Wednesday, July 15, 2015

The DIY Geodesic dome greenhouse build


Geodesic dome greenhouse
Cacti, Succulents and Citrus in the dome





It was one of those days......looking at the garden and seeing the giant metal frame I put up last year....a frame I never covered......
So all in all it was pretty much useless...actually...pretty much useless is a bad description as it was also downright ugly....so it was more..... downright ugly useless........

Anyway...for years I had been looking at geodesic domes, so I decided the time to build one was here!

Having run a model aircraft kit manufacturing and wood processing company at one time, I find processing wood into strange and complex shapes easy and I have any tool needed to cut the angles on the various sides of each piece of wood.

Off to the shops.....

Wood....not as easy as it sounded as all wood in diy stores here was the wrong size....and not very good!

Wood screws.....no problem

Glue.....well I make glue so , not a problem

Polyethylene sheet......easy to find here, UV stable no problem, but should have bought a heavier gauge plastic as was to be held on with staple gun.

I spent a few hours digging out plans I had worked out a few years before when I planned making one....then changed the plans a bit, then changed back to the earlier version....and then decided just to start building!

A 1 frequency Geodesic dome is a strange thing as it looks so strange due to large sides and not that many of them, 15 sides including the roof,
I needed a 1 frequency dome as it was easier to create a very high space for a smaller diameter, I needed about 4.5 meters high and 5.5 meters wide....to hold large size lemon tree in the center and small ones around, while leaving space to walk round the center tree.

After 2 days finding wood, then a day cutting the wood to the correct size I had loads of strip wood with angled sides to allow the curve of the dome

Next step was to cut the angles on the ends of the bars to the correct angle and the correct length all identical.

Next, on a flat surface, to form the equilateral triangles, 15 of them, again all identical....I glued the joints using 15 minute set StarLoc Adhesives epoxy ( obviously my own brand!....I make it! ) epoxy in the centre of each joint and a drip cyanoacrylate glue to tack them in place while it set as it was a job to clamp them all
After the glue had set, I drilled through the joints to add a 3 inch countersunk head wood screw to toughen up the joint some more.
so....
Ready to screw together


After some time making the 15 triangles it was time to screw them all together......



Not as easy as it sounded....Enough to drive you crazy!
Add a bit...another bit falls off...needed more hands
And I got this.....
Bare frame










Half covered
Then I used the staple gun to cover it and got this

Empty dome greenhouse
Some plants in the dome
It now needs shrinking with heat gun to get a better finish and when tighter it will not be caught by the wind....although this does not seem a problem , this one now needs recovering as I needed to use heavier polyethylene things keep putting holes in it....dog...plants...birds.... etc......

Seeds germinating in the dome
Mini citrus trees in the dome

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