Never Forget September 11th, 2001!! Cold Frame
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My Custom Designed Cold Frame

   The idea for this 4' by 16' cold frame is the culmination of many different designs and styles. I started by printing them out and picking and choosing the features that I liked best from each one. The design that I came up with is the subject of this page. Of course you can make yours any size you want.

Parts List

   Let's start with the materials list. As always, money can be saved by reusing or recycling a used component.

  • 2 - 2"x12"x16' SPF boards (Shouldn't use treated lumber)

  • 1 - 2"x8"x12' SPF board

  • 4 - 10" galvanized joist corner brackets

  • 100' - 1/2" black plastic pipe (the kind used in underground sprinkler systems)

  • 32 - 1/2" metal 2-hole conduit clamps (galvanized)

  • 1 - pound box of 1-5/8" galvanized screws (screws hold better than nails)

  • 1 - roll of 10' wide clear plastic sheeting, 6 mil or greater


   You can use any tool you want to get the job done, these are the ones that I used:

  • Crosscut saw

  • Something to cut the pipe (hack saw, knife, or plastic pipe cutters)

  • Powered drill/screwdriver

  • Tape measure

  • Carpenter's square

  • Chalk line

  • Pencil

  • Pair of sawhorses


   Start by cutting the 1/2" plastic pipe into 8' lengths. This won't be easy because of it's coiled shape. What I did was have two helpers; one held the pipe to the end of the 8' 2x12, one in the middle then I cut the pipe at the other end of the 2x12. You will end up with 12 pieces and a little extra.

   Then cut the 8' 2x12 in half making 2 - 2"x12"x4' pieces. Align the four corner brackets on the ends of the 2x12x4' pieces so that the 16' side board will lap the outside of the 4' ends. Screw the brackets to the 4' boards and set aside. Take the 16' boards and measuring down from the top edge place a mark at 1" and 6" at each end. Snap a chalk line between the marks so now you have a line at 1" and 6" the entire length of the two 16' boards. Take the tape measure and make a tick mark every 2' the entire length, then take the square and draw a mark from the top of the board through the tick mark crossing the bottom (6") chalk line. This will give you 2 crosses every two feet. Now, take the conduit clamps, centering them over the line intersection, start a screw a few turns leaving them LOOSE for now.

   Position your sides & ends in the ground where you want, square the corners and screw the ends inside the sides. Place the 8' semi-circular pipe hoops into the clamps and tighten the clamps. Fill with compost and cover with plastic sheeting.

   At this point in my construction we had a snow storm, so as soon as it melts (hopefully by this weekend) I will continue this page.

   When the snow melted, I obtained several large cardboard boxes and opened them up and put them around the outside of the frame and covered them with old hay to keep the weeds down. This & this is how the finished Cold Frame should look :).


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This page was last updated 07/09/06