View Full Version : building a c25 grow cabinet
09-13-2006, 04:38 AM
Ok-dokey here we go - I've gotten tired of my cramped small cabinet and I am now working on a new one.
I've selected the millspride c-25 from home depot for around $99. It is a wardrobe sized cabinet with a foot print of 30" wide x 20" deep. The cabinet is 70" tall with a shelf in the top. The bottom section will be used for flower and the top will be used for electrical equipment and that's it. Many people like to turn the top into a veg chamber, but I plan to use my old cabinet for that.
I've checked and I'll be able to fit a total of (6) 2 gallon buckets in there which is going to allow me to grow more than the two strains I can in my current cabinet.
So first off the other materials I have purchased so far. 3 packs of weather stripping, the 3/16" thick stuff, 3/8 wide. This is used to light proof and make the cabinet air tight. It will go around the doors as well as between the pieces as it is built.
So first step is to take the three pieces that make up the floor, shelf, and roof and put in the cams and dowels. Then we put the cam bolts into the two sides per the instructions.
Before putting the floor, shelf, and roof together with the sides I put a strip of weather stripping on the edges. See the pictures.
This weather stripping will compress when we tighten the cams and form a nice air and light tight seal.
That's all I'm doing tonight. Unfortunately the box was missing two of the door hinges. Fortunately the folks at millspride are only a phone call away and they are shipping the hinges direct to me priority mail.
Next we'll get the doors ready.
Also gotta purchase some wood for the back. These cabinets come with a cardboard back and it is not recommended. So I will go buy a 4x8 sheet of probably some luan which is like plywood but thinner and cheaper and have them cut it to size at homedepot. I would use stronger wood if I was planning on mounting things to the back (such as a fan) but I'm not planning on doing that here.
09-13-2006, 04:49 AM
If you haven't yet weatherstripped it around the doors, I'll tell you from experience that it works great for about a week and then it's screwed. Using the vaseline and caulk method works much better and lasts much longer as well.
Keep up the good work Joe, I love your threads, being a DIY'er myself! :teeth:
09-13-2006, 06:38 PM
I've been using the weather stripping on my old cabinet and it has worked well for over a year now. What kind of issues have you had before?
One thing that is really important when you do the weather stripping is to clean the surface (Doors) well with rubbing alcohol before putting the stripping on. You see these panels often times have dust and other junk on them and that will keep the weather stripping from adhereing properly.
I'm interested to know what is this caulk and vaseline technique you speak of? sounds a little scary to me :eek:
09-13-2006, 06:58 PM
The problems I had was the weatherstripping around the doors would get bunched up or ripped eventually with all the opening and closing of the doors.
The method I speak of is simple. Take sandpaper and lightly scuff the inside edge of the cabinet where the door meets it. Take vaseline and rub it along the enitre edge of the door where it meets the cabinet. Now close the door and take the caulk or silicon and fill in the gap between the door and cabinet. Let it dry for 12 or so hours and then open the door and wipe off the vaseline. The vaseline is only put there to prevent from the door being caulked shut. Now you have a light proof and air tight seal. :)
09-18-2006, 08:52 PM
Ok guys, now that I'm the right forum (and I hope Joe doesn't mind me taking a ride on his thread) here's the my question to you DIYers:
I need to build this lil' cabinet for lowryders here to take with me to the new place. I was thinkin' something like a 2 doors thing so I'll have one side for flowering and split the other side with a shelf leaving room for gowth and a seedling. And I'd like to stick w/ fluoros for a while. My babies are doin' pretty well w/ them and I'd rather save the money for a larger one when I find a definitive place :muahaha: Yeah, I know that's laughable but what I meant is that I'll be renting a place 'til I sell this house.
So... any tips for this :newbie: ?
09-18-2006, 10:48 PM
well lu a couple of questions;
1. will you be only growing lowryder?
- if so light leaks will be less of a concern. Also height will be less of a concern.
2. how bad do they smell in flower and is odor control a concern for you?
- this will effect what you use for a fan and odor control.
3. what type of floro's do you have now? tubes or cfl? and if tubes what length?
- I like the tube type of floro myself but they will constrict the shape of your cab.
