Tank details and Lid Manufacturing

Standard Tanks

We looked for a plastic pen of a similar size and that was readily available in the shops. The chosen tank is the Nettuno XL made by Ferplast. It is also known as the Geo XL when sold with a plastic lid. It is similar in appearance to some of the tanks being used by the regional clubs at the moment, but Nettuno XL has a big enough lip to take a wire lid. It may sound glib, but a good way to tell them apart is to see if the tank has Ferplast written on the bottom.

From a stewarding and judging point of view, wire lids are more preferable and will be used as standard. The only drawback is that these need to be specially made. Although you can make your own, it is envisaged most people will buy either the lid (3.50) or tank and lid together (11.00) at NFRS shows. However, a detailed specification of the lid is given below. If you are interested in making lids (and a few bob), there is a scheme outlined below..

Standard Lid

Standard lids are made from galvanised welded wire mesh. The mesh is 3/4" x 3/4" (19mm x 19mm). The gauge of the wire is 16g (1.60mm diameter). Before folding, the mesh needs to be cut as show below. All the edges are to be filed smooth and the corners rounded.

It is important that the edges are folded the correct way. To ensure the lid slides, the wires running the length of the lid should be on the inside.
The flap to the rear is folded once and acts as a stop. To accommodate the wide lip, each side flap requires two folds.

End-to-end process for lid production and supply

For those interested in making lids
  1. Standard mesh is bought by the NFRS from a trade outlet in huge rolls.
  2. Roll is cut into strips that can be transported and sold to people wishing to make lids. Strips are sold by the 12 lids worth at £10 to cover the material costs. The raw material is issued with making instructions and a payment form.
  3. People make up the lids as described. The quality criteria are stated on the making instructions as well as detailed below.
  4. Lids are brought to a show and are spot checked by a named panel of people. If the lids are pass inspection, the checker signs off the payment and forwards it to the Treasurer. Lids are paid at £2.50 per lid.
  5. All material is to be accounted for before further material is to be issued to a maker. This is to be indicated on the payment form.
  6. Sold to NFRS to sell on to members Sold to other club - please state which club(s)
    Sold directly to members (discouraged until quality has been established)
    Kept for own use (possible, but initially we would like to ensure the quality of all lids)
    Material wasted/spoil
Made lids are to be sold via show secretaries or promotions at £3.50 per lid or £11.00 for tank and lid. Show secretary reports tank and lid sales in the usual way via the Treasurer's Balance Sheet.

For all enquiries about making new lids or placing an advance order, please mail promotions

Quality Criteria

Before accepting the lids and agreeing payment for the lids, carry out a quality check on the lids.
  1. Ensure the lid has not been made inside out?
  2. Does the lid slide snugly on to the tank?
  3. The lid should be tight enough to contain a rat, but loose enough to be removed during regular show handling. If the lid judders rather than slides, ensure the lid has not been made inside out and the edges have been smoothed correctly.
  4. Does the lid fit properly? Pick up a laden tank by the lid and shake it. It should feel secure. Show tanks are not intended to be handled by the lid, but there will be occasions the tank will be inadvertently handled this way
  5. Are the edges smooth? Run your finger down the edges. There should be no suggestion of a sharp edges or points. It is not enough to file the sides, but also smooth the welded joints.
    Note: Over half the labour paid is for filing. If you have any doubt about whether there is an edge to could harm anyone's hands or rats, then refuse the lid and ensure the remainder of the batch is thoroughly checked.
  6. Carry out a general check. Does it look standard? Compare against another lid if needed.
Sign off the checks on the payment form and forward to the treasurer for payment.