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How to Make Retes Stack and Other Cage Furniture?

Discussion in 'Cage Furniture - Accessories' started by Majora, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    Hi - haven't posted in a while, but I'm going to start putting together some custom cage furniture for my bearded dragon so that he has more places to climb, different levels to bask, etc. and I had a few questions. I'm not the most handy person so I'm sorry if some of the questions seem a little silly or obvious.

    First - what is the proper way to make a retes stack? I've seen them made all different ways - with the diagonal pieces in the middle, with just straight levels, with holes through the middle, with thicker and thinner wood, etc etc. What's the best way to do it so that it works the best for allowing varied temps for thermoregulation? I've searched online and I haven't really found a definitive "best" way to make them.

    The other thing I wanted to ask was what are reptile-safe materials to make cage furniture? I want to make sure anything I use is safe. Is there a certain type of wood that's better to use? Do I have to seal all the wood pieces (like the stack)? For fake rocks and such I've gathered that polystyrene and grout are okay to use, sealed with polycrylic? I just want to be triple sure that anything I put in his enclosure is safe.

    If you have any other tips to throw out there for this kind of thing, go right ahead. Like I said I'm not the most crafty person and I don't usually do stuff like this so I could use all the help I can get, lol. Thanks!
  2. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, a "proper" Retes stack is made without holes in the middle of the sections, it`s just a few layers of (normally) plywood platforms spaced with whatever thickness of wood suits the animal (i.e. 2 x 1 inch softwood), the 2 inches being the height of the space between. Many keepers often slope them from front to back so the animal can sqeeze in quite tightly which helps them feel secure, though for a first attempt you might have them evenly spaced (3 or 4 layers depending on the height of the enclosure, more if you want).
    Yes, seal all wooden surfaces with a water based polyurethane varnish (3 or 4 coats).
  3. Majora

    Majora Elite Member

    That was really helpful, thanks! I went and got all the stuff earlier today based on what you posted and started on the stack, it's looking pretty good so far. I went with the straight platforms to keep it simple, but depending on whether or not my bearded dragon spends a lot of time in it I might make another one with the angled pieces and more levels, just to give him more options. Can't wait to put it in there and see if he likes it!
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Good I made a little sense to you, and don`t forget a few photos! ;)

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