Some of you have shown an interest in my grow cabinet, and a few have asked
me to do a thread on how I built it, what materials I used, etc.
how I did it, and hopefully I can give someone some ideas.
thing thing I did was to go to Home Depot, looking for a suitable material. I
ran across this stuff called "Thrifty White Tileboard". It comes in a 4'X8'
sheet, and cost about $10. It's generally used for tub/shower surrounds, is
waterproof (on the white side) and it looked good. So I bought it, along with
assorted hinges, angle braces, screws, washers, etc. I purchased some 2"X2"X8'
and .75" X .75"X 8 feet long lumber also. I saw some pre-cut plywood squares,
conveniently sized 2 feet on each side, so I grabbed a few of those,
So I got this stuff home & used my SkilSaw, cutting the
tileboard into 4- 2'X4' pieces. I cut the 2"X2" lumber into pieces of the proper
lengths, and I framed it all up into a box that is 2 feet wide on each side, and
4 feet tall, open on one side, and with the white side to the inside of the box.
I used the remaining piece of tileboard and the .75"X.75" lumber, and I made the
door, and attached it with some 2" hinges. I used small "L" shaped angle braces
on the corners to make everything nice and sturdy. I also caulked all the cracks
& crevices with regular white caulk, to close any light leaks.
So now it was time to make the roof of the box, and for some
reason I thought that it might be cool if it could open up on hinges, so I could
peek down inside from the top. I dunno why, but I did it like that.
Next came the lighting. I had planned to use CFL bulbs for
this, so I went back to Home Depot, and in the electrical department I found
some surface-mount light sockets, and some of those "Y" socket splitters that
enable you to use 2 bulbs in one light socket. So I grabbed 3 of each. I went
over to the hardware section and I grabbed some 3" L brackets to mount the light
sockets to, and I found some 100w equivalent Daylight spectrum CFL bulbs. I
grabbed all of this and threw it in my cart.
While I was there, it dawned
on me that I would need to be able to raise my lights as the plants grew taller,
and so I needed a solution... I decided to mount my light sockets to a piece of
plywood, and make that board height-adjustable. So, I grabbed about 20 feet of
small "jack chain" (about 20 cents per foot) and some small "S" hooks and
screw-in "eye" bolts. I already had some electrical wire at home, so I didn't
need to buy that.
So, once back at the Ponderosa, I went to work
designing my CFL light board. I put an eye bolt in the center of each wall in
the top 2x2 cross member, and I had a piece of 1/4" thick plywood, so I cut that
to size that would fit freely inside, and I put the same eye hooks in the center
of each side of that, near the edge. This is what I'll mount my CFLs to. I hung
the little S-hooks in the top eye hooks, then I cut my jack chain to 4 identical
lengths. 32" in this case. I hung this on the S-hooks from the top of the
Then I mounted my light fixtures to the board using L-brackets
and some wood screws, and wired them up using 14-2 Romex wire.
Then I hung the light board in the cabinet from the jack chain,
and gave the light fixtures a little test run!
Now I didn't want my cabinet to be like an EasyBake oven with all those
bulbs, so I needed to install some kind of ventilation.
I saw these 4"
inline duct booster fans at Home Depot, about $25, so I bought one. I bought a
4" starter collar, a 4" duct 90 degree elbow, and some 4" dryer vent
I used a Dremel tool with a circle cutting attachment to make a
nice round hole & I attached the starter collar using some sheet rock
screws. Then I attached the 90 degree elbow,and sealed all the joints with duct
tape. (What do you think they make it for? LOL)
I put the inline duct fan on the other side of the 90 elbow
(making sure the direction of air flow was correct) & wired it up with a
cord I stole off an old power drill I had laying around, and then I put the
dryer vent hose on the other end, and ran it out to it's final destination (in
this case, to my dryer vent!)
I cut some small holes in the bottom on one side of the cabinet
for passive intake, but found that these weren't allowing enough air in to keep
the temps where I wanted them, so I bought a few small PC fans, and I attached
them to the outside of the cabinet to help suck in more air. They worked fine
& dandy. I didn't take pictures of this step, but they can be seen in this
That's how I built my cabinet. Hope you've enjoyed the show,
and gotten some ideas! Any questions, please don't hesitate to ask. Peace!
This is how it looked exactly one week later:
Finally, 2 weeks later: