SAFE WOOD FOR CHAM HABITAT

chameleonzzzzz

New Member
Is pine okay to use to make my Cham a new habitat? What do I seal it with? Please help. I’ve never done a project like this. All the information I can get would help. Thanks :)
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
You can use pine as long as it is kiln dried and has absolutely no sap leaking out of it.

Where are you buying your wood?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-in-x-...-Square-Edge-Whitewood-Board-418532/203450502

What you seal it with depends on how long you want it to last. A water based polyurethane is the easiest, lowest off gassing concerns, and cheapest. I’m personally a fan of FlexSeal. It’s expensive but lasts forever.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Varatha...Based-Interior-Polyurethane-200241H/100169146

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Flex-Se...id-Rubber-Sealant-Coating-LFSBLKR32/301711448

If you could share your plans we have many active builders here that would gladly help you.
 

chameleonzzzzz

New Member
You can use pine as long as it is kiln dried and has absolutely no sap leaking out of it.

Where are you buying your wood?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-in-x-...-Square-Edge-Whitewood-Board-418532/203450502

What you seal it with depends on how long you want it to last. A water based polyurethane is the easiest, lowest off gassing concerns, and cheapest. I’m personally a fan of FlexSeal. It’s expensive but lasts forever.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Varatha...Based-Interior-Polyurethane-200241H/100169146

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Flex-Se...id-Rubber-Sealant-Coating-LFSBLKR32/301711448

If you could share your plans we have many active builders here that would gladly help you.

I’m wanting it to be 2’x2’x4’. I was going to use a washing machine pan for drainage, but there aren’t any 2’x2’. Lowe’s only has 30”x32” (outside dimensions). I want it to be somewhat pretty since it will be sitting in my bedroom. I also don’t have the tools to cut the ends of the wood at angles to make it all fit flush. The supplies I know for sure to get is wood, screen, hinges, a couple latches for the door (I have 1 kitty that I have to keep out of this enclosure lol), screws, and hammer-able staples for attaching the screen to the wood. As far as drainage, not sure what to do. Is a drainage system even super necessary?
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m wanting it to be 2’x2’x4’. I was going to use a washing machine pan for drainage, but there aren’t any 2’x2’. Lowe’s only has 30”x32” (outside dimensions). I want it to be somewhat pretty since it will be sitting in my bedroom. I also don’t have the tools to cut the ends of the wood at angles to make it all fit flush. The supplies I know for sure to get is wood, screen, hinges, a couple latches for the door (I have 1 kitty that I have to keep out of this enclosure lol), screws, and hammer-able staples for attaching the screen to the wood. As far as drainage, not sure what to do. Is a drainage system even super necessary?
If you have a single chameleon and you don't take long vacations out of town it's not super necessary. I spot clean my two enclosures daily with paper towels.
I read this as "safe words for cham habitat" thanks for the chuckle.

"ROACH!"
Ditto lol
 

chameleonzzzzz

New Member
You can use pine as long as it is kiln dried and has absolutely no sap leaking out of it.

Where are you buying your wood?
https://www.homedepot.com/p/1-in-x-...-Square-Edge-Whitewood-Board-418532/203450502

What you seal it with depends on how long you want it to last. A water based polyurethane is the easiest, lowest off gassing concerns, and cheapest. I’m personally a fan of FlexSeal. It’s expensive but lasts forever.
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Varatha...Based-Interior-Polyurethane-200241H/100169146

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Flex-Se...id-Rubber-Sealant-Coating-LFSBLKR32/301711448

If you could share your plans we have many active builders here that would gladly help you.


Will the FlexSeal let off too much fumes for my cham? How long would I let it sit outside before bringing it in? Do I seal it after all the wood is put together or before?
 

chameleonzzzzz

New Member
Here’s my handsome man.
 

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Daesie11

Chameleon Enthusiast
Will the FlexSeal let off too much fumes for my cham? How long would I let it sit outside before bringing it in? Do I seal it after all the wood is put together or before?
FlexSeal will be fine, just give it several days to off gas to be safe.
I sealed mine after putting it together for the most part. The basic frame was put together when I sealed it, then I added small details and the doors which still need to be sealed.
As far as drainage I would say it depends on your natural environment and how much you are going to need to mist, as well as how many live plants you have in there. I have several live plants that soak up most of the water from my mist, but I also live in CO so I have to mist more than someone in, say, CA. I find it easier to just have a drainage system, which for me is just some holes drilled in the bottom of my enclosure with a bucket underneath to catch it. Nothing fancy.
 

chameleonzzzzz

New Member
FlexSeal will be fine, just give it several days to off gas to be safe.
I sealed mine after putting it together for the most part. The basic frame was put together when I sealed it, then I added small details and the doors which still need to be sealed.
As far as drainage I would say it depends on your natural environment and how much you are going to need to mist, as well as how many live plants you have in there. I have several live plants that soak up most of the water from my mist, but I also live in CO so I have to mist more than someone in, say, CA. I find it easier to just have a drainage system, which for me is just some holes drilled in the bottom of my enclosure with a bucket underneath to catch it. Nothing fancy.

