Cold Frame and Lightweight Cover Plan

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Click here to download the plan.Click To Enlarge

Click here to download the plan.

Photo: Bob La Pointe

How to assemble a cold frame with a lightweight cover
If you need a cold frame base, the design included here is simple to make. Build the box out of 2x6 and 2x12 lumber, adding additional boards to the sides to make the box deeper if needed. The top boards are tapered to slant the cover for drainage and improved light gathering. Assemble the box with corrosion-resistant screws threaded into the square corner posts. Make the posts from the scrap left over from tapering the sides. The final detail is to add small moldings along the long edge to line up the cover when it is closed.

Cold frame cover plan
This plan for the cold frame cover (and base, if you need one), along with the materials lists for both, can be downloaded as a pdf file.
Materials list for the cover
This list will supply you with enough materials to make one 3-foot by 6-foot cover. You can adjust the materials for covers of different sizes if you are building one to fit an existing cold frame. All materials except for the Univent are readily available at bome centers. The Univent may be purchased from Charley's Greenhouse Supply.

3  6-foot lengths 1x4
1 roll 3-foot x 25-foot clear vinyl (8 mil)
2-inch corrosion-resistant screws
Masking tape
3/8-inch heavy-duty staples
2 spring clips
10 feet 3/4-inch CPVC plastic pipe
2 CPVC T-fittings
PVC glue

Optional: 1 Univent (automatic vent control unit) and a 6-inch piece of 2x4

by John White
October 2000
from issue #29
Materials list for the base
2  6-foot lengths 2x6 PT wood
1  8-foot length 2x6 PT wood
2  6-foot lengths 2x12 fir
1  4-foot length 2x12 fir
1  4-foot length 2x6 fir
12 feet 1/2-inch square molding
2-inch corrosion-resistant screws
For detailed instructions on building the cover, see Build a Cold Frame with a Lightweight Lid.

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