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Wooden DIY Reptile Hides?

Discussion in 'General Construction' started by Qwerty3159, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Ive recently been searching up lots of videos on how to make my own reptile hides, but I really dont want to buy styrofoam, and sealant, and this and that... So would it be alright to build a hide box out of wood? Not the splinery kind, but like, planks...
    I could carve out a little lid and everything. It would save me a lot of time,effort, and money. So would it be okay to use wood and build a hide? What would I do with nails? Thanks in advance!;)
     
  2. justor

    justor Elite Member

    What kind of animal will the hides be for? If its going in a humid environment or will be sitting on moist substrate the wood will need to be sealed to prevent it from rotting. But yes, you can make hide boxes out of wood.
     
  3. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

  4. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    I am assuming that you are using pine. If so, seal both sides of the wood regardless of enclosure humidity. Many people believe that pine oil is toxic, like cedar. I have absolutely no clue if this is true or not, but its not worth the risk. I build little hides out of plywood, seal them, drill them, seal them again, then silicone or mastic little pebbles and rocks to it. (I use 2 coats of polycrylic to seal wood in normal conditions)
     
  5. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    The hide boxes are for a leopard gecko. I was not supposed to be anything elaborate, just a rectangular box with a hole (Sanded of course!)
    and a little step to get up and sit on top. It is not going to be a moist hide. Hes outgrowing his other hides... Fast!
    I was planning on using plywood. I will seal it but I was wondering for future references if it is absolutely neccesary to seal it if the wood was baked or however you sterilize it, or just wiped it down with some damp cloth and dried good. Im sorry if this is a stupid question :p but where would the pine oil come from in case a bit of pine is used? Would it seep out when wet? I had no idea wooden hides wold require all these sealants. Is there a low cost way to clean the wood?
    Also, thanks mld, that gave me some more ideas!;)
     
  6. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Leo's like small hides! Have you thought about using clay flower pot saucers with a hole on the side, upside down of course.
     
  7. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Actually I have. What I meant by that half his body sticks out when he's fully crammed in this thing I bought at the pet store. But before strating my build I actually had found small box that was a hide made before that was never used, so Ill just use that but I believe it is in fact Pine. Which sealant should I use? Polycrylic? Isnt Polycrylic like $20, is there a cheaper way to seal the wood?
    One lats question, isnt Polycrylic esentially Polyeurathane? I though Polyurethane stank really bad and took forever for the fumes to clear.
     
  8. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Polycrylic is the safest to use!
     
  9. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Great, thanks for all the help!:) Although now Ill probably juts buy a hide with the money I wouldve spent on the sealant.
    ;)
     
  10. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Stick with the ones that are hard and solid, they hold the heat better than wood and plastic do.
     
  11. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

  12. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I would stay away from those ones, go for the exo terra ones! Someone had some problems a few weeks ago with the smell.
    Hagen Exo Terra Reptile Cave - Medium
    They are great, nice and short and dark, they are also open on the bottom so the leopard gecko will benefit from the belly heat.
     
  13. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Okay Ill get to buying some. What do you mean by the "smell"? Is it the hide?
     
  14. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    A member returned theirs because of the smell like off gassing!
     
  15. Eclectix

    Eclectix Member

    I make hides for my ball python out of large sections of poplar tree bark. Unless anyone can give me a good reason not to do this anymore I plan to keep doing it; he loves it because it is wide and low so he fits very snugly under it. I half-bury it in cypress mulch which it matches very nicely and you can hardly tell, other than an appropriately-sized hole for him to crawl into, that there is a hide in his habitat at all. I just bake the section of bark I want to use at 300F for 45 minutes to make sure there are no mites or anything like that hiding in it. The poplar bark comes from sections of a poplar that was cut down about a year ago. Since poplar isn't much different from other soft woods like aspen, I don't think I need to worry about resins or anything like that. Once the cut wood has aged a few months the bark easily comes off rather cleanly in solid pieces all by itself, and if I soak it for a few minutes I can bend it into almost any degree of curve. I can break off chunks as needed to make it fit wherever I need it. This would obviously not work in a very humid enclosure because the bark would eventually rot, but I keep my BP enclosure with two hides, one at about 50% humidity on the warm side and the other about about 70% on the cool side, and they have both held up quite well so far. If I should ever need to replace them, I have plenty more poplar bark lying about.

    hide.jpg
     
  16. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Wow I never heard of that... Well thankfully mine isnt like that. ;)
    Actually I was just thinking about possibly buying a bit of Polycrylic anyways:p
    If I do, what "kind" would I get? I mean Semi-gloss, Clear gloss, Satin, or does it even matter. In the hide, which again is just a rectangular box with two sides that goes into the corner of the tank, with a flat roof, and 2 tiny steps to help him climb up as I noticed he sometimes likes to sleep on top of his other hide. There are about 7 very small nails on the roof, but they are only about an inch long, the head or the flat part you hit is very small, not much thicker than the nail itself, and they are buried, (the head doesnt stick out or up.) would I just paint the Polycrylic over them? How many coats would I put? Thank you in advance! ;)
    Also, Eclectix, thanks for the tips, it will surely help others as well!
     
  17. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    First I would sand off any sharp corners, then you can stain with a water based stain or paint. After that I would apply around 3 coats of Minwax polycrylic (paint on type, not spray on type), I don't think it matters if it's satin, semi-gloss or gloss. Make sure it is cured and not omitting any fumes before using.
     
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would go with the satin. The gloss and semigloss will be distractingly shiny and slick.
     
  19. Qwerty3159

    Qwerty3159 Elite Member

    Okay thanks guys, when I get some Ill post pictures!
     

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