Wednesday, November 30, 2005

My heater arrived

The heater I ordered just in time. It has been unseasonably warm in NY lately. It seems as if it is going to drop below freezing every night for a good ong while.

I bought a small heater from I had a great buying experience. I call it 'small' because the 'heater calculator' on the littlegreenhouse site reommended a heater about twice the size. I was a little nervous about 'over doing' it so I went for a less powerful unit. They recommended something that could kick out more than 7,000 BTUs. This one delivers more in the range of 5,000. Any thoughts? Advice gladly accepted.

The description of the heater is below.

Dayton 120v Electric Heater
This 5,120 BTU Dayton heater is an economical option for heating small greenhouses. Features: multiple heat settings (1300/1500 watts) and "fan only" setting, built-in dial thermostat, safety tip-over and overheat protection, quiet circulation fan which distributes heat evenly throughout structure, long-lasting permanently lubricated motor, finger-proof intake and discharge safety grills, and 20-guage steel housing with scratch-resistant, baked-on, enamel finish. Measures: 16"H x 10"W x 8"D. Requires 110/120 volt outlet. 12.5 amps

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Monday, November 28, 2005

PVC Greenhouse: Square Support Structure

While it is really not sqaure, it does have a lot of right angles (coompared to the ribs) so that's why I call it the 'sqaure' structure.

The square support structure is critical to the stability of the greenhouse. Some recent weather in my area had winds and gusts exceeding 50 MPH. So far this appears to be no problem. The ribs will flex nicely, taking and absorbing the wind. The square structure held firm with little sway.

Let's Begin

For starters, friction fit the square structure for now. Do not glue since there will be modifcations for the door after it is assembled.

Cut four 6-foot length of 1" PVC. These four poles will be the uprights. The rear wall of the greenhouse is not a door. A horizontal cross bar will add some necessary support to that wall. To add that bar, cut two of the 6-foot length in half. Insert a 1" T into each with the short open portions of the T facing each other. Cut a 3-foot piece of 1"pipe for the horizontal bar. Insert into the T-fittings to form and 'H' shaped structure. See close up image below

Cap the top of each up right with and elbow with the open end facing the upright on furthest opposite end of the greenhouse. Measure the distance between the uprights. When we started, this was going to be 10 feet. Due to the 'spread' in the base (discussed here in "PVC is not an exact science") this may be more like 11 feet. If you insert the 10 (or 11 ft.) lengths you will have a structure that resmebles the photo at the very top of this post.

Good so far? Let's continue.

(I've seen PVC plans that recommend inserting rigid metal pipes into the long horizontal lengths of the square structure. This seemed especially key if you want to hang planters. I'd have to agree considering they bend slightly under their own weight. Planters would seriously bow this without added support)

More Horizontal support
The front and rear walls need a 3 foot horizontal bar at the top of the uprights. This is tricky since the top of the uprights already have an elbow and that is used for the 10 foot supports. The key here is to make a small one inch cut in each upright, insert a T fitting between the ramainder of the upright and the one inch cutting, and cap with the elbows. See image below.

The above is a side view of one upright. Below is an image of the same from another angle.

You can see how the upright has a horizontal bar at the top but also the elbow. Below is a pretty good shot of th completed structure. (My image has a few ribs already added. We'll get to that in the next step)

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Thursday, November 17, 2005

Image: Greenhouse filled

I loaded the greenhouse up last weekend with all my planters. I'm glad they are in nice and snug but not a lot of extra room. Considering that I am definitely buy new pants and shrubs this spring, I may need a larger greenhouse next year.

We'll see.