How to Build a Mini Plexiglass Greenhouse

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Greenhouses trap energy within their walls through convection heating. By building a greenhouse, you can protect your plants from the elements and allow them to live in an organic, high-energy environment. Furthermore, you can protect your plants from unwanted insects and temperature fluctuations. With all of their benefits, purchasing or building a greenhouse can be expensive. By building a miniature greenhouse, you can sow all of the rewards of a larger unit for a fraction of the price.

Things You'll Need

  • 13 x 26 inch of plexiglass
  • 12 feet of ¼ inch wrought iron outer corner molding
  • Five feet of u-shape wrought iron molding
  • Two box hinges
  • Four 3/16 inch flat end screws
  • One yardstick
  • Waterproof metal to plastic epoxy
  • Waterproof wood to plastic epoxy
  • Razor knife
  • Drill
  • 3/16 inch drill bit
  • Eight 3/8 inch flat head screws
  • Black Marker
  • Clear waterproof caulk

Making the House

  • Draw two six inch by six inch squares and three six inch by eight inch rectangles on plexiglass with a marker.

  • Cut out the shapes with a razor knife.

  • Glue the corners of the pieces together with waterproof, metal to plastic epoxy so that they resemble a five-sided box without a top. Make the box six inches tall by eight inches wide by six inches deep. Make sure all of the corners are flush with no overlap.

  • Draw two six inch by eight inch rectangles on the plexiglass. Draw two triangles with six inch sides. Cut out all the pieces with a razor knife.

  • Glue the two triangles to the two rectangles with epoxy so that the resultant shape resembles a prism with no bottom.

Attaching Corner Moldings and Trimming

  • Cut 10 six inch pieces of ¼ inch wrought iron outer corner molding; epoxy one piece to each of the six inch corners of the house- four on the prism and six on the box.

  • Cut three seven and a half inch pieces of molding and glue one piece on the top of the prism and one piece on each of the two bottom corners of the box.

  • Cut four six inch pieces of a quarter inch u-shape wrought iron molding. Squirt epoxy into the center of one piece and attach it to one of the uncovered, six inch ends on the top of the box. Glue the other three to the remaining six inch ends of either the prism or the box. Cut four seven and a half inch pieces and glue them to the remaining uncovered ends in the same manner.

  • Make sure all of the trim pieces fit together with no gaps. Wrought iron molding should now cover every corner of both the box and prism.

Putting the Greenhouse Together

  • Set the prism on top of the box so that the structure resembles a house.

  • Set the hinges two inches from either end, on one of the eight inch sides of the house, so that they connect the prism to the box.

  • Trace out the hinges and the screw holes with a marker.

  • Set a hinge on a yardstick and trace out one side with a marker. Cut out the tracing with a razor knife and use it as a pattern to make three more.

  • Glue the yardstick pieces to the inside of the house with waterproof, wood to plastic epoxy; line up each piece of yardstick with the hinge markings from step three. The house should now have two pieces of yardstick on the box and two on the prism.

  • Drill though the screw hole marks on the plexiglass and into the wood with a 3/16 inch drill bit. Line up the hinges and screw 3/16 inch flat end screws through the plexiglass and into the wood. The top should now open and close to the bottom.

  • Caulk the inside corners of the house with clear, waterproof caulk.

Tips & Warnings

  • Allow the epoxy to set up for one hour before doing additional steps that may jar or disturb the epoxy bond.
  • Always follow all safety precautions when using power tools, epoxy and razor knives.

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References

  • Photo Credit Metal greenhouse in summer with open door image by Scott Latham from Fotolia.com orange razor knife image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com Red box image by Max creative from Fotolia.com prism image by ANKUR from Fotolia.com glass and steel roof image by green308 from Fotolia.com house image by Karol Grzegorek from Fotolia.com Electric drill with a drill on a white background image by terex from Fotolia.com glazier image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com
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