Building An Iguana Nesting Box
How To Build An Iguana Nesting Box
Custom Built Nesting Box
The image above is not to scale and is just to be used as a visual reference.
- 2 Plywood @ 4' x 3' x 3/4"
- 2 Plywood @ 4' x 2' x 3/4"
- 2 Plywood @ 3' x 2' x 3/4"
- 2 Large Door Hinges & Hardware
- 1 PVC Pipe @ 2.5' x 6" Diameter
- 12 2x2 @ 2'
- 1 Bottle Of Wood Glue
- 1 Box of 1/1/4" Wood Screws
- Tape Measure
- Screw Gun
- Paddlebit - Drill Bit (Starter hole for jigsaw)
- Saw (If wood is not precut.)
The first thing you will need to do is cut your wood down to size. Measure out the wood and then cut it to length and stack the wood according to size. You should also take your PVC Pipe and trace its circle onto one of the 3' x 2' pieces of plywood. Using the jigsaw you should cut the circle out. This is where the PVC Pipe will stick into the box. The circle should be roughly 9" down from the top of the plywood.
If you purchase your plywood from Home Depot or Lowes you can have them cut it there for you.
Next you need to take the 2x2 pieces and attach them to the 4' x 2' pieces of plywood as the picture below shows. Both pieces of plywood should look like the other when complete. Attach the 2x2's using the glue and by screwing through the plywood into the 2x2.
Attached 2x2 to 4' x 2' Plywood
Now you need to attach the remaining 2x2's to the 3' x 2' pieces of plywood as the picture below shows. Both pieces of plywood should look like the other when complete. Attach the 2x2's using the glue and by screwing through the plywood into the 2x2.
Attached 2x2 to 3' x 2' Plywood
With those sheets of plywood now ready for assembly you can create the initial "box" shape. Stand up a 4' x 2' piece of plywood as well as a 3' x 2' piece of plywood and make a corner out of them. The image below is shown directly overhead to give you an idea as to how it would look. (The 3' x 2' plywood should overlap the 4' x 2's 2x2 in the corner. This is where you will screw the 2 pieces together after applying your glue.)
Attached 4' x 2' Plywood to 3' x 2' Plywood
You should now complete the "box" shape by adding the other 2 sheets of prepared plywood. When complete you should have a box as depicted below. (Again, this is an overhead view.)
Completed Plywood Sides
With the sides on you now want to place the floor on. With the box standing like it is, mark the location of each of the 2x2's on the attached plywood. This will give you a location for each one when you place the floor on it. Add glue to each of the 2x2's and lay one of the 4' x 3' pieces on it. Now screw into each of the 2x2's that you marked with your pencil.
The plywood floor is also going to help keep your box "square" while the glue dries. Make sure you make everything even with the plywood before you secure it.
It would be a good idea to take a break now and give the glue some time to set. The screws will hold the frame together but the real strength is found in the wood glue. (You will have a larger surface area attached to each point of contact.)
Once the glue has dried you can flip the box so that the "top" is now facing up. Place the top piece of plywood where to will sit. Now take the hinges and put them in place where you want them to go. It is best to come in 1' from each side to the outside edge of the hinge. Secure the hinges and ensure your lid is working properly.
All that is left to do is add your substrate and place your iguana inside. You want her to find her own way out so she realizes how to enter and exit the box.
This is a very crude method for building a nesting box and can be enhanced with some paint. This is not meant to be a lifelong nesting box so you do not need to waterproof it. It will last a few years before it needs replacing.
Tip: To make entering and exiting the PVC Pipe easier you should take some course grit sandpaper and sand the inside of the pipe. This will create a rough surface that will make gripping easier for your iguana.
If you are looking for a more permanent solution you should frame the entire thing using 2x2's and then use the plywood as the walls. The plywood should be sealed with several coats of waterproofing before they are attached.
Author: Richard Brooks