First Grow in a Filing Cabinet

Discussion in 'Grow Room Design & Setup' started by WpgJetsFan, Jan 8, 2017.


    WpgJetsFan Member

    The following shots are from inside my first and only grow box. I scavenged an old 18"x18"x54" 4 drawer filing cabinet for the heart of the project. I spent about 4 months tinkering/building/converting it...I kept staring at it; thinking of more efficient ways to use it before I placed any living material in it. Anyways, I started my first grow from bag seed, didn't even know if she was a female before....wait for it....getting root rot about 1-1/2 months into veg.

    ....I scrapped the plant because i'm a noob and hadn't discovered the solution in time to save the plant. I tried to buy Hydroguard here in Canada, however; it is not permitted by agriculture Canada.

    I had to come up with a plan to keep the water consistently cool. After research, I concurred; the Ice probe is an excellent idea and product. I love the phenomenon of the peltier effect. Again to keep costs to a minimal, I opted to make a DIY "ice probe" myself...luckily, I had some old peltier TEC's in my tickle trunk from when i used to water cool Intel Celeron 400A's and overclock them like crazy back in the late 90's. Anyways, I turned an aluminum cylinder about 1" diameter about 3-1/2" long in the lathe, took a flat piece of 3/16 plate and tig welded them together. Drilled and tapped four 6-32 holes into the AMD CPU heat sink fan combo; and four smooth holes in the flange of the plastic bulkhead. I coated the 1" diameter aluminum plug with silicone sealant and press fitted it into the 3/4 NPT (internal thread drilled out to a smooth 1") bulkhead. I sandwiched the peltier between the hot & cold sides and fastened with socket head cap screws. Closed cell foam must be placed as a buffer between the cold and hot surfaces....otherwise moisture laden ambient air would have access to the peltier and greatly diminish its effect. This is anal, but i suggest you cut two small cupped reliefs in the foam square to allow the wires to pass through the foam wall without causing it to compress against the wires and leave triangular shaped air gaps on either side of the wires....finally to ensure it is "airtight", add a dab of silicone to where the black and red wires exit the foam square.

    Internally, I use a Danner Pondmaster magnetic pump to spray water on a net pot filled with a 4" tapered and trimmed rockwool cube. Both the peltier and pump share the same timer and are set to run 15 minutes on; 45 off. Water fluctuates no more than between 19.5 and 20.9 Celsius consistently. This is wonderful as I have no potentiometer controlling the peltier as does the actual "ice probe". I have a small air pump in the bottom of the cabinet that feeds two cylindrical air stones placed opposite each other in the 3 gallon pail. Topside, I am currently utilizing one 175W MH & one 70W HPS that I scavenged from an old commercial building being upgraded to T5 bulbs. To mount these lights, I cut some 1" square aluminum tube, welded then drilled some holes (3/16 diameter holes on 1-3/8 centers for the mogul base screws / 3/8 diameter screwdriver access holes opposite the mogul base for the screw heads / three 11/16 holes for the wire to feed the two mogul bases and the 1 electrical compression fitting which supports the bar. 11/16 also happens to be the same size as a 1/2 NPT electrical compression fitting which needs to be tapped into the top 11/16 hole of the light bar, the other two 11/16 holes feeding the lights are left smooth and should be cleaned with a deburring tool so as not to cut the wire when you are "pulling" it.) The power cable that feeds the light bar is a 220V four wire cable I cut off an old discarded clothes dryer. I ran the 70W HPS on the ground cable circuit as it was the smaller wire bundle of the four...if your ground cable is not covered by green PVC when you cut back the main sheath, you need to use shrink tube to cover it at each end for obvious safety reasons! Luckily, many cable manufacturers cover the ground cable similarly as the red, black & white are. The cable rotates 360 degrees and can be raised up or down as I wish. I use the same electrical compression connector at the top of the cabinet as used at the light bar...except i throw away the rubber compression rings from both fittings. It just so happens that the outside diameter on dryer cable is approx. 9/16. So are the inside diameters of the compression fittings when you remove the rubber ring...Ha!

    The four cabinet fans were also borrowed from PC surplus as were the 2 PC power supplies. I used 3M Dual Lock to mount all my fans and power bar inside the cabinet....much better product than velcro. Air is drawn in at the bottom from a 5" hole saw cut made in a 3/4 treated plywood base which is siliconed and attached to the bottom of the sheet metal filing cabinet. I covered the intake with a chrome metal circular screen normally used to cover large PC case fans. The outtake fan is a 4" inline 171CFM stealth fan set at its lowest setting always. The whole cabinet sits on 4 steel picks; speaker base plinths actually. I used 3/4 wide peel 'n stick closed cell foam around the outside face of the cabinet to further make it airtight. The door is cut from particle board with two lockable cab latches shimmed to keep the latches under pressure when closed. I had to cover the latches internally with aluminum foil tape as a little light was spilling out the light leaks and negative pressure on the door from the 4" fan.

    Bubba Kush at two weeks flower (img.1060) and three weeks flower (img.1140) I use tap water left out to breathe at least 24+ hours and GH FloraDuo parts A & B for my nutrients.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017

    rickyrozayyy Well-Known Member

    Clever. Looks good man!!

    zabster151 Well-Known Member


    WpgJetsFan Member

    This second grow is not from bag seed. The Kush shown above was on the chopping block when I came across her. It was like two ships passing in the night the way this switched hands. Someone else, a third party between the two us of knew each other and knew how the one could benefit the other at this specific moment of time and a meeting was facilitated....a plants life was saved.

    The person who gave this "gift" to me grew this strain outdoors this past summer but I have never seen what his crop/harvest looked like as I picked it up on a dark and frigid October night. The plant was in rough shape...The Kush was already into a sickly looking flower in a small temporary dirt pot. She looked pretty decrepit...her center column was snapped out, but still green. There were two new branch sets that had split in two out each side of the former main acquaintance said deer and/or rabbits ate at it and did this to the stalk? I shoved it under my arm and thanked him.

    A couple days later, after it had acclimatized itself with its new environment, I washed all the soil off the root ball.

    I gently laid the plants stalk and "mostly" cleaned root ball into the rock wool cube, cut out the bottom of the net pot, and dropped her roots into the tank. She was bathing in 18/6 again, not 12/12.

    At the beginning she was shocked for almost three weeks as I had root raped her AND switched her back to veg from flower at the same time. Very weird stretching during that time..while i waited, I plucked all the popcorn off her as she stretched...t'was a tasty appetizer.

    I showered her roots with chilled clean nutrient water and instead of man handling the center root mass to clean out the remaining earthen particles quicker, I left the plant to it's devices and between it relaxing and gravity having it's way, the remaining dirt dropped by itself. For the first week multiple rinses released small dirt particles,dead brown roots, wood bits and other detritus found in the earth. It plugged the pump more than a few times. The water stank. Then; finally, those anticipated, shiny white new roots, started to sprout forth. Once things leveled off and the patient had been stabilized; the water now smelled clean when i opened the lid. I then started to prepare for scrog. Things grew fairly quickly from then on, back to full steam ahead i would presume? I pinched tops, kept spreading the canopy to about 75% when i flipped back to 12/12 on December 15th.....fuzzy's showed on the 20th.

    I like this Bubba so much I think I'm gonna re-veg her right after this first harvest instead of cloning.Shave off a month or so from what I read.

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2017
    727stoner likes this.
    Dude Guy

    Dude Guy Member

    Dude that's sick!

    Shroominnm Well-Known Member

    Looks awesome man

    stay smokin'

    WpgJetsFan Member

    some more shots.....

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    WpgJetsFan Member

    5 weeks....

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