DIY PVC playgym... and Sharpies! - Talk Parrots Forums

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Thread Description: So long as you all keep answering my questions, I'm gonna keep asking them. It's a learned behavior!

 
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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 07:58 PM Thread Starter
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DIY PVC playgym... and Sharpies!

Today's item of research was DIY playgyms. I gathered all my youtubes and pins on my phone and went to Lowes to get a feel of how these things worked in three dimensions. (Did you know they let you cut things in the store?) Had a fun conversation where Mr. Hardware Man tried to explain to me I didn't need a pvc cutter, a hacksaw would do. It was sweet, really, how he assumed I would go within 5 feet of a hacksaw. (I'm a bit clumsy)

In any case, I feel my research was successful, in that I decided not to buy/build anything on impulse. Now we begin phase two of research: asking friendly (and informed) strangers! (That's YOU!)

So, I know that
  • PVC is a bit too slippery for a bird's feet to perch on
  • PVC is also Ugly.
  • Spraypainting PVC for a bird perch is not the way to go.
  • 'Vet Tape' is one way to fix the perching and ugly problems both at once.
  • I would like more options!

So, (finally) my question: Can I sharpie my PVC pipe/perch? Think zebra stripes. Or chevron! Or... Ooh, little miniature island people dancing and gathering all around the perched bird to worship him like primitives. (Yeah!)
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 08:25 PM


 
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I would be hesitant because I don't know how toxic sharpies are. The smell is likely to make you loopy, especially if you're planning a masterpiece akin to the Sistine chapel . Other alternatives include sanding the pvc to make it less slippery or wrapping it in sisal rope. Or just make it out of wood.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 09:22 PM


 
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I used hemp rope and vet wrap on mine. Look thru my threads for pics.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-17-2014, 10:03 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4thebirds View Post
I used hemp rope and vet wrap on mine. Look thru my threads for pics.
Oh yes, I've admired your playgym aesthetics on your youtubes!
Two questions:
  • Is that pink stuff vet tape? Do you remember a brand name or anything?
  • How do you make sure the ends of your tape or rope don't unravel; how do you secure their ends?
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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 02:11 PM



 
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Vet tape sticks down so it won't unravel once it's on the perches You can get them in all different colours and even patterns. I would steer away from sharpies!

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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 03:14 PM


 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal View Post
Oh yes, I've admired your playgym aesthetics on your youtubes!
Two questions:
  • Is that pink stuff vet tape? Do you remember a brand name or anything?
  • How do you make sure the ends of your tape or rope don't unravel; how do you secure their ends?
The pink stuff is vet tape. I tried this and two other brands. I hate the other brands. They actually stained the pvc and were coming off within hours. This pink one is the only one I like. It has stayed on the entire time I have had this gym. This is the brand. They also sell it at petco.


I used the hemp rope because I figured it would last longer and it is cheaper but let me tell you, it is time consuming as all hell! LOL. I secured the ends of the hemp with a hot glue gun by putting the glue on the pvc pipe and then wrapping the end of the rope around it. With the vet wrap I just made sure it was touching itself at the end.

"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." ~Anatole France
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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for the all the tips! I am going to save this to be a special project when I have to work, over the Holidays. I won't be able to buy my birdie by Christmas Day, but I can imagine I'll have plenty of fun assembling a little pvc perch, for him. (Maybe I just miss my legos)
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 08:32 PM


 
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Lego are nontoxic, build him a play stand . (Come on you can do it !)

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 10:30 PM
 
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Sharpies are not a good idea. They may claim to be permanent, but they come off fairly easily. I used to play roller derby, ane we would write our numbers on our arms in sharpie, I swear I could taste it, and it sweated off easily. I would not put it anywhere my birds would come into direct contact with it.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-18-2014, 10:48 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrotletzoo View Post
I used to play roller derby,
That is so awesome! What was your derby name?!?
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post #11 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 03:26 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cal View Post
That is so awesome! What was your derby name?!?
It was Black Islet. It was a reference to my type 1 diabetes (islets are the cells that produce insulin) and the fact that I had an islet cell transplant through a clinical study as a functional cure for my T1D (8 yrs later, still insulin free) My number was my transplant date.

Sorry, not meaning to hijack the conversation here. Please feel free to ignore or delete. Lol






Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrotletzoo View Post
Sharpies are not a good idea. They may claim to be permanent, but they come off fairly easily. I used to play roller derby, ane we would write our numbers on our arms in sharpie, I swear I could taste it, and it sweated off easily. I would not put it anywhere my birds would come into direct contact with it.
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post #12 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 09:54 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrotletzoo View Post
It was Black Islet. It was a reference to my type 1 diabetes (islets are the cells that produce insulin) and the fact that I had an islet cell transplant through a clinical study as a functional cure for my T1D (8 yrs later, still insulin free) My number was my transplant date.

Sorry, not meaning to hijack the conversation here. Please feel free to ignore or delete. Lol
I am pretty sure we get to talk about whatever we want on a forum. Right? I am not going to hiss at you because you didn't say the words "pvc" and "sharpie" haha. Besides, I think that is an awesome story! I had no idea that they could transplant/treat T1, thank you for sharing!

ps. Islet is a freaking awesome name. If Black Islet were coming after me on wheels and fierceness, I would probably drop and play dead.
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post #13 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-19-2014, 01:21 PM Thread Starter
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Arrow LOOK! Ideas!

Hey again, just thought I'd share my latest finds re: pvc diy bird related projects.

1. An easy way to add texture onto the perch, that also gets rid of all the gray pvc text.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ZemNvpljok

2. A PVC Staining method. It's not dye, and it doesn't come off in scratch tests. The materials to make the stain are a bit toxic, so not sure how it'll go. But, since I have a lot of time to kill before I get my bird, I think I am at least going to try this out and see if it's worth the effort.
http://youtu.be/1ITGM1XILb4



**edit: Hm. On second thought I don't think I would ever have my bird perch on something dyed with this stuff. Not worth the worry. Still, there are other projects around my house that it could be pretty fun for!

Last edited by Cal; 11-19-2014 at 01:30 PM.
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post #14 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 01:23 PM


 
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i do like the idea of texturing the perch!

i would NOT use that dye. if you have to wear gloves, its going to be bad for you and the bird.

i have thought of making a small PVC gym, but i wouldn't know how to design it! i do recommend getting vet wrap for it. i put some on my trees just to make a softer landing for them I'm not sure which country/ state you're in, but i get my vet wrap from Dover Saddlery. it is $1.99 for a roll. make sure you get the 3M brand and not the "Co-Flex" brand. 3M isn't stinky or overly sticky, "Co-Flex" smells and stays sticky no matter how much dust and dander get on it.

im not sure if you have seen my trees/gyms around the forums. theses are kind of recent pics. only difference is in the fist pic, i have attached a *shutter* store bought gym on my window and in the second pic, i have all of the foraging toys in a wooden tray.

i made everything myself. i pressure washed my trees (water) but other people like to use vinegar. i like pressure washing because it takes all of the hidden dirt off and the tree turns a few shades lighter. if you search for "inspirational tree thread" you can see the before/during/after pics of my trees.




the fish tank on the left is gone and there is usually a bowl of seed on the cage


this is the store bought gym that i put on the window. Pickle trashes it daily with shredded egg carton and whatnot

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for my other pets: cat, rabbit, 6 fish tanks, 2 fire belly newts, 2 african dwarf frogs, 22+ crayfish, fish

Last edited by ilovepets; 11-20-2014 at 01:26 PM.
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post #15 of 15 (permalink) Old 11-20-2014, 02:36 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ilovepets View Post
i do like the idea of texturing the perch!

i have thought of making a small PVC gym, but i wouldn't know how to design it!
There are a couple pretty great PVC Bird Gym tutorials on youtube, but this one is my favorite. http://youtu.be/1xZ4UL0-oZI She lists all the materials and tools you will need, then does the ENTIRE THING in ff for you to watch!

Love all your pics, thanks so much for sharing... This is giving me ideas!
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