Highland Enclosure 1.0

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Highland Enclosure 1.0

by Jeeper » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:52 pm

So due to some encouragement from some people, who will remain anonymous, and the fact that my plant room is already maxed out after only living here for 2 months, I'm taking over the unfinished basement!

I'm starting with a highland grow chamber for heliamphora and orchids. I know, I know, it's not Australian plants! Hey, what can I say, sometimes diversity is a good thing... My basement, with the furnace off but dehumidifier on stays at 63-64°f and about 53% humidity, I will monitor this as we get into the colder months and I finally let the wife turn the furnace on. I may also adjust the dehumidifier to increase ambient humidity slightly.

Below are the pictures and steps to the first part of the project, the rough build.

Part 1 - Rough build

I started by taking my lumber to school and having one of the woods classes cut it to the approximate dimensions I mention below. I build the table top/tray bottom out of convenience.
IMG_20191004_155500~2.jpg (2.74 MiB) Viewed 106 times

The table top/tray bottom is made out of 2x4 lumber with the supports spaced every 20". The total size is 5ft by 3ft.
IMG_20191004_180719.jpg (3.53 MiB) Viewed 106 times

The legs are made from 4x4 treated lumber since they will be in contact with the floor. They were cut to 32". I'm 6'3" so you can cut these shorter if you wanted.
IMG_20191004_180904.jpg (3.54 MiB) Viewed 104 times

The sides of the tray will be made from 2x6 lumber and cut to 36".
IMG_20191004_180917.jpg (3.5 MiB) Viewed 104 times

The front and back of the tray will be 2x6 lumber cut to 63".
IMG_20191004_181009.jpg (3.39 MiB) Viewed 104 times

Build the platform and place is too down on floor. Place legs in corner of 2x4 frame and secure with 4" screws. It is best to pre-drill the 2x4s to prevent splitting and cracking. Try and make sure the cuts are as straight as possible and the legs as perpendicular to the table as possible.
IMG_20191004_181451.jpg (3.4 MiB) Viewed 103 times

Make sure legs are parallel to each other. I may add some 2x4 reinforcement runners in the future, but I don't anticipate this setup weighing enough to be a concern.
IMG_20191004_182257.jpg (3.83 MiB) Viewed 103 times

Tada! A table! But wait, there's more...
IMG_20191004_182351.jpg (3.48 MiB) Viewed 103 times

Assemble the tray sides using 3.5" screws to make a box. You may find it easier to leave the back side off until the rest is secured if you don't have a perfectly square top... (Student work is free, but not always accurate, haha)
IMG_20191004_183401.jpg (3.51 MiB) Viewed 103 times

The tray sides are 2x6 which means the board is 5.5" wide. I measured down approximately 1 3/8" on each side of the table and made a mark.
IMG_20191004_183458.jpg (3.08 MiB) Viewed 103 times

Take a 4" screw and install it on your 4 marks, two on each side of the table. You can now place your tray sides on these screws to hold it while you attach the tray to the table.
IMG_20191004_183712.jpg (3.52 MiB) Viewed 103 times

Using 3.5" screws attach the tray sides to the table. Make sure the screws are going into the 2x4 frame and not the 1/2" plywood! I would also recommend pre-drilling the holes to prevent cracking.
IMG_20191004_184503.jpg (3.74 MiB) Viewed 103 times

The inside measurements of the tray are 3ft x 5ft x ~4in.
IMG_20191004_185242.jpg (3.75 MiB) Viewed 103 times

Pick your favorite flavor of pond liner and place in the tray. I happen to get this piece free from a co-worker who had it laying around. Hopefully it doesn't have any holes...
IMG_20191004_185512.jpg (3.3 MiB) Viewed 103 times
Mechanic by trade, teacher by profession, CP addict by confession...

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Re: Highland Enclosure 1.0

by Jeeper » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:20 pm

Next is the enclosure itself. I'm using 3/4" PVC pipe and fittings for the framework. You may need to order fittings online if you can't find them locally.
IMG_20191004_190202.jpg (3.87 MiB) Viewed 101 times

The PVC pipe comes in thin wall and thick wall. If you plan on setting your lights or equipment directly on the enclosure you'd probably want to go with thick wall. I am building shelving into the frame and hanging the lights so I opted to save a little money and use thin wall.
MVIMG_20191004_190210~2.jpg (2.26 MiB) Viewed 101 times

I'm building the enclosure in the exact footprint of the tray. I found the PVC will actually hold the pond liner quite well, but I will eventually trim and attach the liner once I'm happy with the overall design.
MVIMG_20191004_193056~2.jpg (1.79 MiB) Viewed 101 times

The enclosure will be ~39" tall as that's what looked good while I was standing there building it. This height may change depending on how my shelving idea turns out and the lighting I finally decide to go with. (Suggestions on lighting for this enclosure welcomed!!)
MVIMG_20191004_194144~2.jpg (1.96 MiB) Viewed 101 times

That's it for now, I am open to ideas on lighting as well as how to drain the tray as I'm working on the rest of the enclosure yet....
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Re: Highland Enclosure 1.0

by mcgrumpers » Sat Oct 05, 2019 9:39 pm

Cool! PVC pipes are amazing, aren't they? So much versatility.

My most recent LED setup uses these LED strips. I haven't been using them for long so I have no results to show yet, but its spectrum is good for plants and the PPFD measurements I took are great. The distribution of light is really nice and even, and they're really efficient in terms of power in vs. usable light out.The downside is that you have to buy a power source, wire things up, and build an assembly or enclosure yourself, but you can clearly DIY so that wouldn't be an issue.

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Re: Highland Enclosure 1.0

by Coco » Sun Oct 06, 2019 3:59 am

Amazing progress so far! Even if it's just for heliamphora and orchids, please keep us updated (:

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