DIY Grow Box
Introduction: DIY Grow Box
Prompted by my daughters middle school project, might as well try to build a mini grow box. I have seen similar kits for hundreds of dollars online so how cheap could I make it and for it to do about the same thing.
As the first attempt, some corners were cut and I think now I would use LED red/blue lights instead of the HE lights I happen to have had around the house. The lights I used did fit into an acceptable light spectrum and only used a total of 45w when on but working out the kinks on that part now.
Total cost was minimal as the most expensive single part was the cooling fans and thermostat and I think I got them on sale for about $35. The rest for the most part was salvaged parts from prior projects around the house. However, if bought new I would estimate about $50 total cost.
Step 1: Materials
Materials will depend on what size you want the box to be. In this case, the box was 33″ tall x 18.5″ wide x 18″ deep to house starter plants and those that will reach a max height of about 24″. Of course, if you wish to build bigger, add to the below supplies. No special tools needed, just a drill, circular saw, knife, square, and a tape measure. A multi-meter would be helpful if your kind of new to electrical stuff.
Common 1/4 plywood (1 x sheet)
Cooling fans (x2)
Thermostat & Speed Controller (1)
about 8′ of 1″ x 2″ for the basic frame
Wood Screws .25″ (6) for Hinges
Wood Screws 1″ estimate (30)
Underfloor Heating Foil / Foil Tape / Simply Aluminum Foil
1-1.25″ Deep Handy Utility Box (3)
24″ Red 14 Guage electrical Wire
24″ Black 14 Guage Electrical Wire
24″ Green/White 14 Guage Electrical Wire
Wire nuts, a couple
Electrical Wire 3 prong (I used one from an old appliance I had but I am sure Lowes has them cheap)
1″ x 2″ x 6′ (1) not needed but I did use it to cover seams between cuts like on top and above the door
Electrical outlet (1)
Plus and minus using basic creativity.
Step 2: Step Two: Frame It Out
I did not take pictures along the way but I think it is easy enough to figure this one out.
Depening on how big you want it, frame out a cube basically. I braced up the corners to prevent any swaying when moving.
The top back of the box I framed out the part that will hold the electrical switches and sealed it away from the grow area below.
Step 3: Step Three: Add the Sides, Door, Top and Bottom.
I simply measured what was needed and cut. I screwed on the left, right, back, and bottom.
The front contained the door so one single cut along the top, added the hinges, and door done.
The top has two removable parts, one allowing a viewing area and light adjustment in the front and the other access to the power switches.
Step 4: Step Four: Reflective Material
Using whatever you determine is best or you happen to have around the house, now is a good time to add it. I used some Underfloor Heating Foil I had and applied it everywhere I could to contain heat, reflect light, and seal up the inside of the box from moisture. Eventually I ran out and used Aluminum Foil for the inside of the door.
Step 5: Step Five: Fans Holes
For the fans, I used some common fans used in entertainment centers to keep ones X-Box and such cool. I bought a kit with two fans and one thermostat that I could program to come on and shut off at predetermined temperatures. The particular kit I used was simply a plug and play using a USB with no wiring required but I did find out the wires ran a little short thus some wires are seen inside of the box when my original plan was to run all wires on the outside.
Simple enough, how ever big the fans are make a round hole on the bottom back corner of one side about 6″ from the bottom to serve as the cool air intake. Create the second hole in the opposite side in the top front of the box to serve as the warm air exhaust.
Step 6: Step Six: Sand/Stain
Of course you can do this when ever you wish but now prior to putting wires in and your fans, it may make better sense to sand and stain now. I was not going for looks here as you may see but I do think some water resistance would be a good idea.
Step 7: Step Seven: Electrical
Actually, this was not as hard as some may think.
Fans: Install the fans, intake fan on the bottom should be facing in allowing it to suck in outside air and push it into the box. Exhaust fan should be facing out pulling air out of the box.
Box 1, Light Switch: In this project I used the light switch as the master control for the whole unit.
Box 2, Junction Box and Power Supply: All wires centralized here and this is where I hooked up the power cable.
Box 3, Outlet: Simple enough, a power outlet for my Thermostat and an extra outlet for a secondary light or whatever.
I will not give detailed instructions on how to wire things because I am not a electrician and I do not want to give bad advice and someone shock themselves but youtube is a great resource for this one.
Temperature Probe: With the thermostat there is a small probe connected to it. I drilled a small hole in the floor of the electrical box and inserted the probe. You can adjust where the probe rest in the box by tiring it off in the electrical box.
