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Rue

Waterproofing your violin.

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*Clickbait!!!* :ph34r:

I figured one of our talented woodworkers might know, so I am taking a little pandemic, isolation liberty, and going OT (sorry).

I just had a local carpenter make me an "indoor bungalow" for my 4 year-old tortoise, who outgrew her baby enclosure quite a while ago.

He used spruce plywood.

I am doing the finishing.

Because I need to keep the enclosure humid for her, I use cypress bedding and mist it daily. So the substrait is mildly damp (at least for part of the day), mostly at the surface, but there's also dampness around her wading pool.

I also need to be able to clean/wipe it out reasonably well when I change substrait. Possibly disinfect if necessary.

I opted to use clear, high-gloss polyurethane - but it also has to be "tortoise-safe", so I'm a bit paranoid. They do dig.

I just put on the first coat using a water-based poly. I'll put on a second coat of water-based poly this evening or tomorrow.

Then: should I put on a third coat of oil-based poly? Would that be tougher and still safe (after it fully cures)?

Signed

Paranoid, isolated, clueless tortoise-keeper living in the middle of nowhere 

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I haven't a clue, but a waterproof violin would be great for making scubamusic. Better than a flute anyway. Wonder how far it would carry..? :)

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After noting that you should have used 316 stainless steel and hired a licensed maritime welder [;)], I'd avoid the oil base, and spray several coats of clear acrylic lacquer on it.  After it's thoroughly dried, that should be as safe as clear nail polish.  :)

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According to the FDA polyurethane is food safe when dry...which is why I thought it is the best way to go.

But I'm unsure about water- versus oil-based formulations.

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9 minutes ago, Violadamore said:

After noting that you should have used 316 stainless steel and hired a licensed maritime welder [;)], I'd avoid the oil base, and spray several coats of clear acrylic lacquer on it.  After it's thoroughly dried, that should be as safe as clear nail polish.  :)

I can do that too. So 2 coats of water-based polyurethane followed by laquer?

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7 minutes ago, Rue said:

I can do that too. So 2 coats of water-based polyurethane followed by laquer?

Yup.  I'd figure that would do it.   Makes my rayskin and leather katana tsuka wraps darned near indestructible.  I use numerous coats for that, of course.

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Thanks! :)

I'm looking forward to setting it up for her! 

It is a two-room bungalow with a ramp between rooms, and with windows of course! ^_^

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If I were doing something similar in Oz I'd use a native untreated hardwood, like they use for jetties and wharves in Sydney Harbour.  Eventually the water and marine life gets to them, but it takes decades.  An historical image for interest below.

Keep well.

Tim

Mornington-Wharf-Lane-Cove-River1.jpg

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That is also an excellent idea! :) I wish I had thought of it sooner.

But I can still do that if I have to refurbish down the road, or if the poly doesn't cut it at all.

Right now, given all the pandemonium, I don't want to go out shopping...

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BTW, in our chicken coop, I painted it with marine paint, and it's holding up remarkably well, both to the chicken/s and to being hosed down.

But I didn't want to paint the tortoise bungalow - I have a feeling (with no concrete evidence to back it up) that they feel more comfortable in more "natural" surroundings.

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I could blather on for hours about this topic, but I will just say that Dougs suggestion is by far your best option. Once a finish/varnish/coating has "cured" meaning all solvents have left, what you are left with is basically an inert shell/film that will give off no toxins, yet could be in itself {the plastic/urethane shell} toxic if ingested. 

A floating Pergo like laminate is another option.But the lino would cheapest and easiest to install 

and also

 

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Waaaay back in history I was a keeper for box and wood turtles, we used a dirt substrate.  Most of the year it was an outside enclosure.  During the winter they were moved inside.  The indoor habitat substrate was also dirt (less change) in a hard plastic pond liner.  I would be concerned with any coating you put on the wood because it can be gouged by the tortoise' nails or by biting the wood (tortoise equivalent to horse cribbing).     

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@jezzupe I haven't ever tried growing sprouts - but that would be doable! Good idea!

