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What materials would be most cost effective and best way to build garden arched tunnels


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HI Guys

 

Our garden is 2 rai and we have finished planting all our trees and got our vegetables going.  Now I am thinking of building several sections of archways and rectangular spaces in my garden so that the wifey and i can start growing more passion fruit and other overhanging vegetables.  I was thinking that the best idea would be to use plastic piping that is quite flexible or but then maybe I should be using some rebar to create a stronger and more pleasing aesthetic design. 

 

The initial area I want to cover is about  10 m by 2.5m and would be a straight up archway in a rectangular space.  I prefer the rebar idea if its cost effective and think that I would need about 5 x  7 m pieces bent into a u shape and then 4-5 10m straight bars to hold it all together.  I can always add more trellis work later.  After that, if all goes well, I will look to make other structures to add onto the tunnel as we want to cover a large "L" shaped area..  I haven't had any experience of using a welder so this is a problem I need to learn more about but is there anything else I might be overlooking or is there any other advice that you can offer before I commit to the build

 

Cheers

 

JAF

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Plastic pipes are cheap and easy to work with. However I reckon the get brittle from the sunshine / UV rays.
Any kind of metal should last longer, especially if protected by some paint or galvanic coat.
If you want to avoid welding and/or keep it simple you can search for hardware stores that have a pipe bending roller machine.
They could do one arch bow in the length you need.

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I just saw another cost effective way of doing things.  A rancher was driving metal square posts into the ground and then using ranch wire attached with clip ties to form a neat and tidy arch.  I cannot buy ranch wire here in my hometown but I guess I could buy fencing wire and bend that over.  It wont look as pretty or as rigid as the rebar idea but it could always be reinforced with a bit of bamboo whenever necessary.  Once the passion fruit and other vggies start growing it will still look quite good.

 

JAF

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You could use bamboo, that would look nice, but bamboo does not last long in the ground, soon rotts  out at ground level, you could soak it in water for 2 weeks ,helps to extend the life of the bamboo ,or put in metal post in the ground  and stand the bamboo in the posts off the ground .

If you do use metal pipe bent over to put some threads on the pipe and posts and just use pipe joins to join it all together, using metal pipe would be easier then trying to bend rebar.

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Great thread! I need to do the same at our place in approx. 6 months time. 

 

I would avoid using the PVC pipe as it becomes very brittle with time and isn't particularly stable. 

 

I grew passion fruit 3 or 4 years ago and it becomes really heavy with all the foliage and fruit. You need something sturdy. 

 

Here are a few photos I found on the internet - just for ideas. 

 

 

 

Screenshot_20170828-223603.jpg

Screenshot_20170512-202125.png

Screenshot_20170106-101603.png

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You could use bamboo, that would look nice, but bamboo does not last long in the ground, soon rotts  out at ground level, you could soak it in water for 2 weeks ,helps to extend the life of the bamboo ,or put in metal post in the ground  and stand the bamboo in the posts off the ground .
If you do use metal pipe bent over to put some threads on the pipe and posts and just use pipe joins to join it all together, using metal pipe would be easier then trying to bend rebar.
I think it has to be saltwater and it takes longer than 2 weeks. You can buy a treatment at homepro that protects it from water. I cant remember it's name but the staff would know. If you are really keen you can drill holes in it between the joins and inject an anti insect product they have at homepro too-I think it is called chaindrite. Is alot of work though. I went for pvc instead.

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I love the idea of using natural and reusable materials but thats it.....its just an idea that will probably make more work for me at a later date.  I want to have a more permanent feature that will withstand all that the weather in Thailand will throw at it.

 

Now I am planning a trip to Thai Watsudu in Surat Thani to stock up on all the materials I think I will need and a few tools as well to keep me busy.

 

JAF

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11 hours ago, Chrisdoc said:

I think it has to be saltwater and it takes longer than 2 weeks. You can buy a treatment at homepro that protects it from water. I cant remember it's name but the staff would know. If you are really keen you can drill holes in it between the joins and inject an anti insect product they have at homepro too-I think it is called chaindrite. Is alot of work though. I went for pvc instead.

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No need to use salt water, my wife has done it before, I have seen it done with Sado, Neem trees .just put in a roadside Klong. for 2-3 months 

As for the time scale, small bamboo poles minimum is 2 weeks, can be up to 6 weeks, the wife says the idea is that it makes the wood smell, and insects are not attracted to the wood.

A farang friend of mine made a bamboo plant stand and put in the house, looked nice, within a few months insets attacked it, he spent all the time sweeping up dust from the bamboo, then his wife said if you had soaked the poles in the water you would not have had this problem.

 

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12 hours ago, djayz said:

Great thread! I need to do the same at our place in approx. 6 months time. 

 

I would avoid using the PVC pipe as it becomes very brittle with time and isn't particularly stable. 

 

I grew passion fruit 3 or 4 years ago and it becomes really heavy with all the foliage and fruit. You need something sturdy. 

 

Here are a few photos I found on the internet - just for ideas. 

 

 

 

Screenshot_20170828-223603.jpg

Screenshot_20170512-202125.png

Screenshot_20170106-101603.png

That top photo looks like reinforcing steel used when laying concrete, I think one sheet is 8x8 foot you would have to weld two together to get the hight if wanted an arch,it would be solid.

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I like the simplicity of the first design, just some straight tubing with some pipe joins.  I would prefer an arch shape as it would look more visually appealing.  I wonder if Thai Watsudu sell bent pipes and pipe joins that would match?  If they do I would go with this design as I am merely a jack of all trades and I figure I could easily do it

 

JAF

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6 hours ago, kickstart said:

the idea is that it makes the wood smell, and insects are not attracted to the wood.

Immersion leaches out the starch that the beetle lavae feed on.

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6 hours ago, JustAnotherFarang said:

I like the simplicity of the first design, just some straight tubing with some pipe joins.  I would prefer an arch shape as it would look more visually appealing.  I wonder if Thai Watsudu sell bent pipes and pipe joins that would match?  If they do I would go with this design as I am merely a jack of all trades and I figure I could easily do it

 

JAF

Can not see Home Pro  Thai Watsudu ,or what ever selling bent pipes ,as has been  said plenty of local shops were you live that can bend some pipe work and tap some threads .

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On 7/5/2018 at 3:01 PM, Mister T said:

Immersion leaches out the starch that the beetle lavae feed on.

I knew they had to be a more plausible explanation than, just making the wood, smell, thanks a lot.

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No need to use salt water, my wife has done it before, I have seen it done with Sado, Neem trees .just put in a roadside Klong. for 2-3 months 
As for the time scale, small bamboo poles minimum is 2 weeks, can be up to 6 weeks, the wife says the idea is that it makes the wood smell, and insects are not attracted to the wood.
A farang friend of mine made a bamboo plant stand and put in the house, looked nice, within a few months insets attacked it, he spent all the time sweeping up dust from the bamboo, then his wife said if you had soaked the poles in the water you would not have had this problem.
 
I was just following what I had read online. There is extensive info about bamboo treatment. I have become more interested in using PVC.

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I like the simplicity of the first design, just some straight tubing with some pipe joins.  I would prefer an arch shape as it would look more visually appealing.  I wonder if Thai Watsudu sell bent pipes and pipe joins that would match?  If they do I would go with this design as I am merely a jack of all trades and I figure I could easily do it
 
JAF
I would guess if you go for design #1 you could use as well the blue plastic pipes cost wise. I was only concerned about getting brittle if they are bent and under tension.
But in case of design #1 I guess it should be fine.
Maybe others can report about the lifespan of plastic pipes outside.
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20 hours ago, CLW said:

I would guess if you go for design #1 you could use as well the blue plastic pipes cost wise. I was only concerned about getting brittle if they are bent and under tension.
But in case of design #1 I guess it should be fine.
Maybe others can report about the lifespan of plastic pipes outside.

We have had exposed water pipe outside for 7-8 years, it seems to lose some color, it is if it has been bleached almost, but it still seems alright.

But as you said under tension could be a different matter.

Also depends on the quality of the water pipe, they are  lot of companies, making/ selling water pipe in Thailand ,you get up to 2-3 -4 inch water pipe they are a lot of variations in the quality, and price, quality being in the thickness of the pipe, I think it is the same with 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch pipe, which I would say would be used on this job .

I have been told Tor-Nam-Thai, Thai water pipe, is about the best or, Seu-Uh brand, Tiger.

For me the sight of rows of blue plastic pipe arches, would put me off, not nice to look at, would prefer the bent pipe, and you would know it would last, and it would take the weight, and I would say the weight issue could be a problem with plastic pipe.  

