User Tag List

Informational! Informational!:  0
Likes Likes:  1
Page 1 of 10 12345 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 8 of 76

Thread: Grow shelf basic and upgraded

  1. #1
    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Philadephia, PA
    Posts
    996
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Grow shelf evolution :)

    Dear All,

    Gaining the inspiration from threads created by TheFury and Av8tor I have decided to start improving my Freestanding Wire shelf that I got from Lowes a while ago to be a better grow place for my little collection.

    Here is how it looked like before with some ad-hoc PC fans "mounted":




    Both Lowes and HomeDepot have the foil covered foam sheets like this one both sides of which are reflective (one side is clean, the other has bunch of writing on it). The sheets are 96"x48" (my shelf is 74"x48"x18") so two were purchased. I have jotted down the dimensions of the pieces I will need (two 70"x19" for sides and two 70"x24" for the back panel) and cut them out in the store (asked for the knife and drywall Tee Square right in the store and borrowed it from one of the employees)

    So after everything was measured, cut out, brought home and cut again (holes for the fans ) the final look:

    NOTE* some of the pics below are taken during the initial attempt to enclose the shelves with the foam sheets. Since then changes have been made and a layer of weather strips were added to provide extra space around the shelf to accommodate the slightly broader than 4' light fixtures, and potentially isolate one shelf from another for the future.

    5/8" round weather strips added to the perimeter of all shelf planes (except front)
    Sorry about the dirty floor




    Ones the weather strips are mounted side panels are attached. Foil tape started running out, so a regular clear tape was used instead.





    Now there is no gap between the panel and the weather stripping.
    Pardon my excessive use of tape I got a bit carried away. There is really no need for it since the panels are securely attached to the stands.




    Side with fans, two 80mm fans per each shelf, 3 grow shelves, only 2 used (old but looks the same):


    Front view (old, will be changed):
    To be updated


    Additionally I purchased the cheapest blinds I could find and installed them onto the top most shelf using 4 cable ties
    Front top view with 47"x64" blinds mounted
    To be updated


    Blinds down
    To be updated


    Side view blinds down
    To be updated
    -Since this shelf is set up in the first floor right now, previously when all the lights were on, even with my window shades down, from the outside my apartment looked like I have a space ship parked there. Something like that but from outside



    For ventilation I am using 80mm PC case fans that I bought from newegg several years ago on sale. For the power supply I am using the one from a burned out router that drives the fans at 5V and can provide up to 2A of current. Each fan requires 12V and 0.18A to run at full speed but since they are voltage driven and at full speed will blow my plants away 5V is more than enough. All fans are connected in parallel to make sure that they all get the same voltage across and current is equally divided.

    I did not even have to do much soldering (except connecting PSU to a fan connector ). If someone is interested I can later expand this post and show how fans were connected.

    Materials
    Shelf: Lowes Real Organized 74"H x 48"W x 18"D Steel Freestanding Shelving Unit - 79.97
    Fixtures: 2x per shelf Utilitech 48" 2-Light Utility Fluorescent Shoplight - 4x 19.98
    Lamps: 2x6500K 2x5000K per shelf of GE 2-Pack 32-Watt T8 48" Fluorescent Light Bulbs - 4x 7.67
    Reflective panels: 2 of Dow 1/2" x 8' x 4' R-3.3 Polyisocyanurate Rigid Foam Insulated Sheathing - 2x 11.98
    Window Blind: Basic Blindz 48"W x 64"L White Vinyl Mini Blind - 12.96
    Aluminum adhesive tape: Nashua Multi-Purpose Foil Tape - 7.42
    Fans: 6x 80mm - 24.47 for 6 (with shipping)
    Power Supply: 6V 2A
    Timer: Utilitech Digital 8-Outlet Power Strip Timer - 19.98
    round weather strips: Thermwell Products 5/8 in. x 20 ft. Polyurethane Caulk Saver - 5x 3.97

    Total cost: 299.21...



