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Home made immitation Maxey

5345 Views 31 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  laoshu
In Australia our mice are shown in small plastic fish tanks like these :oops: :

I've been dying to get my hands on a Maxey. So I decided I'd make a couple to see what they looked like.
I won't be using them for show, I'll be using them to transport mice too shows.

I didn't have much sucess trying to put together a traditional door but I did manage to make a functional substitute.
Bonus is you can remove the door to make the unit easier to clean.

Having no woodwork experience whatsoever I recon I did a pretty good job for a first attempt!
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BTW they are regulation sized ones. One of my mouse books had the measurements.
Assembling flatpack furniture is just about the extent of my "woodworking" skills so, madam, I salute you!

I actually took one look at the Maxey blueprint and decided that, when the time comes, I'll be better buying mine :lol:
Having attempted to make my own and having failed miserably, I can only say well done!!

Sarah xxx
Sarah, I thought I was the only person who had tried to make my own and failed miserably! :oops:

Icedmice, in the US, most clubs also use small plastic Kritter Keepers (called Fauna Boxes in Europe, I don't know what they're called in Australia) for show.

If you're going to get Maxeys I recommend buying them from Brian or someone else who's had experience with them, or else, spending a lot of time and money on learning to create them yourself. At a Rodent Fest a while ago I saw a couple of homemade imitation Maxey-style cages (which were blue, of all colors lol) and they just looked weird. There's something that just screams "wannabe" when the Maxey is not only built poorly, but also the wrong color! It's like trying to eat a purple banana, just not right. lol

Yours look very nice. :)
I do understand what your saying Jack.
Fauna boxes LOL :lol: .

As long as mine are functional and look like the genuine article (apart from the doors) it's OK. I won't be showing mice in them so there isn't much point in being to paticular.
Maxeys are just ideal when it comes to storage and transportation. Plastic tanks don't stack well.
Very nice, the door reminds me of the Maxeys used by AFRMA:

As you can see, they paint their boxes blue for their club colors. Karen (President of AFRMA) said she had originally tried blue and yellow (club colors), but the yellow gave the mouse an off-color, so she choose white instead for the inside.
From a design standpoint, the reason green works best (other than our shared tradition) is because there are no green mice, and the color opposite the color wheel would naturally provide for the best contrast, especially when photographing. In this case, that color is red.

Those primary-with-opposite-secondary color values would be green/red (like most Maxeys), yellow/purple, or orange/blue.

Even if you use a primary color such as blue with a neutral value such as black or white (or gray), you still run into the problem of the mice being judged also being black, white, and gray.

What do rat breeders in the UK use in show?
Maxey Cage
For those that have asked, "What is a 'Maxey' cage?" it is the National Mouse Club's show box for mice designed by N.M.C. founder Walter Maxey. I've included a diagram from the book Exhibition and Pet Mice by Tony Cooke, L.R.I.C. They use 2 versions: one is lidless, and one is lidded. Some exhibitors will transport their 'Maxeys' in a ventilated traveling box which holds several show cages. They are painted Middle Brunswick Green on the outside and Signal Red on the inside. Walter Maxey was a postman and had access to free red and green paint because the mailboxes were painted those colors. These colors were adopted in 1904 and remain in use since.
Quoted from AFRMA website which can be found here:
Yep, I'm something of following in Maxey's footsteps, since I am a postman (US: mailman) who breeds mice as well! I was born in the wrong era! :lol:
Haha! Then maybe you should be painting your boxes blue and white to match the US Post Office colors. LOL
That would not be smart due to the reasons Jack already explained. :)
We actually have three official colors: primary red ("Old Glory Red"), blue, and white. If you've ever seen one of our delivery trucks, you've seen these three colors working with each other. They're taken from the US flag, obviously.

I'm certain the reason somebody in Maxey's day decided to paint mail boxes (and then show cages) red and green was due to their relationship on the color wheel. It could just as easily have been orange and blue or purple and yellow, but it seems red and green is more conventional (they appear together in nature more often, for one). Color theory is very important area in any kind of professional design, even mouse show boxes. ;)
I apologize if I offended anyone, I thought Jack was joking in his previous post, and followed suit. I didn't mean to "ruffle any feathers". I apologize if my meaning was unclear.
Don't worry, I was being lighthearted so I didn't take it negatively at all. I'm actually very hard to offend. :p

Regardless, your apology is accepted.
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I always assumed that the inside of Maxey's were red because mice can't see that colour, so to them its just dark and helps them calm down?
And the specific colour green that the maxey's are painted used to be a paint used for train engines years ago. Walter Maxey worked on the railways, so who knows, maybe thats just the colour he could get his hamds on! lol

W xx
Yeah, the green was both the color of the railroad and the color of dark holly least mine are that color of green. And when you add in bright red color of the berries, you have an exact match! :p

That mice cannot see red is a very good point I had never thought of.

The blue Maxey-like cages I saw at Rodent Fest were nowhere near as well-built as the AFRMA's seem to be, though. They look constructed of particle board and painted very unevenly. I should have asked the people who they were and where they got them, but alas I was too scatterbrained!
All regulation maxey's are the same colour green I believe, i think it is a rule. At shows you do see a slight (very slight) varience in colour, but I assume thats because some maxey's are way older than others!

W xx
Well, I know mine are brand-spankin new. When I opened the package, I could still smell the paint Brian used! :lol:

I wonder how old the oldest Maxey still in use is? I would not be surprised at all if it's older than us. :p

edited to add the word "not." Such a small word, but so important to meaning!
Oh I wouldn't be surprised at all if there are maxey's about that are way older than us! There are probably tons in sheds all over the country that are mega old and not used anymore. I wonder if there are grandchildren around wondering what the hell these green box things are in grandad/grandma's shed! LOL

The colour is Brunswick Green I believe, though i may be wrong.

W xx
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