be able to do it? At the very least, it'd be nice to have something to use to get their crickets in without having to take off the whole lid first.
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:19 PM
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Not sure but Amazon sells screen lids with hinged doors. I saw some the other day when I was looking at lids. Here's a link to one. Maybe the picture could give you some ideas?

https://www.amazon.com/R-Zilla-SRZ10.../dp/B000VB138G
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Old 03-19-2017, 09:46 PM
Ed Ed is offline
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Default Re: Modifying Metal Mesh Lids

What is in the cage as different species can require different ideas.

some comments

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Old 03-20-2017, 01:48 AM
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Default Re: Modifying Metal Mesh Lids

I have fire belly toads. I've seen those ones with the doors, and the hinged in the middle ones before. I really don't want to have to buy another top, as I've bought two so far (a hinged glass one and the metal mesh one). Plus, I like how secure the metal mesh lid is with the metal clips. I could probably easily cut a part of the mesh out with my dremel tool, but I'm unsure of how to reattach it so that I can open and close it. I've though about using zip ties as "hinges," but I'm very unsure of that option.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:43 PM
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Default Re: Modifying Metal Mesh Lids

Quote:
one of the basic black metal mesh tank lids
This could be one of several things, each requiring a different approach - how about a pic? And, are you the least bit handy? You mention owning a Dremel, so clearly you've got an open attitude (some people are voluntarily helpless; I don't understand that). Do you own a drill & carbide bit set?

I'm thinking you "just" need to modify the existing lid into a "fat C shape" and build a door that fits onto the open part of the "C". Get yourself some little hinges and attach the old and new lid parts.

It would be easiest if you have an aluminum-framed, window-screen lid with fiberglass splining. In that case, if it was me I would just buy a window-screen repair kit and some extra corner pieces. That, and a pair of small hinges (or a tiny piano hinge) and some small metal screws to fasten it to the lid and door. You'll also need a splining tool (looks kind of like a pizza cutter).

Second easiest would be if your lid is stamped or perforated rigid metal. Just carefully hack out a door, and rivet some hinges. Actually, the order there is backward - rivet the hinges on first, then cut out the door. You may have to destroy 4 or even 8 rivets in the process, but your door will swing more freely and it will definitely be easier to get the hinges on. Rivets and riveters are cheap. There are many, many, many uses..."what couldn't be improved with a few rivets???" ha ha ha.

Good luck!

cheers
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:21 PM
Ed Ed is offline
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Default Re: Modifying Metal Mesh Lids

The only way to get around the issues with the lighting is to mount the lights on a cable or chain system that allows you to raise or lower them as needed. I'm absolutely not recommending these but its an example to show you some options see https://www.amazon.com/Hydro-Crunch-.../dp/B00K5YTBME

Once the lights are able to be easily shifted you now have a lot more options for accessing the enclosure. How far is it from the highest point to the opening in the tank? If your going through the top I'm not sure why you would need clips to hold the lid down to keep the toads in the cage.

There are a couple of routes you can go from there including making screen tops that are in sections to allow you to just life one section off the top (use the screen window making materials available in most hardware or big box stores) as that also preserves the ventilation in the tank.

some comments

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