09-19-2006, 05:02 PM
Hey Joe, to answer your 1st question, yes for now. As I told ya I'll be movin' out soon and the idea of NOT havin' a grow tears me appart. Building a decent small cabinet I could take with me wherever I go is just fantastic. I'm using 8 tube fluoros, 20 watts each. Can'tfind my measure tape to tell ya area... sorry.
Thanks a lot for your help and please keep on postin' pix of your cabinet.
09-19-2006, 06:24 PM
Ok then. 20 watt floros are generally 24" long with a little extra for the cord holder and cord that protrudes out of the end. So I think any cabinet that is 29" wide would be perfect for you.
If you can get a c-25 like the one I am building then I think that would be great for you now and in the future. It is 29" wide allowing you to fit the tubes in there and it can be easily outfitted to have a seedling/veg area on top and a flower area in the bottom. Also if you put it together with the weather stripping (as opposed to caulking between the pieces) as I did above it can be taken apart and put back together when you move.
the millspride website is here http://www.millspride.com/ like I said homedepot carries them but I don't know if you have a home depot in brazil.
Well the hinges that I was waiting for showed up yesterday, but last night I had class (night school for a professional certification) so I'll be picking up the construction tonight and will provide plenty more pictures. Tonight I think I'll be doing the intakes and getting ready to mount the fan. Plus I'll probably weather strip the doors and maybe mount them too.
I'm in no big rush as the other cabinet is not too full yet.
I also want to be really sure that I'm ready to move things as I need to be able to do it all at once as I plan to use the fan from my old cabinet for the new cabinet and as such if it don't work out then my plants will be w/o a home which is not good :eek:
anyways c ya later
09-20-2006, 04:18 AM
Ok so tonight I did the intakes. I'm going to have a total of 4 intakes, each will be 1 3/4 inch interior diameter. They're going to be in the floor.
So first I bought a total of eight 2" outside diameter pvc elbows. First we start by spray painting the interior with flat black spray paint to help with light proofing. Do this outside or in the garage for obvious reasons.
Next we determine the location of where we want the intakes. Since I plan to have up to six of these 2 gallon buckets in here I want to make sure the position of the intakes will not interfere with where the buckets will be. So I chose to put the four intakes right down the middle between the buckets.
I use a 2" whole saw to drill the holes and here we are done.
Next we get our elbows which are dry by now and put them into the holes like this. The other 4 connect underneath the cabinet to the elbows at like this - this forms our light trap for the intake. We'll test it later and if there is light leaks we'll add another elbow to each of the intakes - however this should not be needed.
Finally I take some caulk and caulk around the intakes in the floor to seal them and hold them in place.
so that's it for tonight as I am tired and going to bed. Tomorrow I plan to buy the piece I'm going to use for the back in place of the cardboard piece that came with the cabinet. We'll also drill a hole in the shelf for the exhaust.
Looks to me like you're going to need more intake. I calculate 9.6 sq inches, and I assume your outake is going to be 4 (12.6) or 6 (28.3) inches wide. You should have at least as much intake as outake. I usually shoot for 50-100% more.
09-20-2006, 01:01 PM
you bring up a good point that I forgot to mention. It has been my experience in cabinet growing that in fact you want to make the surface area of the intake less than the surface area of exhaust. The reason to do this is you will create an overall negative pressure inside the cabinet. This negative pressure will hold the doors shut and keep any stinky air from escaping through leaks.
My current cabinet uses just three of these intakes and the same 134 CFM dayton blower I plan on using in here and I have not had issues with temperature or lack of airflow to the plants for the 1+ years I've been running the cabinet.
Negative pressure just means active outake, passive intake. If you had an active intake and a passive outake you would have positive pressure. Making the intake bigger doesn't let any smell out, it just causes the air to come in at a lower velocity. The only problem I've seen with not enough intake was temperature, so if it cools the box enough it should be okay, I would just be worried that I was overworking the fan.
My cab is the same size.
I changed the shelf at 25" high, and put the res (20g) in the bottom. There is space for aditional electrical instrument, etc, altough i prefer to have all the controls out the cab.
Over the shelf, i made a DIY e&f table, wich is best suited for my sog. Lighting with 4 Dulux L (55w each), its a remote ballasted CFL giving 4800lm each.
