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Building an Easy Beginner's Grow Box: Step by Step! [Pics]


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#1
Bajablast

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Hello there, GC! Some may remember (though I wouldn't if I were you) that about a month ago I posted a thread asking for input on prefabricated grow boxes. I was convinced that building my own would just be 'too hard,' or take 'too much effort.'

WRONG.
Since then, I've wised up, and it's mostly thanks to all of you :hello: . Now I want to give back to the forums a bit to show my appreciation for all of the information I've found and been able to utilize which would otherwise have taken perhaps weeks to consolidate. I know there are many, many threads on here that give instructions to building a grow box, and at the risk of some SERIOUS redundancy, I'd like to throw my box into the ring, so to speak.

First, let me show you my finished box. This project has been my baby for the past two weeks or so, so don't flame too much, please!
Posted Image Posted Image (sorry about the sideways pic)
Intrigued? Maybe? Not at all? If yes, here's what you need:

-A box. Build it or buy it. I came into this with literally zero carpentry ability, and so decided to buy a cabinet from Menard's (which by the way is where I got most everything for this). The dimensions of my box are 30"H x 24"W x 12"D, because it was the only size which would fit in my grow closet. IMPORTANT: I recommend getting/building as big a grow box as you can handle in the closet/room you're growing in. Because of the small size of my box, I'm having some serious heat issues, though I've got plenty of airflow and ventilation.
-Caulk or silicon, and a caulking gun.
-Flat white paint or mylar.
-Weather strips.
-A hasp and a lock, or some other locking mechanism.
-A drill and a decent selection of bits and borers.
-CFL's, or your preferred lighting medium. I used CFL's because of heat and efficiency.
-Those workspace clamp lights (they're the cheapest and easiest way to get something to screw your CFL's into that I could find).
-Some screws that have eye holes for twine to be threaded through.
-Twine.
-A PC fan. Mine is a 4" 12W with 72 cubic feet a minute ability.
-4 PVC elbows that will fit together as well as fit the PC fan that you bought (so mine are 4").
-A jigsaw.
-Flat black spray paint.
-An AC adapter for the fan (you're going to have to hardwire it).
-A power strip.
OPTIONAL:
-Some bungee cords. Hopefully you won't need them, but I did.
-I also added a 4" high-velocity fan.

Alright, so you have your gear. "What now??" you ask. Well, luckily, I went through all the steps and messed up all the countless times so that you don't have to!

Step 1:
You're going to want to caulk all or most of the edges of your box, depending on how well constructed it is. After this is done, either follow your instructions for putting down mylar, or do as I did and paint the inside of the box a flat white.
Posted Image

Step 2:
Add your weather stripping to the edges where the door meets the box. This is for light-proofing. This step isn't as easy as it sounds, so be careful and take the caution and time needed for a good job.
Posted Image

Step 3:
Follow the instructions that came with your hasp and/or locking mechanism, and mount it to your door. This is as much for keeping the door tightly closed and light proof as it is for keeping unwanted visitors out ;)
Posted Image

Step 4:
Take the metal sheath thing off of the clamp lights that you got. Now, for mounting the lights, here's what I did (I have 4 42W CFLs): Drill four holes in the ceiling of your box. Screw the eye-hole screws into the holes. Tie your twine first into the eye-holes, and then around what's left of the taken-apart clamp light (which should just more or less be a fixture now).
Posted Image

Step 5:
Follow the great Rumpleforeskin's guide to mounting a PC fan so that it's light proof: http://forum.grassci...x-pc-fan.html
MAKE SURE THE FAN IS MOUNTED SUCH THAT IT BLOWS OUT OF THE BOX! I used silicon to adhere the fan to the PVC, without a flange. Same with adhering the PVC to the hole in the box. I didn't use any male or female adapters. Hardwire the fan to the AC adapter. I don't want to give instructions on hardwiring..they're all over.
Posted Image Posted Image


Step 6:
You can either do the same thing with step five except make the hole toward the bottom and have a fan on intake, or do as I did and leave the intake fan out of the equation. I do have an extra fan on reserve, though, in case heat becomes a serious problem.
Posted Image

Step 7:
Take care of the cords! I used zip ties and electrical tape.

