last bit of unfinished greenhouse shell
Saturday, January 10 2009
At some point early this afternoon, snow started falling. At the time I was shuttling back and forth between the greenhouse and the house getting measurements and trying to decide a roof pitch for a tiny piece of roof only one foot square. This bit of roof would sit at the bottom of the stack of small windows just south of the greenhouse door. It would be necessary to tie the vertical plane of those windows to the vertical plane of the outside wall, which lies nearly a foot further to the south.
Eventually I decided on a slope of 30 degrees, and then I proceeded to build an overengineered roofing unit, complete with styrofoam insulation. It ended up fitting so snugly in its intended place that I had to chisel off some of the concrete from the bit of wall just to its east. Once I had it in place, I spray-foamed it until that hole, the last bit of unfinished greenhouse shell, was sealed off from the world. This was a nice upgrade from the wad of plastic bags I'd had stuffed in that hole for the past couple weeks.
I'd had an all-important extension cord snaking in through that now-sealed hole, so now I had to design a more permanent solution to the problem of bringing electricity and other wires into and out of the greenhouse. I ended up drilling an 11/16 inch hole through the west sill plate (a treated two by six) and threading a piece of electrical wire through. To this I attached an outlet box on the inside end and a plug on the outside end. The greenhouse now plugs into an extension cord as if it were an appliance, though eventually I'll probably dig a ditch and run permanent cables (and perhaps even ducts and hoses) to it from the garage. I expect those cables will include power and a multi-conductor cable to connect to an Arduino controller that will one day give the greenhouse a certain amount of autonomous intelligence. But that's a long way down the road. For now the ground is quite frozen and there is no action for the greenhouse to take even if it were intelligent.
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