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Have a great invention to help with gardening? Are you the self-reliant type that prefers Building It Yourself vs. buying it? Share and discuss your ideas and projects with other members.

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Old November 26, 2009   #121
dice
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I would go with mortar. Figure that the unglazed clay roofing
tiles and standard brick are basically the same material, terra
cotta, just in a different shape. Whatever works for brick will
work to join the terra cotta roofing tiles, too.

Trying mortar vs silicone is a good idea, of course, to find out
for yourself which one works better with your materials. Mortar
is more forgiving of rock/clay dust, etc on the surfaces to be
joined than adhesive silicone caulk. If you can get good
adhesion on those surfaces, though, 50-year silicone caulk is
a very strong glue.

Question: How are you going to drill the overflow holes for
the reservoir? Those high speed steel masonry bits take
forever to drill a 1" deep hole in concrete, for example.
Your tiles are thinner than that, but a carbide-tipped
or diamond bit is still going to be a considerable timesaver.
Using a hammer drill speeds up the drilling but risks cracking
the tiles. (I guess at 30 cents each you can risk one for a test.)
Since the sides are probably more than one roofing tile long,
you could perhaps put the overflow holes in the vertical seam
between them (just put a piece of wood stick in the seam at
the desired height above the bottom when joining the bottom
row of side pieces together, then drill it out after the mortar
or glue sets up).

To understand mortars, one should first understand
what portland cement is and its relation to concrete
(people tend to use the terms interchangeably, but
cement is only a component of concrete, mortars,
grouts, etc):
http://www.cement.org/basics/concretebasics_faqs.asp

Mortar types:
http://www.mc2-ice.com/support/estre...nry/mortar.htm

It sounds like a fine self-watering container to me, that will
not crack after a few years of UV exposure, etc.
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Old January 24, 2010   #122
ruet
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Made some progress on the roof-brick SWC. Picked up a tube of "1000 uses silicone" and tried binding 5 pairs of bricks together (bottom + 4 walls). The resulting brick pairs have proven completely waterproof, and surprisingly strong. Should have no trouble holding up to the elements.

Dice, I hadn't considered that idea for an easy overflow hole, thanks! So far I've been using cheap steel masonry bits and a hammer drill to make 1" holes for a float valve and it's been slow going — even though the brick is only about 1/2" thick. Will definitely put your idea to use when assembling the SWC!

Pictures with assembly forthcoming, once I get the time to put the first box together. My seed starting date is in a month, I hope to get the first one out the door well before then.
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Old January 25, 2010   #123
dice
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[Making holes in hard materials]

High-end drill bits are not cheap, of course, but something
like this would probably make the fastest work of drilling
1" holes in 1/2" thick brick:

http://www.drillglass.com/prosedicodrb.html
http://stores.toolsdirectusa.com/-st...Categories.bok
http://www.amazon.com/Diamant-Boart-.../dp/B000NBCDRY
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Old February 24, 2011   #124
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my 1st tub, no weed cloth in bottom and with airstone, 22 gal
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Old February 25, 2011   #125
sprtsguy76
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Looking good, I use mostly the 18 gallon totes myself. Looks like you used Raybo's bench support and tote in tote idea which I really like. I've gotta post some pictures too, I've got like 4-5 different swc's all in different sizes that vary from 4 gallon, 8 gallon, 10 gallon and the 18 gallon.

Damon
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Old February 25, 2011   #126
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Good looking job!

If you build more, I would suggest trying some different measurements on the Aeration Bench support assembly to move the support more toward the middle, rather than along the edges of the outer container. I think this will provide better distribution of the weight of the Potting Mix.



Raybo
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Old February 25, 2011   #127
skinwins
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i'll take it apart now and make the changes, thanks. easier now than issues later
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Old February 25, 2011   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinwins View Post
i'll take it apart now and make the changes, thanks. easier now than issues later
skin,

I wouldn't disassemble the one you have built. I was just concerned that the base assembly would fully support the weight of the Combo Mix in the inner container. Moving the support "rails" more inward would seem to be more desirable.

In looking at your photo again, you could simply "squeeze" the 2 sections a bit more together, overlapping them another 2 inches. This would place the 2 horizontal support rails inward another inch, which should support the inner container contact area better.

Raybo

p.s. Also, in looking at your overflow holes, they appear to be flush with the top of the Aeration Bench support assembly. They should be 1/2" below the top of the assembly. You always want to maintain a minimum 1/2" air gap.

Last edited by rnewste; February 25, 2011 at 02:45 AM.
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Old February 25, 2011   #129
skinwins
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all ready apart lol, i don't mess around. once filled its growing, fix any issues now is my belief
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Old March 12, 2011   #130
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dice View Post
Are you handy with a drill and sabre saw? Those are the basic
skills needed to build your own self-watering containers.

Use the search form at the top of the page, and search for
"Earthtainer", "HEB" (stands for "homemade earthbox"),
and "swc" ("self-watering container"), and you will find
numerous threads on these.

Designs range from elaborate to simple, but they all share
these basic elements: a water reservoir in the bottom with
drain holes on the sides (so excess water can flow out
without flooding the container); a platform that holds
the container mix up above the reservoir; a wicking basket
(can be a piece of 4" abs pipe with holes drilled in it and
some fabric stuffed in it to keep the container mix from
dispersing into the water reservoir); and a fill tube that
extends down through the container mix and platform
to the water reservoir.
I have been reading these threads as my DH seems averse to following the directions from Raybo's Earth-tainer closely. He found perforated drain pipe for the "water table" supprts (I think it's the stuff for lateral lines on a septic system) and brought it home. Now I'm trying to find alternates for the wicking basket. He wants to use a piece of the perf. drain for the wicking containment area (can't really call it a basket anymore, can I?) and was wondering how the knee-high nylon stocking thing works?... as in how do you secure it to the water table, or do you just stuff it with media and tie it shut, stuff it in the tube, and mound planting medium on top (ie raybo's muffintop )

I love my husband's creative ability but his "easier" ways sometimes turn out to NOT be easier.

Thanx in advance,
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Old March 12, 2011   #131
skinwins
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lol yea i'm just like him. just love us and every once in a while look over and tell him how great it looks and that his changes to a simple and great design will only make it better. lol ahaha. we try, we just can't help it
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Old March 12, 2011   #132
BSue54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skinwins View Post
lol yea i'm just like him. just love us and every once in a while look over and tell him how great it looks and that his changes to a simple and great design will only make it better. lol ahaha. we try, we just can't help it
ROTFLOL I got that part down pat - after all, I've been married to this man twice (long story)... but I'm still confused about how to fasten the wicking material to the water table Any suggestions? I've already figured out that most of the things us newbies can conjure up, many of ya'll have already tried
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Old March 12, 2011   #133
skinwins
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silicone maybe, a picture would really help
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Old March 12, 2011   #134
rnewste
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Bobbie,

The Wicking Basket costs a grand total of $1.25 at your local Hydroponics store. Would I fool around with perforated drain pipe to try to make a replica - no way!!

Raybo
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Old March 12, 2011   #135
BSue54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnewste View Post
Bobbie,

The Wicking Basket costs a grand total of $1.25 at your local Hydroponics store. Would I fool around with perforated drain pipe to try to make a replica - no way!!

Raybo

I know, Ray - I know.... but there are two points he keeps raising. He already has the perf pipe... and there aren't any hydroponic stores in Cut-N-Shoot.... population 1158... I'm sure we could find something in Houston but.... they didn't have it at Lowe's and that's as adventurous as he was willing to be.

I know there is bound to be someplace around here that sells them but I be jiggered if I can figure out where.
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