My cab is white, but if you want to make the cab's wall more reflective, an easy and cheap method is paint with plastic white paint mixed with barium sulfate (BaSO4), at 50/50%. It gives over 98% reflectivity, higher than mylar and with a lot easier manteinance.
09-20-2006, 11:12 PM
A study on reflectivity of barium sulfate/white paint mixture. Excellent sugestion knna.
09-20-2006, 11:52 PM
Iggy - I suppose you are correct - I guess I assumed that it was the intake/exhaust ratio that gave me the desired negative pressure. It sounds like you are also growing in a cabinet under a 400 watter - I'd love to see a pic, please feel free to post it up here!
knna - I'm not sure I understand what you mean - do you mean you put the floor at 25" high? or do you mean you lowered the shelf that is normally at the top of the main compartment to be 25" high from the floor? either way it sounds like you have a killer setup going there. Can you take a picture and post it up? I'd love to see it! So your lighting is 220watts of CFLs? I considered an ebb and flow setup, but I will be growing at least 3 (probably 4 or 5) different strains with different flower periods. One of the main reasons I'm building the cabinet is to provide me with more flexibility to grow different strains as my current cabinet is limited to two plants.
I'm planning on puting some mylar on the back wall and maybe the sides and doors too.
Killer setup? :point: Its all DIY, and im continously improving it. Currently, im making some modifications, but ill take some pics, to explain what i mean, maybe you can adpt some ideas. Go to take it.
PS: No battery charge. I put batteries on charge, tomorrow ill upload pics. Sorry!
About your q's, i mean putting the shelf at 25", dividing the cab in a smaller bottom area (25" height) for the res (im currently dividing that space, one for the res and one for some mummies). The upper space is for flowering with the e&f table.
Here are some pics.
My box isn't very stealth. When I built it, I just wanted something cheap that would work, so I built a big bookshelf out of 3/4'' melamine, taped a black plastic curtain over it and stuck it in my closet (I just leave the door open when the light is on). For intake I used 2 3.25x10'' rectangular vents on one side. The original plan was to use a 6'' inline fan but I was broke so I pillaged the CPU fans from my old 150w cab and stuck them in the holes that had been drilled for the real fan. As you can see, once I get my 6'' fan I will separate it with a T-vent so that one vent goes down near the plants, and the other goes to the air-cooled hood. Some people just attach their fan to the hood and call it a day, but I think from a design perspective this way would spread more air around the plants, and maybe decrease the humidity of the air going into the reflector. Either way would work, it's just how I built it (I think I originally intended to attach a vent to the hood's intake, connect it to some hole in the cab, and separate it from the plants, but I gave up on that for some reason). When I get a better fan, I might have to build a real door so the plastic doesn't get pulled inward.
As you can see, even though it's close to a year old, it's still a work in progress; but it should give you a good reason to use a 400w instead of something smaller. The reflector is way too big for the box. I borrowed it from a friend so it was free. It's built for two lights, and it's so long that I can't attach the one fan to it, so the heat is just being separated from the plants a little, it's not being properly exhausted. It's even longer at the bottom, because I broke the glass and couldn't get a suitable replacement since Sun System redid the design, so I'm stuck with a three-inch wedge of glass sticking out of it. I've got a 50CFM 120mm fan in the back and a 30CFM 80mm fan in the front, pushing a total of 80CFM into the upper area. Another 30CFM fan is attached in the outake hole, blowing out of the box. God know's what's going on with the spaces between the cab and the curtain. This ventilation setup was free, it sucks, and it works. My cab is about 23.5x36x73.5, so I've got about 2 sq ft more room than you, but that just means you would be replacing the air faster--and hopefully more efficiently. 100w per sq ft might sound like overkill, but since you could cool it no problem, the only potential drawback would be light burn which is no trouble for you because your cab is so tall. I think you will be a lot happier with the final product. The new reflector I'm looking to get is 17'' long by 17'' wide with glass for $55, which might be a good fit for your cab. A cheaper DIY method is cooltubes, of which you can find many designs. If you don't want to wait around on ebay trying to win a bake-a-round, look in the yellow pages for a craft store called Michael's. They sell candle shades that are about 4.5 inches wide and maybe a foot long for like $8 (a place called the Hobby Lobby also sells these).
