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Cabinet Growing achieving respectable yields from a very small growspace. a place for cab growers to share their experiences.

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Old 27th November 2008   #1 (permalink)
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Smile My Little DIY Grow Box

Some slight knowledge of electrical work is needed to replicate this. If you don't know what you are doing, get someone who does or don't even try it. Lacking this knowledge could cause a fire, shock you, or possibly worse.

OK, well I already started building this thing, but I ended up picking up more $h!t to add to it... so I ripped it all down again so I could fix what I needed to (the power cord @ 6' wasn't long enough for my liking so I bought a 12'), but I figured I would document putting it back together.

Anyways, this thread is a little a$$ backwards cuz of what work had already been done (like the painting). I would suggest starting with non see threw bins. The fact that mine were clear caused a few head aches in the light proofing department,
I would suggest cutting & drilling your holes first & then painting the inside before assembling. I let my paint cure for 2 days before assembling this thing just to make sure it was as dry as possible.

OK, I have 2 - 66QT Rubbermaid bins, The dimensions are 14 X 26.1 X 15.6 Inches each.

The inside has 2 coats of Rust-Oleum Flat Black Paint, 2 coats of White Krylon Fusion W/ Satin finish, & topped off with a Rust-oleum Reflective Finish.

The reflective finish is amazing stuff. It has glass beads in the clear coat so it reflects like a street sign. I was slightly concerned about the glass beads at first but I wiped the finish down & checked it out under the 100X scope. I didn't see ANY particles come off so I feel like it's a pretty safe product to use.

After curing the paint & finish, the inside is rinsed out with water & dried with a towel both inside & out. I'm obsessive so I make sure everything is completely dry b4 assembling, wouldn't want any water around electricity.

The Supplies (Minus the bins)

Let me take you on a tour of what we have here. Basically we have a 12' extension cord

A Dayton Axial Fan 55CFM, cord set for the Dayton & 4 screws to mount it (screws not included)

An outside flood light fixture, the hardware that comes with the fixture (except the wire nuts... i'll get to that later), 2 - 23 watt 6500K CFL's, 1 round electrical light box

NOTICE the round box has 2 holes drilled in it

2 - 14" pieces of 10-24 thread rod, 6 - 10-24 hex-nuts

Foam Weather Seal

Some Rust-oleum Flat Black Paint, Krylon Fusion Satin finish White Paint, & Rust-oleum Reflective Finish. I already used the paints so thats just part of the supplies needed, I figured I would throw it in.

What is lacking in the photo is my super-glue.

Well first off I will start by deciding which bin is going to house the lights & which one is going to be the plants new home. I'll call the light housing bin #1, & the bottom bin for housing the plants bin #2.

Starting with bin #1, cut a hole for the exhaust fan. I drew a circle to trace the inside of the fan and the hole came out 4 & 5/16". To cut the hole my buddy used a dremel cutting wheel & sanded it smooth with a gritty bit. If any melted plastic is left on the hole after sanding, I used a razor blade to cut off the excess.

Mount the fan over the hole & screw it in with self tapping screws.

Once you have the fan mounted in the desired position, you can now decide where to drill the hole for the cord set wire. I decided to keep it clean & go with very close but not enough to kink the wire. Just plug the cord set into the electrodes, Measure the desired length, & drill the hole.

I need to run power into this thing so next comes the electrical box. First of all, I have to position the box so that the lights are parallel with the sides of the bin & directly in the middle to get the best use of the lights. Another thing to check for before cutting any holes is to make sure the holes on your fixture & mounting bracket line up with position the holes in the electrical box... so when you screw it together the lights won't be positioned in some off center way. The mounting bracket helps if you make a mistake because it rotates slightly, so if the lights are slightly off center... you can rotate them slightly & have them positioned correctly.

Mark your holes & drill. Then decide which one of the 4 tabbed slots you are going to run your power threw. Drill a hole large enough for the cord located near the tabbed slot you have chosen for the power cable to go threw.

I cut the extension cord & ran it threw the hole just drilled.

OK, now that we have a power supply, now it's time to tie everything together & make it work. Strip the wires about a 1/4 - 1/2 inch & feed it threw the tab in the electrical box.

Then do the same with the fan's power cord as well. I chose to go on opposite sides of the electrical box just cuz thats what I'm use to doing but they all work the same.

NOTICE one wire has writing on it & the other is blank.

I connected the ones with writing on them to the black wire on the outside light & the blank ones to the white. Everything was wire nutted together so that no more bare wire is exposed. I got the bigger wire nuts from a friend, the ones that came with the fixture were built for connecting 2 wires & were too small. After that I installed the mounting bracket for the outside light.

I took the 2 pieces of thread rod & super glued one nut on the end of each one about 1/8" - 1/4" from the end to keep the nut from spinning. This will assist when raising & lowering the lights.

When dry I slid the rod threw the inside of the electrical box & secured them in their holes.

After that I secured the rods by placing another nut tightly against the back of the box... it takes a lot of spinning to get that nut from the top to bottom.

Now that the thread-rods are solid & attached to the light box, the wire nuts & clamp connectors from the fixture were tucked back behind the mounting bracket & everything is screwed together.

I then fed the thread rod pieces threw the holes in the top of the box

now place nuts on the ends of the thread rod. Do NOT super glue these ones , they will be the adjustable height for the lights.

Bin #1 / The top half is now done.

For the intake I decided to use a 2 & 9/16"intake hole. For a room I would say to match the intake size with the exhaust. In this case I decided I was trying to minimize light leaks. It's such a small container, so I decided to try that size & the fan seems to be running free of restrictions... so I'm gonna call it good.

I positioned the bin #1 with the lights over bin #2 to drill a few holes in the end with the fan to create a hinge effect & placed zip ties threw the holes.

I then applied the weather seal to block any light that will be leaking threw the cracks from the tops of the bins not matching up perfectly.

the edge still had 2 spots were it leaked still so i added 2 more pieces

I ordered 2 - 65 Watt 6500K screw-in cfl's & I can't wait until they arrive. They look something like this

Manufacturer Sunlite
Product Description CFL Spring Lamp
Wattage 65 Watt
120 Volt
Incandescent Equal 300 Watt
Lumens (Initial) 3,400
Base Type Standard Medium Base
Over all Diameter 3.54 in. Over all Length (M.O.L) 9.65 in. - that seems like a big light W/ a lot of glass lol
Color Temperature (Kelvin) Full Spectrum Daylight 6500K
Color Rendering Index
UL Listed
Compact Fluorescent
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Last edited by TheNewGuy; 29th November 2008 at 05:47 AM.
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