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Making Hinged Cloches

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     These cloches are designed to fit over raised beds. The hinges make it very simple to open them for weeding, watering and cropping, then close them again. The required gauge of timber will vary for different sizes of bed, and the structure can be covered with bird netting, insect mesh or polythene sheeting. If you make your beds the same size, the cloches can be easily moved from bed to bed, allowing for rotation of crops.


Materials & Tools

Timber, Metal tubing, Alkathene pipe, Wood Screws, Mesh and/or polythene sheet, Chain or webbing strap, Hinges.
Measuring tape, Wood saw, Hacksaw, Drill and bits, Staple gun



Step 1

Measure the length and width of your raised bed. Cut two pieces of timber to fit each measurement, as shown.

Step 2

Cut half-lap joints on each end of all four pieces. These make the joints considerably stronger.

Step 3

This is how the joints should look, once finished.

Step 4

Drill holes in the top of each of the long lengths to accommodate a length of metal tubing. Drill about halfway through the timber. Holes should be evenly spaced, and no more than about 1.5 metres / 5 feet apart.


Step 5

With a hacksaw, cut a 15cm length of metal tubing for each hole.


Step 6

For each pair of holes, cut a piece of alkathene pipe to a length of 1.9 metres / 6' 2".
This assumes your mesh or polythene is 2 metres wide, leaving enough material to fix to the frame.


Step 7

Fit one of the corner joints together, and drill two pilot holes, as shown. Repeat for all four corners.



Step 8

Secure the joint with long screws. Repeat for all four corners.

Step 9

Place the frame in position on the raised bed.

Step 10

Insert a length of metal tubing into each of the holes from Step 4.

Step 11

Slide a length of alkathene pipe over the metal tubing. Bend the top over, and slide it onto the metal tubing at the other side. Repeat for the other pipes.

Step 12

Measure the distance from the outer edge of the two outermost pipes, and the height from the bed to the top of the hoop, as shown.

Step 13

Cut two pieces of batten to match the height, less the width of the batten. Cut one piece to the length.


Step 14

Drill pilot holes through the top of each hoop. Screw the end battens to the base-frame, then screw the top batten to the pipes and end battens.

Step 15

Fit your choice of cover, and secure it to the base-frame all around using a staple gun.

Step 16

Fit the hinges.

Step 17

Fit a length of webbing or chain to allow the cloche to be left open.

Example 1

Two raised beds with cloches fitted.


Example 2

The beds, with the cloches open.




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