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Benchmarkone

How can I cut a hatch in the back of a big plastic owl for a cache?

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I recently bought a big hollow plastic owl. It's normally used to scare birds away from gardens, but I'm going to repurpose it as as a geocache container by putting a waterproof lock-and-lock container inside. The only thing I need to do is to figure out how to cut a recloseable door into it.

 

The bottom has a little removable plug about the size of a silver dollar, but that's not big enough to use. I'm thinking I'll need to cut a round piece of plastic out of the back of the owl, but then I need to reattach the plastic piece in a secure, weather-resistant way that allows it to act like a recloseable hatch. The inside of the owl does not need to be waterproof. In fact, I'll probably drill holes into the bottom of it to allow water to drain. The lock-and-lock will be the waterproof part of it. But the hatch in the owl needs to close reasonably well so it's not gaping open and looks decent.

 

Any thoughts, creative caching types?

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I've got an owl ready to go and I have a hole in the bottom large enough for the container I'm going to use ... a plastic bottle that used to hold hot tub chlorine. (about 3" dia x 7 or 8" long.)

I'll try to post a pic in a bit of the "latch" I made to hold the cache in there.

The biggest problem I had other than finding the right sized bottle, was keeping it from falling all the way inside making it hard to get back out. I went high tec. I just jammed a bunch of walmart plastic bags in until the cache container had a bit if downward pressure on it to keep the latch in place. No holes in the body of the owl.

 

The "Latch" is a piece of flat steel that I bent over after putting it in the owl so it can't go missing.

 

closed.jpg

 

Open

 

open.jpg

 

I like to keep things simple, and even then, more times that not, people don't do things the way you hope they will.

Edited by BC & MsKitty

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I've got an owl ready to go and I have a hole in the bottom large enough for the container I'm going to use ... a plastic bottle that used to hold hot tub chlorine. (about 3" dia x 7 or 8" long.)

I'll try to post a pic in a bit of the "latch" I made to hold the cache in there.

The biggest problem I had other than finding the right sized bottle, was keeping it from falling all the way inside making it hard to get back out. I went high tec. I just jammed a bunch of walmart plastic bags in until the cache container had a bit if downward pressure on it to keep the latch in place.

 

Theres a high likelihood that a geocacher is going to pull the plastic bags out to see whats in them.

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Theres a high likelihood that a geocacher is going to pull the plastic bags out to see whats in them.

Maybe so, but the cache will still be there, and I was answering what I thought would be the best way to hide a cache in a plastic owl. Fill it with plaster if you want! :lol:

Edited by BC & MsKitty

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I recently bought a big hollow plastic owl. It's normally used to scare birds away from gardens, but I'm going to repurpose it as as a geocache container by putting a waterproof lock-and-lock container inside. The only thing I need to do is to figure out how to cut a recloseable door into it.

 

The bottom has a little removable plug about the size of a silver dollar, but that's not big enough to use. I'm thinking I'll need to cut a round piece of plastic out of the back of the owl, but then I need to reattach the plastic piece in a secure, weather-resistant way that allows it to act like a recloseable hatch. The inside of the owl does not need to be waterproof. In fact, I'll probably drill holes into the bottom of it to allow water to drain. The lock-and-lock will be the waterproof part of it. But the hatch in the owl needs to close reasonably well so it's not gaping open and looks decent.

 

Any thoughts, creative caching types?

 

Welcome to Geocaching Benchmarkone!

 

Our Who? Who! Who wants to play?, http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=0b830960-c30d-48e5-bf49-be34e4511e70 may or may not have an large plastic owl with a small round locknlock inside. The locknlock was small enough to fit though the hole in the bottom The cache is placed 20 feet off the trail a few miles in from the road and around some dense bushes so it can't be seen from the trail by hikers or hunters. Then we found a dead stump about the right diameter and placed the owl over the stump so that it won't blow off in high winds. It has survived one winter and the coyotes have left it alone! It was challenging to carry the owl in my backpack on the hike in, it wanted to jump out after a while! You can see the head in our "Ready to Go" picture in Quoth the Raven cache just down the trail

 

We have enlarged the bottom holes of other thick plastic animals in order to fit small round or square locknlocks inside. Some have holes just large enough to get the cache out but not large enough that the cache would fall out. And the plastic is thick enough to survive our cold winters and hot summers.

 

We usually get appreciative comments from the finders. As you will too!

 

Thanks for making the effort to make geocaching more fun!

 

mwellman from Alberta

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I had seen caches like this where there is a camo object like this, which has a compartment made out a cut down soft drink bottle (the lower half), which is glued to the camo object. The hole cover is the remaining piece of the camo object that has been cut out, filed down around the edges. Its held on by two small latches screwed onto opposite sides of the camo object and the compartment is set inside it so the edge of the compartment forms a ledge that holds the hole cover in place. See what I mean by the latch type with a ledge to hold it there below in the picture. Then a cache container is put inside the compartment.

 

yhst-93128105900816_2167_27823790.jpeg

 

Have seen this also with a 'Berocca' tube glued into a softdrink bottle (which was camoflagued as something else) - you think ooooooh no I'll never get the log book out of that, the necks narrower than the rest - but its a pleasant surpise!

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I've got an owl ready to go and I have a hole in the bottom large enough for the container I'm going to use ... a plastic bottle that used to hold hot tub chlorine. (about 3" dia x 7 or 8" long.)

I'll try to post a pic in a bit of the "latch" I made to hold the cache in there.

The biggest problem I had other than finding the right sized bottle, was keeping it from falling all the way inside making it hard to get back out. I went high tec. I just jammed a bunch of walmart plastic bags in until the cache container had a bit if downward pressure on it to keep the latch in place. No holes in the body of the owl.