If I don’t use a drainage system, would I just get a sheet of plywood, seal it, and then drill it to the bottom of my enclosure? I’m currently using the RetpiBreeze cage and the water just goes everywhere and soaps up the towel under the cage and I hate it.

Also, would you be able to tell me how to make the door (size of wood, length, width)?
 

hilizanne

Member
If I don’t use a drainage system, would I just get a sheet of plywood, seal it, and then drill it to the bottom of my enclosure? I’m currently using the RetpiBreeze cage and the water just goes everywhere and soaps up the towel under the cage and I hate it.

Also, would you be able to tell me how to make the door (size of wood, length, width)?

I have a drainage pain for a dishwasher under one of mine and a black pan that usually inserts into a dog kennel under the other. I got the black pan at Tractor Supply. I have seen black dishwasher pans at other hardware stores before and they look a little better. Both are much bigger than the enclosure bottom but it works well to allow some run off if the water is too much. I removed the PVC bottom (but you don't have to) and also clean the pans and the bottom of the enclosure daily to remove any excess water or droppings to keep it clean. A few times I overflowed the pan and it made a mess, but usually the lip on the pan is enough to prevent that.

I personally don't see how a piece of plywood is going to prevent the water from coming out of the sides of the screen. You are still going to have to put something around it to prevent a mess. You will always have some run-off. But maybe some of the more experienced people can help with that or maybe I don't understand what you are picturing.

I can't help with the cutting of wood. It sounds like you need a miter saw. There is no way I would attempt that. I did join 2 ReptiBreeze cages together to make a big wide cage. That was pretty easy but that is far as I will go for construction work. Good luck!
 

hilizanne

Member
I’m wanting it to be 2’x2’x4’. I was going to use a washing machine pan for drainage, but there aren’t any 2’x2’. Lowe’s only has 30”x32” (outside dimensions). I want it to be somewhat pretty since it will be sitting in my bedroom. I also don’t have the tools to cut the ends of the wood at angles to make it all fit flush. The supplies I know for sure to get is wood, screen, hinges, a couple latches for the door (I have 1 kitty that I have to keep out of this enclosure lol), screws, and hammer-able staples for attaching the screen to the wood. As far as drainage, not sure what to do. Is a drainage system even super necessary?

I would try other hardware stores or online, because there are 2'x2' pans out there. Its a pretty tight fit, though.
 

Brodybreaux25

Chameleon Enthusiast
Please don’t take this as rude but if you have a cat you may want to consider buying a viv. By the time you add up all the material, tools, time, and curse words you’d probably come out cheaper with a quality viv.

Either way, I do like the attitude though. building your own viv is a rewarding experience most keepers miss out on...
 

chameleonzzzzz

New Member
Thank you to everyone helping me!!!
I’m using Kiln dried wood. I’m sealing it with Flex Seal. I got two boards, that I’m going to seal as well, for the bottom. I got hardware cloth wire for the ventilation. It’s tough enough where my cat can’t get into it. I’ll probably double up on it anyway.
 

chameleonzzzzz

New Member
Please don’t take this as rude but if you have a cat you may want to consider buying a viv. By the time you add up all the material, tools, time, and curse words you’d probably come out cheaper with a quality viv.

Either way, I do like the attitude though. building your own viv is a rewarding experience most keepers miss out on...


I’m not sure what a viv is. Lol! I’ve got most of my enclosure together and it’s working great! The hardware cloth wire is going to be perfect and will keep the curious kitty out for sure. I really appreciate all of your help. You have no idea how much stress you took away! Haha!
 

CamoChameleonsHuman

Chameleon Enthusiast
I’m not sure what a viv is. Lol! I’ve got most of my enclosure together and it’s working great! The hardware cloth wire is going to be perfect and will keep the curious kitty out for sure. I really appreciate all of your help. You have no idea how much stress you took away! Haha!
Viv=vivarium common word for enclosure especially in the UK
 
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