Safe Woods and Seals

EulersK

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I'm looking into making a nice display enclosure myself, and the question is going to be fairly straightforward.

Firstly, I will be sealing the wood of course. Does anyone know if I would need to use a specific polyurethane that is animal safe? Given that it is a sealer, I actually expect that any type would be safe so long as I give it ample time to dry and air out.

Secondly, since I'm sealing it, does the type of wood really matter? Not that it's the plan, but in theory, I could use pure cedar so long as there is a good seal on it. On that topic, I don't plan on going out of my way to use toxic woods! Other than cedar, are there common solid woods that I should avoid?

As always, I look forward to reading what the hive mind of AB has to say.
 

Trenor

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I've not used wood sealer with tarantulas before so I'm not sure which ones would be appropriate. Which ever ones you use be sure to let it cure a lot longer then the dry time. Some of those will give off odors long after their dry time has been reached. Being you are making this into a box it will concentrate this even more. One of my sister's used a sealant on some bookshelves she made and it was still smelling weeks later. Once it stopped though it was a great finish as far a durability.

I would consider the wood choice as well. While you are sealing the wood, in the process of constructing the enclosure you will break through the seal with nails or screws. This would allow the wood's traits to still affect the Ts living in there. So if it were me I'd consider the wood as much ad the sealant.
 

EulersK

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I've not used wood sealer with tarantulas before so I'm not sure which ones would be appropriate. Which ever ones you use be sure to let it cure a lot longer then the dry time. Some of those will give off odors long after their dry time has been reached. Being you are making this into a box it will concentrate this even more. One of my sister's used a sealant on some bookshelves she made and it was still smelling weeks later. Once it stopped though it was a great finish as far a durability.

I would consider the wood choice as well. While you are sealing the wood, in the process of constructing the enclosure you will break through the seal with nails or screws. This would allow the wood's traits to still affect the Ts living in there. So if it were me I'd consider the wood as much ad the sealant.
Wow, weeks? That's wild. I wonder if heat and ventilation would speed the process up - I've definitely got plenty of both. I'm wondering if just a coat of paint would be the way to go, then. Obviously it would still have to air out, but it's not nearly as harsh as polyurethane.

Very good point about the wood being exposed from the hardware, I hadn't thought of that. Thanks for the heads up.
 

Trenor

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Wow, weeks? That's wild. I wonder if heat and ventilation would speed the process up - I've definitely got plenty of both. I'm wondering if just a coat of paint would be the way to go, then. Obviously it would still have to air out, but it's not nearly as harsh as polyurethane.
Well, in the bookcase, it was a heavy multi-coat hard finish. It looked like 1/8 inch glass was on top the shelves. So to finally cure out all the way took longer then a one and done finish. There are a lot of finishes that will seal and not give that high glass look. They soak in and take a lot less time to cure.
 

sdsnybny

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EulersK

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I ran across these threads awhile ago maybe they will help. Looks like the OP uses acrylic varnish for the wood but still lines the inside with thin acrylic sheets.
http://www.tarantulasus.com/showthread.php/1440-gt-gt-gt-Custom-Made-Display-Habitats-lt-lt-lt
This one documents a build he did for a forum members M. balfouri communal tank.
http://www.tarantulasus.com/showthread.php/7213-Scoolman-s-M-balfouri-Communal-Encosure
That's perfect, thank you! Amazing find. This is exactly what I want to try and build, although I'm not that good... yet ;)
 

sdsnybny

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YW, I really liked the M. balfouri communal set up like insitu using pumice rocks. It turned out amazing.
 

viper69

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I'm looking into making a nice display enclosure myself, and the question is going to be fairly straightforward.

Firstly, I will be sealing the wood of course. Does anyone know if I would need to use a specific polyurethane that is animal safe? Given that it is a sealer, I actually expect that any type would be safe so long as I give it ample time to dry and air out.

Secondly, since I'm sealing it, does the type of wood really matter? Not that it's the plan, but in theory, I could use pure cedar so long as there is a good seal on it. On that topic, I don't plan on going out of my way to use toxic woods! Other than cedar, are there common solid woods that I should avoid?

As always, I look forward to reading what the hive mind of AB has to say.
There's a guy on another T forum that uses wood regularly for Ts containers. PM me

I wouldn't use cedar, that's a risk for which there is no need to take. Snark knows a few more woods to avoid Anything in the cedar family should be avoided.
 

beaker41

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May 23, 2012
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The ultimate safe coating would be an undyed two part epoxy paint that is rated safe for human consumption, like the paint they use in watermarks or pools. If it's safe enough to drink out of its certainly safe enough for t's
 
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