Lights: I drilled a small hole in the front of the box to allow the power supply for the lights to come out at the highest point so I can adjust them up and down accordingly. In this case, I used two lag bolts to tie off the power supply for the lights to adjust their height. I used a three outlet light socket for three HE lights that use about 45w of power well below the estimated max of the box. Again, LED grow lights are a little costly but I think worth the price given the reward and they burn a little cooler if heat becomes a problem.
Settings: Once you figure out the plant you want to put in there and required temperature ranges, program the thermostat and you are all done.
Step 8: Step Eight: Final Touches and Grow
Door Lock: I found a little hook and made it work as in the picture.
Plants, so far this seems to work best for already developed small plants and lighting seems to be responsible for 99% of my problems with plants getting leggy.
I have had no problems with being too hot or too cool. The lights warm the box up and once they hit my programed temperature, the fans kick on blow some cool air, move the plants around a little and about a minute later the fans cut off.
I have had issues with drying out. I have found the fans pick up the water and take it away so this system will likely be best with some type of drip irrigation system, frequent checks (daily or every other day), or hydroponic system. In the near future I am gong to insert LED lights and use a homemade hydro system and test that out.
DIY Grow Box: Prompted by my daughters middle school project, might as well try to build a mini grow box. I have seen similar kits for hundreds of dollars online so how cheap could I make it and for it to do about the same thing. As the first attempt, some corn…
DIY Grow Room: Build Your Cannabis Indoor Grow
If you live in a place where cannabis is illegal and you want to grow your own, the best option is to grow your plants indoors. A grow tent allows you to control the temperature, humidity, and most importantly, prevent light leaks and eliminate the smell. Despite what everyone thinks, you can build a cheap grow box if you know which materials to use and how to build it, here are a couple of homemade grow tent ideas to help you save money and start growing in no time.
1. Main requirements
Before starting to build your grow tent, you need to have a couple of things in mind.
Even though you can grow cannabis anywhere you want, what differentiates a grow tent from any other growing space is its ability to keep light from leaking, being airtight so the exhaust fans can work properly and you can keep a stable temperature and humidity.
You can build good stealth grow tent as big as you want, with everything you need to, from the appropriate structure for the light fixtures to the exhaust fan and filter, and as long as you can accomplish the main requirements, you will have a fully functioning grow tent.
A DIY grow tent doesn’t stay behind a grow tent you would buy at a grow shop if you use good materials and take your time to do it and despite seeming like hard things to do, it is fairly easy.
The grow tent needs to be 100% light-proof, this is to avoid the waste of precious light and avoids your plants from stressing out.
When flowering, you need to provide a 12/12 light cycle, if there is a source of light near your grow tent when the lights are turned off, that light might get in and stress your plants, making them revegetate or becoming a hermaphrodite.
This is why a grow tent must be 100% light-proof, it will not only allow you to maximize light usage but will also avoid any problems with your plants.
If you’re planning to build your grow tent with plywood for example, you have to cover the inside with a waterproof material like a plastic sheet (or something similar).
By doing this you keep the wood dry and avoid rotting (keeping mold away from your grow tent). It will also make it easier to clean and you won’t have to worry about water leaking to your floor.
Air-tight (temperature, humidity, and airflow)
As you may know, growing indoors allows us to control and adjust the temperature, humidity and intensity of the airflow, because of this, your grow tent must be air-tight.
If you fail to keep air inside, your exhaust fan won’t work properly, it won’t keep the cannabis smell contained and it will be easier to get bugs.
An air-tight grow tent is a must when growing in places where cannabis is illegal, failing to contain smell (and light) in the tent can easily cause neighbors to report you to the police, so make sure you check this a couple of times throughout your growing cycles, as this can easily be fixed and will save your from a lot of headache.
2. Different types of builds
When building your grow tent, you can make it as big as you want to and out of anything you have available as long as you make it light-proof, air-tight and waterproof.
The easiest ways of making it are with a metal (wood or plastic) structure and a plastic sheet covering it, or building a closet-like structure with plywood.
3. Building your own indoor grow step-by-step
To start building your own indoor growing space you’ll need some basic materials and tools, some you might already have at home.
A grow tent is the best DIY grow space because (depending on how you build it) you can easily disassemble it when you need to and then mount it again without needing anything else.
To build a grow tent, you will need wood, metal or plastic poles, and a plastic sheet.
