Wood/stain/sealant for cage building?

Hannah04

New Member
Will any hardwood be okay for cage making, if we are going to seal it anyway?

Also what does everyone use for stain an sealant?
 

KyleMay07

New Member
Hey, I am in the process of building my own terrarium, and I used just any wood finish, organic would be better *DONT USE LINSEED OIL* toxic to animals!. I'm sure if you sealed it without any stain, you could use vegetable oil. And not have to worry about leaving the cage to aerate over the weekend or whatever. But for mine I used the polycrilic sealant. It should work fine, I read online it wa okay as long as the fumes have been completely extinguished with time.
 

mcanham

Member
I don't know what species of wood are available to you but, white oak, black locust, teak, ipe are all very rot resistant woods that would take on the elements better. Spar urethane is an outdoor urethane that protects well but requires several days to dry. I don't think polyacryl will hold up to moisture very well. Teak and ipe would both do well with no coating at all as long as they dried out between mistings. Spar urethane would require 3-4 coats. Once it cures it should be harmless to your animal. Vegetable oil would only invite mold and probably go rancid after some time. Good Luck.
 

lisagr07

Avid Member
Is there any wood I should stay away from completely?

I can answer that one,, pine and cedar, I know because I just made an outdoor cage out of cedar thinking it would be a good outside wood to use.... NOT!
They are thought to emit oils and odors dangerous to reptiles.
 

Hannah04

New Member
I can answer that one,, pine and cedar, I know because I just made an outdoor cage out of cedar thinking it would be a good outside wood to use.... NOT!
They are thought to emit oils and odors dangerous to reptiles.

Thanks!

Would ones like oak, maple, birch, poplar cause any issues?
 

serenitystarlite

Established Member
I've built all of my cages out of pine and there have been no problems with any of them rotting. I used Minwax stain and several coats of polyurethane to seal the wood. It takes stain a month to cure, so after at least a month the cages were fine for my chams (and my allergies). :D
 

Hannah04

New Member
I can get more than enough hardwood for the frame of my enclosure for 40 dollars. So can any of these hardwoods (oak, maple, birch) be used, especially if sealed?
 

NorCalAnthony

Avid Member
Thanks again!

Has anyone used a hardwood? (Oak, maple, birch?)

I used red oak on my first two enclosures and it worked great. It's very strong and the grain looks amazing when you stain it. The only down side is the cost... For my next DIY cage I'm trying out the whitewood from Home Depot. It's about 50-75% cheaper than the oak and it's kiln dried so you don't have any issues with sap or preservatives seeping out. Most of the big box hardware stores will have a "hobby board" section that is full of various types of wood specifically made for woodworking projects and are typically all kiln dried premium woods. Be sure to stay away from typical framing studs and anything that's been treated as it can seep sap and preservatives as well as give off toxic fumes if it's been treated.
 

mcanham

Member
White oak is much more rot resistant than red oak or maple. Whiskey barrels are made from white oak. Pine will rot way before w oak. The key is to allow it to dry out and never stay wet. Poplar is not a good choice.
 

perca05

New Member
My husband is building me 2 cages right now, out of poplar. We are going to stain it with an outside weather proof stain. Hope it dries and is fume free by tomorrow, as I plan to get a cham at the reptile show here in San Diego.
 
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