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JoeTC

Help building a darkhouse

12 posts in this topic

I've decided to build a colapsable darkhouse and I was hoping someone might be able help me with questions I have. It's going to have a 4'x6' plywood base with plywood ends and some sort of canvas covering the sides and over the top. The goal will be able to fold the two ends down flat so that it will fit in my truck.

My main dilema is what type of canvas to use and where I can get it? Secondly, how thick of plywood should I use for the floor and for the ends? And finally, once I fold up the ends what is a good way to keep them up and hold them against the wind?

I know there are a lot of similar houses out there so hopefully someone on here will be able to help me. I'm mostly concerned with where I can find a good type of canvas or tarp to use.

And on another note I speared my first northern yesterday and I think I'm hooked, I was also able to see a musky come through this morning which was awesome to see.

Thanks for your help,

Joe

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As far as canvas, there is alot of places that you can get this.

As far as the wood, make sure that you make it think enough so you dont crack it when you stand on it. The more that you have, the more stable it will be for you in the house once you cut the hole.

Just use some polls or something that you can hold it all together.

If i were you, i would add all this up for materials, and time, and see if its better to just buy it. Im not one to build it, just pay for it sick.gifeek.gif

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This type of house is what I have now for about 25 years. It is made out of 2 sheets of 3/8" plywood and 1x4's for the base. I like it as it if fairly light and I can set it up in a minute. I would not recommend going any thinner on the plywood and not over 1/2" as it will get heavy. My only changes would be using a 2x4" on the ends so the hinges are more secure. I put about 6" strap hinges on as there is more surface area holding. Mine is acutally slightly smaller - about 42" wide and just under 6' long. If you cut the plywood at your desired height (around 5"+) you should have the extra pieces to splice together for the floor. I use 2 - 1x2's cut to length to hold the outside walls up. Just put a small block of wood on the inside so the 1x2" can sit on and don't fall down. The hole I cut in it is 20"x36" which is nice size for me. Just get a good quality canvas and I used staples on the ends to hold it in place.

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This is somewhat the style that I was thinking of making for next year.

Except

I would build 2 of them. Before placing the tarps on them I would set them long side by long side with a 1 or 2 ft strip of plywood between the floors. Then I would then attach the plywood to both houses with hinges.

Then I would place the tarp over the whole ceiling and along the crease of the walls between the 2 houses.

To fold the house up I would fold both sides in then fold the one house on top of the other.

Folded up the house would be about 4X8

Unfolded it would be 8X9 or 8X10

The problems with this design may be weight.

It would take right around 7 sheets of plywood.

I was thinking ¼” plywood.

But I don’t know how much that would weigh?

Then there is the cost.

I would guess about $350.

After looking at the cost I think I am going to wait to buy a house on the off season that may work better.

I bought a collapsible 4X6 canvas house this year for $40 just before the season started.

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I went to the store today looking at some lumber and some canvas and they had some nice heavy duty brown canvas that I think would work, it was 10 oz canvas. Would this work well? I'm just not sure how much is necessary for keeping all the light out.

Joe

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If i were you, i would try and find some black myself. The reason i say this, is becuase if you look at some of the houses that are on the market that have blue or green canvas, i believe there tough to spear out of.

Yourself, your not going to have any problems if you get all black canvas. You might pay a little bit more, but after its all said and done, your going to be alot happier becuase the light will not come in near as much as other colors.

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I just ordered some black canvas from a company here in fargo that makes fish house canvas so I think I should be all set. I finished drawing up my plans this morning and hopefully will be able to put it all together this weekend. Thanks for the help, I'll post some pics when I'm done.

Joe

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We had a guy north of us that built portable spearing houses for years. Wood floor, wood ends, canvas top. I have no idea how many he sold. Up here that was the only house to have. The canvas he used for years became unavailable and had to find another acceptable canvas. He decided on a black canvas. It was more porous. Some light came through. But like he said there were other canvases to choose from but it had to be flexible when it was cold. I know people that purchased other canvas and when it got cold out they could hardly fold there house up. Also some thing to think about is have the wood sides raised about a foot or so and you can leave everything inside when folded. Not bad for weight if there are two of you to lift it in and out of a pickup. We would put our fish outside when taking them off of the spear so they wouldn’t flop around and knock everything over in the house or down the hole. The door should be placed appropriately if you are left or right handed. The guy that built them had to quit building them because he has problems with his hands. A few things to think about if you build your own. \:\)

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how the heck have you been wayne. Long time no talk!!

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Not much lately except going over to where I get my materials and product cut out. They’re having problems again with their laser machine. Ordered flat iron for the hinge points on the Icesaws a week and ½ ago and it still hasn’t showed up. The shelf is getting pretty low on Icesaws and I need the flat iron to make more. Backordered on spears being the laser is down. The only good thing is when I got sick on Friday there wasn’t any work here in the shop so I could go home and load up on drugs and go to bed. Would have been pretty tough working the way I felt. Still kind of groggy & sinuses plugged. Iron filings and dust would have done wonders even wearing the dust masks.

Hope you guys have a good time today. Maybe if it hadn’t been super bowl there might have been more people going with you checking out the great sport of spearing and watching in the big aquarium.

grin.gif\:\)

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thats good bud, im glad to see that your busy with the saws and getting everything rolling. When i set up the get to gator, i was thinking that the SB was the week before, but we still had a great time. We are going to plan for another one next year, that we might do in early Jan, so there isnt as much ice on the lake. Huey knows what im talking about.

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