DIY Cold Frame
Amazing the things one can accomplish when the beloved computer is in the shop for repairs. That and the weather finally cooperates with a few warm-ish, sunny days. I was finally able to build the cold frame I've been wanting to build for a few months now. You might remember from a previous post that my step-brother was willing to give me some old windows to make the cold frame. For this reason, the only cost I had for this project was for the hardware. Since I wanted this to be a temporary structure, I opted to use door hinges for all the joints on the cold frame. After the plants are moved to the garden, I'll simply pop the pins out of the hinges and store all the pieces out of the way in the garage. Materials used: Scrap of 1x6 board Scrap of 1x4 board 1/2" plywood 2 windows 8 door hinges Tools used: Circular saw Electric drill Tape measure Pencil Slot screwdriver Hammer Safety glasses would have come in handy as plywood makes big, nasty pieces of "sawdust" when cut at an angle Carpenter's square Project time: Not more than two hours total First things first, I cut all the pieces needed. Since I wanted my cold frame to be six inches at the front, I used a 1x6 just because it was already roughly the right height. (Although why it has to be called a 1x6 when it's closer to 1/2 x 5 1/2 is beyond me but anyway...) I'd give exact dimensions, but if you're doing this project, your windows might be a different size. My dimensions would be completely useless for that and just confuse things. Do keep one thing in mind, though, when it comes to the two pieces with the angle cut. These two pieces will form the sides of the frame. I had to re-cut these two pieces because I forgot that the angled edge, not the long, bottom edge, needs to be the length of the window. I cut the sides at an angle because I want the windows at a 30-degree angle when closed. (That's where the carpenter's square comes in handy.) For ease of identification, from bottom to top, there are two side pieces, a front piece, a back piece, and a brace for the middle. Assembly was pretty easy. Just attach the hinges at each joint... This is where I learned three important lessons. 1) Building something while on the back deck is not really a good idea. 2) Screws will unexpectedly pop off the end of the electric drill. 3) Hinges do not come with extra screws. Moving on - now with an extra piece of plywood to guard against those dastardly cracks of doom - the first joint is complete! Continue around the frame, placing a hinge at each joint. I don't have a photo, but the 1x4 goes up the middle of the frame to brace the area where the two windows will meet. You'll get a glimpse of it in later photos. Oh, what the hell. I'll throw in a few rough dimensions. It's 55" wide, 6" tall at the front, and 19" tall at the back. Since the windows have vinyl frames, I was able to easily attach the hinges directly to the frames. One window complete and my helper finally got home from school. (And why is he outside without shoes?!?!) You can see the edge of the center brace here. Both windows attached. I'll use a scrap of lumber to prop the windows open for ventilation. Now all that's left is to pop the pins and move the frame to its new home on the south side of my house. And Younger Son says, "Ta-Da!!" I somehow wound up with a small gap at the bottom of the window on the right. Does anyone think this will let too much cool air in on not-so-warm days? It's (at most) two inches wide. Landscape fabric was put under the cold frame. I'll put potting soil inside in a few days then plant my flower and herb seeds.