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Poly tunnel doors

Discussion in 'Poly-Tunnel Gardening' started by Jimcub, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Jimcub

    Jimcub Gardener

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    can we have a few pictures of polytunnel doors that people have made, will make a good reference and pros and cons when I come to do mine.
    If any one has a series of pictures of making there's all the better, things like how to secure to frame and how to tension without tears or rips.

    Jim
     
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    • Steve R

      Steve R Soil Furtler

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      A bit of info for you

      Here shows the door frame,

      http://gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum/threads/steves-polytunnels.33033/page-5#post-915208

      And here is the door finished

      http://gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum/threads/steves-polytunnels.33033/page-5#post-917452

      And here is an earlier door I made with description of what I did and how.

      http://gardenerscorner.co.uk/forum/threads/steves-polytunnels.33033/page-2#post-432212

      As another brief description.

      Make and fix your doorframe before putting the cover on and make a simple door, hinge it and attach that (Remember to make sure that doorframe and door fit inside the tunnels cover). Put your cover on and get that finished before bothering with the door, use the zippered door of the tunnels cover until your ready to proceed with the timber one.

      When the cover is complete, now you can carry on with the timber door. Wedge the door shut from inside the tunnel, come out and close the zips.

      Using a staple gun, staple the tunnel cover multiple times to the doorframe and too the door itself, when this is done using a sharp knife cut the plastic around your hinged door only, your door will swing open and will be covered in plastic, and the tunnel cover will be fixed to the door frame.

      To finish off and strengthen what you have done, cut some timber to batten around the door frame and also to batten around the four edges of the door.

      My doors open inward and I use a simple turnbuckle to close it and keep it closed.

      If you need more description or further photos let me know and I will get them for you.

      Steve...:)
       
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      • Scrungee

        Scrungee Well known for it

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        Pics/sketches to follow ....

        A) Construct door frame. As zipped doors always fail the door jambs can be located behind the zips so they are covered by the battens in (C).

        B) Fix polytunnel cover, including over door opening

        C) Nail/screw battens around door frame through covering.

        D) Cut door opening in covering with stanley knife and retain for use in door(s).

        E) Make doors, I used double thickness of rectangular section battens with the covering sandwiched between them:

        polytunnel door.jpg


        1) Fix battens together at junctions to make 1st part of door 'sandwich'

        2) Make sure it's square and staple polythene to it, starting with one edge, stretching taut, and then fixing other edges.

        3) Lay loose battens forming 2nd half of sandwich on top and screw through them into 1st section. NB No but joints are in same location as 1st layer

        4) Trim a any protruding polythene with stanley knife.

        5) A diagonal brace can be added if required to prevent sagging.

        F) Hang doors using T hinges. Screwing through both layers at joints will increase rigidity.

        G) Fit toggles (or something more fancy) on the outside, plus something to hold it closef when working inside when it's windy.

        H) Rig up something to hold doors open for ventilation on warm, breezy days.

        I) Consider an additional part height (dogs like tomatoes) mesh door/removeable panel or one full height (birds will fly in and eat stuff) for when the door's open.
         
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          Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
        • Jimcub

          Jimcub Gardener

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          Many thanks for your input I will put into practice you hints and tips, when I can get to my store of wood I will see how I can design and construct. :yay:
           
        • Jimcub

          Jimcub Gardener

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          I see on one picture that the zips are wider than your door, my worry is that as on mine if the zip fails a second upright might be needed to secure where the zip is. Using the same principle of screwing a batton to secure over the zip.
           
        • Steve R

          Steve R Soil Furtler

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          In my experience the zips only fail if used, the ones in the photo where like that for four years without any fail at all. I've replaced the cover on that one now and the zips where still good when I removed the old cover. It would not be a difficult fix if it did fail later, but I would just not worry about it.

          My first tunnel had zips either end and I only put one door on it, the zip on the other end held for 4 years without failing, and the zip on the other tunnel was the same.

          Go ahead and make your door, don't worry about the zips.

          Oh...and we want photo's when your done..:)

          Steve...:)
           
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          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

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            For peace of mind you could always use a large needle and some double thickness nylon thread and (loop?, not sure of term for it, but spiralling in and out around and along either side of the teeth through the fabric of the zip) stitch so it could not be wind blown apart.
             
          • Jimcub

            Jimcub Gardener

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            I did a repair on my poly as seem had come apart, used a curved needle and strong fishing line.
             
          • CreakyJoints

            CreakyJoints Gardener

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            Great thread @Jimcub and thank you @Scrungee and @Steve R for your easy to follow instructions.
            I'll be puting my polytunnel up once I have a hardcore base put down to extend the area of gravel outwards to accommodate my tunnel.
            The reason I'm having hardcore put down is to make sure the ground is stable underneath my tunnel. I get gale force gusts of wind through my garden quite a lot, so I'm making sure that my tunnel won't be able to rock in the wind.
            I have everything I need to put in supporting timber framing, construct doors, etc, so will get started quite soon.
            Yes, I'll take lots of photos too :biggrin:
             
          • Scrungee

            Scrungee Well known for it

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            If not immediately replacing zips with doors or sandwiching between vertical battens, I suggest keeping some big safety pins handy ready for the windy day when one fails, rather than running around in a gale trying to seal it up.

            I'm getting materials together for erecting my latest 6 x 3m tunnel and will take lots of pics when erecting. The size of timber I've previously used for my 'sandwich' construction doors was 25 x 38mm and I'm satisfied enough with that to use again as it produces a sturdy 38 x 50mm frame
             
            Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
          • Steve R

            Steve R Soil Furtler

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            I don't think you need to go too far, the methods I have described have kept my tunnels anchored, just driving the stakes into the ground and fixing the tunnel to that is enough. I too am in a wind tunnel and they have all had winds to 120 mph on them without fail. The frames will easily take this they are designed for it. You only really need to go further if like scrungee you intend to build multiple, almost shelf like platforms for many many seedlings etc in the spring.

            I don't need that much shelf space for plants so I just anchored them to stop them from being blown away, that is enough.

            Steve...:)
             
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            • CreakyJoints

              CreakyJoints Gardener

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              I'll be using the same space for a greenhouse in the next few years, so thought I'd have the hardcore base laid now. My tunnel will have a timber framework to strengthen it, again, due to the very exposed position. I'll be fixing the timber base rail to 3 100mm square posts which will be lying on their sides on the hardcore base and bolted together in the corners with heavy duty steel angle brackets.
              That will allow for a bit more headroom at one end of my tunnel, which will accommodate my 4'8" square walk in mini (blowaway) greenhouse.
              My idea there is to have an area which is more protected without having to try to heat the whole polytunnel. I'm in an upstairs maisonette (council) so can't really have electric cables or anything like that running out to the garden. My neighbour isn't very nice and there's access to their back garden between my garden and the building. With the problems they are causing, I wouldn't trust them to not interfere with any electric wiring, so I can't have lights, heating or even a power point outside.
              I'm working on improving my little garden bit by bit. As I can't do heavy work myself now, due to having arthritis, I'm paying a landscaper to do the big jobs as and when I have the money to do it. I'll be having new turf laid in the spring, after all of the heavy work is finished. :)

              Out of interest, what size is the timber you have used to make the door and frame ?
              I have 4x2, 3x2 and 6 foot long 2x2 posts, which would be best ?
               
            • Jimcub

              Jimcub Gardener

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              I used an old wood greenhouse end frame to make a ready made door, works well and I can lock it.
              Plus a roll of mesh to make a barrier for cats when door is open in hot weather,
               
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