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We have had exposed water pipe outside for 7-8 years, it seems to lose some color, it is if it has been bleached almost, but it still seems alright.
But as you said under tension could be a different matter.
Also depends on the quality of the water pipe, they are  lot of companies, making/ selling water pipe in Thailand ,you get up to 2-3 -4 inch water pipe they are a lot of variations in the quality, and price, quality being in the thickness of the pipe, I think it is the same with 1/2 inch and 3/4 inch pipe, which I would say would be used on this job .
I have been told Tor-Nam-Thai, Thai water pipe, is about the best or, Seu-Uh brand, Tiger.
For me the sight of rows of blue plastic pipe arches, would put me off, not nice to look at, would prefer the bent pipe, and you would know it would last, and it would take the weight, and I would say the weight issue could be a problem with plastic pipe.  
Have been spray painting PVC pipes or if I am really fussy I wrap them in rope. Spray paintig is easier but good to know your pipes lasted a long time.

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Do a Google image search for "rebar trellis"  and "rebar arbor" and "rebar tree".  Do the same search on Pinterest.

 

Many could be done by only slightly bending rebar by hand, then using heavy galvanized wire to lash things together.  Cris-cross pairs of arches for a little more stiffness.  Lash on some horizontal pieces and.or x-braces to tie it all together. Or use galvanized reinforcing mesh used in concrete slabs.  I like catenary or gothic arches, or somewhere in between.   A gothic arch can be made by setting two separate pieces, then bending them over until the top ends cross a bit and lash.  Then lay a long horizontal piece across the whole group on the very peak and lash that wherever it touches.  Simple.

 

One I want to make is a bunch or somewhat randomly arched and slightly twisted rods set in a big bucketful of cement in the ground.  Make it look like a bare multi-stemmed shrub. Several of these could be tied together.  Reclaimed rebar could be useful.

 

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54423ff804b3a151_8388-w240-h319-b0-p0--h

 

ee265f98d897054832359c8a5f493c60--tomato

 

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You could even grow children on a random rebar trellis.

 

Undersea-Aviary-Seattle.jpg

 

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Planning to do this myself, interesting topic. I am considering self treated bamboo (with borax bath) and expect to tear down and redo every 2-4 years. Another interesting approach that is very efficient but doesn’t have the same landscaping apeal is to make a very strong trellis with posts in the ground (wood or concrete) and heavy wire or cable between (like a fence). Have seen this used to produce passionfruit. Plants planted under the lowest wire and climb up. Area is kept mowed to very near the space under the wires and fruit can either be easily picked from the vines or picked up from the ground if to be used for juice (look bad, but usually still fine inside). This lets you manage what can be an overwhelming increase in plant expansion with not very much effort.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I have now bought all the gear and tools and will soon embark on this project.  I am building another property on my land which will be on concrete pillars allowing me to make a workshop and tool storage area on the ground floor.  Still need to source a big heavy vice to bend the steel which I hope will lead me to be able to do more intricate styles and designs as I want my arches to be picturesque.

 

It has been a long long time since I worked with metal, I was just 16 yrs old and working on a YTS scheme at Cammell Lairds ( I learnt nothing other than how to use a grinder and that there is no such thing as a glass hammer or striped paint from the storerooms but you could get long wait). So providing I don't cut off a thumb or electrocute myself with the welder I will soon provide updates and photos of my amateurish endeavors and will gladly take any constructive criticism from those who know what they are actually doing.

 

Onwards and upwards

 

JAF

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On 7/5/2018 at 9:17 AM, kickstart said:

That top photo looks like reinforcing steel used when laying concrete, I think one sheet is 8x8 foot you would have to weld two together to get the hight if wanted an arch,it would be solid.

It is steel Rebar with 1/2" galv steel pipe slipped over it using galv steel elbows.  Very Clever!!  No welding.  Just a bit of pipe threading after cutting to length.

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On 7/4/2018 at 11:20 AM, JustAnotherFarang said:

I haven't had any experience of using a welder so this is a problem I need to learn more about but is there anything else I might be overlooking or is there any other advice that you can offer before I commit to the build

 

I think to many people spend alot of time and money aquiring certs & schooling. There are shops out there that teach in house. Real experience is important but to get it you have to start at the bottom. I have yet to see an ace x-ray welder right out if school. Its an art you acquire over time. 
We have a large shortage of welders right now.if your not finding work you'll need to look in cities of industry. 

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