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What you need to consider before building vs buying a tent


Building a tent is incredibly cheap compared to buying one from one of the big websites like ABC(name changed for legal reasons) supply is currently selling an 8x8 for 1000 dollars. For this guide ill just be making a 4x4 tent but once you run the numbers and see it is as easy as using some poly, mylar, pvc, velcro, and a piece of plywood for the top, for 100 dollars you can make several 8x8 tents not just one. with the supplies you purchase here today.

Measuring tape is your friend

Building a grow tent just comes down to lengths, then cutting them to size, plugging the pipes into each other using the joints provided by the amazon links below if you wish to build a larger tent than 5x5 just buy the NIBCO coupler and plug two 5ft pipes into eachother and then cut to size. Thats another thing, you will be doing alot of cutting, a hacksaw works just fine if you don't have a table saw or something.

polyfilm, mylar, tapes, velcro

included below is exactly the ones you want, do not skimp and buy anything less than 5.5mm poly, or 2.5mm mylar. You need the large gorilla tape to tape the poly to the PVC and the smaller gorilla tape to tape the mylar to the poly you don't want to use any less quality tapes due to tempatures and moistures. i have used these methods for years and have never had a failure. the velcro is for creating your door to your grow tent, same goes for the velcro i have opened and closed every day couple times a day for years and never had to replace. 

hardware, how to cut pvc

I have linked 2 different methods below from amazon to purchase one is the racheting method some people swear by, I personally use a cheap hacksaw and they will work fine. I now have a table saw so i use that now. 

need ad blocker off to see the amazon links to what i used

Step by Step Guide

Step One

anything less than 1 and 1/2 inches is to flimsy, anything larger just is more expensive, I provided the link above to buy them in 5ft sections link to a joint that will match two 5ft sections of pipe together and then cutting to the size you want, for this guide i am making a 4x4x5 tent so I did not need any extra pvc pipe fittings. Home depot also sells these in 8ft sizes if you want to start larger than 5ft. But for this guide i am just making a smaller veg tent. Start to visualize what sizes and how many pieces of everything you will need to make a simple box. 

Step Two

measure and cut your pvc pipes, for this build i knew i needed 8 pieces of 4ft pvc pipes and 8 forumfit joints, that would build the floor and the cieling of the tent, then met with 5ft long pvc pipe connecting the 2 sections forming an actual tent. 

Step Three

put the forumfit joints down and measure out the space for the pipes. the key to building squares is pure visualization of your project, try to stay as aware as possible to which you are doing and you will be fine.


Step Four

Even after measuring and cutting to length i like to line everything up with a measuring tape, it is very important to stay within a very small margin of error

Step Five

using a rubber mallet (or just kickng it will work) fit your pipes together with the forumfit joints. 

Step Six

You should now have your first square, you will build 2  of these for the floor and the ceiling, once you have built those 2 pieces you can put whatever length size pipe creating the frame of the tent.

Step Seven

Measure for your poly, after the joints and connecting you are going to end up having to remeasure, what i did is add an extra 5 inches to one side of the measurement, thus giving each side of the square frame you just put together 2.5 inches extra poly film where you will be taping to the frame. this is very important remember measurement is always key. 

Step Eight

using the smaller tape, tape down the poly to the outer frame use small pieces as it doesn't matter you are only just matching them up to the frame before you use the much larger tape to line the entire frame( this needs to be done, with the proper ventilation there will be some flex to the poly between the frame, so you must tape every piece of poly to the frame, but for now we are just sitting the poly in place for step nine. 

Step Nine

now that your poly has been loosely secured to the outer frame, it is now time to lay down the reflective mylar inside, use the smaller tape for this aswell and make sure you keep the mylar very tight to avoid wavey mylar directing the reflective light the wrong way. 

laying down some mylar in my dirty shop socks

continuing on with the process

Step Ten

Ok, its not glamorous but now its time to grab the larger gorilla tape the 2.88 inches thick one and start applying to to the polyfilm that is losely held on by the smaller gorilla tape. It is important that EVERY single piece of polyfilm end that touches the frame is half taped to it and the frame(pvc). for arflower reasons. 

Step Eleven

This is what a fully completed panel cieling/bottom panel/frame should look like, If you look closesly every single piece of poly has been taped to the frame/pvc with the large 2.88inch thick gorilla tape. Creating a seal(this is the most important thing about using a tent). You want to create a intake and outtake with one of them being passive and one of them being active(using a 6 inch inline ducting fan ) and making sure everything is sealed properly with no air or light leaks is one of the most critical parts of a growtemt

Step Twelve

Now do the same to your other floor or celing panel/frame. Now is the time to pick which will be which, as you can see in step eleven i have a panel on the ground, i designated that as my floor panel because there is a little bit of obstruction with the mylar and since it will be on the floor mostly covered by pots and eventually canopy it wont matter. leaving the well made one for the use of the ceiling frame/structure. Now is the time to put your posts in that will determine how tall your tent will be , as i mentioned earlyer this is a simply vent tend soi stuck 5inch posts into the joints, now.... just need a second pair of hands to get the top piece on top of the structure pipes so you can begin measuring out poly to tape to the new structural pvc beams and laying them with mylar awell. 