Step 8: Optional
I added two screw hooks to the door of my box so that I could easily hang and alter a small, 4" high-velocity desk fan, for circulation and to encourage stem strength.
Posted Image

Step 9: Optional
So, one of the most difficult things I had to deal with during the process of building my grow box was light proofing it. The cabinet I purchased at Menard's, while reasonable well constructed, did not close all the way without forcing it. Therefore, to solve the problem, I added four eye-hole screws to the sides of the box; one at the top left, bottom left, top right, and bottom right. With these in place, I use bungee cords across the front of the door to hold the box tightly shut.

You're done!

Alright, so this has been more or less a learning experience for me. It's the first grow box I've ever built and, to be honest, the first real DIY experience I've ever truly had. That said, I hope that this guide may be of use to at least one person. If it does that, then it has done it's job. Please let me know in your replies if there is anything I need to better clarify, of if you have ideas for improvements to this guide/grow box!

Thanks for reading! Now go build and :smoking:
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#2
OldToby

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Bajablast - I have no idea why no one has responded to this yet! BRAVO! I am currently in the same boat, I am not handy at all but cannot afford to buy a $600 pre-built box. Whats worse is I am currently back at home to save some $$$ for my own place and too many questions would arise if I was in the garage building a "mystery box."
For a fist DIY you should be proud.

#3
TheCareGiver

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Just wanted to congratulate you! Well done sir, Looks great. You growing in it yet??

#4
ulrich100

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I am very impressed with your work, but wouldn't it be better to buy the likes of a Hydrolabs tent and put a HPS/MH light in. £150 set up with more room and much better results than CF bulbs...

I dont think i would ever bother growing if it wasnt for HPS/MH bulbs no point spending all that time for air buds...

But in principle thats a good guide, thanks.

P

#5
TheCareGiver

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You can do just fine with CFL's, take a look here: http://forum.grassci...ub-journal.html they are growing in computers! They have nice nice bubs for where they grow. I think an HID lamp might be too hot in a cabinet like that., but yes, more light the better. But he should have very successful grows in that thing. I would try and make sure I had a good spectrum with the CFL's though, focusing more closer to the 2,700k for but and 5,500K for veg. Or do a mix of both in bud, they will like that too!

#6
Got Milk

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Oh thanks for this champion, going to help my, pretty much exactely like my box, 30tall x 24wide x 14deep..

I don't like the pvc elbow vent.... Not because it doesn't look awesome or wasn't made well... But because ive been told that pvc elbows adds equivalent to an extra 15 feet of ducting.. Im going to just use a straight pipe carbon filter..

#7
Bajablast

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Hey, thanks a lot for the feedback guys :D. I was wondering if anyone was ever going to check this thread out. I did do an experimental grow in it last semester (I'm in college), but unfortunately I mistimed it due to christmas break and had to kill my two very healthy looking plants in the beginning of their budding phase. They were both female and I was sad :( :(

But hey, it was bagseed, so no big. I have some Barney's Farm seed that I ordered and am planning on getting that grow going shortly, so wish me luck :D

#8
David65120

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Can you harvest fully in this type of a box? How big did were they when you stopped vegging them? How big when you harvest?

#9
Muk

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this is awesome, if you're going to drill holes i would recomend getting some plastic lighting mounts for a more secure lighting fixture.

#10
farmerchris21

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Hi,
I know this is somewhat of an old post but did you ever fix the problem of overheating? I am in the process of purchasing or building my own grow box(leaning more towards building my own). Also is there any advice you have beyond this to where I should begin?
Thanks
Chris

#11
Akaz

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farmerchris21 - use plexiglass and a pc fan to blow the hot air out so the grow area will stay cool


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