First cut all the panels and then the openings to the dimensions as shown in the Plans and materials list
Save the cut-out from the door opening at the rear of the side panel as that will later become the door.
Cut the 3 pieces of mesh bigger than their respective openings so they can be screwed to the inside of the panels (see fig.1). For this project 25mm (1") gap welded mesh was used, but different sized mesh can also be used. Fix the mesh in place with screws and washers. Fold in any end bits of the mesh that might be sticking out which could be a possible hazard for the rabbit.
Screw and glue the following: the side panels to the floor; the rear panel to the floor and side panels, and finally, the horizontal members that go above and below the front panel to the side panels. Then screw the middle panel in place.
Pre-drill the holes before screwing. Make the hole in the outer panel the same diameter as the screw shank and a starter hole in the inner panel smaller diameter than the screw shank.
DO NOT fix the top panels in place until the wheel and axle support has been screwed in place.
The wheel section consists of a block of wood, two wheels, two bolts and a bit of metal strap.
The bolts (axles) go through
the wheels and are fixed to the block of wood (wheel and axle support )
with metal strap (see fig.2).
NOTE: The block of wood should be at least as thick as the radius of a wheel to ensure the wheel does not rub on the underside of the floor, and the bolts (axles) should be at least 150mm (6") long to achieve
Having a nut on the end of each bolt, checked into the block of wood, will stop the bolt moving in or out.
When the bolts are fixed to the block of wood with metal strap (see fig.2),
the block of wood can then be fixed to the underside of the floor.
Screw through the floor (from the inside of the hutch) into the block of wood.
Screw and glue the fixed top panel in place. Hinge the opening panels (which are top panel, front panel and side door) in place. The side door also doubles as a ramp. Glue a few thin sticks of wood to the inside of the side door (ramp) so the rabbit can get a bit of a grip.
Assemble the handle and handle arms, and screw and glue in place to the side panels. Finally add the door and hatch latches.
Author: Les Kenny
Editor: Maree Anderson