Building the door and the remaining 3 poly panels

Step Thirteen

Take measurements of how much poly and mylar you are going to need to tape to the outer structure to complete the tent(almost, got a few modifications after we do the rest of the poly/mylar. Ok now listen very closely for the 3 panels that are NOT the front door to your going to want to do the standard add 2.5 inches of poly to each side. But for the front door( you are going to want an extra 5 inches on both sides so make sure you make one length 10 inches longer as i will explain later as it has to due with the use of the velcro door and having extra material helps with the seal when you are onlyusing velcro and not using the tape. although i must say the velcro does not play games it is very tough, i just err on the side of caution and when you see how the extra faps of poly will be sucked to form a seal you will understand completely why we did this.

Step Fourteen

This is going to be my door, so I added on more than the extra 5 inches for standard regular frame poly build, in this case i added 11 extra inches and as we go further I will show you why and how those 11 extra inches are going to help

Step Fifteen

Again this is doing the measurement for my door vertically adding on about 11 inches. As we go on into using the double sided velcro I will explain more, just for now that you have executed those measurements go cut them to size and don't forget to place the mylar inside the door aswell but not more than regular non door poly panels, those extra flaps will not be exposed to the inside of the grow, they are designed to overlap the velcro by 11 inches and will create a seal if you set up your intake and exhaust properly. 

Step Sixteen

now to measure for your regular non door remaining 3 poly panels you again only need an extra 5 inches so you have 2.5 inches of play to use the large gorilla tape attatching the polyfilm lined with mylar to it's rght places, do this for the 3 remaining panels that are not your door, get cutting the sizes and lining them with mylar. 

Step Seventeen

Ok so fit your door with a few small pieces of tape, see that you have large 5 inch flaps on the left, right and bottom sides, the top will eventually be permanently taped to the frame or rather the piece of poly already taped to the frame, Think of it like this, velcro on the bottom pvc pipe, velcro on the left and right pvc pipe and you roll it up to get in, using yet another piece of velcro to hold it up with you do your work. But like i said this is just for fitting, once you have confirmed the fitting take it off and store it somewhere. it's time to make the 3 remaining panels. And im not going to write out those steps. as i already have showed you how to make the top and bottom panels taping polyfilm adding mylar and connecting them all together to make  solid structure. There has to be some sort of built in mechanism here, if you can't figure out how to replicate steps 8 - 11 over again well cultivation might just not be for you, and I mean it lol.

Finished product

now look closely, i lined the velcro up so it was on the outer frame and then put the other side of the velcro with the adhesive side open, then pulled those extra flaps we where talking about nice and tight over them, and then pressed firmly, sealing both sides of the velcro to the poly and the pvc frame, completing the door. Now normally for me this isnt the end, i still have to Lay a couple 2x4's and a sheet of plywood over the top to screw in my bike rack hangers that  i use to hang my lights from, and put a 50 gallon bucket ontop of the 2x4's using the 6PSI generated from being 6ft up to keep the plant always eating(huge difference in yields). But everyone has there own style. just like where id place my exhaust i cut a hole in the top of the poly and plywood and place 6 inch duct fan to draw the heat out, while pulling from a passive 6 inch intake i cut out closest to my AC and the floor(hot air raises cold air sinks). So i could go on, but everyone has their methods. good luck guys and stop getting rippedoff on ficking "prebuilt" them "rebiolt" growtents that cost 1000 dollars. 

intake exhaust and plywood setup to hold a drip system res

Figuring out where you want your exhaust

alot of people use different material to hold up there grow lights, most more pvc, but since i use a drip system i invest in a more stable 2x4 and plywood system to #1 to screw something into it thru the poly to hold my lights up #2 heat rises in a grow tent and just having an active exhaust ontop makes sense.

placing your exhaust as far as possible from your intake

draw a circle around your 6inch in this guides case fan, you now want to prepare for your sawzall and drill a few holes so you can insert it. 

cut the holes follow the line you draw on the inside

using a sawzall in this case or whatever tool (dremel, i dunno) to cut the wood, make sure u folllow inside the lines of your circle you marked around your inline fan, you can always cut a bit more off but not add on so if it doesn't fit you just cut a bit more into the lines you drew.

nice and snug fit

once you have got it to where you can insert it make sure its nice and snug you cant push it thru its not just going to fall, if it does feel too loose put a screw through the top half of the inline and you will be fine. 

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