Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Cold Frame Part II

I realize it has been a long time since I have written anything, but time kinda got away from me. So what better time to pick it back up again than when I have constructed cold frame v2 (or is it cold frame 1.2). It is similar to my first cold frame, only with some slight improvements. But let's start from the beginning. First I purchased cedar 2x2's and cut them to length. I butt them together for a simple joint.

On the last cold frame I bought metal brackets for corner supports. This time I decided to save some money and cut the leftover 2x2's into corner braces.

This is what it looks like with all the braces in place. The lids were much easier to put together with store bought 2x2's rather than twisted scrap pieces off my wood pile.

Then I clamped my pieces of plexi-glass to the lid frame and drilled holes in it. I used a drill just slightly larger than the sheet metal screws I planned on using. A word of caution, when drilling through plexi-glass drill gingerly. It can crack easily.

Once I had all the holes drilled, I screwed in the sheet metal screws with a nut driver.

Next I cut the side pieces to length and cut them at an angle from 12" down to 8". I don't have a picture of that, but here is how I attached them to the back 2x12 and I did the same with the front 2x8.

This is the whole frame put together. After I got it put together, I had a thought. The the joints where the angled pieces meet the front and back pieces don't allow the lids to lay exactly flat (a problem I had with the first cold frame). So it dawned on me that I could just flip it over. That worked really well and the lids now lay completely flat on the frame. I don't know if I explained that very well, but it will make sense if you ever build one.

The other improvement I made was to use heavy duty hinges on the back. I also wanted hinges that would allow the lids to be removed in the summertime. The perfect solution was recycled door hinges. I didn't pay anything for them and they are really sturdy. As you can see from the picture they are a little to big to fit all three screws in on the top side, but 5 out of 6 screws in the hinge is plenty to hold it all together.

On the next version I plan to try to recycle some old window sashes instead of using plexi-glass. The plexi was also free, but I think that window sashes or storm windows will last longer than plastic that isn't UV resistant.