How to make your own cloche
Having been frustrated over the years with a variety of shop bought cloches I decided to make my own with the following features:
- No Hinges to rust over
- It can easily be built for a minimal cost,
- It is light and manoeuvrable,
- the lid can easily be removed and used separately.
I am happy to share with you how to make this cloche from scratch in just a short article.
Materials needed :
1 sheet 10mm twinwall polycarbonate 3m x 700mm.
4 pieces of wood 25mm 2 (inch square) and 3 pieces 18mm 2 (three quarter inch square) all 1.8m long.
Tools needed :
Electric drill and screwdriver, saw and utility knife.
Time needed :
Under two hours.
Instructions to make the Alpha Cloche (named for it’s shape and unique features!)
Place the sheet of polycarbonate on a flat surface and with a marker mark out 7 lines exactly as in the diagram below:
Take two of the thicker woods and cut them both at 85 cm, and 89cm .
Take the other two thicker woods and cut them at 85cm and 68cm.
Place the two 85cm pieces on the inside of the diagonal lines that you have drawn (do not screw them together) leaving an empty square of polycarbonate visible as illustrated in the diagram below. Then place the 89cm piece over the two diagonal woods in line with the bottom of the piece of the polycarbonate and screw it into the first woods (Photo 1) making the letter A with a very low centre piece, do not connect the diagonal pieces together. Remove the woods and do the same again with three other pieces of wood.
Now take the 68cm piece and screw it between the two A frames, connecting it to the inside of the top of all four 85cm pieces, since it is not a 90 degree angle lay it flush only on one side and then screw it from the inside to both woods.(Photo 2). It does not matter if it is a bit shaky as the polycarbonate pieces will strengthen it.
With a sharp knife now cut the polycarbonate on all the 7 lines that you have previously mapped out. (diagram 1 above)
Take the 2 large triangular pieces of polcarbonate and screw them to the outside of your wooden frame.(Photo 3). Then take the larger oblong pieces of polycarbonate and screw them to the lower half of the slanting sides .(Photo 4).
Cut off 68cm from two of the thinner pieces of and screw them internally to the frame at the same height as the polycarbonate – this will strengthen the structure and can be used as support for a shelf if needed.
Your larger cloche is now ready – Now for the lid or the smaller cloche.
From the two cut woods cut again a piece 75 cm. and screw each one to the bottom of the oblong 40cm piece of polycarbonate, [ it should overlap 2.5cm on either side],then rest them on either side of the larger cloche to act as a lid without screwing in.(picture 5)
From the other piece of thinner wood cut two 50cm pieces and ,Now screw these woods on either side of the lid to the overlapping part of the 75cm. wood. Remove the lid and screw the remaining thicker 68cm. wood to the inside of the apex of the lid of the smaller lid. The lid will now fit snugly onto the larger cloche.
Your smaller cloche or lid is now ready- as simple as that!
The spare pieces of polycarbonate can be cut to make an internal shelf which will let in light and a shelf can be placed on the bottom two woods unless you are leaving the plants / seed trays on the ground.
Remember to always make a pilot hole with a drill before screwing – especially when using normal screws into polycarbonate, and do not overtighten.
I believe that with it being in an A shape it will retain the heat better as the sides are bent towards each other – it is totally non- copy right – lets hear how you get a long with making your own Alpha cloche!
Boris Legarni .