1st, I wanted to provide a testimonial for anyone still on the fence about purchasing seeds from ILGM. I mailed in my cash appx. 3 and a half weeks ago with the assumption that I was likely going to lose it. ILGM notified me promptly when they received my payment and that my order had been shipped. 11 business days later they arrived in good packaging with all seeds intact. No fuss whatsoever. So, if you’re skeptical, cautious and/or on the fence, don’t be. ILGM has exceeded all my expectations. My fiancee and I started germinating on Friday, soaking two seeds from each strain. Within 18 hours, 3 seeds had split, so put them all into pucks to germinate. Quality products!
2nd, I wanted to solicit some feedback on our grow box set-up. This is our first, so all constructive critiques are most welcome.
We started with a non-functioning refrigerator/freezer that I picked up off of Craigslist. Previous owner let us take it away for free. I gutted the interior of all shelving, electronics and cooling components. I also pulled everything off of the exterior including the fans, motors, freon tanks, etc. Basically, stripped it down to a bare box. Then, I was able to remove the barrier separating the freezer from the refrigerator and cut off the molding attached to the doors. They extended appx. 4-5 inches into the box, but I didn’t want to try to disassemble the doors to pull them off as I wanted to maintain the integrity of the doors’ seals. All of that was accomplished with a Dremel with a standard cutting attachment. Then a liberal washing with bleach and disinfectant to make sure I had a sterile environment.
In such a small space, I assumed heat and ventilation would be huge concerns. A quick trip to my local hydroponics store solved both. A 4" inline fan mounted in the exterior with a filter and some ducting took care of exhaust. I have initially mounted the fan and filter in the negative space on the exterior where the freon tank and fan were, but I’m worried that the long ducting and multiple turns are going to constrict airflow and reduce the ability to keep the box cool.
I also went with an LED light system to reduce the amount of space the fixture takes up in the interior, reduce future electric bills and (hopefully) keep temperatures down. I initially mounted it to the ceiling with screw-hooks, but I wasn’t that satisfied with the sturdiness. The insulation material beneath the plastic shell isn’t very dense, so I was a little worried about hanging a $700 LED light from four hooks punched into a few millimeters of plastic. Standard electric stuff and I have a draft version of this set-up to work with.
Since this, I have updated this build – no pictures at this time, but I will snap some and add them later if there is interest. To improve the stability of the lighting hardware, I tapped 4 holes into the top and sank .25x3" eyebolts into them, with a wide washer on the outside to disperse the weight. I took my Dremel to the length of bolt sticking out of the top, so they will be easy to conceal by stacking boxes on top of the fridge. I added some pulleys and cabling to the lighting fixture so I can adjust the height of my light. I also mounted a small wire shelf over the slanted floor towards the back to give me more horizontal space on the bottom. I also installed some locking shackles to the outside of both doors, so I can lock this whole thing up from curious eyes. Lastly, I stapled white reflective sheeting to the insides of the doors to give me maximum lighting on the bottom.
I ran a few tests to see what I was dealing with and from the outside. With the fan running at max, it sounds like a slightly loud refrigerator. Nothing out-of the ordinary, so I figure as long as I’m not running the fan too high, the sound signature shouldn’t raise any questions. However, the intensity of the light is visible from the outside around the seals.
I was thinking of trying to reduce that by caulking the inside of the seal, but I’m worried that might make the seal too rigid and reduce it’s efficiency. Bottomline is it’s only barely noticeable and this unit is going to be down in our basement where nobody ever goes anyway.
I also drilled out some holes on the slope at the bottom to give it a passive intake. Right now, there are 6 1-inch holes, but I’m concerned that this won’t be enough. I ran some short tests – no longer than 10 min each – and temps were holding in the mid-80s with a 30% RH, so I figure once I’ve introduced a higher RH to the environment, that should help with cooling. I was thinking of adding a couple of clip fans down by the intakes to encourage airflow.
Anyway, your thoughts?