Actually, Dano, I'd like it to do both. I own a 7' (give or take) Burmese Python who will get up to the neighborhood of 20 feet. As such, he needs a nice big place to hang his hat. I don't know if you have any experience with these animals but they are SCARY strong. So I need something that will keep him in. Since it will be so big and will technically dominate whatever room it's in, I'd like it to not be an eyesore. I'm thinking 6 feet long x 2.5 or 3 feet deep x 2.5 or 3 feet high. The 2x4s would provide both form and function. They would, I think, make the whole shootin' match look nicer and will make it much stronger. I'm mainly looking for ideas to join the edges together at the corners, as they'll come together at three points at each top corner and four points at the bottom because I'd like to have about 8 inches of standoff at the bottom. do you have any ideas?
All I know about Burmese Pythons is what I've read and seen on National Geographic.
My approach would be to use #2 common or better Doug Fir or Southern Yellow Pine 4x4s for the corner posts then mortise and tenon the 2x4 DF or SYP rails into those. I'd rabbet the rails and groove the posts so that 3/4" ply panels could be glued and screwed from the inside. I would mortise and tenon 2x4 stretchers or more appropriatly "joists" in this case, across into each bottom rail on 16" or 24" centers. Your length sounds okay though I might go 4' wide. Nothing real fancy but, with a natural film finish like varnish or poly, it would look pretty nice I think. Using a Birch or Oak ply for the panels, it would be one of the best looking reptile cages in the neighborhood, no doubt.
If my memory serves me a 20' Burmese Python can weigh up to 500lbs, am I close?
Appreciate the help. A 20' Burmese weighs more in the neighborhood of 200-250 depending on sex. You might be confused with the Green Anaconda, a close relative of the Burm. A female Green Anaconda can weigh well over 500 lbs. at 18 feet or so. Scary stuff. Size doesn't bother me as much as temperment. Burms are widely captive bred so they're pretty easy to handle and pretty docile, as long as you're careful. Anacondas are mostly wild captures and about as predictable as the weather (ie not very). And when you have a 500 lb snake that is suddenly very angry with you, that's usually when it hits the fan.
Thanks again for your help!
Have a great weekend.
You are right, my first guess would've been correct, hence the edit.
Any who, you have a much better handle on the size requirement of the cage than I and what is needed in terms of support for the bottom. I would still recommend the previous method of construction and material. Have fun with your project, I (and others, I'm sure) would be most interested in hearing about how it turns out.
I appreciate the help. Now it's just a matter of finding the tools to make it happen. (I recently moved from my home in VA where my dad keeps his workshop). I'll definitely let everyone know how things turned out. Ol' Guinness will be much happier with room to stretch out.
I've been following this thread with a great deal of interest. When I was in grad school, I acquired a reticulated python from an "entertainer" that I dated when the snake got too big to use in her act. The snake was fairly docile, but I found quickly that "scary strong" is an understatement. By the time I finally had to donate her to the zoo, she'd reached about 20 feet and 200+ pounds. I also discovered that any wooden cage was little more than a suggestion to the animal as to where I'd like her to remain. One year during her molt when she had reached about 14 feet, she threw a coil agains a double 2x4 post and just snapped it like a twig. Shortly after that I replaced her enclosure with one having a frame contructed out of 1.5" galvanized pipe. Even then she managed to bend (but not break) a couple of the pipes. Also the enclosure can grow with the snake by just replacing a few of the rails. Additionally, if you move or need to move the snake, the enclosure can be broken down and reconstructed at the new site. You might want to check your references, but the size you stated as your goal seemed a little small to me. However, it has been several years since I've kept snakes and at least a couple since I got rid of my iguana (Bertand Russell - so named because he just seemed to sit and think).
As an aside, have you managed to get your burmese to eat dead food? My python would only eat live food, which meant that at one point I was in the small rodent breeding game and later had to find a reliable supply of rabbits and chickens.
"... and remember, there is no more important safety rule than to wear these - safety glasses."
hey fellow herp lover, i have snakes too although most of mine are rattlers i do have an albino burma. i have it in a cage constructed form the plans i ordered on this site www.cagesbydesign.com
mine is 17 feetof pure muscle i have been feeding it rabbits and chicken latley