Hello there! So a few months ago I got a Hedgehog and when searching for supplies learned that they need a special wheel that isn't mesh or wire because their feet get caught. The ones that were online were way too expensive for my tastes, so I made my own!
Pretty much it's a Roller Blade wheel attached to a bucket, so it's super cheap to make, and takes very little know how to make.
BY THE WAY: This is a really good design for other small animals that need excersie wheels. See the last step for some tips. And I'll add good tips from the comments and credit you too!
Awesome! I got featured! Thank you so much!
So since this is out there among more people, who may not have hedgehogs, you can replace the bucket with a mesh wheel for rats or even a plastic ones for hamsters! Again, if you have any questions, post them in the comments! But hedgehogs NEED a bucket so their feet don't get caught!!
Step 1: Materials:
I got most of the materials from Home Depot save for the ball bearings and rollerblade wheel which I got from PlayItAgain Sports, but you can probably find some of these materials lying around.
*1 Bucket big enough for a Hedgehog to run in(I got my 5qt Wide Mouth Bucket from Home Depot, but you can use any bucket big enough for your hedgie to run on!)
1 length of the smaller diameter PVC Pipe(the diameter isn't too important; just not too thick, not too thin)
2 PVC Elbow Joints
3 PVC End Caps
1 PVC Three way joint
1 Roller Blade Wheel with exposed holes around the bearing whole.
1 Roller Blade/Skateboard Ball Bearing
1 Carriage Bolt; See Detailed Picture(I forgot the measurements of it, so take your Ball Bearing to your local hardware store and find a Carriage Bolt that fits snug, and isn't too short.) IMPORTANT!: Make sure that the nuts and bolt you got don't impede the spinning capabilities of the Ball Bearing, and have them only secured onto the inner metal ring.
4 Mini Zip Ties
Optional, but Recommended:
Dremmel Tool, but if you have your own way of cutting PVC and making precise holes in the bucket, go for it.
*: If you don't have a hedgehog, you can use one of those mesh wheels for rats, and the plastic ones for hamsters and mice.
Step 2: Attaching the Bearing and Roller Blade Wheel
Simply slide the ball bearing onto the bolt and screw the nut down and secure it. Then screw the second nut onto it for space. There's probably a better way to do this, but we're not building a rocket ship here.
Now, pound the ball bearing into the roller blade wheel with a rubber mallet, or if you're on a time crunch, pound it on the ground until it is snug.
Screw another nut onto it for some spacing between the wheel and the PVC Pipe, add a washer and put it to the side...
Step 3: Making the stand
The stand is pretty simple.
Cut the PVC Pipe into pieces similar to the picture. The exact measurements don't matter too much, as long as they follow the basic outline of what I have and is stable with the wheel.
I have tagged the image with the approximate lengths that I made.
You will have to drill a hole in the PVC where you want to attach the bolt to, feel free to drill multiple holes for different height settings. I can't really tell you the distance I made my hole, as it depends on the bucket you use.
Step 4: Attaching the wheel to the bucket.
First of all, find the exact center of the bucket and put your rollerblade wheel on top and mark out the holes where you're going to attach the wheel with zip ties.
After this, drill out the marks with a dremmel tool like the picture.
Now feed one end of the zip tie through the roller blade wheel into one of the smaller holes you drilled and back up through the other. Now tighten the zip tie as much as possible.
Do this for all the holes until it is attached securely to the bucket.
Clip the zip ties, and you're done with this step!
Step 5: Attach the wheel to the stand.
This is a really simple step.
After you have drilled the hole for the bolt, feed it through and attach it securely like in the picture.
Step 6: You're done!
Bam! Woo! You're done!
If you have any questions, comments, or anything let me know in the comments!
• My hedgehog doesn't have a problem, but if yours is having trouble with traction, try putting evenly spaced lines of hot glue on the inside of the wheel.
• To Clean: I just clip the zip ties and scrub it out over the toilet, then re-attach the zip ties to the wheel.
• This can be used for other small animals like rats, mice, hamsters, etc. just use a smaller bucket depending on the size of your pet.