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Anyone got any spare pipe?

 
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

Posts: 186

PostPosted: 01/02/10, 18:55    Post subject: Anyone got any spare pipe? Reply with quote

I'm going to try building a DIY polytunnel. I'm after some lengths of blue mains water pipe or yellow gas pipe (the stuff that's 63mm wide or 50mm wide inside). Anyone builders or farmers out there got any going? Many thanks.
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Driver



Joined: 24 Aug 2008

Posts: 106
Location: Uplyme

PostPosted: 17/03/10, 16:38    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if it's spare or just asleep! Up by the end of Shire lane where the 3 old caravans are there are several lengths of large bore water pipe not sure who's it is but may be of use to you.
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

Posts: 186

PostPosted: 22/03/10, 20:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Driver. I bought some pipe in the end - and the polytunnel is just about up! I haven't quite finished tying the cover down so I'm hoping there won't be a strong wind tonight or you might find yourself with a fully erected polytunnel in your back garden!

UFO spotted over Uplyme.....
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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 704
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 23/03/10, 13:13    Post subject: Tunnel Reply with quote

Hi Rev,

How's your tunnel looking now ?

I was wondering about making one of these myself. I made a long cloche, using lengths of the 25mm blue pipe as hoops, with poly stretched over and it worked well, except it got very hot and was quite hard to weed/water.

A walk-in tunnel would be a lot easier to use, but also more difficult to construct safely out of odds and ends, so it starts getting expensive.

Strikes me a tunnel with mesh ends would probably be ideal - keeps the cabbage whites out, but allows the air to pass through.

G.
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

Posts: 186

PostPosted: 25/03/10, 10:51    Post subject: Reply with quote

The total cost of my 4.5m (15ft) x 4.5m (15ft) polytunnel was 60!



What you need:

8 x 5ft scaffold poles
50m scaffold sheeting (comes in strips)
8 x 70mm bolts
26m of 63mm blue water or gas pipe
5m plastic drain pipe (for the top support)
18m planks of wood
2 days of time!

Tools:

Sledge hammer
Drill with metal drill bit, and hole-cutter
Saw
Angle grinder
Long tape measure
Tub of vaseline
Cold beers

Sourcing Materials

I sourced my scaffold poles and sheeting from a local scaffold company. They were happy to give me the materials for FREE. Often these companies throw away the plastic sheeting!! Much of it is UV resistant but if not, it will last a season at least.

I sourced my planks and drain pipe from the dump.

I bought the 63mm water pipe from ebay. It comes on a 25m roll, but I got 26m on my roll - perfect.

Steps

Step 1: Sledge-hammer in your eight scaffold poles such that 2ft is in the ground and 3ft is above ground. I put in four in a square, 4.5m apart, then put in the other four in line, two on each side equidistant apart. i.e. two rows of four poles. Tip: Because my ground slopes slightly, I used a laser level to get the tops exactly level. This saved faffing around with bits of wood and spirit-levels.

Step 2: Angle grind the tops of the poles so they are rounded a bit. I flattened the tops of mine a bit with the sledge-hammer (by mistake) and also, the inside of the 63mm pipe is exactly 50mm - the same width as the water pipe. Angle grinding the tops into a curve will make it much easier to slide on the water pipe.

Step 3: Cut your 25m or 26m roll of water pipe into four equal lengths.

Step 4: Vaseline the metal poles and mark the poles 20cm down from the top with a metal saw/angle grinder.

Step 5: Slide the water pipe down over the metal poles down to your 20cm marker. You will be glad you angle-ground the tops to make them rounded and put vaseline on! It's a tight fit.

Step 6: Measure up from your 20cm mark 10cm and drill through the pipe and pole. You will therefore be drilling a hole 10cm from the top of the metal pole. Pop a bolt through and tighten the nut. This will stop your water pipe sliding down (or up in a strong wind!)

You now have four lovely curves. At this point, down one of the cold beers.

Step 7: Measure and cut lengths of that plastic drain pipe (that is narrower than your water pipe). Cut round holes in the water pipe that are the diameter of your drain pipe. Make these holes at the apex/top of your curves. These lengths of drain pipe will provide support along the top of your polytunnel otherwise your big curves will lean over.

Step 8: Cut your scaffold sheeting into five lengths of about 10m. These will need to be tied together using scaffold ties (like mini bungie cords) using the holes provided. Once you have done this you will have a large square sheet. The scaffold sheeting will be laid down lengthways. Tip: Make sure you overlap the sheeting when tying it together (like tiles on a roof) such that when it is on your polytunnel the rain won't trickle down between. Note: You could buy a polytunnel liner for about 80 if you don't want the hassle of this bit - however, the plus of the scaffold sheeting is that it's as tough as boots and has holes and ties ready to tie to your water pipe.

Have another beer - that last bit took longer than you thought.

Step 9: Lay planks down around the edge of your polytunnel. You could bolt these to the scaffold poles. Mine are held in place with horse manure!

Step 10: Pull your huge cover over the hoops.

Step 11: Using the scaffold ties (that are dangling) and spare ones, tie these to the hoops of your polytunnel.

Step 12: Cut around the plastic sheet such that you have about 40cm left dangling.

Step 13: Bury the plastic sheeting around the edge, essentially pinning it down. This is why you needed those boards on the inside!

Finish the beers.
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geoff



Joined: 17 Sep 2005

Posts: 704
Location: Lyme Rd, Uplyme

PostPosted: 25/03/10, 11:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pure genious Rev - any chance of a piccie?
Also, what happens about the door - often a potential weak point?

G.
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

Posts: 186

PostPosted: 25/03/10, 11:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

geoff wrote:
what happens about the door - often a potential weak point...


Oh pants... Embarassed
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Rev



Joined: 06 Jan 2010

Posts: 186

PostPosted: 25/03/10, 11:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

btw: I have a good length of scaffold sheeting left over - it might even be enough to do another tunnel of the same size. I don't have any ties left, but the plastic sheeting is free to anyone who wants it.
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