Instructables
Picture of How to Make a Grow Box From A to Z
A closed grow box system will enable you to create and control your own growing environment such as the sun, rain, wind, air, nutrients and pest control.

I have recently decided to build a grow box that measures 5'x2'x2' so it will fit in my tiny apartment. This grow box is to help with my interest and love for exotic plants. My intention of this post is to inspire people with my ideas just as other peoples posts have inspired me.

This is my first instructable, long time follower. So, please bear with me and gentle.
 
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Step 1: Basic frame

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The first step I took before going out and buying materials, was to determine exactly what I needed to minimize cost by not purchasing any more than I had to. I did this by using a free program downloaded from Google called Google Sketchup. I highly recommend it, because it let me build the box in 3D and to scale using the handy tape measure tool it comes with. The program is very easy to use. It took me less than a day to get a basic understanding of it. The total for all the wood used for this box was $52 at home depot.

Lumber list.
2 - MDF sheets. 4' x8' x 1/2" $18.99 each
7 - 2" x 2" x 8' pieces $1.55 each

Optional items (well worth it if budget permits)
4 - Caster Wheels $3.79 each
16 - Bolts, Nuts, Washers (1/4") about $5

That's the entire list of needed and optional items. I already had wood screws. I used 2.5" all purpose screws for the frame and 1.25" #10 wood screws to attach the MDF to the frame. I printed up a template for the cuts needed to be made to the MDF and the dude at Home Depot cut it for me. 6 pieces total, 3 pairs of the same size pieces. Living in an apartment, this would have been difficult, however, I did cut the 2" x 2" pieces myself.
I had originally planned to make the box only 4' tall but wasn't sure if that would be enough room. However, a 4' tall box would only require one piece of MDF almost cutting the price of the box in half.

MDF pieces are:
1'11" x 4'11" (x2) front panels
2' x 5' (x2) side panels
2' x 1'11" (x2) top and bottom panels

As far as the 2"x2" cuts go here they are:

2"x2"

1'8" (19") x12
5" (60") x4

Here is the base assembled. Two of the 2x2's are flush with the edge and the other two have a half inch gap for the front and back panels to rest on. The sides will be flush with the ground. It will make sense if it doesn't now if you see the Sketchup file.

Part of the frame assembled. Depending on how much room you want to leave for the lights determines how far from the top the second cross piece is attached. I will be leaving roughly a foot of space because I want to put a piece of glass to isolate the light from the chamber. I will be giving the light its own ventilation independent of the grow chamber.

Next I attached the two frame pieces to each other.

After that, the frame is ready to be inserted and attached to the base.

sethwb2 years ago
Don't you need a ballast for those lights? Also, for the air filter, did you put anything inbetween the T connector to make sure the air flow goes through the chicken wire?
lancruz3 years ago
I liked how you built your active filter system. It looked great! I may try your design Have you grown anything yet? How well does your florescent lights work? I thought they had to be a special grow light that has a certain spectrum to grow Colors in specific like red blue and amber?

shakejunt4 years ago
Can CFL lights grow plants through all stages? Or do you need to have HPS lights?
RamDragon4 years ago
HPS light is also similar to the spectrum available in the fall and should be used as the primary light when growing plants the flower and fruit in the fall, like squashes and gourds.
g.roller5 years ago
how many cfls should i have in a 29.5 H x 24 W x 12.25" D box??
codz30 g.roller5 years ago
It depends on what you're planning on growing and how many lumens each CFL emits
But for most plants, you're looking at about 200 lumens / sqm
codz305 years ago
Could you please attach the Google SketchUp file that you used for this?
Cheers