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Tented Two-Tier PVC Frame

Supported number of grow kits: 2
Approximate cost: $20–30

Construction time: 20–40 minutes

Materials:

  • 2 - 10’ segment of ½” PVC pipe
  • 4 - ½” PVC 3-way (X, Y, Z axis) connectors (one side threaded)
  • 4 - ½” PVC threaded female connectors
  • 8 - ½” PVC T-connectors (non-threaded)
  • 8 - ½” PVC elbow connectors (non-threaded)

(Note: These materials were all available at our local Home Depot and will likely be found at a big box or neighborhood hardware store near you. Non-threaded 3-way connectors can be substituted for the threaded version, if available. If these are used, the 8.5" pieces in the bottom tier will need to be lengthened.)

Tools:

  • Measuring tape
  • Something to cut the PVC, such as a hand saw, a miter saw, sharp knife, or a PVC cutter
  • PVC glue can optionally be used during construction to make a more permanent frame

Step 1: Cut and Sort

Measure and cut the following segments from the PVC pipe, and sort out the connector pieces for each tier.

Top:

  • 2 - 1.5”
  • 2 - 11”
  • 4 - 1 1/8”
  • 4 - elbow connectors
  • 4 - T-connectors

Middle:

  • 2 - 11”
  • 8 - 9”
  • 2 - T-connectors

Bottom:

  • 2 - 11”
  • 2 - 8.5”
  • 4 - 2”
  • 4 - elbow connectors
  • 4 - 3-way connectors
  • 4 - Threaded male connectors

Step 2: Build the top

  • Place an elbow connector on either end of both 11” pieces.
  • Connect two T-connectors with a 1.5” piece, with the third opening of both connectors pointing down.
  • Connect the T-connectors and elbows with a 1 1/8” piece.

Step 3: Build the middle

  1. As though constructing a wide “H,” face two T-connectors toward each other, connecting them with an 11” piece of PVC.
  2. Make the “H” taller both placing four 8” pieces in the remaining openings.
  3. Repeat with the remaining pieces.

Step 4: Build the bottom

  1. Tightly screw the four male connectors into the threaded arms of the 3-way connectors.
  2. Connect two elbow pieces with an 11” piece of PVC.
  3. Connect each of these elbow to a non-threaded opening of a 3-way connector using a 2” piece of PVC. Orient the 3-way connector so that the threaded female connector is parallel to the 11” piece of PVC and the remaining opening is pointing upward.
  4. Connect the threaded female connectors with an 8.5” piece of PVC.
  5. Repeat steps 2–4 with the remaining pieces.

Step 5: Connect the tiers

  1. Connect the three layers and tighten up the fittings by pushing everything together firmly.
  2. Adjust the frame by hand until it sits flat and square.

Use and maintenance

This frame is designed to fit the perforated compostable bag that ships with your Spawn Box. To use, place the frame over a water collecting towel or tray (such as a large baking tray, shallow plastic tub, or small animal kennel tray) in an area with indirect sunlight or with a full spectrum light source (LED or fluorescent lights work fine). After your kits have been prepared for fruiting (as detailed in the instructions provided with each kit), place them on the top and bottom tiers of the frame. Cover the frame with the bag, misting the inside walls of the bag as it is lowered, trying to avoid spraying the kit or any developing mushrooms directly.

The mushrooms need a high degree of humidity to fully mature, so be sure to remove the plastic bag and mist inside of it everyone so often (usually at least 1–3 times per day, depending on ambient humidity and temperature levels).