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Old 12-20-19, 09:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

Iíve narrowed my materials down to pvc or birch plywood using a pond sealer to waterproof it. Iím leaning toward the wood because I like the look, but I am open to any discussion I can get. Looking for honest opinions based on experiences with either material. Any suggestions regarding enclosure size, heating, etc. are welcome.
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Old 12-21-19, 08:08 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

I've used both plenty, currently still using 2 pvc's as temporary tanks so let me list you what I found to be the ups and downs:

PVC Pro's:
-Easy to clean
-Easy to treat animals for whatever.
-Look nice without needing to be painted etc, but look very sterile.
-Waterproof on its own
-Lightweight and easy to move

PVC Cons
-Expensive (pvc plating around here is very expensive, might be a local issue, ready made pvc's are heavily overpriced)
-Hard to heat, hold no heat. Need to be insulted, or be in a snakeroom that is heated to ambient temp.
-Can melt/warp, close heatsources can cause material to warp or even melt.
-Not easily repaired, often have to take the entire thing apart.
-Not very strong, large enclosures need supports especially if you want to stack them.
-Hard to work with the material in my personal experience.

_______________

Wood Pro's
-Cheaper, depending on the type of wood you it fits in most budgets.
-Can look great if you use a nice type of wood, needs a bit more work for cheaper woods though.(Also depending on taste)
-Sturdy, less support needed.
-Easy to heat and hold heat very well.
-Not too difficult to repair if broken, also fairly hard to break.
-Wood is easy to work with and forgiving (A gap or dent is easily fixed)

Wood Con's
-Need waterproofing
-Depending on how the wood is treated, might be harder to clean (Epoxy fixes this, but isn't cheap)
-If wood is not fully treated/sealed mites etc can hide more easily.
-Heavy, large enclosures need to be build in place.



I prefer my wood enclosures to a point where I'm making them for all my snakes, my energy bill is going down with each pvc I change to wood since they're in an otherwise unheated room(attic). The pvc's I have to wrap insulation around in wintertime or my bill will explode. I heat my wood enclosures with just RHP's and that works great, my PVC's have heating cable all along the bottom, and a ceramic heater that often has to help. I did seal all my wood enclosures on the inside with many layers of epoxy, essentially made them plastic on the inside. Saves a lot of time with cleaning since its so smooth and nothing really sticks to it.
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Old 12-22-19, 12:12 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

Tsubaki,

Thank you for the detailed response ! It is great to hear from someone who has experience with both types of enclosures. Everything you mentioned are things I considered, but to this point have only used all glass aquariums. I am really leaning towards wood ( especially after your response), and will post pictures of the finished product.

Thank you again,

Eric
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Old 12-22-19, 05:14 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

no problem, i'd love to see the final build
Wood is beautiful imo
One of mine
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Old 01-05-20, 07:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

Tsubaki that a nice setup.

I am looking a pond sealer as a sealant for the enclosure. What did you use ? What are your thoughts on color ? Is it a matter of preference, or is one better than the other for the animal ?
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Old 01-05-20, 08:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

Hi so I know you said pvc or birch wood. I work at a lumber yard so I know birch is a hardwood which makes it easier to stain and its dense so all around great wood and is efficient when you coat it with sealant since it stains easy. Now as far as PVC I know HDPE which is a better plastic than pvc is not what you asked about, but your legitimate concern about warping or sagging, well HDPE is DENSE hence the (HIGH DENSITY POLY ETHYLENE ) it will not warp because the heat tolerance is 100 degrees more than PVC. So 248 degree is the max heat HDPE can tolerate before losing its strength and potentially warping. As far as sagging, if its made right with support then it should not sag. Bad thing is HDPE is more expensive which is why I started a thread on here talking about how I want to make HDPE cages sell them locally to have people give honest reviews before trying to ship them out to different states. But HDPE is better in every way compared to PVC except price.
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Old 01-05-20, 08:58 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

I know you said pvc or birch plywood. I work at a lumber yard so I can say this about birch and how it relates to reptile cages. First its a hardwood so its dense which is good for rigidity and also its easier to stain which means that the sealant to waterproof your cage will be more efficient since you wont have to keep putting excessive coats for it to apply.

Now to the PVC topic. I know you said pvc but I suggest HDPE plastic because its superior in every way compared to foam board pvc(XPVC/ Expanded pvc) literally I mean that. One way is it can tolerate 248 degree heat which means that warping issue your worried about wont be a worry.
Only con is that its more expensive which is a problem I am trying to solve by being able to make these cages and see how receptive people are towards them, Id start locally and even make a build guide for everyone to see the cage. But yeah id go with HDPE if I were you. The cage is sure to last you for a very long time, how long? I dont know but I know that when I build one I will put it to its limits (:
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Old 01-06-20, 10:26 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

I would also like to know what you used as a sealer, Tsubaki. And any other additional info you want to give. I am in the planning stages of my Birch plywood enclosure.
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Old 01-09-20, 03:21 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

I used Epoxy to seal the wood, and a high quality clear bathroom sealent in the corners So any cracks/small gaps from the working wood woulnd't let moisture through either. Did that After the epoxy, I might have to re-do that eventually (No sealent lasts forever) but so far 5 years in use and still flawless, but if you put epoxy over it you're going to have to damage and repair a lot if it ever needs replacing.
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Old 01-14-20, 12:03 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsubaki View Post
no problem, i'd love to see the final build
Wood is beautiful imo
One of mine
Hey, sorry for stupid question, but iīm beginer.... What are the drawers in your set up for?
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Old 01-23-20, 12:47 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

I would recommend a wood&wire cage for any other future snakes,however, a PVC is fine if you can make it the right size
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Old 01-24-20, 05:43 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Building a new custom enclosure for our red-tailed boss.

They hold the wiring/ventilation lindau, they're not actual drawers just covers you can pull off Sorry for the late reply I overlooked your message
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