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Bruce

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Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #1 
I finally have started construction of my 6x12 zero pass.  After months of planning and design and getting information from all you who have been so generous with your projects, I am now underway.  First I had to R&R the gutter and fascia above the site of my collector and then I decided to replace the roof for the overhang after I realized that there were two huge holes in the roof caused by falling ice this winter. These "might as well" projects seem to slow me down all the time.  This project (and this thread) are going to evolve over time.  I am retired but drive chartered bus in my spare time.  I plan to work on this project as time permits and enjoy it as a hobby...not a necessary repair or improvement to my home ;-)

After reading here about frame materials and methods, I decided to go big and use 2x6 wood to frame out the box.  This will allow the plywood back and the twin wall glazing to be inlaid into the frame to be easier to seal...I hope.  It should also give me room to experiment a little with screen gap between 1 and 2 inches while providing space behind the glazing.

I have dubbed the design to be 3 channel because the air will go across the lower channel, back though the middle channel and across the top of the upper channel. I am planning to blow air into the lower channel from the basement window behind through the collector and out and back though the other basement window.  

mortared.jpg  If all goes well, I should have some heat by October...this weekend is NOT good working weather for me, so I decided to start this thread instead.  ALL comments and suggestions are welcome at anytime.  I will also respond to any questions that I can. 



dbc

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Posts: 247
Reply with quote  #2 
Wow, 6x12; that's an ambitious project.  It looks like you are building the collector in place, so the weight of the 2x6 wood frame shouldn't be a problem, and it should be easier to work with than some of the other options.

Are those the basement windows (in the photo) you're talking about?  They are in an ideal location to allow short, direct air ducts, next best thing to having the ports right in the wall.  Better even, since you don't have to cut holes in the brick wall, and you can get behind there to work on the back.

One thing that may be a concern is the bottom of the collector frame resting on the stone/masonry ledge - do you have some type of capillary break between the ledge and the wood?  Might be a durability issue long-term without something there, especially if the wood is not pressure-treated, ground-contact rated.

Looking forward to seeing your project unfold - Don C.
Bruce

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Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks, Don.  I appreciate your feedback, as I have been picking your brain here about your project.  This project will not have the fine craftsmanship that yours has, but I know how to work with wood, screws and glue, so I am going with what I am comfortable. The frame is pressure treated for ground contact and is set in a well drained mortar bed.  I got the plywood back tacked on yesterday but will eventually in bed it in silicone caulk and prime and paint it. 
gbwillson

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Posts: 2,274
Reply with quote  #4 
Bruce-

Seeing the frame in place certainly allows you to visualize the final result. You have plenty of room to work behind the collector. Assuming the two windows are indeed the basement windows you plan to access the home, you should have an easy build. I look forward to following your build. 

Greg in MN
Bruce

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Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #5 
I've been busy with a couple of sales deliveries this hot week, but did manage to cut plywood for the backs.  They are just tacked in for now while I cut the insulation for the backs.  Then I will glue and screw the plywood and glue the insulation in all at one time to make sure everything fits tightly before I prime and caulk all the seams.  True Value had the new Gorilla Glue Sealant on sale, so I scored a deal there on a paintable silicone caulk.  I am looking at the seams in the plywood and considering bracing them with something for more strength.  I have read a lot here about the front glazing bulging, but not seen any discussion about the backs bulging, so maybe this is just overbuilding? I is a family trait.
gbwillson

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Reply with quote  #6 
Personal preference is for no adhesives inside the heater box other than 100% silicone. You can't paint it, but if you use black or clear depending on when it's applied, you should be good. Caulks, or siliconized caulks may not hold up as well, and you would need to check the MSDS to know if there are any issues with the caulk being heated. 

Greg in MN
Bruce

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Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #7 
It is for the outside before painting and outside the iso. Gorilla Glue 100% silicone sealant...good to 350 degrees.  On sale at True Value for $4.88 a tube. Paintable with a lifetime guarantee.  I will probably foil tape inside the box.  It will be painted with two coats of paint.  White on the outside and black on the inside.
dbc

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Posts: 247
Reply with quote  #8 
That's interesting about the silicone.  I have been using both clear GE Silicone II (not paintable) and GE White 'Supreme Paintable' Silicone both inside and outside the collector.  I sort of assumed they were the basically the same, but, digging deeper, that doesn't appear to be the case.  The paintable version is on the right:

Silicone, 070718.jpg

The paintable version really is paintable, but it's possible to work around that by adjusting the construction sequence, maybe using the clear over a surface that's already painted.  Home Depot carries the 100% Silicone II in clear, white, and black.  I think I will stick with that in the future.  The paintable has held up OK for me so far, but it hasn't been for that long yet.  Some reviewers on the HD site had trouble with yellowing and cracking after a while.  

Bruce

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Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #9 
A correction is in order...the Gorilla Silicone Caulk is NOT paintable...the sign in the store was wrong once I read the tube.  And it was supposed to be on sale for $2.88 and she charged me $4.88, which was the sale price on the GE caulk on the shelf below. I will get that straightened out next trip back. Nice to deal with a local store sometime ;-) 

I got the plywood back glued and screwed this morning.  Also added some support stips to the back of the joints to add some support and to anchor my bolts that will go through from the glazing supports through the back to sandwich the whole unit together front to back. Next is the insulation that I have cut and ready to go.  I am going to caulk the frame and plywood as I glue in the insulation.
Bruce

Registered:
Posts: 108
Reply with quote  #10 
Got the priming done yesterday (I can only work in the shade in the morning or late afternoon this time of the year) and caulked and glued the insulation onto the back and the sides this morning.  The new Gorilla Glue Silicone caulk is nice to work with a sticks like crazy to the polyiso and foil.  I had to apply a few strategically placed cabinet screws to hold the insulation in place I had some just glued on temporarily and when went to pull it apart after about 30 minutes the iso pulled apart. I had to scrape the scrap piece off to remove it.  It is beginning to look like a solar project now.   insulated.jpg

I have to take a busload of kids to Go N Bananas later, so I will have to wait to prime and caulk some more.  90 degree heat is predicted for the next 3 days, so it looks like it will be next week. I have to wait for my duct collars to come via USPS , so I don't know if I will do any work on this project this weekend. 

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