border
sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum
 

Go Back   sSNAKESs : Reptile Forum > Enclosure Creation Forums > General Enclosure Discussion

Notices

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 10-12-17, 04:59 AM   #1 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jul-2017
Posts: 92
Country:
Safe oils/waxes for protecting wood

Yesterday I posted how I'd chipped and cracked a couple of glass panels on my viv, so today I went to the DIY store and found some really nice plywood which fits perfectly. Before I put everything back together, I was wondering if there are any safe oils I can use to seal the wooden panels. I already have some beeswax and jojoba oil, and have read that these can be blended to make a good natural seal. Are they safe for snakes?
scales.jp is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 10-12-17, 09:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Nov-2013
Posts: 501
Country:
Re: Safe oils/waxes for protecting wood

They should be perfectly safe but high maintenance long term, harder to clean, pretty impossible to fully disinfect if you aren't going a more natural setup route, and not as easy to achieve a good seal on cheap wood versus if you are maintaining quality floors or furniture. In the US we've mostly gone to sealing even our hardwood housing materials with polyurethanes and similar for simplicity and not needing to reapply waterproofing ever if it doesn't receive damage moving furniture around or too much traffic wear. Both of which don't really occur in an enclosure. I dented my coating banging a rock into it once and had to paint a little back on that area. It makes it 100% waterproof and can be cleaned with most disinfectants or soaps for little ongoing maintenance. It's hard to even find info and the materials here for naturally keeping wood that isn't sealed in polyurethane. I had to search hard for bulk materials instead of tiny, high cost containers for furniture or wood utensils in order to clean and waterproof our 1800s hardwood floors that escaped modern sealants.

For enclosures using cheap wood to make it completely waterproof and basically work like plastic I prefer enamel paint. It's thick and soaks into cheap plywood to hold the inferior wood together better. Downside is clear is rare if you actually have a good piece of wood but with the wood I'm using you don't want to see it anyway. I was thinking of covering the wood sections with a stone pattern vinyl/linoleum floor roll after waterproofing. It is an option to just line the enclosure in some type of plastic paneling or rolled materials since it's already waterproof whether for industrial, pond, or flooring purposes but I'm going to be thorough and seal the wood first anyway. If you use higher quality plywood, or any other wood parts, and want to see the wood a clear polyurethane works. Types made for boats are ideal but large bodies of water are a long long ways away here... so I only have polyurethanes for wood sided housing and structures likes decks or porches. Some say they use yacht varnish.

Various pond sealant options, usually an epoxy paint, are popular too and often one of the first mentioned but I don't really see a benefit given one of my enamel plywood bases is 8 years old with no water damage and polyurethane versions for boats are still used by marine aquarists growing out coral or building very large aquariums to also avoid the cost of thick glass or plastic panels by making custom wood tanks with just viewing panels. To grow sensitive coral in a wood box it has to be completely waterproof with absolutely no toxins to build up in that small area. You'd think the aquarium crowd would have switched all to the pond sealants if they were really superior for relatively small indoor use. They sure better work awesome though because pond epoxy is listed at $60/quart here and the enamel I use is $8/quart.
akane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-12-17, 04:31 PM   #3 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jul-2017
Posts: 92
Country:
Re: Safe oils/waxes for protecting wood

Thank you for such an in-depth reply! The two plywood panels I bought came to less than $10, and seeing as I already have the leftover beeswax and oil I think I'll use those for the moment. Hopefully they'll hold up until I get a better viv made. If not, I can just replace the panels again. As long as my snake is safe and happy.
scales.jp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-13-17, 04:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jul-2017
Posts: 92
Country:
Re: Safe oils/waxes for protecting wood

In the end I decided not to oil the plywood. The jojoba oil had been kept in a box with all kinds of essential oils including pine and cedar and they had tainted it's smell. Better safe than sorry. Also, one of the panels is already a very snug fit, and I was worried that if it absorbed too much oil it might no longer fit in place.

Being unsure of the safety of unsealed plywood, I managed to find this useful information regarding the type I'm using:

"Shina Plywood
Japan has very strict environmental laws about the amount of formaldehyde added to the glue used to make plywood. Most plywood made in the U.S. contains 5mg of formaldehyde per liter of glue, while in Japan the amount of formaldehyde averages only 0.3mg/liter, with 0.4mg/liter the maximum amount allowed. So Shina plywood is much safer for you and for the environment."
iMcClains.com - McClain's Printmaking Supplies - Shina Plywood

Seeing as it's only 4mm thick and "The glue holding the plies together is so thin that it is barely perceptible..." it should be safe enough to use for the month or so that it'll take to have my new viv built.
scales.jp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-17, 12:42 PM   #5 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Aug-2013
Posts: 638
Country:
Re: Safe oils/waxes for protecting wood

Here in the US we may some plywoods available that have a smooth surface, they are usually called red OAK, maple, etc. I think they have a veneer on top. In any event, I have used those plywoods because they are higher end and do not bow and such. To be able to clean and disinfect them you have to cover them with something like a bar top epoxy that makes a plastic like surface on top of the wood. Wood is unfortunately very heavy so while it is cheap, it is a major pain to move anything made of wood.
pet_snake_78 is offline   Reply With Quote
Login to remove ads
Old 10-14-17, 02:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jul-2014
Posts: 318
Country:
Re: Safe oils/waxes for protecting wood

Whatever you use to seal the wood, make sure it's water-based. Oil based sealants/coatings can give off harmful fumes when heated, such as a heated enclosure.
__________________
It's an addiction!
pinefamily is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-14-17, 09:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
Member
 
Join Date: Jul-2017
Posts: 92
Country:
Re: Safe oils/waxes for protecting wood

I put the viv together with the unsealed plywood, but after three days decided to take it apart and am now going to seal the wood. While the wood is low toxicity, it still smells like glue so I don't want to put my snake in there just yet. May as well seal it properly while I'm waiting. I'll get a low VOC water-based varnish of some sort.
scales.jp is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On




All times are GMT -6. The time now is 07:56 AM.

Powered by vBulletin®
©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright © 2002-17, Hobby Solutions Inc.

right

SEO by vBSEO 3.1.0