bug cages for kids

It has fallen to me to make up about 30 bug cages. The kind 8 year old kids would toss Lightening bugs into. three or 4 sides wood, 3 or 4 sides window screen.
the trouble I am having is figuring out a good way to contain the window screen. I tried staples from the Arrow T-50, but that leaves a nasty edge. I tried cramming T-molding (from Rockler) into a slot, but the smallest slot I can cut is .125 inches wide. The screen slides/ pulls out past the T-moulding. I used fiberglass screen, I was thinking aluminum screen would be too hard to fold into the slot, and around the corners.
I could get fancy and make a rabbet, than hold the screen with a small hunk of moulding. But that sounds complicated- remember, I need 30 of these.
Any thoughts? Have I explained well enough what I am trying to do?
I DAGS already. A lot. Asked a few friends. No thoughts forthcoming.
Help?!
-Dan V.
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On Mon, 10 May 2004 20:59:38 -0500, Dan Valleskey <valleskey at comcast dot net> wrote:

Staple, but tap them in a bit more firmly if possible; OK if preassembling and can hammer onto a firm surface. Just don't overdo it. Then cover with a thin strip of [decorative] wood to hide the staples. they're just bug cages, so you might get away with a little glue to hold the cover-strips.
Bill.
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On Mon, 10 May 2004 20:59:38 -0500, Dan Valleskey <valleskey at comcast dot net> wrote:

get the right size cutter- either a wing cutter or a straight bit- to cut the slot for that rubber bead that holds the screen in... what's that stuff called....?
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Screen spline is quick and easy. Route/dado the channel into the stock before you cut and miter it (glue and brad the corners). Cut and fit the screen and press in the spline, then trim off the excess. Screen install kits (inc. roller wheel) are cheap and available.
Good luck Rob
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oh hell- staring me right in the face- of course, screen spline.....
boy do i feel stupid. and I hate to admit- I've been puzzling over this for a while now.
Thanks! a BUNCH!!
-Dan
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glad to help <g!>
Rob
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I made some of these "Critter Catchers" and used the cloth ? screen and just stapled it. It worked fine and with the cloth screen there was no threat of injury to small hands. Puff
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Answer -- *DON'T* use screening. Go to a _fabric_ store, and get fine-weave netting mesh. *Much* more flexible, and CHEAPER, to boot. Yes, the mesh is somewhat coarser than screening, but you're not trying to keep _little_ critters in/out. You don't _need_ 'screen' fine mesh. :)
As for securing the edges, use a piece of scrap stock as a 'tack strip'. run the fabric under the strip, and staple/nail through the strip into the box below.o
When I was a kid, I used to build _really_ simple ones -- a solid flat piece for the bottom, a vertical at each corner, and an 'X' across the top. drape with a _single_ piece of nylon mesh, folded at the corners, and tacked to the bottom of the base. for a 'fancy' one, I used the above-mentioned 'tack-strip' to ensure a tight seal, and to provide a toe kick' type rased base.
Before covering, Cut a hole in the middle of the bottom, with a 'bigger than the opening' piece that just _sits_ on the inside. Add a _fat_headed_ nail (or pan-head type screw) a little ways back from the edge of the opening, in the middle of each side. With a similar nail/screw towards the corner of the insert piece. Zig-zag a piece of twine around the screws to hold the 'cover' roughly in place. When the box is 'upright, the mesh is pinned between the base, and 'whatever' the box is sitting on. And gravity holds the 'cover' for the opening in place. escape-proof.
To add/remove critters, _invert_ the box, undo the twine (*mostly*, that is, one side can serve as a 'hinge'); the 'fill the hole' piece falls open, do what's indicated with the livestock, pull the filler closed, re-wrap the string, and return to upright.
Voila!
About the only thing that requires _any_ care in the construction process is smoothing out the edges of the access opening in the bottom of the cage. Possible splinter issue there.
Dan Valleskey <valleskey at comcast dot net> wrote:

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Answer -- *DON'T* use screening. Go to a _fabric_ store, and get fine-weave nylon netting. *Much* more flexible, and a BUNCH CHEAPER, to boot. Yes, the mesh is somewhat coarser than screening, but you're not trying to keep _little_ critters (like gnats) in/out. You don't _need_ 'screen' fine mesh. :)
As for securing the edges, use a piece of scrap stock as a 'tack strip'. run the fabric under the strip, and staple/nail through the strip into the box below.o
When I was a kid, I used to build _really_ simple ones -- a solid flat piece for the bottom, a vertical at each corner, and an 'X' across the top. drape with a _single_ piece of nylon mesh, folded at the corners, and tacked to the bottom of the base. for a 'fancy' one, I used the above-mentioned 'tack-strip' to ensure a tight seal, and to provide a toe kick' type raised base.
Before covering, Cut a hole in the middle of the bottom, with a 'bigger than the opening' piece that just _sits_ on the inside. Add a _fat_headed_ nail (or pan-head type screw) a little ways back from the edge of the opening, in the middle of each side. With a similar nail/screw towards the corner of the insert piece. Zig-zag a piece of twine around the screws to hold the 'cover' roughly in place. When the box is 'upright, the mesh is pinned between the base, and 'whatever' the box is sitting on. And gravity holds the 'cover' for the opening in place. escape-proof.
To add/remove critters, _invert_ the box, undo the twine (*mostly*, that is, one side can serve as a 'hinge'); the 'fill the hole' piece falls open, do what's indicated with the livestock, pull the filler closed, re-wrap the string, and return to upright.
Voila!
About the only thing that requires _any_ care in the construction process is smoothing out the edges of the access opening in the bottom of the cage. Possible splinter issue there.
Dan Valleskey <valleskey at comcast dot net> wrote:

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Dan Valleskey <valleskey at comcast dot net> wrote:

Just put in a few staples to hold the screen than brad a batten over the edges. Slice some 1/4" strips off a 1X for the battens. I've also seen some that had a strip of cloth or ribbon glued over the screen edge.
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Larry Wasserman Baltimore, Maryland
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Could you use fiberglass screen (or maybe aluminum, I don't know) and just hot-glue it to the sides?
-Phil Crow
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One guy sent me an email answer, suggested that, only he added, cut a rabbet on the inside, to accept the screen. I like that idea. Though I will mess with some screen spline tonight.
The fabiric thing- I dunno, I'm afraid the bug boxes wouldn't out last the bugs. 8 year olds are pretty rough on things. (So am I come to think of it)
Thanks all!
-Dan V.
On 11 May 2004 08:17:53 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (Phil Crow) wrote:

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On Mon, 10 May 2004 20:59:38 -0500, Dan Valleskey <valleskey at comcast dot net> wrote:

Is making them yourself a point of professional pride, or do you just think it will be cheaper that way? Most of the dollar stores in my area have clear bug catching jars with air holes, and a magnifying glass in the lid so you can get a better look.
I do think it's definitely cooler to have a homemade one. Maybe you could even teach the kids to assemble them?
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On Thu, 13 May 2004 19:18:04 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@bellsouth.net (Xane T.) wrote:

yes- cooler to have homemade. and they may be able to screw something or another on them. and wife has planned to let tegh kids decorate the heck out of them.
Last year we did small modular boats. We are also looking at little prop thingamajiggys for this year. Next year- maybe water canons!
I'm full time Mr. Mom right now, I have a little time here and there to work on this stuff.
-Dan
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