DIY Enclosure Build Help

redborzoi

Member
Beardie name(s)
Speck
(Was referred to this forum from a different one)
This is my first time attempting anything involving wood so any advice is greatly appreciated. My dragon is currently in a 4x2x2 dubiaroach.com enclosure and it has a bit too many flaws for me to want to keep it as his forever enclosure.

I would like to incorporate a light compartment with two doors at the top of the tank so the lights won’t be visible without opening the compartment. How would I go about this? I want to have screening of some sort to hold the lights but let the uvb and heat through. Not sure if window screening is good for this, or something similar to chicken wire ?

I’m not sure whether to increase the width or length of the enclosure since he spends most of his time on the warm side of his current tank. I don’t want to increase length to just have it not be used. So not sure whether to go 5x2x3 or 4x3x3.
Also wondering how to even begin starting gathering the materials and building this. I know I want to use plywood but what width would be best. I don’t want the enclosure to be too heavy to lift.

My main questions are
What kind of glass do I use for the hinged front opening doors?
What type and width of plywood is ideal for this build?
Any other tips from people who have built their own plywood enclosure?
Most affordable glass + sealant + plywood options?
Thank you for any input at all. And pls send photos of any of your DIY plywood enclosures. ❤️
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
Check out this sticky in the DIY section:

If you read through some of the build links it will most likely answer all of your questions. If you have any though, feel free to ask :)

Thread moved by Moderator from Enclosures to DIY
 

redborzoi

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Speck
Check out this sticky in the DIY section:

If you read through some of the build links it will most likely answer all of your questions. If you have any though, feel free to ask :)

Thread moved by Moderator from Enclosures to DIY
Thank you! I struggle navigating this site a little so i initially searched for something like that but couldn't find it LOL, tysm
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
A word of advice, pine (or any conifer type tree) is toxic to beardies, if your going to use it seal the bejeeders out of it, and let that cure before using it.
Cedar us the worst btw.
 

redborzoi

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Speck
A word of advice, pine (or any conifer type tree) is toxic to beardies, if your going to use it seal the bejeeders out of it, and let that cure before using it.
Cedar us the worst btw.
I did see that, the most plentiful options near me seem to be pine so i’ll keep in mind if i use that. Is douglas fir toxic aswell?
 

xp29

BD.org Addict
Photo Comp Winner
Beardie name(s)
Zen , Ruby ,Snicker Doodles, Sweet Pea, Sinatra
Yes, pretty much any evergreen species.
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
You won't find a plywood not made out of pine. Even the plywood that is labeled as maple or oak are still pine plywood. The difference is a very thin veneer of the respective wood type on the outside.

You'll want to seal whichever raw material you go with anyways, and definitely allow it time to cure like xp mentioned :)

-Brandon
 

redborzoi

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Speck
A word of advice, pine (or any conifer type tree) is toxic to beardies, if your going to use it seal the bejeeders out of it, and let that cure before using it.
Cedar us the worst btw.
I did see that, the most plentiful options near me seem to be pine so i’ll keep in mind if i use that. Is douglas fir
You won't find a plywood not made out of pine. Even the plywood that is labeled as maple or oak are still pine plywood. The difference is a very thin veneer of the respective wood type on the outside.

You'll want to seal whichever raw material you go with anyways, and definitely allow it time to cure like xp mentioned :)

-Brandon
thanks!! should i be going with a 1/2 plywood or a different thickness? i’m already struggling to find 1/2 plywood in the size (4x8) i need LOL
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
1/2'' or 3/4'' is the most common size so you shouldn't have too much trouble with it. Depending on how you build the enclosure, 1/2'' would be more than strong enough. I wouldn't use anything thinner than 1/2'' though.

-Brandon
 

redborzoi

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Speck
1/2'' or 3/4'' is the most common size so you shouldn't have too much trouble with it. Depending on how you build the enclosure, 1/2'' would be more than strong enough. I wouldn't use anything thinner than 1/2'' though.

-Brandon
thanks this is really helpful. this plywood is just under 1/2 inches and seems to be in stock near me aswell, do you think it would work okay? Sheathing Plywood (Common: 15/32 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.; Actual: 0.438 in. x 48 in. x 96 in.) 20159 - The Home Depot
i was also looking at this but its a bit more expensive 1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. CDX Ground Contact Pressure-Treated Plywood 131876 - The Home Depot tysm for all the help
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator

I'd use something like this.

The first plywood you linked to is a very low quality ply, and will likely have voids inside the plywood due to its intended use. The second link is a treated wood, which you want to avoid too since you will be sealing it anyways.

-Brandon
 

redborzoi

Member
Original Poster
Beardie name(s)
Speck

I'd use something like this.

The first plywood you linked to is a very low quality ply, and will likely have voids inside the plywood due to its intended use. The second link is a treated wood, which you want to avoid too since you will be sealing it anyways.

-Brandon
I actually have one last question for you regarding plywood- is treated plywood not ideal solely because i will be sealing the wood anyways? Or for some other reason?
And would MDF panels work or not ? Something like this MDF Panel (Common: 1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft.; Actual: 1/2 in. x 49 in. x 97 in.) M31240849097000000A - The Home Depot
Just attempting to figure out prices for this project, and if I end up going w/ the plywood you sent I'd already be $100 just for the wood LOL! If that's what I need to use though I definitely will as I want this enclosure to last the rest of my dragons life. Thanks so much again for all the helpful information!
 

Claudiusx

BD.org Sicko
Staff member
Moderator
I wouldn't use plain MDF. It will not hold up to the wear and tear of being a beardie enclosure. If you use melamine that would work. It's MDF with a hard plastic veneer which makes it much more durable. MDF/melamine is difficult to work with. Plywood is definitely going to be many factors better.

Treated plywood is not ideal because treated plywood is typically used for outdoor environments where it will be exposed to moisture or to the elements. Treated wood is treated with anti-rot chemicals to help resist pests and rotting. Because treated wood already has a chemical that has been absorbed into the pores of the wood, I doubt you'd be able to seal it very well, as part of the process of sealing wood is the sealant absorbing into the wood and creating an exterior barrier.

Unfortunately, wood prices are still up pretty high, but they've at least started to come down. I can tell you from experience you will be disappointed in going with anything other than a good quality plywood. Even a decent quality plywood would be better than MDF or treated.

-Brandon
 

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