MDF OK for heat shelf?

Discussion in 'DIY Zone' started by RickB, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    I am just about to start making a heat tile for my Coastal.
    Would MDF board work for this application, size about 300mm x 300mm.
    I'm thinking of a piece about 16mm thick and routed to accept the heat cord and glue a matching size tile over the MDF.
    Not too sure what length heat cord yet, maybe 2 - 3 metre with spacings about every 10cm and 15 watt power. Is this spacing too wide for even heat distribution?
    I intend to mount the heat tile about half way between top and bottom of an enclosure I am building at the same time.
    No great rush to get this done yet as my Coastal is still under 12 months old and living in a plastic container quite happily for now.

    What do the experienced members here say?
     
  2. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,847
    Likes Received:
    1,980
    Location:
    Mid North SA
    If you're talking about a shelf, have a look through the DIY section. There is an enclosure build by one of our members, PythonMum, where she also made a great heated shelf. If I was going to make one, I'd be copying that one.
     
    RickB likes this.
  3. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks Pinefamily, apologies for the confusion yes I did mean a heat shelf. Probably explains the lack of comments or feedback.
    I went looking for that information from pythonmums build and it seems the photos are now lost to the Photobucket upgrade farce.
    I think I get the idea of what to do, I was merely enquiring about my proposed sizes being OK.
     
  4. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,847
    Likes Received:
    1,980
    Location:
    Mid North SA
    That's a bugger about Photobucket. Hopefully @pythonmum might see this, and give you a better idea of how she made it. From memory it was open at the bottom.
     
    RickB likes this.
  5. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,430
    Likes Received:
    292
    Location:
    Port Macquarie NSW
    @RickB i saw you had a look at the 1 i built, if you used a thin sheet of ply to close off the other side of the 1 i made i think it would make a good shelf, for reference for others here it is again. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) -ronhalling-





    20150619_024956.jpg
     
    pinefamily likes this.
  6. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    851
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Australia
    pinefamily likes this.
  7. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    @ronhaling Thank you for the input and photo. In regard to the piece of ply you mention am I right to say I would enclose the heat cord where it sits in the photo? Can you advise on the spacing between the runs of heat cord and the power wattage? Thanks again for your help

    @Snapped Thank you for your reply. I had a good look at what you're doing and think I can make something similar. I just need to work out length and wattage of the heat cord. This shelf will be be used as an elevated basking spot for my Coastal. Thanks again for your input.

    Just did a basic diagram to calculate the heat cord size for the enclosure.
    Hope this helps.

    Not sure I did this file upload right though?
    can someone guide me on how to do this?
    thanks in advance.
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 3, 2017
    Snapped likes this.
  8. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2012
    Messages:
    851
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Australia
    Looks pretty good, I used string to calculate (from memory) roughly what length cord I needed, just remember to calculate in the actual length of the heated cord, as there's usually 6 or 7 inches (depending on what brand/wattage) of unheated cord at the end near the plug.
     
    RickB and pinefamily like this.
  9. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,430
    Likes Received:
    292
    Location:
    Port Macquarie NSW
    Yes it would enclose the heat cord, so only use small brad type nails to secure it in case cord needs replacing, 10 watt heat cord seemed to work best and the spacings were from memory 75 mm, hope this helps. ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) -ronhalling-
     
    pinefamily and RickB like this.
  10. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Good tip thanks ronhaling
     
  11. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Update on heat panel for those who may be interested.
    Going with MDF 16mm thick. Finally got my Reptile One heat cable in the mail, went with the 2 metre length as it seems to be the right length according to what I have in mind. Did basic measure and mark out on the MDF sheet and after some minor adjustments taped the cord in position.
    Put 300 x 300mm floor tile on top of the heat cable and switched on. Checking temps at several points around the tile using a laser temp gun and so far I am getting temps averaging 31 degrees C on top of the tile. The power has been on for about 8 hours now and there have been 3 checks of the temps at the tile surface, all showing very close to the same temps. Will this temp be suitable for a Coastal Carpet Python basking place? This will be going into a full size enclosure when I finish the build of it approx size 1200H x 1000W x 600D.
    If all is good I will find a handy person to help with the finishing work and have the MDF routed to suit the cord thickness. Then just need to do the final touches to set the tile on top and make sure the snake cannot get to the cable.

    Attached a couple of photos to show the layout

    20171027_103556.jpg

    20171027_103645.jpg
     
  12. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    2,847
    Likes Received:
    1,980
    Location:
    Mid North SA
    If you are concerned about the temps, you could spread the cord more evenly across the MDF.
     
    RickB likes this.
  13. RickB

    RickB Not so new Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2017
    Messages:
    39
    Likes Received:
    18
    Gender:
    Male
    Thanks pinefamily.
    At the moment the heat cord is just taped into position (best I could do as the cord is new and still tends to go back to its shipped shape with bends etc) to give me an idea of how evenly distributed the temp is on the tile. My question regarding temps was meant to ensure I was in the right range of preferred temps for my Coastal. Sorry I was not too clear about that. if this temp range is good then I will get the MDF routed to follow the black Texta line drawn on it.
    I would get the routing to go to a depth of about 8mm (and about 10mm wide) as the cord is about 6mm thick. Does this make sense?
     

Share This Page