 

The "Latch" is a piece of flat steel that I bent over after putting it in the owl so it can't go missing.

 

I like to keep things simple, and even then, more times that not, people don't do things the way you hope they will.

 

That looks great! I like the idea - very simple and doable, plus the hole in the bottom ensures good drainage in case of rain. Thanks for the great pictures, they helped a lot. Just out of curiosity, how are you going to place it? Will you attach or hang it somehow from a tree, or will it be placed on the ground?

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Just a caution, plastic bags over time attract moisture and mould. They're not great for using in caches

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Welcome to Geocaching Benchmarkone!

 

Our Who? Who! Who wants to play?, http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=0b830960-c30d-48e5-bf49-be34e4511e70 may or may not have an large plastic owl with a small round locknlock inside. The locknlock was small enough to fit though the hole in the bottom The cache is placed 20 feet off the trail a few miles in from the road and around some dense bushes so it can't be seen from the trail by hikers or hunters. Then we found a dead stump about the right diameter and placed the owl over the stump so that it won't blow off in high winds. It has survived one winter and the coyotes have left it alone! It was challenging to carry the owl in my backpack on the hike in, it wanted to jump out after a while! You can see the head in our "Ready to Go" picture in Quoth the Raven cache just down the trail

 

We have enlarged the bottom holes of other thick plastic animals in order to fit small round or square locknlocks inside. Some have holes just large enough to get the cache out but not large enough that the cache would fall out. And the plastic is thick enough to survive our cold winters and hot summers.

 

We usually get appreciative comments from the finders. As you will too!

 

Thanks for making the effort to make geocaching more fun!

 

mwellman from Alberta

 

Hey, fellow Alberta dude! Thanks for the reply. So, just so I understand, you put the cache inside the owl and then placed the owl overtop of a stump, almost like the owl is a big cap on the top of the stump, correct? So the cache basically sits on the top of the stump, with the owl overtop of both the cache and the stump?

Edited by Benchmarkone

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There are two caches in garden owls in my area - by two different owners (one of them me) placed on the same day.

 

Both done with holes in the bottom. My design is similar to BC & MsKitty's - there's a strap across that hole that secures the container inside. I believe it's nylon with a delrin buckle (because I have lifetime supply of this kind of stuff, I tend to use it).

 

You asked "how", and I confess I don't remember what tool I used to enlarge the existing hole.

I tend to grab a Dremel with cut-off wheel for any modifications, but on plastics this can be messy. Hack saw blade? box cutter?

 

Mine is hanging, it had a spot for hanging attachment. Here (Florida) they get messy inside from water, and at one point the thing was a totally occupied cockroach hotel. At another time, the wasps, mud daubers, had taken up residency. I took it down, cleaned it, and coated the interior with DEET. Haven't had insects taking up residence since, but I'd expect the DEET treatment will need re-doing at some point. The cache itself is a round lock and lock, which has always been fine. Sheltered from direct sun, I expect that interior container will last a long time.

Edited by Isonzo Karst

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Hey, fellow Alberta dude! Thanks for the reply. So, just so I understand, you put the cache inside the owl and then placed the owl overtop of a stump, almost like the owl is a big cap on the top of the stump, correct? So the cache basically sits on the top of the stump, with the owl overtop of both the cache and the stump?

 

Hi Benchmarkone!

 

As a kid I remember driving through your area of Alberta on our way to Fort Mac to see my aunt and her family. Beautiful.

 

Yes, the owl overlaps both the cache and small stump by about nine inches so that it won't blow off in a strong wind. The "stump" itself is a small dead tree that was broken off about three feet high and is only a few inches across so that the owl's head is about chest high. Enough to get that "Who" reaction when they come around the dense bush. Very winter friendly! And we didn't have to attach or alter any trees to place it.

 

Maybe we will see you at an Edmonton event sometime?

 

mwellman

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I made a hole in a plastic rat so that it would hold a container. I used a small soldering iron to melt the plastic (do this outside, or with plenty of ventilation). The melted edge is smoother and stronger than if it was cut with a knife.

 

Perhaps you could cut three sides of a square and leave a hinge?

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I made a hole in a plastic rat so that it would hold a container. I used a small soldering iron to melt the plastic (do this outside, or with plenty of ventilation). The melted edge is smoother and stronger than if it was cut with a knife.

 

Perhaps you could cut three sides of a square and leave a hinge?

Not a bad idea .. if you're really good with the soldering iron, just melt partway through the hinge side so it will bend easily. simple little clip on the other side.

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I recently bought a big hollow plastic owl. It's normally used to scare birds away from gardens, but I'm going to repurpose it as as a geocache container by putting a waterproof lock-and-lock container inside. The only thing I need to do is to figure out how to cut a recloseable door into it.

 

The bottom has a little removable plug about the size of a silver dollar, but that's not big enough to use. I'm thinking I'll need to cut a round piece of plastic out of the back of the owl, but then I need to reattach the plastic piece in a secure, weather-resistant way that allows it to act like a recloseable hatch. The inside of the owl does not need to be waterproof. In fact, I'll probably drill holes into the bottom of it to allow water to drain. The lock-and-lock will be the waterproof part of it. But the hatch in the owl needs to close reasonably well so it's not gaping open and looks decent.

 

Any thoughts, creative caching types?

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have a owl like mc & kitty with peanut butter jar placed in bottom use a little expanding foam do not fill all at once use several layer and let set in between hang from hook or place pipe in bottom and set on screw post attache to branch mine way off beatten path not much traffic but those that do like it

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