    Update: 07Nov2011
    Panels were removed. Round 5/8" weather stripping was added to line the shelves (to add the space for fixtures and isolate the shelves). Panels were remounted. Post updated. More pics added and more will be added.

    Conclusion: Although this setup looks nice IMO, it takes way to much time, effort and resources to setup shelves in such a way. The better, quicker and cheaper way would be to wrap the constructed shelf using double layer mylar foil like this or this. To mount the fan, foam panel could be inserted in between the shelf stands on each shelf with fans in it.
    Last edited by gill_za; 12-04-2011 at 04:28 PM.

  2. #2
    Sarracenia freak Brie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Everett, Wa
    Posts
    1,360
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Looks good! I really want to do something similar, and seeing yours kinda helps. thanks.

  3. #3
    cpsammich's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northern Virginia
    Posts
    594
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Looks great
    The blinds are a cool idea, are the insides of the blinds reflective?
    But why are your purp ssp purps not outside?

  4. #4
    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Philadephia, PA
    Posts
    996
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cpsammich View Post
    Looks great
    The blinds are a cool idea, are the insides of the blinds reflective?
    But why are your purp ssp purps not outside?
    Blinds are not very reflective inside unfortunately. They are white so that helps a bit.

    The purpurea is inside because I live in a condo complex without balcony or a space in front where I can put the plants

  5. #5
    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    2,002
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very nice!

  6. #6
    stretch.... yawn... jbradt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    upstate NY
    Posts
    461
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Looks great! I bet your plants will love it. Any plans to add humidity in the future?
    Indeed. Most indeededly. Phillip J. Frye


    My growlist.

  7. #7
    Never Knows Best gill_za's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Philadephia, PA
    Posts
    996
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Yes. I do need to add a humidifier. For now I have put an evaporative humidifier (blows up) on the third shelf to try to raise the humidity a bit. But that thing is too noisy and an overkill IMO.
    I will try to make a DIY humidifier using Ultrasonic Fogger.

    Actually this thread made me realize that I am spending toooo much money This shelf alone.... So humidifier will be DIY (unless I spend more on parts than the new humidifier is worth).

    In addition to that I want to isolate shelves from one another and from outside. I'll probably put some foam around and attach clear pvc to the front, behind the blinds. But all that later.
    Last edited by gill_za; 11-07-2011 at 12:07 PM.

  8. #8
    Not Growing Up! GrowinOld's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    ARTificial Bog in da' Middle of da' USA
    Posts
    932
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hey Gill!
    I will be in touch later, but as I was passing thru here quickly, I thought for now I would offer an inexpensive thought/idea concerning your set-up...

    A simple container with water & an aquarium (air) pump and decent air stone will provide more humidity than most people realize.... HOWEVER, you WILL need to keep the humidity in somehow. With the fans running, it will be hard, but with the front open it will be impossible.
    (Bubblers are not nearly as effective as a fogger or good ultrasonic/high heat-evaporative humidifier, but can do a decent job in a relatively closed system. Bubblers break the surface tension of the water, and add a decent amount of humidity compared to the evaporation that takes place by just having water sitting around in containers.)

    To close the "holes", I have used some cheap plastic sheeting (less than $5 at the local discount hardware store), or/and some interesting reflective "bubble wrap" type insulation, which reflects like nice mylar & also holds in moisture while keeping the light from escaping into the room. Even just the cheap plastic hanging in the front will act as a good moisture barrier.
    I simply clip the material into position using a handful of "squeeze-to-open" paper clips (being sure to seal most all openings), & open it up (un-clip) for access.
    I suppose that if the blinds you have seal well, it may be enough, but I would make sure to have plastic "resting" along the edges/opening when they are closed. If they are white, they will reflect the light enough for most purposes, but indeed there are better & more efficient ways.