The size of the poles obviously depends on the height and size of the grow tent you want to build, but here’s an example to build a 1x1x2 grow tent.
First, you’ll need to cut and assemble the poles into something like this:
As you see in the image above, you’ll need 8 poles with 1m each for the top and bottom part of the structure, 1m x 3 poles for (E) and (F) and 2m x 8 poles for (C) and (B). If you want to make it easier to handle and assemble, you can cut the 2m poles into 1m x 8 poles and connect them with PVC fittings.
You will also need 8 PVC 3 way knees to connect (A) to (B) and (A) to (C), and 6 PVC Tees to connect poles (E) and (F) to (A).
If you’re planning on using a heavy light fixture (or more than one) and an exhaust fan with a carbon filter, it’s better to use metal poles so the structure can bear the weight.
After you have all the poles and connectors ready, you need to cut the plastic sheet.
The plastic sheet should be measured on the grow tent before cutting so you don’t have to redo it, make sure it doesn’t have holes to avoid light leaks and if it doesn’t get too hot where you live you can use 2 layers of the sheet to make the tent more resistant.
Even though the plastic sheet is waterproof, you will need to coat the inside of the grow tent with a material that reflects light like a mylar sheet or a white plastic sheet.
Note: Instead of using mylar, you can use a white plastic sheet, it won’t reflect light as good as mylar but it works great if you can’t find mylar easily.
A grow box is easier to build, although you cannot disassemble it effectively and the plywood can rot after a while because of the humidity and eventual water spills. To make a grow box out of plywood and wood beams, you’ll need a structure similar to the structure of a grow tent.
You need 1m x 8 wood beams for (A), 2m x 8 wooden beams for (B), and 1m x 2 or x 3 beams for (C). The amount of beams you need on top depends on the weight of your light fixture, exhaust fan, and carbon filter.
After you have the structure mounted, you need to cut the plywood to start closing the sides of your grow box.
You’ll need 1x1m x 1 and 1x2m x 4 plywood sheets, remember they need to fit perfectly so there are no light leaks and the grow box is as air-tight as it can be.
One of the 1x2m plywood sheets will need to be cut in half (for the door). You’ll also need 4 door hinges so you can open and close your grow box properly.
Tip : Even though it is not obligatory, you can glue pieces of rubber sheet where the plywood sheets meet and in between the door to make you maintain the temperature and humidity levels.
Because wood can get wet and rot, it’s a good idea to cover the inside with 2 layers of material.
The result of your DIY grow tent or grow box should be something similar to this:
With some minor differences, obviously.
After you have everything set up there are a couple more things you need to have your growing space up and running, these things are:
- Ventilation system
- Carbon filter
- Light fixture
Unfortunately, you cannot make them at home (unless you have experience with electronics), so you’ll have to buy them.
5. Exhaust fan
The exhaust fan usually goes on the top part of the grow space and is connected by a tube to the carbon filter.
The exhaust fans ensure a good air exchange, this is crucial to the growth of your plants because the air exchange will provide the CO2 your plants need while letting out oxygen.
A good ventilation system along a decent-sized fan will also help your plant’s stem develop tougher, helping them support the heavy buds in the flowering stage.
6. Carbon filter
The carbon filter goes directly connected to the exhaust fan (sometimes it’s connected by duct tubing) and it’s what will eliminate the strong cannabis smell before letting the air out, a carbon filter is crucial if you are growing indoors in a place where cannabis cultivation is illegal, this will avoid problems with your neighbors and the police.
Have in mind that when making your own grow tent or box you will have to make the holes where the duct tubing goes in and out.
7. Light fixture
As you may know, light is vital for growing any kind of plants, including cannabis.
Depending on the kind of light fixture you’re planning to use, you’ll need to make some adjustments so you can adjust the height of your light.
Some lights are heavier than others or maybe you’ll need to use more than one light fixture. So remember to test the structure you’ve made with the exhaust fan, carbon filter, and light fixtures (and maybe add more support) so you don’t risk killing your plants if the equipment falls on them.
8. In conclusion
If you want to start growing your own cannabis you don’t need to spend a lot, despite the cost of a ventilation system and lights, you can easily build your own indoor growing space by yourself.
Make sure you’re taking the appropriate measure so it’s solid, steady, and can support the growing equipment and you’ll have a fully functional grow tent while spending way less than buying one at a grow shop.
If you live in a place where cannabis is illegal and you want to grow your own, the best option is to grow your plants indoors. A grow tent allows you to contro