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Alan's Polytunnel
Alan P explains how to build a Poly-Tunnel
By: Clive B 
Page: 2 of 3

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STEP TWO : FITTING THE PLASTIC TUBES Cut all tubes to the same length. Using a sharp knife or half round file remove the swarf from inside the ends of the pipes. Assuming the scaffolding tubes are at the same height, put a mark at least 12 inches down from the top each scaffolding tube, this is were the plastic pipe will be slid down to. Place each loop of plastic tubing over the scaffolding tubes as far as the marks, if the plastic tube has gone oval, use a G clamp to make it round until it is over the scaffolding tubes, also a little grease may help. This is a two handed job. The plastic tube needs to be fastened to the scaffolding tubes to stop it slipping farther down. I have used two different methods, Drill and tap a 6mm hole through the plastic and scaffolding tube and screw in a 6mm roofing bolt (See Photo on the Left) or drill a 6mm hole all the way through and insert a 6inch nail, cutting off all but an inch and then bending it over to stop it being pulled out. (no photo)
STEP THREE: FITTING THE GROUND BOARDS (OPTIONAL)
I have fitted boards round all the tunnels for two reasons, it stops you sticking the garden fork through the plastic cover and itís an extra means of fastening the cover.
I have used old scaffolding boards but old floorboards would do just as well.
Place the boards around the outside of the scaffolding tubes using a spirit level so that it is just above the top of your finished soil level. Hold them in position using G clamps, Drill right through the boards and into the scaffolding tubes with a 5mm drill bit, remove the boards when all the holes are drilled and put a thread in each hole using a 6mm tap and wrench. The boards can now be fitted in place using suitable length roofing bolts.
MAKING AND FITTING END FRAMES
Both the end frames are made out of 2x2 rough sawn timber, one to take a door and one to take opening vents. If you can get a second hand door and window frame with an opening part from the municipal tip all the better.
Place the two 2x2 uprights so that your door/window will fit between or 30inches apart if you are making your own, cut the top of the 2x2 at an angle to meet the curve of the pipe, fix the 2x2 to the pipe by driving a 3inch screw at an angle through a pre drilled hole in the wood and into the plastic pipe, one from each side. See Picture & Inset below. The bottoms of the uprights need to be securely fastened, either by screwing to scaffolding boards (if used), digging a hole and concreting them in or driving a stake or angle iron into the ground and fastening them to this.
Two cross pieces need to fitted at both ends using 3inch screws as before.
Before fastening the bottom of the frames get the two end frames and tubes as near vertical as possible.
Doors and removable frames can be made easily from 2x1 slate battens and 2inch screws.
Two small vents should be left one at each end covered with mesh or windbreak netting to allow permanent ventilation.
Fasten slate battens using 2inch screws and pre drilled holes in the battens top centre and half way down each side making sure that each tube is as near vertical as possible. Polly tube has a mind of itís own and you will never get the tubes perfect. Additional stiffeners can be fitted at each end as in photo (belt and braces).
This is a good time to dig/level the beds and lay paths.

Visit Alans Website at:
http://www.freewebs.com/alanparkin/index.htm

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