    If you have to go the cheapest route, just using the cheap plastic I mentioned will work wherever you need to seal off openings (or over the blinds if desired, for when it is closed up for the day) and even aluminum foil on your lights reflectors may help to maximize your light availability, without costing much at all.
    If you have a decent sized aquarium air pump & can run a stone on each shelf, it will also help even more. I am not sure why you have all the fans, unless you are having severe heat build-up. (The fans you may see in others set-ups are there to combine with humidifiers, in order to not only keep humidity high, but more-so to cool the environment down by creating evaporative cooling. Some plants need much cooler temps than the warm tropical environment that many grow in.)
    To use the fans without actually needing to cool the environment, will needlessly add dry air in & push humid air out. For most the dews, Neps & other plants I grow on my shelves, the cooler temps are not needed & the plants actually prefer a warm, humid environment. So it depends on what you are growing as to what is really needed.
    One size does not fit all, and one environmental condition is not best for all plants.

    For my set-ups, I have different environments for different plants, & while many may fall into one group or another equally well, there are some plants that definitely prefer specific conditions, be it warmth, cooler temps, higher humidity, etc.
    I can't provide a list here of what plant wants what, but there are numerous books, free net info or even posts here on TF that will provide that info.

    In looking at pictures of your set-up, using the bottom shelf (with fans on & humidity via a fogger or bubbler at the very least) for cooler loving plants, and your upper shelf (with fans off, and still having at least a "bubbler" to add humidity) for warm loving plants, will make use of the heat from the lamps for your heat loving plants, while still possibly providing an area for the cool loving ones. Dual set-ups can be difficult to do, and need to be patiently tweaked in order make the most out of what you have.
    Whether they work or not is often unpredictable, but then your set-up is a bit of "over-kill" for most common plants IMO & you should have decent success with less anyway.
    A lot of people see the grow racks that people here post, and think that it is the way to go. Many don't even understand what all the features are for, nor understand fully how they affect their plant's environment/conditions.

    (One person recently said to me "newer is better no matter what!" and sadly my reply was that I had lived long enough & had enough experience to know that wasn't always true. I felt sorry for I knew there was no real way to impart that understanding/knowledge upon him [at least in his case], & that indeed experience would be the best teacher!) While bigger & newer can be better, it mostly depends on what plants you are wanting to grow.

    While I may say that many plants can do well with less, you are in fact well prepared for the future & have a good start going. I just don't think you will need all the "features" you have going yet, until your collection expands (depending on what you have already, so I can't say for sure), which may be a good thing if you want to keep further expenses down.
    I have had 4 shelves going, with one fan (to deal with an overly hot area created on the top shelf, from 3 T-8 2-lamp fixtures & 2 T-5 4-lamp fixtures) along with just 2 nice fine bubble air-stones for humidity. While I did maintain humidity by keeping most "ventilation holes" to a minimum, & needed to tweak those over time to get conditions just right, it did not take a lot of expenses or equipment to get there... just some experimenting, understanding, and of course... patience.

    We all have different approaches, different set-ups, and different things to deal with, & I know that what works best for one person may not work best for others. I don't expect to have any real answers to offer you. But if any of these things I have mentioned can help you to think outside the box a bit, to take the time to experiment & watch your plants patiently for their response, to reassure you that a good set-up doesn't have to cost a ton, & to share a bit of what I have experienced in case any of it may apply to you, then perhaps you can use some of these ideas & things to further your own expertise & learning what works best for you.

    Good luck to you, & I plan to be in touch with you again soon.


    [I still have a package I want to get out to you, & haven't forgotten. Reading this helps to know what will be in it! It appears you are doing a good job & have a good start.]
    Last edited by GrowinOld; 10-30-2011 at 09:13 AM.
    Experience is the best teacher. At least it used to be.
    But then, common sense isn't so common anymore, is it.


    http://www.terraforums.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=113866

Page 1 of 10 12345 ... LastLast

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •