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DIY litter pan tips?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I am in the process of making a high sided sifting litter pan for my feline pine. I got the bins (albeit the "store brand" because the shape was better) but now I'd like to make a upside down horseshoe shape in the front for easy access. I've heard that some people on here use hotknives...however, I don't know where to get one and they look scary to use.
If a hot knife is the answer, where do I get one?
Is there any other way that will provide a moderately easy cut through plastic? I'm trying to avoid cracking these.

post #2 of 11
Maybe try using a soldering tool? I convert the Rubbermaid totes into tons of things for my gerbils and I use it a lot. I found a good soldering tool at Big Lots for $5.
post #3 of 11
Hehehe, I used a wood-burning tool. Took me awhile, but it worked.

I suppose you could do it the old fashioned way and heat a kitchen knife up over your stove, cut, heat up the knife, cut, repeat
post #4 of 11
Do you need to cut it down? I had storage bins from when my kittens were 12 weeks old and they could jump in and out on their own.
post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
got a wood burning/soldering kit...hopefully it will be hot enough.
post #6 of 11
Interesting topic, keep us posted, and maybe take a few photos?
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Yeah, that's actually where I was hoping this topic would go...somewhere for people to compile hints and ideas for different kinds of boxes. I know we have a whole lot of creative people on here.

Edit: I just had an idea but don't know where to post it. Perhaps the mods should consider a DIY section in the grooming area?
post #8 of 11
i have a hot knife - had to order it online here.
post #9 of 11
We've never used a hot knife. I used a small cooping saw for a few of our boxes. Most recently we bought a cutting tool that looks a lot like bolt cutters at Wal-Mart and have been using that instead. One time when I couldn't find any of our tools I used a pair of scissors.
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, after some trials I have completed my high sided jumbo sized sifting for wood pellets litter pan.

I WAS going to use a drill, but for some reason the plastic wanted to crack with it...so I ended up jabbing holes in the bottom (which were slightly smaller than the drill bit) with my new soldering tool....stunk up the house, but went A LOT smoother.

Just got it all set up and tried it with the litter that was sitting in the old pan....it was some work to sift with, and I'm not sure if it's because of the smaller holes or if it's because I went lazy and kept on procrastinating on the litter so I'd have some to sift when I'd finish this.
I'll post a final analysis about how I like it, if I would change it and a couple pictures in a few days after I have some experience with it.
post #11 of 11
The problem with the drill cracking the plastic has to do with the drill being sharp enough that it cuts into the plastic suddenly. There are special bits that will work.

You can also use a saber saw for cutting the "door." Use either the metal blade with the smallest teeth, or a smooth blade, which is actually designed for plastic. Larger teeth will tend to cause the plastic to break.
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