what type of wood to use as a permanent spider enclosure?

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moswen

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hello everyone! i just got off the phone with my dad, who is a carpenter by profession, and i do believe he was unaware that i'm not as wisened or experienced as he is when it comes to "wood lingo" so i'm currently very confused... he kept talking about marine wood and bad oils and plywood... i don't even know what "marine" wood is! and i really don't think plywood is my best option here. anyways he ended up telling me that birch wood would be fine and i'd just have to re-make it in a few years.

as you all know, of all the 100 years that my spiders are going to live i don't want to keep re-constructing their PERMANENT home "every few years"!

TERRY i'd especially love your input here!:

i need to know what type of wood to build my permanent spider tortoise enclosure out of. i like the size i currently have for my spiders, it will probably be 3'x4' or maybe 3'x5' because eventually i want to have a spider colony. i plan on putting a finish on the wood to help it be more water proof and i know that i will have to wait a while to let the bad fumes out before i put it together. i'll also be getting a mister, and using wood for the top, bottom, and sides, with the front panel being plexiglass so that i can see into their little home. i'll have live plants as well. so it will be humid in there a LOT of the time, wet even at times.... what type of wood can stand up against that?

should i leave some open spaces in the lid or sides for air circulation?

what type of legs and what type of support system would anyone suggest?

terry i'm envisioning your box turtle's enclosures with a few "spider tortoise" changes as my ideal permanent enclosure, so that's why i'd love to hear all about yours!

okay experts: go!
 

zzzdanz

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Marine wood is just pressure treated wood.They changed the chemicals in it yrs. ago,but I wouldn't use it.
 

onarock

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The marine wood I'm familiar with is Marine plywood. Its plywood made for boats. They use resin to sandwich the plys together instead of glue making it water proof. Its also very heavy and expensive.
 

zzzdanz

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The marine plywood is exactly the same thing as pressure treated plywood..Anything that says "marine" on it is gonna cost more..about $30 more a sheet here...A lot of the houses I built on Cape Cod call for it around the bottom of the house.The lumber salesman would get all pissed when ya told them to send pressure treated instead of the stuff marked marine, because it ate into their commision.
 

onarock

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Pressure-treated plywood, often called "Wolmanized" or P.T. plywood, is NOT " Marine grade" plywood, and those designations do not make the two products arbitrarily interchangeable.
Pressure treated plywood is common plywood that has been subjected to pressure treatment with chemicals to prevent the wood from decaying, or rotting. To some degree, it also discourages insect damage because of the chemicals involved . Pressure treated plywood, however, is not suitable for marine use. The treatment of plywood with copper and arsenic compounds under pressure simply does not make the plywood waterproof, and worse, continuous exposure to water will leach the preservative chemicals from the pressure-treated wood.
Again, pressure treated plywood is ordinary, interior-grade plywood that has been chemically-treated, and it is often made with softer woods to enable the penetration of the wood treating chemicals, with no special care effected to eliminate all gaps or voids.

Marine grade plywood, on the other hand, is a different creature. Marine grade plywood is assembled gap and void-free in all layers, and laminated together with special, water-proof glue that holds the various layers together. When immersed, water has absolutely no effect on the glue or the strength of the lamination of marine grade plywood. Marine grade plywood will not commonly delaminate, bubble, buckle, or warp. Upon cutting marine grade plywood, no voids will be discovered on the cut edges. It is also usually constructed of harder woods such as Douglas Fir, or Western Larch.
Marine grade is a superior grade of plywood, and a substantially better product.
 

zzzdanz

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Douglas fir pressure treated (exterior grade)is the same..All the old articles are going by the old chemicals it was treated with.There are no voids in douglas fir exterior plywood.The whole chemical make up of the pressure treated has been changed because the old stuff would leach to much and was decaying all the alluminum flashings used on decks, etc.
 

onarock

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I see....I'm just going an what Carl Crawford told me..
 

zzzdanz

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For a tort table,I'ld just use 3/4 ply and seal it..MDO or MDF (can never remember which) is used around hot tubs in houses or decorative panels on commercial buildings.It does good with moisture,but I'ld seal it anyways..Really heavy stuff
 

yagyujubei

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Onarock is correct. I have been a carpenter for 35 years framing houses. Marine plywood is NOT the same as pressure treated. Personally,I would aproach this as if building a large planter. Since it'll have live plants, the bottom must be waterproof (visqueen over plywood) and have drains. Treated wood has poisonous fumes when new, so I wouls weather it first if used. If this is not outdoors, you don't need treated wood.
 

moswen

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well, okay i don't really need to know the differences in marine wood and pressure treated wood, i just need to know what type of wood to use. does anyone have any input in this area?
 

Yvonne G

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If you're talking about an indoor habitat (tort table), I just built one for my leopard babies. I used plain old 1/2" plywood. Then I lined it with plastic.

leopardshed-3.jpg
 

moswen

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thanks yvonne! how long do you expect it to last?
 

Yvonne G

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Forever and ever, Amen!

No, really...it should last longer than the baby that lives in it fits in it. Its 18" wide and 3' long. My two leopards will probably outgrow it in three years and I expect it will still be going strong at that point. I imagine I'll have to replace the plastic liner, but the wood should last a good long time...years and years.
 
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