Lockdown V3 – Repairing the Greenhouse and Smoking Brisket

With all the positivity surrounding multiple vaccines the reality of the long road ahead to us is now oddly more obvious then it was with the original lockdown back in March 2020. With spiralling numbers both in cases and sadly deaths we have taken the decision that even though entirely within the rules of ‘lockdown’ to really limit even our local explorations. This however has meant that much of the time i would be traditionally dedicating to scoping new places to visit, being out and about all weekend and then typing it up, is now focused on all the jobs around the house i consistently make excuses up as to why i can’t do them, and the first job was the repairing of the greenhouse.

Now every great project requires a great meal to accompany it therefore i took this as an opportunity to fire up the smoker and pop on some beef brisket – Any excuse. Smoking it through some plum wood over charcoal lumpwood for 6.5 hours this requires commitment but is completely worth it in the end.

Now i have to be strict with myself as i would like to sit here and discuss smoking meats but thats for another time. When we moved into the property in mid 2019 the garden was overgrown to put it lightly. The picture below does not fully let you appreciate the depths and heights of the brambles that surrounded the Greenhouse and i’ll be honest it took me a good 6 months of intermittent hacking to get to a point where the full length of the garden could be fully accessed.

Now having full 360 access of the Greenhouse i wish to utilise it to grow a small amount of vegetables and also some bedding plants for around the garden. However years of neglect had meant that the greenhouse although good quality and fallen into disrepair and needed some TLC. The first task was to fix the door. The door runner itself had turned into a perfect area for moss and other grime to clog the channel therefore resulting in zero movement, for this we simple jammed a hose in the gully and flushed it out and with a little bit of ‘toing and froing’ the crud was loosened and the door gained movement. The second task was to free the drainage channels that run at the base of the roof panes, this followed a similar process of scraping out the clumps and then simply running water through it until it ran clear. The final task was not simply solved by water and required a little more time and that was glass replacement.

2 panes of glass smashed over the years of neglect

Not wanting to replace the glass panes, primarily due to cost and also the fact i would need to get them custom made moved me towards acrylic panels which is both cheaper and easier to work with. Starting with taking a measurement of the existing panels my first thought process was to simply make two panels one smaller bottom pane and then a larger up one, however my partner quickly informed me i was being a plank and just to move the two good panes together and simply have one singular piece to fill the gap.

Looking online it became apparent that ordering custom cut acrylic sheets again drives the cost up considerably and then on top of that due to its shape and fragile nature postage would often cost the same as the acrylic itself. This led me to checking hardware stores in the area and i stumbled across B&Q conveniently selling the same width i required (600mm) by 1200mm therefore some light trimming required. Dry fitting the sheet i simple laid it in the channels and marked the bottom where the acrylic would rest in to stop it sliding down over time.

Dry fitting the acrylic sheet

Once marked up, using a straight edge, i just used a long spirit level, lining it up with the two marks i had made and on a hard surface, get a Stanley blade and repeatedly run the blade down along the line, do this atleast 5 or 6 times – What i would advise is looking at the depth of the channel you’ve cut out making sure it goes through atleast 50% of the thickness, any less could potential result in it cracking and no producing a straight break. Once you’ve done this simply flip over the acrylic, put your straight edge just beneath your line and pull the acrylic back therefore opening the channel you’ve carved out and hopefully you should get a straight clean cut. Here’s a link from someone from YouTube if you need any more information .https://www.youtube.com/watch/jCeHx-vvJ7k.

Roof panes after being replaced by the new acrylic panels

After cutting it simply remove the plastic protective film, make sure your sheet fits and put the clamps which hold the panes in place back on and there you have it, a repaired greenhouse glass for £20! Looking at the results i was really happy with how it turned out and now feel confident that if/when (having children i count something getting broken as a matter of time not if) another gets broken this provides a good quality replacement, which in all honestly not only looks better then the original glass but is also far safer.

After completing the job i thought best time to have a victory beer and more importantly tuck into that Brisket that had been on the smoke all day. As always while you here, please take the opportunity to have a look at our other days out or projects, drop us a line or follow us on either Instagram or Facebook Stay safe and come back next week for another blog!

Norfolk Explorers

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