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Author Topic: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.  (Read 4664 times)

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Offline Marco

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It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« on: May 15, 2012, 14:39:54 PM »
I have started with my greenhouse tunnel. I will post pics as I go along with the construction. I hope the design is successful!

These will be used as the ribs for the tunel, 25mm PVC conduit. Costs about R18 per 4 meter length. I plan approximately 20 ribs each made up of two lengths (8m).


The bottom frame is built from roofing timber (38mm x 114mm and 38mm x 38mm brandering). I painted everything with Waksol to protect against water damage. The final size of the frame is 5m x 10m. With the 8m ribs the roof should be 2.5m in the middle.


I fastened the four corners of the foor beams with screws as well as the brandering to the beams.


And now I have a frame. The frame will rest on the loose pavers to keep it off the ground a little. Finally my trusty helper was there to give me DIY advice. And there is Tigger the fearless guard dog as well!


Next step is to fix the ribs to the frame. Will post more pics when I get there.

Cheers
Marco

Offline Stef de Swardt

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #1 on: May 15, 2012, 15:40:38 PM »
Looks good Marco.
Remember the 80% netting for the Clivia.
Pitty it is so small, with so much space available. ;)

Offline Marco

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 16:10:42 PM »
Stef, the 80% shade net are will be the next project :) The size of the enclosures is unfortunately a function of cost  :'(

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 16:10:42 PM »
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Offline Rena

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 18:43:25 PM »
That's looking wonderful, Marco!

You sure do have a big piece of ground there - what is the total size?

You're not joking - even the cost of my little shade house left me a bit speechless - but at least my labourer/builder comes for free.... ;D
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Offline Marco

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 19:10:18 PM »
Rena, I think the wide angle lens adds to the size :)
The walled size is 3500 square meters, total property is 5000 sq meters. The outside the walls piece lies partly in the river so cant really use it (and very steep). We are very blessed to have this place. Bought it from a sequestrated estate at a steal. But as you can probably see, no tree in site which means that the smallest breeze at -1 turns into a freezing black frost that kills everything! But we will prevail!

Offline abby

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2012, 12:35:00 PM »
 :woohoo: Marco

It is looking good - as with the size you have to start somewhere.

Beside you sure can fit quite a number of pots inside that area which is by no means small.

Keep up the good work and thanks for sharing it with us  :clap:
Never regret anything that made you smile.

Offline Rena

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2012, 19:22:14 PM »
Wide angle or not, that's big, Marco :)

You're so lucky to be able to start with your garden and nursery while you're still young enough - don't wait for pension........
That was a great bargain you got - I'd love to see what the river-piece looks like - photo maybe?
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Offline Marco

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2012, 09:51:28 AM »
I like that "young" bit Rena  :mmm:

The river is actaully a "Spruit". What is that called in english?? However it does flow during the dry season as well. Only dried up once in the last 20 years. On average it is 30cm deep (yes shallow) and maybe 2m wide, a small stream. But deep enough so that I can irrigate from it. It is 4 meters below the level of my property. Just behind my back wall that you can see on that greenhouse frame photo is a steep drop down to the stream. Every summer sooner or later we get a cloud burst and then the little stream turns into a raging river, 4 meters deep and about 30 meters wide. Always scary cause we never know when it is going to rise more and take away the back wall! Unfortunately because of the catchment area being in a (un)civilized buildup area with all the water comes lots of plastic bags and junk. These get stuck in the trees and shurbs on the banks. So when the water subsides again we end with a horrible display of plastic flowers in all the trees. So it is actually not a pretty sight, we prefer to ignore the river part! I will see if I have some pictures with the river in flood and all the plastic flowers as well :(

Offline Rena

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 10:03:26 AM »
I'd call it a" stream" - maybe someone else has a more correct word ???

That's a big bonus to be able to irrigate from the spruit/stream - you're going to need a lot of water once all your plans are in motion  :)

What a pity about the plastic mess - and how terrifying when the water rises so high.  The idea of having a stream on your property sounds heavenly but I think you are right to ignore it at this stage :o
Retired - now full-time gardener - and loving it!

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2012, 10:03:26 AM »
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Offline abby

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2012, 10:34:48 AM »
 :mmm: Down here we would call it a creek
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Offline Marco

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 15:36:14 PM »
He he, Google translate says the same abby  :good: Then it is a creek!

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2012, 15:36:14 PM »
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Offline Rena

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2012, 18:38:28 PM »
Ok - a creek it is :woohoo:
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Offline abby

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #12 on: May 18, 2012, 12:06:48 PM »
 :mmm: There and I thought Google would not know what happens Downunder

Looks as if Google is spying everywhere  ;D
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Offline Marco

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2012, 15:14:29 PM »
Well, I promised more on my tunnel as I progress so here some more pics! The ribs of the tunnel are formed by using two lengths of 25mm PVC conduit each. The 2 pieces are connected via a PVC T-piece forming a long 8m section with the T-piece in the middle. You will get the picture...

Cut lengths of rebar to about 50-60cm. These are used to "hold" the ribs in place.


Drilled holes in the frame and knocked the rebar into the ground through the fame with about 30cm sticking out through the frame.


Push the PVC ribs onto the rebar to form the hoops.


Now fix the ribs to the frame by using galvinized conduit seats.


At this point the ribs are not connected and are standing loose. To fix them to each other I needed to build a centre support. This is the reason for the T-pieces in the middle.

Cut small 4cm pieces of conduit. These will be used to connect the centre support to the individual ribs.


Build the centre support with lengths of PVC conduit the same length as the spacing between the ribs.


I build sections for the centre and fixed to the ribs a section at a time (about 4 ribs at a time).


This is how the centre sections connect via the T-pieces to the ribs.


Leaving you with a structure like this.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 15:50:49 PM by Marco »

Offline Marco

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Re: It has begun! My DIY tunnel.
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2012, 15:45:45 PM »
and then we continue....

After putting up all the ribs and connecting them all at the center I started with the front and back frames. The front gets a door opening made from 50mm x 75mm pine beams. The rest of the front and back frames are made from standard pine brandering 38mm x 38mm.

This is one of the uprights of the door frame. Connect to the first rib with conduit seat.


At the bottom the door frame is connected to the base frame with nice long screws.


The door frame is 1100mm in width. Add a section at the top to complete the door frame. Also fastened with long self tapper screws.


The completed door frame.


Then started brandering for more strength to the front frame. In the corners I added little braces to give more stability (which did not really work).


The front still needs some extra brandering to which the plastic can be stapled. More on that later. Currently the greenhouse tunnel look like this.