09-21-2006, 05:51 PM
cool bro I think I get the picture.
Thanks for sharing the pictures and description of the cabinet. I'm wondering two things;
1. how hot does it get in the cabinet?
2. what kind of yields are you getting with the 400 watter?
I'm still a long way from 1g/w, my biggest yield was this spring, 232g. This summer I didn't even get them on the screen until like 4 weeks into flower, so I only got a little more than 6oz. My problem is mostly that I'm lazy with scrog and I always wind up with a lot of popcorn that should've been big colas. Even when I got 8oz there was a lot of room for improvement. The reason my cab is so long was to fit the vents on the side, I would say that my sweet spot for the light is about the size of your cab, so I think a 400w would be a good fit in there. If you're looking for a lb, keep in mind you're going to have to yield 4oz per sqft, which is pretty intense.
As far as temp goes, the area around the tubs is 78 in a 72 degree room, but the closer you get to the light the hotter it gets. I figure it gets into the 100s by the time you get to an inch or two below the light. This summer, I had some buds deform because they were too close to the light. If the light was being air-cooled it would make a big difference, and the air would probably be close to the same temp throughout the box. I think that because of the wimpy fans and no door, that the air more or less just goes where it wants to, so that the bottom is cool, and the top is hot. When you open the curtain it doesn't really feel any hotter, except up top where the fans are blowing the air. The whole thing is kind of a mess, but part of the reason I didn't do anything about it sooner is that it's worked so well. Some time during the last year I could've scraped together $200 for a fantech and a new reflector, but I always needed the money for something else, and the cab was doing fine, so fuck it.
The pics i promised. As im modificating the cab yet, all the wires are in the air.
The fan pic is the flowering intractor: this way of mounting provide active and passive intake at same time and is noiseness. A white sheet of very thin filter cover it. The black at the bottom is a stocking. This combination is light proof.
09-28-2006, 05:42 AM
well I'm long over due on an updat. got the doors on. put the back on. bought a 265cfm dayton blower ($68 at graingers) and put that in. ran the cord for the powerstrip. tested the fan and it works and is pulling air through nicely - also ordered some lighttight mini 4" darkroom louver vents ($23 for 3 at amazon) that I will probably add to the back for extra intake as needed. decided on a 400watt hps for the lighting and am just waiting for it to show up. lots of details to share and pictures too - just too tired tonight...
10-01-2006, 05:19 PM
things are up and running - got the 150 in there now - 400 is showing up monday. also picked up
10-01-2006, 05:23 PM
Paint the walls white inside joe
10-01-2006, 07:14 PM
Paint the walls white inside joe
gonna do mylar next paycheck.
Hey J6Pack..Why are the pots wrapped in foil?If that is foil,Does this keep the pots warm or something?..G
10-05-2006, 05:16 AM
Hey J6Pack..Why are the pots wrapped in foil?If that is foil,Does this keep the pots warm or something?..G
I grow Deep water culture (DWC) a form of hydroponics where the roots simply hang into a bucket full of nutrient filled water with an air stone and air pump bubbling away. So those buckets are wrapped in aluminum duct tape and the idea is to keep the light out as the light will cause algae to grow which will take away the nutrients and oxygen from the plant - so the tape keeps things dark. secondly the tape keeps the light from heating the nutrient solution. since disolved oxygen is important for healthy roots and good growth and disolved oxygen goes down as temps go up we want to insulate the buckets from getting warmed by the lamp.
10-05-2006, 05:18 AM
fyi as an update I have moved the filter to the back of the cabinet to be blown-throw by the fan - as there was smell leaking through the hole in the shelf I needed to make for the air hoses and cords - I also needed the extra room in the grow chamber for the new lamp...
10-05-2006, 07:22 AM
Hey joe, things look great in there! Nice work with the cabinet.
I remember on the old CW when ceteris paribus did a reflector test which proved that white paint reflected light better than mylar or another foil base reflector. The foil reflector he used was also pebbled which is proven to be better than flat reflector too.
Love the show j6p,
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