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Sealing plywood cage

mistah_kurtz

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5 Year Member
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22
Hey everyone, I'm in the process of building a new cage for my baby tegu. I've converted a 2'x3' tank stand into an enclosure by bolting sheets of plywood and plexiglass to the sides. It's pretty sturdy and looks pretty nice, but now that I've got the wood on I realized that I have to seal it. So I have 2 questions:

1) What should I use to seal the plywood, and how many coats? Would regular spar urethane work?

2) Do I need to caulk every seam in the cage, or mostly just the bottom edges?

Thanks guys. Here's a pic of what it looks like now. The ruler is for reference, and measures 18".


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DaRealJoker

New Member
5 Year Member
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291
Pine and Cedar are toxic. So I say yes sealing is needed. I've ask the same q you are. What I've been told is to use Polyurethane water based paints or Wtaerbased latex. I'd also sugest taking your time to seal allowing each coat to dry and air for a bit. I painted my exterior by first a coat of Kilz primer, then two coats of Behr In/outdoor latex water based paint. The interior I am planing on a vinal floor and latex waterbase on the walls. But I am still waiting to paint the interior. I've only primed as I think I might use a different paint. I;m loking into watertight epoxypaint It's used in pools and drinking water tanks as a sorta rubber coat.
 

mistah_kurtz

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5 Year Member
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22
Thanks joker! So far I've laid down two coats of Zinsser oil-base int/ext primer and one coat of flat black spray paint. I think I'll go to the hardware store today and get myself some water based latex. Ahhhh, its so close, I have to force myself to take my time! Any other tips are appreciated, thanks!

drew
 

DaRealJoker

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5 Year Member
Messages
291
Yeah Make sur eyou don't use any oil based products inside the enclosure. I've found out that the oil based paints are mostly toxic to tegus. I'd also let each coat dry for a day then once fully painted, let air out for a few weeks. I haven't ye decided on my interior paint but prolly Latex too I also would suggest to do as DaveDragon and use Linolium flooring for a waterproof floor. Tegus splash in their water, aswel as deficate in it too. Get a large dish for wadeing in and a small dish for drinking. Aswell don't feed in the home cage, move your tegu to a different cage to eat. I have a home cage and a dining room cage lol My tegus dining room has no plants, or other furnishings. Just him, food and some water there too. They use it to help get the food down. Fresh water everyday. hope this is useful. I'm new to tegus myself and have been doing my research. Glad to share DaveDragon has helped me alot aswell He has great lighting and food tips aswell
 

mistah_kurtz

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5 Year Member
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22
Interesting update: I just called the lumber store where I got the wood, which is Luan plywood, and asked them if there was any pine or cedar in it, and they said no. Apparently, Luan is made of mahogany-type woods, so I needn't worry so much about toxicity (unless there's something I don't know about mahogany?). I'm gonna look into it some more.
 

DaRealJoker

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
291
Yeah I would too, just to be safe. Aquarium grade sealant is good too, the caulk stuff. For any seams. I was also told an above entrance tank, wher you have to reach in from above will stress the tegu too. I was told I should cut a access on the side somewhere. Because my cage sits out in the floor like an island, I'm cutting my access in the backside and will be putting clasps for locking. These guys are incredibly smart, much like a fox. LOL Glad to help. You'll need UVA and UVB light for them too. But I'm sure you already know that.
 

mistah_kurtz

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
22
Yeah I cut a little door on the front of the cage, its excellent! you can almost see it in the picture, middle of the left column of rectangles. It swings outward so he can let himself in and out of his warm cage after walking around in my room (although I can also lock it, of course).
 

RehabRalphy

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5 Year Member
Messages
612
Location
Missouri
I use Oil based sealers. As long as its dry, its nontoxic. EVERY paint and sealer in liquid form are toxic. Now if it chips, thats a whole different story, but as long as you take care of it and strip/reseal when needed, then you wont have an issue.
 

mistah_kurtz

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
22
Thanks for all these tips guys! I just laid down the first coat of flat black, water-based exterior latex. Now to paint the outside. I'll put up a pic when it's finally done.
 

mistah_kurtz

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
22
pictures

It's done! It's a 40 gallon glass tank turned on its side, with the open top connected to the tank stand, which I converted into an extension using plywood and plexiglass. Here are the pictures.


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DaRealJoker

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
291
curious :) wht are the caribeeners for? Nice cage and lots of substrate. Your tegu is very loved. In the words of Tony: that's grrrrrrrrrrreat
 

mistah_kurtz

New Member
5 Year Member
Messages
22
ah yes, hehe, the caribeeners... those are part of my old solution to not having a top for the original cage. i got the original 40 gal with the stand for free, but it didnt come with a top, so instead of buying one for $25 I just went to the hardware store and bought 36"x18" of wire mesh for $2. wire mesh, though, is sold in rolls, so there's no way you're gonna get it to flatten out without weighting the edges down.... hence, the caribeeners, which have been lying around my house for some time and which are pretty heavy. when i built the addition out of the tank stand, i just got another 36"x7" of mesh and added on to the original "top".
 

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