How To Build a Germination Box

Materials Required:

1 - 4' x 8' sheet 1/2" plywood
(Particle board or chipboard can be used as substitute)
1- 4' x 8' sheet 1/2" foil faced foam insulation
(Celetex or equiv.)
1 - 3/4" x 6' board, ripped into 2" widths
1 PC. - 1/2" hardware cloth, 1' x 4'
2 - ceramic lightbulb fixtures
1- outlet and metal box
1- 110v thermostat
(Coil type used in chicken coops works best)
10'- 12-2 electrical house wire
10'- 12-2 extention cord wire w/ male plug end
2 PCS.- 8" aluminum flashing, 6" long
1 Tube - Adhesive Caulk
(For fastening foil-faced foam insulation)
1 Box - 1 1/4" Galvanized Sheetrock screws
8 - 1 1/2" Galvanized Sheetrock screws
12 - 1" Galvanized Sheetrock screws
1 Pr. - Flat Hinges
1 bottle of wood glue

Tools Required:

Circular Saw
Drill w/Screwdriver tip or Screwgun
Caulking Gun
Staple Gun w/ 3/8" staples
Tape Measure
Tin Snips
Screwdrivers (Phillips and Straight)

Step One:
Lay out parts on plywood to contruct a box,
48"w x 23 1/2"h x 12"d. Be sure that the part that will be used as the front or door is the full 48"w x 23 1/2"h. Assemble the box using 1 1/4" sheetrock screws and wood glue.

Step Two:
Carefully measure the inside of the box. Cut pieces of the foil-faced insulation to line the top, bottom, back and sides of the box. Make sure to cut the insulation to minimize gaps and ensure a tight fit. Fasten the insulation to the box with the adhesive caulking. Next, cut the remaining insulation to fit inside opening of the front or door opening. Make sure to allow for the door to hinge and ease of opening and closing the door while minimizing gaps between the insulation when the door is closed. Fasten the insulation to what will be the door using the adhesive caulking.

Step Three:
Measure the inside width of the box. Cut 2 pieces of the 2" strips of board to this length. Cut 3 more pieces 7 1/2" long. Lay the 2 long pieces and 2 of the short pieces on a flat surface on edge and screw together in the form of a frame with 1 1/4" sheetrock screws and wood glue. Make sure the frame will fit tightly against the inside sides and back of the box. Fasten the third 7 1/2" piece in the center of the frame to create a center support. Fasten the frame to the inside back and sides the box using 1 1/2" sheetrock screws.

Step Four:
Measure the length and width of the top of the shelf support. Cut the hardware cloth with tin snips to fit and fasten to the top of the shelf support with staples.

Step Five:
Locate the 2 ceramic light bases, thermostat and outlet as shown. The lights should be located halfway between the bottom of the inside of the box and the bottom of the shelf support, spaced evenly across the width. Pre-wire the bases before mounting. Cut a small hole in the back corner of the hardward cloth shelf to feed the wire up through that runs to the thermostat. Hook-up the wire to the thermostat, and another length to run to the outlet and mount the thermostat as shown. Drill a hole near the spot where the outlet will be mounted and feed the outlet cord throught the hole and hook to the outlet. Mount the outlet as shown. Lights, thermostat and outlet should be mounted to the box using 1" sheetrock screws.

Step Six:
Fabricate 2 heat deflectors out of the aluminum flashing that will fit over the top of each light as shown. Deflectors should be 6" long so that they just cover the bulb. Mount the sheilds to the back of the box using 1" sheetrock screws.

Step Seven:
Attach the door to the box using the flat hinges, making sure that the insulation fits snuggly inside the box when closed.

Step Eight:
It is helpful to attach a small fan that hangs from the shelf on the outlet end to balance the airflow inside the box when it is in operation. Some experimentation is necessary to find the right thermostat setting and light bulb wattage to obtain a near constant 85 degrees. A thermometer with a remote sensor is also helpful to constantly monitor the temperature inside the box.

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