Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:35 pm

That's okay; it's one of those things that is hard to explain in just words, but easier to demonstrate! So, I'm sorry it took ME so long to think of just asking you to put your finger in there and turn the wheel! LOL

But yeah, I don't think you will be able to use it without that part, because that is attached to the axle of the wheel in this design; it is required in order to hold the wheel so that it can turn. Sadly, I do think you'll have to start over with a wheel that is already designed to turn on an axle that is only connected on one side.
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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:45 pm

Out of sheer curiosity, and because I think I finally get what you mean, I measured the distance between the bar and the axis point. It's a solid 3/4" away from the central bar.

Plus, the design of the axis is curved up and away. I can't see how, particularly if I mount it upside down, they'd get caught on it, in any circumstance.

Maybe the size of the wheel and the axis design is such that I got lucky. I can see just what you mean though, if the axis were straight down, or if I'd gotten a smaller wheel, there'd definitely be issues.

As it is, I can't see how they will ever be in the spot where the axis and the bar cross. The weight of the crab would keep them from ever getting up to the axis bar. I will keep a close eye on it and if it looks like there will be any kind of issues, I'll remove it and get a different one.

If I'm still not getting it, please let me know! I can be a bit dense and physics was never my forte.ImageImage

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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Wed Sep 18, 2019 5:46 pm

I ordered another one from Amazon anyway...it's not worth the chance..

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:25 pm

Imagine a crab already in the wheel. Now imagine another one climbing into the wheel--he has one leg extended to grab onto the wheel to pull himself in, but the rest of him is still outside the wheel. The diameter bar just happens to be in a position to where the crab's extended leg is grabbing onto the burlap near that bar. Now the crab inside the wheel starts to walk and turn the wheel. That bar (and the crab's extended leg) come to the point where the bar that connects to the axle of the wheel is. Now that crab's leg is leveraged between the two bars. Yes, there is 3/4 inch of space between the bars, but as the wheel keeps turning, if the crab doesn't instantly let go, that leg could be pulled off of the crab, as (unless he is really, really tiny) he cannot fit his whole body and shell in that 3/4 inch of space. Is THAT making sense?

Again, I would urge you to pretend that your finger is a crab leg, snag it onto the wheel near the diameter bar (with the rest of your hand pretending to be the rest of the crab OUTSIDE of the wheel), and then turn the wheel and keep turning it--see what happens when your finger's grab point is near the diameter (wrapped) bar, and the wheel turns in a direction so that your finger reaches the metal bar before the diameter bar does?
Last edited by DragonsFly on Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:29 pm

So, bear in mind that with more than one crab, you could end up with a crab inside that wheel turning it and one on the outside of it (including at the very top) at the same time. If that helps.
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:33 pm

P.S. Even if you only had one crab, you might end up with him climbing up on something (sometimes they literally just climb the silicone in the corner of a tank and then "highwire" along the edge of the top), then down onto the top of the wheel, causing it to turn, and if he had one leg grabbing around to the inside of the wheel, the same thing could happen. If not having the leg pulled completely off, it could at least be broken, resulting in an injury (either way) that would have to be repaired, possibly requiring several molts).

I really hate to be such a "bad news bear"--but GotButterflies is right, there's no way to fully make that design crab-safe. :(
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.


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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:38 pm

I already ordered a different one, rather than take any chances.

I did the finger test, but the space was large enough that it didn't touch it. It's a 3/4 of an inch gap and it's 3 inches away from the center, more if I would have mounted it upside down. Regardless, I won't use it. Thanks!

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Wed Sep 18, 2019 6:51 pm

LOL I wish I could film a demonstration! I guess it's just impossible to explain in just words. . . LOL I'm at a loss. Anyway, yes you did the right thing to go with a design without those bars, and if anybody else is reading through this, just take our word for it, for safety's sake, you gotta get a design without that feature! (Even these hamster wheels are designed without that now, because the same thing can happen if you have a little pet with a long tail, like a gerbil or mouse, instead of a hamster.)
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.


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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Thu Sep 19, 2019 4:55 pm

Ok, final design, do I pass inspection? I used a plastic bolt & nut (the kind that kids toys are attached to packaging with), a plastic washer (it's probably an O-ring), and a plastic lid. I really never wanted to use the axis it came on because of the bulk and definitely wouldn't use it after being convinced it was unsafe. I did a bit of tinkering with my odds-n-ends box and came up with this. I really hope I didn't get it wrong again....ImageImage

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Fri Sep 20, 2019 11:54 am

Okay, but does it turn easily now? And how will you hang it?
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.


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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:43 pm

Yes, it turns easily and I have several options for hanging it depending upon where exactly I decide to put it. I can do zip ties on the egg crates or heavy duty velcro on glass. I've made provisions on the brown lid for either method, although I didn't take photos of them. I'm trying to think of every eventuality. The velcro option might be the safest, esp if it doesn't give them a way to climb on top.

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Fri Sep 20, 2019 7:09 pm

Okay, so the open side still has the diameter-spanning rods, but now the axle--how did you close off the other side of the axle?
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.


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VickieG
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by VickieG » Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:57 am

Check it out...I found the perfect use for the axis stand I no longer need! LOL!Image

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DragonsFly
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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by DragonsFly » Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:23 pm

That's resourceful! :)

I'm still curious as to how you closed off the other side of the axle of the wheel itself. Can you show a pic of the open side of the wheel as it is now?
--{}: Dragons Fly Farm --{}:
Resident PP's:"Major Tom" "Billie Jean" & "Mr. Jones"
MT and BJ jumbos now. Everybody excited to move somewhere warm and beachy.

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Re: Do hamster wheels have to be plastic?

Post by GotButterflies » Tue Sep 24, 2019 10:03 am

Wow - you sure didn't give up on this one! I'm curious to see it hung! I'm not sure the velcro will be strong enough to hang it. You might need to go with zip ties.
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