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Thread: Wood selection for enclosure

  1. #1
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Wood selection for enclosure

    Quick question...is there any reason NOT to use OSB board (wafer board) as opposed to MDF? I have lots of experience with MDF and I know it is a great material for such purposes but I'm wondering if I could get away with using OSB instead mainly because of the cost difference and budget. I know treated lumber has arsenic in it so I avoid that at all costs in any project I do aside from outdoor construction...but I'm not too educated on OSB's manufacturing process and if there are any potentially problematic chemicals involved. I'm thinking it would be ok as it uses glue as a binder just like MDF except MDF is made from a much finer lumber by-product. I want to avoid CDX ("regular" plywood as it can have many empty areas that can resonate or cause buzzing sounds) at all costs so I'm down to OSB or MDF. I don't have the tools right now to cut MDF myself and I know some stores are quite reluctant to cut it for you which is part of the reason I'm looking at OSB...and the cost factor.

    Thanks!

    edit: What about pine? I can't think of any reason that pine would be a bad idea...

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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    if you don't want buzzing sounds then you would want to go with MDF its the best for sound...

    if sound is a factor i HIGHLY suggest MDF, but if cost is more of a factor then it really dosn't matter, just slap a coat of white primer over it and your good.

  3. #3
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    Thanks Hightide...I'm pretty familiar with MDF, I have used it a lot in the past for other projects. It is great stuff aside from being kind of hard on saw blades (the Home Depot where I used to live stopped cutting it for customers because of the blades they were going through). Buzzing is the main reason I am avoiding CDX (is that what you are thinking of by chance? The "regular" plywood) as it often has air gaps and poorly glued layers in some places. I have never actually used OSB for anything that would have had vibrations but it seems much sturdier and less prone to buzzing than CDX.

    I should have been more specific when I asked for recommendations as looking back it sounds like I am building a full sized room. I am wanting to build a small replacement for my current micro setup. The current test cabinet is made of 1/8" something...it's similar to this but a cheaper version:

    Amazon.com: Locking Footlocker Trunk with Wheels - 30 in Black by Mercury Luggage: Furniture & Decor

    Don't know if you've ever looked inside one of those...it's made of some kind of wood paneling similar to particle board only cheaper. Sound is not an issue whatsoever, at night I can't hear anything really and it's less than two feet from my pillow. I don't have any larger fans like bathroom ventilation fans or whatnot and it will be roughly 15 ft^3. If my current setup is whisper quiet with that cheap material I'm thinking I'll be fine with OSB but my experience with it is very very limited.

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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    why not build it like a small room and drywall and tape, could use a photography darkroom door or something.
    Last edited by Happy Kitty; 06-18-2009 at 10:01 PM. Reason: deleted outside link

  5. #5
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    Thanks bluff, I had thought about the drywall and all to line the inside of the OSB cabinet but I'm quite broke atm so I've gotta make do with less than optimal. I've already built the cabinet, you can check it out in my journal Working well so far!

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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    Whats your budget? Whats your space limit? I went with a $95 cheap cab from homedepot... Its ok for a grow cab if your not moving it much...

  7. #7
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    Thanks yankee...but my last post indicated I had already built it The OSB cost me $15 and was cut for free at the store, the 2X2's were $2 each, and the primer was about $6-7 for a quart (used 1.5). A good bit cheaper however if you don't have any power tools (namely a power drill, circular saw, and a jig saw...I did without the jig saw but would have saved a lot of time) or are not good at working with your hands it's not a bad idea Plus I'm sure you have fewer issues with light leaks...not that mine are all that bad. Thanks for the suggestion though, maybe someone else will find it useful too when they read your post!

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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    Yea I am about to take some pics of the cab with lights on... Its nice but having heat issues cause pc fans suck balls... haha happy growing

    ok here they are.



  9. #9
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    POS Firefox...had a nice long reply typed up and it froze up and even though I copied the text before closing apparently it keeps it in FF's cache instead of where ever else so I lost it. So I don't feel like retyping it all and will just rehash the bare bones, sorry.

    I don't see your PC exhaust fans unless one of them is that little black rectangle to the left of your CFL rack. How many fans? What size are you using? How many CFM's? I have two 40CFM 120mm fans in my cabinet (4'W X 4'H X 2'D) and my temps peak at 85F which is usually 4-5F above ambient. That's a biggie as you can not cool below ambient in an air-cooled system, however to keep your air temp close to ambient as possible you would have to exchange the air many many times faster than is normally seen in grows this size, depending on how much heat you are generating.

    Also, is that middle chamber with the plants sealed off from the top and bottom? If you seal it off the fans will only have to exchange the volume of air in that section instead of the whole cabinet making them more effective.

