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Old 11-20-2018, 03:28 AM   #1
SpiritBladeYT
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Join Date: Sep 2018
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Question DIY Material Questions

Hi guys!

So, I have a couple DIY projects coming up for Monty, and I wanted some advice on materials.

First, I wanted to make a material house for him. I'm not sure what materials, if any, are safe. Any advice what to use? I'll be sure to test Monty on chewing nature with the material in a play session before making the final product to be 100% sure it'll be safe.

The other project is a DIY cage, and my Grandpa, who is helping me, suggested half inch plywood. Is this going to be safe to use, and if so, what is the best way to make sure it is safe when building it.
I've been inspired by Erin's Animals 'The Beaker' cage on YouTube, but we want to make this a fairly cheap build, so solid pine is not the best option for us. Any other recommended safe wood materials we could get cheaply in England for this build would be amazing!

Thanks guys!

~Spirit
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Old 11-20-2018, 05:59 AM   #2
cypher
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Default Re: DIY Material Questions

Fleece is the fabric used most often for things like hammocks etc, you do need to keep a careful eye on them for chewing but if they don't then it's ok.
Plywood may not be safe due to the glues used in manufacturing it, kiln dried pine is generally the safest wood to use.
Bear in mind that if you have a wooden cage you will need to give it at least two or three coats of Plastikote water based enamel to completely pee proof it & make sure there is nowhere your ham could get his teeth in & start chewing!
melamine board is safe as long as your ham can't get to the edges & chew & is also waterproof so overcomes the pee problem.
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Old 11-20-2018, 06:19 AM   #3
mangoandmimi
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Default Re: DIY Material Questions

I also don’t think plywood is ideal - I’m sure there are ways to do it, but half inch thickness sounds quite thin (does depend on what size cage you’re making) and you’ll have to figure a way to coat it with something. It also does splinter quite easily and isn’t the nicest to work with in my opinion.
I’d probably go with melamine boards, it’s not too expensive when you consider the cost of the paint/varnish (non toxic and not that cheap) that you need on top of plywood, and you can seal the raw edges. Probably looks nicest with minimal effort.
To prevent melamine chewing lots of people recommend using those metal L edging bracket things to attach to the joins. Probably not really necessary for a robo though!
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Old 11-20-2018, 07:56 AM   #4
alpacassei
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Default Re: DIY Material Questions

I would stick to cardboard, lollipop sticks, and safe woods (it should be super easy to find a safe wood list) for making toys. PVA glue is hamster-safe and nontoxic.

Standard uncoated plywood isn’t the best choice for bulding a cage for reasons others have mentioned but if you can get some melamine boards from either Ikea or a DIY store, they would be a much better choice. They’re usually sold as shelves or tabletops.
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Old 11-20-2018, 08:49 AM   #5
SpiritBladeYT
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Default Re: DIY Material Questions

Thanks for all the replies! Surprised I got so many so quickly!

I'm planning on visiting a local store to try and find fleece, and if Monty tries to chew a small sample of it I'll be sure to use wood or some other material.

You've all raised my concerns with plywood, and thank you for the alternative ideas. I'll be sure to share the responded for wood with my Grandpa as soon as possible!

I'll try to update you all with the finished products soon!
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Old 11-23-2018, 12:48 AM   #6
reddoc
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Default Re: DIY Material Questions

Hi,
Have just finished making my 3rd DIY cage..... for the base I used MDF, which can either be painted with plastikote, or covered with fablon to waterproof it, the edges I used pine strip wood from B&Q. All of it was 12mm thickness, which made for a pretty robust structure. To prevent chewing on any exposed edges, a cheaper alternative is galvanised strapping which you can put along the edges. https://www.toolstation.com/shop/Con...Banding/p60768
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Old 11-25-2018, 01:20 AM   #7
SpiritBladeYT
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Default Re: DIY Material Questions

Quote:
Originally Posted by reddoc View Post
Hi,
Have just finished making my 3rd DIY cage..... for the base I used MDF, which can either be painted with plastikote, or covered with fablon to waterproof it, the edges I used pine strip wood from B&Q. All of it was 12mm thickness, which made for a pretty robust structure. To prevent chewing on any exposed edges, a cheaper alternative is galvanised strapping which you can put along the edges. https://www.toolstation.com/shop/Con...Banding/p60768
Thank you so much for this! I'll pass this info on!
So glad to have an answer with local stores I can get resources from, such a massive help!
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