Orchid Green House 2

So, what happens when your sister in law has an orchid passion as well? (referring to my other blog post about orchid green houses)

Your wife will ask you to build a green house for your sister in law.

And what do we do? We build the green house, of course! And we like it that way!

The requirements were slightly different this time. The idea was to keep the green house more open, as opposed to have it fully covered in netting.

The featured image is actually a screen shot with my phone of a video I made to show my sister in law my SketchUp design.

I’m still building this greenhouse, so writing this article will be an ongoing process. So more is coming in the coming, say, four weeks. (I’m only building a few hours per weekend).


  • 3×6″ cut lengthwise to create 3×3″ beams. 6’6″ length. These are the standing legs
  • 1×3″ cut to 7′ length (eventually most of them will be 6’6″ length, but I cut them on site.
  • Deck screws


These are the tools I have and used:

  • hand saw
  • circular saw
  • electrical screwdriver / drill
  • tape measure
  • square
  • level
  • sanding paper, detail sanding machine

step by step instructions

These instructions are the way I built this green house. It’s maybe not the most efficient way to build, but I just think up the construction along the way. For me, this is the most fun to build it. Sometimes I look at what I made and then don’t know how to proceed. Then it’s time to take a moment and think it through. There’s always a solution, so when inspiration comes, I continue πŸ™‚

These are the days of building. Each day counts for about 4 to 5 hours of work.

All the beams, I sand lightly by hand because I don’t have a decent sander πŸ™‚ It’s all very therapeutic πŸ˜€

All the 1×3″ I saw by hand. The 3×3″ beams I saw with my circular saw (only two of them, because the rest were cut by my local home improvement shop.

Day 1

on day 1 I layed out the ground plan, and fixed the vertical beams on the top. In hindsight, I should have fixed the bottom part, but that’s a piece of experience I gained πŸ™‚


Vertical 3×3 with a 1×3 on top, fixed with 2 deck screws in the top of each leg.

Day 2

Between day 1 and day 2, the plans changed. Instead of a 6’6″ x 3’3″ rectangular surface, the plans were now a 6’6″ x 6’6″ L-shape.

The diagonal 1×3’s make the structure stand vertically.

Day 3

Now it’s standing vertically, and the top and bottom are at the correct distances.

Note that the middle leg, and the front most leg are warped. I had to go get more lumber and replace them πŸ™

Day 4

On day 4 I got a little more creative.

To support the lower storage shelf (see the 1st photo) I made up this solution.

I wanted to have 1×3’s all around at the same height for the main shelving/tabletop, so somehow they had to cross. See below for some pictures of what I came up with. I have no idea if this is at all usual in woodworking, but for me it worked πŸ™‚ (photos 2-6)

Photo 7 is the end result of my workings for day 4.

Day 5

On this day, I continued the work on the table top / main shelf. I had to re-do some 1×3’s due to a lack of planning πŸ˜‰

All in all it didn’t seem like a lot of progress, but as you all know, a good preparation is half the work.

Day 6

Day 6 was my ‘mortise and tenon joint’ day.

All the tenons I made with my hand saw.

The first two mortises I made with chisel and hammer only. They weren’t straight and they were a lot of work πŸ™‚
After that I pre-drilled some holes around the edge of the mortises and then used the chisel to cut out the hole. This was quicker and lighter. However, the holes were still not straight. I guess it’s easier to create the mortises on a work bench, than the way I did it: right on the installed beams in my structure πŸ™‚

It’s starting to look like something

Day 7

Day 7 was all dedicated to staining the wood. I got Thompson’s Water Seal “Acorn Solid”

It took me about 4 hours! In the burning sun! But it turned out nice:

Half way


Finished! (more or less)

I applied the stain bit by bit with a brush and followed quickly with a cloth to rub it in.

It’s now half finished because the bottom part of the legs, and the bottom of the waist-height bars I didn’t do yet, but that’s not too much of a hassle. I’ll just tumble over the whole structure so I can reach those parts easily.

Day 8

Day 8 was dedicated to buying some more wood, sand the edges and stain those pieces. And installing that. When it got dark I was about to start putting on the netting, but without too much sight, I left that for day 9.

Here are some pictures:

Sanding the edges
Staining / painting / water sealing the pieces 1
Staining / painting / water sealing the pieces 1
Installing the boards

I stopped working when it was dark, so I couldn’t make any pictures of where I ended up this day πŸ™

Day 9

Day 9 was dedicated to attaching the netting. At least, the bits that I could. Turned out that I was sold a piece of netting that was stitched together. I managed to place that over a beam so it doesn’t show, however that meant that I had some scrap pieces that are now useless πŸ™ Guess I’ll have to get some more netting… That’s going to be day 10.

I attached all the netting in a double layer. It turns out that over here in Curaçao, the sun is so harsh that with a single layer of netting, orchids will get burnt. Doubling the layer of netting also increases the level of difficulty in attaching the netting. Suffice it to say: my fingers are a bit sore now (all worth it of course!)

Attaching netting from the bottom to the top. (Not very efficient)
Detail of the bottom of the back netting
the back is on
The back is on!
The back is on. Starting with the top
Back and top are on!
Last picture of the day

Again, I stopped working at dark, so no pictures of the end result πŸ™ However, I did manage to add netting to two more sides. On the last picture above, the right side, and the very front.

Day 10

On day 10 I have to:

  • flip the whole construction on its side, so I can seal the bottom parts
  • attach the rest of the netting (2 sides)
  • attach a few bars, so orchids can be hung up.

So, hopefully in a total of 10 sessions I’ll have this project finished!

Did you like this story (it was fun building, although a lot of work πŸ™‚ and I’m happy with the end result) ?? Then go to the sidebar, or scroll down, or click HERE and subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll even get my free ebook for free. That’s a pleonasm right there, I know. But I’m leaving it in. Just because I can. And because I don’t know how to end an article. I’m rambling. Stop.

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