Building a Cold Frame Part 2

Building a Cold Frame Part 2

As it happens, I had the perfect skylight sitting behind one of my sheds, in the form of an old glass sliding shower door. Other options might include used windows or sliding glass doors. I like the shower door because it is a convenient size, and it is light and easy to handle. For lumber, I found some 7 ½” by ¾” pine boards, enough linear feet to do the job. I also located a length of 1 by stock perfect for corner braces.

For this project, my purchases consisted of a small set of hinges and a box of 8 by 1 ½” deck screws for a total expenditure of about 8 bucks.

boards 1

Here are my scavenged materials. Old shower door and pine lumber.


For the cut list, I took my dimensions directly from the reclaimed shower doo, which measured 55 inches by 30 inches. The cut list was

  1. Two 55” boards for the front and back of the box body
  2. Two 28 ½” boards for the sides of the box body
  3. One 53 ½ “ board for the rear top of the box
  4. Two 30 inch boards, ripped on a corner to corner diagonal for the top sides of the box
  5. Two 7 ½ inch corner braces cut from 1 by stock
  6. Two 15 inch corner braces cut from 1 by stock

boards 3

Here are the cut boards for the project.

Step one was to make the needed cuts. Notice that for the box body the front and back were cut to the exact length of the shower door “Skylight”, while the sides were cut an inch and a half short of the door’s width. This way, when the box was assembled with the sides fastened to the inside of the front and back the box had the same dimensions as the door. I reversed this on the top boards, making the two sloped sides the same as the doors width and the back an inch and a half short, on the top the back is fastened to the inside of the side pieces.

Once the cuts were made, the box base was assembled, fastened with 8 by 1 ½ inch wood screws, All screw hoes were pre-drilled with a pilot hole to avoid splitting the wood. Once the base was assembled, 1 by corner braces were installed, the longer braces to the back to provide some structure to fasten the top back piece and the two upper sloped side pieces to. Again, pilot holes were pre-drilled. At the front of the sloped side pieces a screw was put in from the top and into the box body side pieces, a pilot hole is Super Critical in this location!

While this phase of construction was under way, I had my always happy (Right!) 17 year old weed puller removing and burning the remnants of last year’s garden, and the associated weeds, from the location we had chosen for our cold frame. We chose a spot at one end of one of our garden plots, with an unobstructed southern exposure, The clearing project was completed with a minimum of attitude, 17 year old daughters are not always as happy to help as 6 year old sons and a 13 year old daughter but the job generally gets done anyway!

Go to Part 3 HERE.