    Your CFL's look to be too far above the plants, you very well may experience some serious stretching as fluorescents do not penetrate very far even if there are no obstructions. I keep my CFL's on my larger plant about 4-5" above the top of the canopy...there are six 26W lights in a 2X3 configuration using Y-splitters and a "T" connector so they are all pretty close together. Move your CFL's as close to the plants as you can and watch them for heat stress, 2" or so should be ok. I'm sure your cabinet is not finished and will evolve as the plants grow, but having the lights all on the side will not work once they get larger unless the cabinet is deep enough you can put both plants one behind the other on that side.

    And I'm sure you know that light leak along the front door can easily be fixed Good luck!

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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    Quote Originally Posted by Lil Neutrino View Post
    POS Firefox...had a nice long reply typed up and it froze up and even though I copied the text before closing apparently it keeps it in FF's cache instead of where ever else so I lost it. So I don't feel like retyping it all and will just rehash the bare bones, sorry.

    I don't see your PC exhaust fans unless one of them is that little black rectangle to the left of your CFL rack. How many fans? What size are you using? How many CFM's? I have two 40CFM 120mm fans in my cabinet (4'W X 4'H X 2'D) and my temps peak at 85F which is usually 4-5F above ambient. That's a biggie as you can not cool below ambient in an air-cooled system, however to keep your air temp close to ambient as possible you would have to exchange the air many many times faster than is normally seen in grows this size, depending on how much heat you are generating.

    Also, is that middle chamber with the plants sealed off from the top and bottom? If you seal it off the fans will only have to exchange the volume of air in that section instead of the whole cabinet making them more effective.

    Your CFL's look to be too far above the plants, you very well may experience some serious stretching as fluorescents do not penetrate very far even if there are no obstructions. I keep my CFL's on my larger plant about 4-5" above the top of the canopy...there are six 26W lights in a 2X3 configuration using Y-splitters and a "T" connector so they are all pretty close together. Move your CFL's as close to the plants as you can and watch them for heat stress, 2" or so should be ok. I'm sure your cabinet is not finished and will evolve as the plants grow, but having the lights all on the side will not work once they get larger unless the cabinet is deep enough you can put both plants one behind the other on that side.

    And I'm sure you know that light leak along the front door can easily be fixed Good luck!
    One PC fan is in the carbon tube (sliver thing) and one is at the top of the cab ( which you can't see). One is pulling air and the other is pushing. Both are 30 CFM and I have one 100 CFM 110v on the way. The black thing to the left of the lights is my intake with no PC fan in it, just a hole with it covered with a rigged box to keep light from escaping. As for the middle chamber, no its not cause there is a gap between the door and the shelf. I have tried my best to seal that up but no go unless I put some weather striping on the shelf itself by the door to prevent that. Out of money and that was my next part to do. As for the lights, yea, I know there to far away. I was going to fix them after the lights where on. When I posted that, wife was sleeping and the cab is in my bedroom, it gets bright when I open the cab. I didn't want to wake her. For the lights being on the side, thats still a test faze. I can't put them on the back cause its a thin piece of cardboard stuff..I will most likely go with a CFL set up to where I can move the light up and down with ease. As for the light leak, I am still trying differ stuff to seal it but the only way I see is weather stripping. I installed a piece of wood on the left door to get it sealed that good. The right door doesn't close all the way, there for leaving a small gap.

    Thanks for your concerns..

  11. #11
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    Cool, sounds like you've got it under control

    A quick note on the fans...if you have one pushing and one pulling you're not getting the most airflow that you could. If you had them both pushing air out of the cabinet and left the intake the same size (slightly larger would be better) you would double the amount of airflow with what you currently have. Currently you have 30CFM going in, 30CFM going out...if both were on the exhaust you would have 60CFM going out and 60CFM being pulled in. Also it would help create a negative pressure environment which is a good thing as it will help keep any future smell inside instead of pushing it outside.

    I know what you mean about it being bright when you open the doors...you'd think the sun was blazing at high noon when I open mine lol. Doesn't seem to bother my gf though but she sleeps like a rock, for better or for worse haha.

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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    So, you think it would be better if I remove the one pulling and install it at the bottom with the other fan for them to both push the air out? The intake is bigger the the exhaust, so thats a plus. Yea, my wife works in the morning and she hates to be waken..

  13. #13
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    Yeah, I think you would get more airflow...check that, I know you would get more airflow by moving both fans to exhaust duty. There's another thread around here somewhere that discusses the mechanics of it but I can't recall the name right now.

    Think of it like water in a holding tank. If you have a 30GPM pump pumping water in to the tank and a 30GPM pump moving it out your total flow is only 30GPM. BUT...if you put two 30GPM pumps moving the water out and have a larger holding tank above it (i.e., the air outside the cabinet) that is gravity feeding the smaller tank...you're moving 60GPM out of the tank assuming the gravity feed can keep up with demand (and it will in the situation we're talking about).

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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    ok, i will try that..+rep for you

  15. #15
    420 Member Lil Neutrino's Avatar
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    Re: Wood selection for enclosure

    I was just thinking...don't stack them one on the other or you won't be doing any better and may actually damage the fans. Make sure each fan has its own exhaust channel...

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