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Old 02-14-2016, 10:08 AM   #1
Oscarsmum
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Default Safe wood for making shelf??

Cant seem to find a thread on what type of wood is ok to use for making a diy shelf for the cage..

My local Homebase sells mdf - would that be ok to use if I painted it with Plastikote or the like? My hamster is no big chewer anyway..

Any advice greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-14-2016, 10:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Safe wood for making shelf??

I know that many use untreated pine, it's safe if chewed. I'm sure there are other types of wood that are okay too but I think the pine is the most commonly used.
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Old 02-14-2016, 11:23 AM   #3
Serendipity7000
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Default Re: Safe wood for making shelf??

I'm not sure about mdf - it's made with formaldehyde I think and hammies have an acute sense of smell and sensitive to chemicals. Similarly plywood can have a lot of glue fumey glue in it. I also think pine is probably safest (it's not the same as pine shavings due to less surface area) and plastikoting seals it a bit. I know rodipet houses and shelves are made from a type of birchwood ply but it's made using pet-safe glue. Pine is probably easiest and cheapest, but oak, ash, birch, rubberwood, are all ok too. Some woods aren't ok.

Melamine is also ok. Although it's chipboard in between that is sealed in by the melamine. The Germans use it a lot for cage building. So a those flatpack kitchen cabinets you can get from B&Q for about 10 would have a big piece in probably, but for 10 you can probably get better than that. Also melamine could be a bit slippery and then you'd need a grass mat or something on it.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:47 AM   #4
Oscarsmum
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Default Re: Safe wood for making shelf??

Thanks guys. Will go for the pine shelf to be on the safe side
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Old 02-15-2016, 12:37 PM   #5
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Smile Re: Safe wood for making shelf??

You got me interested in this actually so I had a little chat with David;

Pine is OK as long as you seal it (apparently cedar and pine release phenols when peed on) cedar is worse than pine.

mdf is not safe due to fibrous nature and formaldehyde which can be released from the wood in gas form when combined with extra urea (part of pee that isn't water) not just used for tweed and mining apparently. They actually make mdf with pee, who knew.

Ply is OK as long as sealed and not chewed. (splinters). PS mine is marine grade ply so not as bad.

Birch is perfect.
Aspen is perfect.
Elm and Oak are fine too.
Sycamore
Poplar

That's his list. I would go for treated pine if I were you, easy to obtain, you already have a bit and enough said.

I know you said you couldn't find anything but if this helps ease your mind I found this too via google, it's more woods for hobby projects or ones that don't come in sheet or plank form but there are some good ones in this extensive list.

What wood to use?
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Old 02-15-2016, 02:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Safe wood for making shelf??

My DIY shelf is made of oak
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