DIY Greenhouse – Geodesic dome

I love the idea of this project by , through the Instructables website;

Would love if someone tried it and sent me their finished greenhouse pictures!

20130618_IMG_1793_1.JPG
You would need:

Wooden laths (cheapest kind) – amount depending on how big you want the dome
Drill
Some-kind of pincers
Fence wire (soft)
Small clip/nail/clamp gun
Saw
Plastic film roll – about 8m x 2.5m
Some thread and anchors (bricks) for stabilization
Wide transparent tape
1-2liter Varnish & brush
Color sticky markers (for ease of construction)
Scissors / Cutting knife 

For window (x times how many you want):
Thread,
Small Hinges x2
Wider wooden laths for covering gaps around border

For doors:
Small Hinges x 2 
Furniture magnets 1-3
Furniture metal corners x 8 (4 for doors, 4 for frame) 
Wider wooden laths for covering gaps around border
Some handle

Soil & seeds or plants

Total costs for me were about: 80 EUR = ~ 105 USD

Greenhouse has been standing well since beginning of the summer

Step 1: Cutting wooden laths

20130518_IMG_1612.JPG
You would need to cut 3 types of wooden laths

For calculations I recommend to use this site (I built 5/8 size):

http://www.desertdomes.com/dome3calc.html

High precision is not necessary (+/- 5mm)

20130525_IMG_1669.JPG
For example for 1.5m radius (that I had) you would need

A elements 0.522m x 30
B elements 0.605m x 90
C elements 0.618m x 120

You can tweak these numbers in order to get the most out of wooden laths that in my case came in about 2m length.

 I advise you to write letter A, B, C with pencil on each stick and tie them together by groups.

20130518_IMG_1617.JPG

I advise sawing trough 4 or more laths at once. Sawing took for me about 3 hours of work.

Step 2: Drilling wholes in both sides of sticks

20130601_IMG_1673.JPG
20130601_IMG_1674.JPG

I advise to drill trough 3 or more sticks at once to make process faster.  In my case it took about 2 hours of work

Step 3:

Next using diagram & fence wire start tithing sticks together.

3vdiagram2.gif

20130601_IMG_1678.JPG
F7QKVGDHLZRTYF2.MEDIUM
There are 2 types of shapes you would need to make:

Hexagons – with 6 C sticks
Pentagons – with 5 A sticks
All shared borders are B sticks  

Start building it upside-down with Pentagon in the middle.

20130601_IMG_1675.JPG
20130601_IMG_1677.JPG
20130601_IMG_1680.JPG
Again precision is not that important at this point. If you mix something up it is relatively easy to take it apart and fix it.

I advise you to use color sticky markers in order to keep track of shapes.  Assembly of dome itself for me took about 3 hours.

Step 4: Making doors

20130608_IMG_1737.JPG
Next you would need to turn structure to correct position sitting on bottom.

If the structure collapses its OK, because you would be able to straighten it out when it is standing.

20130608_IMG_1736.JPG
When it is standing measure as precise as you can doorway and create sides of doors like in images to make frame.
20130608_IMG_1733.JPG
20130608_IMG_1734.JPG
20130608_IMG_1738.JPG

Strengthen frame using metal corners on the corners of frame. It will also make sure it do not deform.

Step 5: Doors, Window and varnish

Measure and create construction of doors (straighten them in corners with metal corners)
Keep in mind space for hinges and wider lathes around frame of doors (and places for magnets)

20130608_IMG_1742.JPG
20130608_IMG_1746.JPG

Measure and create window as triangle inside other chosen triangle. I strongly advice to have 2 or more windows because this dome-type greenhouse is very humid when it is finished.

You can see my window frame in one of the images below (in corner), but you can improvise your own version. I used thread to tie a handle for it (for use to hold it in open position when it is finished)

20130608_IMG_1743.JPG
                            20130608_IMG_1744.JPG      20130608_IMG_1745.JPG     20130608_IMG_1741.JPG

After construction varnish everything as well as you can (I advise at least 2 times with a time span in between to dry it), otherwise wood will rot very soon.  Let everything dry for couple of hours day.

Step 6: Secure plastic film

Make sure it will not be windy day, because wind could blow whole project away like a sail.

Secure plastic film roll using clamp/nail/clamp gun (I do not know exact name of it in english – look in photo)

20130611_IMG_1758 - Copy.JPG
20130611_IMG_1759.JPG
Start putting on plastic on doors, windows and then start from top to one side of the dome.  Try to secure plastic in pieces as large as possible so you do not need many cuts.
20130611_IMG_1760 - Copy.JPG
Shoot with gun clamps in wooden frame and stretch plastic over. If it is not precise you can fold plastic in rolls that you can nail to frame as well.

Don’t worry if there are some holes not covered. You can add cut-off pieces later at the end.

Step 7: Construct outer frames of windows

20130615_IMG_1770.JPG
20130615_IMG_1771.JPG
20130615_IMG_1772.JPG
20130615_IMG_1773.JPG
20130615_IMG_1774.JPG
20130615_IMG_1775.JPG
Add wider wooden laths around frames of doors and windows like in pictures.Add furniture magnets to doors and windows (if you wish). They work really good and I advice to add one to window as well.Add handle to doors.Add hinges to doors and windows and install them to the structure.Add some extra plastic film around doors and window to avoid wind blowing trough the structure when it is not desirable. If you will have wind draft you could have giant sail in your garden.

Step 8: Prep location

20130615_IMG_1777.JPG
Get ready spot for greenhouse (you can measure radius with a string)Dig out grass around radius and put on new soil.
20130615_IMG_1778.JPG
Dig holes for anchors and get thread and bricks/rocks to construct them.
20130615_IMG_1779.JPG
Next you should be able to pick up whole structure from inside and move it over the new spot. Hold it by the frame.When you place it on the spot you can arrange disrupted parts and secure it with anchors.
20130615_IMG_1780.JPG

Step 9: Planting

From my experience of growing plants:Plant fewer plants rather many together – in the end you will have better harvest. Use some organic fertilizer
If you plant tomatoes make sure the soil is right and you have very good ventilation, because they like more air than humid air.Things that grow well in this kind of greenhouse:
– radishes
– salads
– peppermints & other kind of spices
– tomatoes
– paprika
20130618_IMG_1794 (1).JPG
20130618_IMG_1793_1 (1).JPG
My plan for next year is to build autonomous ventilation and irrigation system using Arduino or something like that.You could also build inside some white led lights to have glowing dome in night time.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Related articles
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s