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How We Built a Home for our Motherplant

LadyJane420

New Member
Hello out there. You may know me as a newbie grower (1 year only) but I've gotten so much information from this site I thought I'd give some back with the details on how my wonderful hubby made this MotherHome. I'm going to start out with the first chapter and add the rest during the week:

Introduction

The veg chamber of our grow box has room for a mother plant — barely. There is just enough room for one plant but it towers over the seedlings blocking their light. Since our mother doesn't require hydroponics it seemed like it should be a fairly easy task to build a grow box to hold two mother plants. The main challenge was that the box would need to be made of off the shelf parts using just hand tools. A project had been born.

The first task was to locate a cabinet to use for the build. My first stop was that iconic Swedish purveyor of modular furniture who had a couple possible cabinets. Each was 18' deep — the minimum I felt was needed — and three to four feet wide and tall. This would give the cabinet about the same volume as the veg chamber of our grow box. The cabinets, however, are constructed of particle board. True the melamine finish of such cabinets is waterproof but if any water did get through the particle board would undoubtedly swell.

Some more searching unearthed modular cabinets intended for the garage or garden made of resin plastic. No water problems here! The size was about right — again 18" deep and three feet wide and tall. They are also available in a double high form which could be used to build stacked boxes.
With the cabinet selected the next job was to select a light. The veg chamber of our grow box uses a single 125 watt CFL providing about 8000 lumens so I wanted similar lighting for the build. I discovered several companies that offer 2 foot long fluorescent fixtures holding four T5 bulbs which put out about 8000 lumens. This looked like an ideal solution as it was smaller than the equivalent CFL and space was at a premium in the box.

Ventilation was the final item on the list. Our grow box uses simple axial fans — one input, one output — with the output passing through a carbon filter to remove odor. It seemed prudent to follow this design so I rounded up the same axial fan — a four inch one rated at 120 CFL — and added a 4" by 8" filter.
Bare cabinet and the build components:

mh001.jpg


Finished cabinet w/mother and small herb garden growing inside:



What's Next:

1. Assembling the Cabinet
2. Mounting the Light
3. Installing the Ventilation
4. Lining the Walls
 

Beleaf

Well-Known Member
That looks great! How do you keep it in that space with out growing to tall? I know this is a very newb question....
 

LadyJane420

New Member
Hello Beleaf,

Nice to meet you. We're just madly cloning and trimming the thing because of our limited space in the bedroom but we hope to have 2 mothers in there eventually.

:Namaste: :peace:
 

LadyJane420

New Member
1. Assembling the cabinet
No tools of any sort required for this step! The resin cabinet I chose snaps together like a beginner's model kit. It takes a few minutes to sort out the parts, many of which are similar, but each piece has its part number molded in somewhere.

2. Mounting the light
The fluorescent fixture ships with wire for hanging installed. Fortunately the wires ends are threaded into the fixture and can be removed making available a handy threaded socket.

mh002.jpg


I mounted the light to the inside top of the cabinet using bolts threaded into the light's waiting sockets. To promote air flow around the light for cooling I chose to insert a one inch spacer at each corner. The light runs pretty cool so I'm not sure this is absolutely necessary and perhaps a half inch would suffice.

3. Installing the ventilation

With the light installed it was time to figure out where to install the ventilation fans. The construction of the cabinet dictated much of this since I didn't want to have to drill through any of the double thick parts of the cabinet. In the end I chose to mount them on the back wall to either side of the light and just below it. Another option would be to mount one fan in each of the end walls although you have to remember there will be an eight inch filter attached to the output vent. The first step was to drill a four inch hole for each fan as well as the mounting holes.


Using my rotary tool I smoothed away the rough edges. Four more small holes for the mounting bolts and the cabinet was ready for its fans. The fans are bolted to the inside of the cabinet. The fans could be mounted on the outside, freeing up a bit of space in the chamber, but with them mounted inslde all the wiring can be brought out in one hole on the back of the cabinet. The out flow fan has a 4" flange on the outside to hold the filter.



The resin material drills easily so my power drill with a 4" hole cutting saw was up to the task. The filter I selected is rated at 150 CFM so it's a good match for the fan. If the filter has too high a rating relative to the fan it won't be able to push air through the filter. Too low a rating and the out-going air is not as effectively filtered. I mounted the fan to the flange using a noise reduction clamp which creates a good seal with neoprene rubber.

Still to Come:

Lining the Walls
 

LadyJane420

New Member
how much did it cost? also from where you get your supplies?

Hello, it cost us about $400 to build - everything came from Home Depot, Amazon & IKEA. I hope it's ok to mention them :)
 

LadyJane420

New Member
Well, heh heh... my hubby WAS going to line the walls but so far has never gotten around to it. The only drawback is that when it's closed and the light is on you can see the plant outline. However it is working great otherwise, our mother has flourished and we just planted a 2nd last week.



:Namaste:
 
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