@Jim Bress is that you with your chicken? ;)

The poly has already been applied. So far she's not a wood eater *knockonwood* (irony?). Hopefully she will be less inclined to dig in a larger enclosure with more enrichment activities. She has a "peat bog" already and will be getting a wading pool. Two "wet" zones.

I could put the pool on a larger plastic saucer too, to minimize water getting on/soaking the wood floor.

I'll be watching for other issues.

I think I'll use up the old pint of oil-based poly on the exterior. That should make it easier to keep clean too.

So far I haven't been brave enough to brumate. Brumation is not absolutely required.  Even with her lights on timers, she is still exposed to seasonal daylength and to colder nights during the winter. I think all that exposes her to the "naturally" occurring parameters found in their native region. There, tortoises don't brumate during mild winters.

However that may change, and if so, in the fridge she goes. (She'll have her own fridge, I don't want to store her beside the butter or in the lettuce drawer).

At some point she will also have a large outdoor summer pen. But first we need to deal with goat and horse fencing.

BTW - I've heard anecdotes about toxic soil used in box turtle enclosures...:wacko:

 

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45 minutes ago, Rue said:

@jezzupe I haven't ever tried growing sprouts - but that would be doable! Good idea!

@Jim Bress is that you with your chicken? ;)

The poly has already been applied. So far she's not a wood eater *knockonwood* (irony?). Hopefully she will be less inclined to dig in a larger enclosure with more enrichment activities. She has a "peat bog" already and will be getting a wading pool. Two "wet" zones.

I could put the pool on a larger plastic saucer too, to minimize water getting on/soaking the wood floor.

I'll be watching for other issues.

I think I'll use up the old pint of oil-based poly on the exterior. That should make it easier to keep clean too.

So far I haven't been brave enough to brumate. Brumation is not absolutely required.  Even with her lights on timers, she is still exposed to seasonal daylength and to colder nights during the winter. I think all that exposes her to the "naturally" occurring parameters found in their native region. There, tortoises don't brumate during mild winters.

However that may change, and if so, in the fridge she goes. (She'll have her own fridge, I don't want to store her beside the butter or in the lettuce drawer).

At some point she will also have a large outdoor summer pen. But first we need to deal with goat and horse fencing.

BTW - I've heard anecdotes about toxic soil used in box turtle enclosures...:wacko:

 

Do be aware that when you purchase polyurethane it is specifically listed as either "interior use" or "exterior use", I don't know what type you have, but if you use interior poly on the exterior, it will "fall apart" {chip/flake/come off} in pretty short order. That is why marine "spar" or exterior water base is sold for exterior use...

So if it's not for outside use I would not use it 

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Sorry. I wasn't clear. The oil poly is going on the exterior of the tortoise bungalow (cage/enclosure), but the entire bungalow will be set up indoors - in the spare room.

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21 hours ago, Rue said:

However that may change, and if so, in the fridge she goes. (She'll have her own fridge, I don't want to store her beside the butter or in the lettuce drawer).

 

Be careful not to suffocate the poor thing!   BTW, I feel that she'd like the lettuce drawer just fine.  :lol:

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22 hours ago, Rue said:

Sorry. I wasn't clear. The oil poly is going on the exterior of the tortoise bungalow (cage/enclosure), but the entire bungalow will be set up indoors - in the spare room.

Good idea! It's best to re-purpose all spare rooms as quickly as possible, lest the kids want to move back home. :lol:

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20 hours ago, Violadamore said:

Be careful not to suffocate the poor thing!   BTW, I feel that she'd like the lettuce drawer just fine.  :lol:

Probably!  But I'd find it disconcerting!  And yes, if you keep them in a dedicated fridge, you have to open it daily for oxygen.

18 hours ago, David Burgess said:

Good idea! It's best to re-purpose all spare rooms as quickly as possible, lest the kids want to move back home. :lol:

Yup, when the boy moved out of this room (it's tiny), the snake moved in.  When the snake passed away, I missed her,  but didn't want to keep defrosting rats, so I got the tortoise.  Feeding salad less smelly than defrosting rats and cleaning up the aftermath, but I have to feed her daily, versus every 2 weeks.  So the overall work load is about the same.

Tortoises have a remarkable amount of personality.  Who knew?  It's like having my own tiny Jurassic Park.

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