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Old November 5, 2010   #1
rnewste
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Default Raybo's Removable, Self-supporting, Collapsible, Tall Cage for the EarthTainer (pics)

After a number of comments regarding the restrictions of the rigidly attached EarthTainer cage system, and a few scraped knuckles of my own in emptying and refilling, planting them with the cages in the way, I've developed a new, user-friendly design. It basically takes a commonly available Pea Fence (6 panels each 14 inches in length) and with some leg bends, adapts the cage to "grip" the rim of the 'Tainer:



It is relatively easy to make the required bends to the 1/8" galvanized legs which will attach as the 12 anchor points:



Once the base unit is fabricated, a second cage (without any bends) is inserted to double the height to a total of 62 inches:



Four 1/8" wire rope clips then attach the outboard legs of the extension cage to the base unit:



It takes about 30 minutes to make the 36 bends, and assemble the cages together:



The cage assembly then simply snaps on to the EarthTainer, providing 12 self-supporting hardpoints:



Optionally, you can attach flexible tarp straps to the diagonal corners of the cage to provide further tension to the assembly:



The neat thing about this new design is that at the end of the Season, you can remove the cage from the EarthTainer and flatten it out:



Stores nicely up against a wall in the garage taking up minimum space:



Cost for the two panel 62" high system for each EarthTainer runs about $17.50 using the $25.00 off coupon at Gurneys.com

http://gurneys.com/pea-fence/p/12826/

Hint: Order two cartons (4 panels) plus a $1.00 pack of seeds, and you will be just at the $50.00 minimum order).

I'll be updating the EarthTainer Construction Guide with specific bend dimensions, etc. in the near future.

Raybo

Last edited by rnewste; November 5, 2010 at 07:31 PM.
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Old November 6, 2010   #2
sprtsguy76
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I love the whole fold it up flat and store it concept, nice job Ray!

Damon
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Old November 6, 2010   #3
rnewste
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Damon,

I have now improved the rigidity of the design by using 8 wire rope clips to secure the horizontal ribs of the cage together, instead of the zip ties.



If you hand tighten them with a nut driver to be snug, the joints still will twist easily to fold up the cage. The flattened cage measures 42 inches wide, by 61 inches high. Keeping them inside during the Winter will obviously prolong their life, as well as the Yard just looks better, according to Dear Wife.

Anybody want to buy 32 (slightly used) Glamos heavy-duty tomato cages???



Raybo
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Old November 6, 2010   #4
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Ha Ha, like I dont have enough CRW cages myself! Storing them is the hardest part. Whats the going rate for steel per pound right now? Maybe you can recycle them or give away zzxjkxjxkxjx j
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Old November 6, 2010   #5
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Maybe offer to take a neighbor's zucchini if they take your cages?
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Old November 6, 2010   #6
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Actually, the Glamos 54" heavy-duty cages are tough to find these days since Walmart stopped carrying them 2 years ago. I'll probably retrofit just a few EarthTainers a year with the new Pea Cages, as the Glamos cage system is still about a foot taller (73" versus 62"), using these for plants like Big Beef, and other tall ones.

Raybo
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Old April 16, 2011   #7
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Great cages, Raybo. They fit the commercial earthbox as if they were made for it! I have figured out how to attach them to my earthboxes by using 4 of the EarthBox Staking System Rim Clamps



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Old April 16, 2011   #8
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bdank,

That is outstanding Engineering!

I have been sitting here this week trying to figure out how I can build a cage to fit my EarthBox for the Pepper plants. Your design will be perfect. Thanks for posting the photo!

You may want to take pliers or a nutdriver over the upward pointing cage ends, and bend them inward so you don't cut yourself when walking by the cages, as they seem to always point out from the manufacturing process. Just a safety suggestion.

Raybo
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Old April 16, 2011   #9
bdank
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Raybo,
yeah, I thought it was pretty smart of me to think to use the staking system clamps like that. I told my husband to bow down to me as he is usully the one who thinks of these things.

It holds the cage on very tight too! I'm temped to sell the whole cage idea to earthbox .
The clamps are reasonably priced too. I got 4 of them for $5.

You will need to buy some bolts to get it to work. the ones that came with my earthbox staking system rim clamps are too short for this use. I'm using 4 10x24 1-3/4 inch bolts, along with the nuts that came with the clamps, per cage.

Also, I used these cage clips to put the two pea fences together. It came out way cheaper than the rope clamps that you use. I have to make 20 cages and that many rope clamps would be expensive.

Last edited by bdank; April 16, 2011 at 10:33 PM.
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Old April 16, 2011   #10
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bdank,

Did you consider trying the cage upright, but making a one inch 90 degree bend for the 4 legs, to then fasten to the EarthBox with your clamping system? This would give you an additional 7 inches of cage height.

Raybo
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Old April 16, 2011   #11
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bdank,

With all those units (20) and using 4 clamps to attach the extension cage to the base cage, I REALLY think the link I have in the EarthTainer Guide where you can buy 100 Wire Rope Clips for $16.00 delivered, is a real bargain. $0.16 each can't be beat!!

Raybo
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Old April 17, 2011   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rnewste View Post
bdank,

With all those units (20) and using 4 clamps to attach the extension cage to the base cage, I REALLY think the link I have in the EarthTainer Guide where you can buy 100 Wire Rope Clips for $16.00 delivered, is a real bargain. $0.16 each can't be beat!!

Raybo

Thanks Raybo. I will check that out!
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Old April 17, 2011   #13
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bdank,

The advantage of the Wire Rope Clips versus the crimp together splice approach is that at the end of the Season, within 30 seconds you can loosen the 4 Wire Rope Clips holding the extension cage to the base cage, and then simply pop it off and fold it flat for storage. Same with the base cage.

With the crimp-together approach, you are "stuck" together with the base cage permanently so storage of both sections held fast may be problematic. I really like Wire Rope Clips because you can attach and detach sections in an instant.

Raybo

p.s. Now to find some miniature "C" clamps at Lowes to attach the four "L" bent one inch leg sections to my EarthBox.
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Old April 18, 2011   #14
bdank
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Raybo,
I agree, the rope clips are a better choice. They are also easier to assemble, and I have 20 cages to put together so time is a factor. What was bothering me is the cost. Those rope clips are expensive at the big box stores. I looked at your Earthtainer guide. Thanks for sharing your online source for the rope clips. They are much more affordable and I'm thinking of ordering some. Are they galvanized? How are yours holding up to rust?
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Old April 18, 2011   #15
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bdank,

Yes, they are galvanized and have not rusted in 4 years that I have had them outside on the EarthTainers. The darn things cost more than $1.00 at Home Depot. If you need just a few, Lowes is best at $0.47 each.

The online source I referenced in the Guide with a price of $0.16 each in 100 qty. is obviously the best deal. I have now ordered from them a total of 5 times without a problem. Seem really reliable and honest.

Raybo
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