To start I’d like to apologize to anyone following my site for the lack of writing here, I am really struggling to be a “blogger”. I also had an injury that sidelined me for 2 months from work and had my whole arm in a splint for that period so not much around the house getting done. You would think that I would have the time to blog more right? Well for one reason or another it worked out differently and I really have forgotten the blog this past half year.
As for a little update here the winter weather really has killed my free raised beds causing one of them to rot quickly and to fall apart. The other one bowed out so much with the rain and soil mix that my 3 year old took a plastic shovel to it and completely dismantled it somehow stating that he “fixed it for daddy!”… So back to the drawing board I guess, maybe cinder blocks this time.
So anyway as the title states I have made a DIY soil cube tool that I’m going to share with you today. Our winter has been pretty mild here this year and I have been chomping at the bit to get something planted and figured that it would be a great excuse if I had soil cubes to play with. I set out to youtube to see some others and their results. Let me state that I only did this as a winter project and as soon as the accountant approves it I plan to buy a soil cube tool from Clayton Jacobs.
- 2″ abs cut down to 2.5″ (free scrap around house)
- 2″ abs cap ($2.89)
- 1.5″ pvc plug ($1.58)
- 1- 3/8″x5.5″ bolt ($.84)
- 2- 3/8″ nuts ($.24)
- 2- 3/8″ washers ($.28)
Total spent $5.83!
So start I drilled a 3/8″ hole in the center of both the cap and plug as can be seen in the first photo allowing for the bolt to go through them. I then took my hack saw and cut the pvc plug down to just a flat surface, this will be the plunger part of the tool.
Now time for assembly! First place the 2″ cap on one end of the 2″ abs, then slide the bolt through the hole in the cap. Then thread one of the nuts up the bolt followed by a washer. After that then slide the plug up the bolt followed by the other washer and then the last nut. Make sure that when you tighten it all up that the bottom nut is at the very end of the bolt sitting flush with it. Tighten the top nut down to hold it all in place using a couple wrenches to snug it down giving you the finished product as seen in this picture.
After I had it all put together and made a couple soil blocks I went back to the drawing board and used a 1″ piece of pvc as a handle. All I did was cut a scrap piece down to fit the width of my hand then I drilled a hole smaller then the bolt diameter and threaded it up the bolt. After reassembling it all I went to making the blocks and I must say I was satisfied with the results. The whole project took about 20 minutes and that includes tearing it apart and constructing the handle. I made a tray of 24 blocks in about 15 minutes and they turned out pretty good after I figured out that the easiest way of extracting the cubes from the tool was to turn the tool upside down and push them up and out.
Here is the final result of my little Saturday project and now I have a whole tray of planted veggies and it’s not even February yet. One thing is I am looking forward to is buying a soil cube tool from Clayton Jacobs so I can make more than one at a time but this DIY will definitely do for now.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article and I recommend that anyone looking for a project this spring to do this one. Until next time.