DIY cage help!

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by kaylahfaye, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. kaylahfaye

    kaylahfaye New Member

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    Hope someone can help with materials ideas. So I’m planning to build my second enclosure. But I’ve came to a halt on what material to use. I have a blotched blue tongue lizard. I’m planning to do a different design from my melamine enclosure as the material is way to heavy for me to move.

    I want to make a frame for exstra support (shapped like a box) then putting panels or glass/ perplex sides later, but the framing has got me confused to a point wear I’m giving up.
    I can’t use pine due to toxins I have heard about. The pine timber below which would have been the ideal shape. Is there any other materials that I could use...
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  2. Smittiferous

    Smittiferous Subscriber Subscriber

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    Most materials a DIY-er would use of comparable thickness will end up weighing a similar amount to melamine. Plywood, pine panels etc.

    I have seen something similar made of PVC i believe, I can't remember the name of it but it's apparently impervious to water damage. Not sure of the weight.

    A rather easy (but not terribly cheap) internal frame could be made up with something called Qubelok, which is a framing system using lengths of aluminium extrusions joined by special two, three or four-way joiners. The frame itself would be pretty light, and they sell profiles to suit an in-set side panel. Bunnings sell something similar. Just a thought.
     
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  3. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

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    Excuse my lack of knowledge guys.
    Just want to know is Pine toxic for all reptiles (I have a Coastal carpet python)?
    Or is it toxic to Lizards in general?
     
  4. Smittiferous

    Smittiferous Subscriber Subscriber

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    I find it funny that people don’t seem to baulk at the toxic chemical contents in any engineered timber or building boards, including melamine...

    Far as I can tell, terpene content (terpenes are the toxic component, also what gives that piney scent) in dressed pine from a hardware shop/timber yard seems to be minimal. I tried researching and couldn’t find much other than the terpenes are most prominent in the sap.

    I use pine along with plywood for builds, but I coat the bejeesus out of it with sealers, inside and out. Had various reptiles residing within these enclosures (some of which are over five years old) with no ill effects.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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  5. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

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    Thanks for the reply Smittiferous. It all helps us newer people build our knowledge of whats good or bad for our scaly friends.
     
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  6. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    there are no problems with using pine,I have several enclosures built with pine frames and shiplap skin.Some are more than 10 years old and have held bluetongues ,central and pygmy beardies with no problems.
    These enclosures are also lighter than melamine,I can carry a 4' pine enclosure on my own but I can't do that with a melamine one.
     
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  7. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Subscriber Subscriber

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    I built one out of 100mm thick very high density (VH grade) polystyrene foam, idea was it was very light and the insulation would save power, only problem was the insulation is too good and you tend to get an even temperature throughout.
    I ended up turning it into an incubator but plan another to improve on the concept, ventilation may solve the heat gradient problem. It's easy to glue the panels together and you need to have a timber or metal insert if you have a CHE heat source and I used Foamcote for an easy clean inside finish but sprayed PVA glue would be cheaper.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  8. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    I'd be pretty dubious about building any enclosure out of EPS,no matter how dense.Reptiles will scratch at it and small pieces of foam pose a digestion risk.
     
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  9. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Built correctly, they would be fine for snakes though.
     
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  10. Yellowtail

    Yellowtail Subscriber Subscriber

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    Surfboards are foam, you coat it with a hard waterproof sealer and I'm keeping snakes not lizards, the only reason it needs coating is it's easy to clean. Photos enc, I put double glazed glass on front and shelves to use it as an incubator, in fact still use it but intend to make some more as enclosures.
    IMG_0139.jpg IMG_0160.jpg
     
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  11. dragonlover1

    dragonlover1 Subscriber Subscriber

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    yeah sorry Yellowtail,I should have been more specific;I meant reptiles with claws!
     

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