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Fruit cage - 2x2"?

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miles_hot

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I am about to design and build a fruit cage for my father. It will be c. 3x8m ad 2m tall.

Initially I am thinking:
1) timber to be 2x2"
2) I will mount it on replaceable sticks into the ground to allow for rotting
3) The bottom of the legs to be connected for greater stability and ease of installation
4) Run a board along the bottom to a) lift the 2m netting element of the cage up a little as we're both 6'+ and b) provide some very basic anti rabbit protection
5) Use very basic lap joints which can be build in the garden and screws for ease and speed
6) Constructed as a series of arches jointed by the long elements (hence the lap jointing for this bit) - but joints with screws for the joint of the top to legs and then lap joint for the join to the long elements at the roof and bottom. I could consider the use of pocket screws to avoid lap joints if these will be stronger.
7) Netting stapled to the legs etc to provide the tension in the netting.
8) Corner bracing at the top - 45 degree angles on all leg / roof connections around the perimeter (to avoid hitting heads on the ones which could be inside the box) attached by screws/

Anything where I'm going wrong or any other suggestions? I am primarily concerned that 2x2 may not be man enough but I think that's just because most garden structures have to support plants and hence end up at 4x4" or 2x4". I don't know how many arches to use along the 9m run, 3m between feels about right but I don't know if that's just the numerology of 9/3!

Thanks

Miles
 

9fingers

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Also most of the commercially available cages advocate removing the netting for the winter. Under icy conditions the netting can get quite heavy with ice build up and I have seen it loaded with snow in a neighbours garden.
I would plan to tension the net in some other temporary way so you can take it down at the end of the season.

Bob
 

miles_hot

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9fingers":z18odoli said:
Also most of the commercially available cages advocate removing the netting for the winter. Under icy conditions the netting can get quite heavy with ice build up and I have seen it loaded with snow in a neighbours garden.
I would plan to tension the net in some other temporary way so you can take it down at the end of the season.

Bob
Interesting point - I guess cable ties would be the option there + something easy to roll the netting on and off with. Sounds like a pain thought :)
 

hanser

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The timber frame may end up expensive and a little 'cumbersome'.

Have you thought about net stretched over hoops of plastic water pipe. Rigidity can be introduced by using rebar in/above ground and the ends of each hoop slide onto the above ground length of rebar as opposed to being prodded into soil. Demounts easily following the fruiting season.
 

9fingers

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miles_hot":z9g5jx3u said:
9fingers":z9g5jx3u said:
Also most of the commercially available cages advocate removing the netting for the winter. Under icy conditions the netting can get quite heavy with ice build up and I have seen it loaded with snow in a neighbours garden.
I would plan to tension the net in some other temporary way so you can take it down at the end of the season.

Bob
Interesting point - I guess cable ties would be the option there + something easy to roll the netting on and off with. Sounds like a pain thought :)

Weave a length of 22mm plastic overflow pipe through the mesh on one edge of the 'lid' net. Fix the opposite side with staples as per plan A. In the summer the net can drape over the sides of the cage slightly, tensioned by the (light) weight of the pipe and in winter, the pipe can be used as a core to roll the netting up and leave it tied to the horizontal member that the staples are driven into.
Vertical netting can be left in situ or rolled up round other pipes in a similar way to the top net.
Overflow pipe and push fit joiners are cheap in a pack from Toolstation/screwfix etc

Bob
 

yetloh

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I built mine from 2"x2" salvaged from the 1930s wooden garage that was here when we bought the house in the 70's. Must have been early 80's when I built it and it is still going strong. I just screwed the long side rails down into the uprights and half lapped the cross pieces into the side rails. I have no corner bracing although the stability is helped by the fact that one long side is a 6' fence. The uprights are fitted into 3" spike Metposts with packing. Last winter I did forget to clear the snow off and lost some of the cross pieces. If you rarely get significant snow I would say it is not worth messing around taking the roof off - just remember to venture out and knock off snow when it comes; not the best job because it ends up down your kneck but kids would probably enjoy it.

Jim
 
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