Materials for growdome2

Materials for a 3 metre, three frequency, five eighths icosahedron

I wanted to make a greenhouse growing dome using recycled materials as much as possible.The main expense for this growing dome was the bamboo. I bought 100 seven foot sticks as these had the best diameter to fit inside the recycled hosepipe. I bought some mixed colours of electrical insulation tape and five tubes of acrylic filler to wedge the smaller bamboo sticks inside the hosepipe.

I made the mistake of buying a very cheap stapler which kept exploding, nearly taking my eye out one time and then narrowly missing a window. The better one I purchased was certainly showing signs of wear by the time I got the plastic sheeting stapled onto the dome. All in all, once again I spent about £30 on materials.

Preparing the workbench

Preparing the workbench

The struts cut and stacked

The struts cut and stacked

The first job was to saw all of the struts to size. I worked out the sums (see previous article) and laid out masking tape to size on a work surface to save measuring every piece. After a while I had my struts cut to size and colour coded, stacked into containers.

Chamfering the ends

Chamfering the ends

Leaky old hosepipe

Leaky old hosepipe

Some of the struts were too bulbous to fit inside the hosepipe so I chamfered the ends down using a plane Next – onto the hosepipe. This was leaky old hose that had been hanging round in the garden for ages and I was too mean to throw it away (as if there is an away!). I cut it up into about six inch lengths by eye.

Making the connectors

Making the connectors

Bending the nail

Bending the nail

I stuck a flat headed roofing nail through 3 pieces of the pipe to make the connections – for this dome most of the connections would use all 6 arms – but some only used 5, leaving a piece hanging Then holding the connection, and the nailhead, firmly with ‘universal grip’, quick release pliers, I hammered the nail over to join the pieces.

A pile of growdome connectors

A pile of growdome connectors

Premade 'C' sections

Premade 'C' sections

Before long ( a few hours) I had the connectors I needed. I premade the ‘C’ shapes for the 3 frequency isocahedron (see previous article)

I had all the tools and materials I needed to put the dome together but it was some time before I got round to doing this. I started twice but inclement weather and pressure of work prevented me from concentrating. What comes next is a very complicated three dimensional jigsaw and I strongly recommend building a colour coded model before embarking on the next stage.

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