The mesh cloche was designed to keep birds and the occasional rabbit away from freshly germinated salad seedlings (with the bonus of looking attractive as well) and was the most complex item I made for the raised beds. It would have been much easier if I could have ironed out the kinks using a model first.
The build breaks down into five pieces, the four sides, which are identically sized flat frames, fastened together with “loose pin” hinges, and the far more complex “pyramid” top, with its beaten lead dome (made from a lead flashing off-cut).
Two of the frames clip onto copper pipes inserted into the base. When assembled with their companions with specially made 10″ hinge pins they form a moderately rigid structure.
The pyramid simply rests on the top of the same copper pipes which are set about 3/4″ short of the height of the side frames creating a recess which holds the top in place.
Whilst the dimensions of the raised bed base are accurate in the model, the width of the side frames (and hence the size of the pyramid base) will vary dependant on the size of copper pipe and pipe clips used.
When I made the original, I fitted the copper pipe in the base and attached the pipe clips, and then measured from “outside edge” to “outside edge” of the clips to get the width of the pyramid base and add 1/8″ to this measurement for the width of the frames.
A little thought when attaching both the hinges and the pipe clips to the frames will pay dividends later. Correct positioning and orientation of the hinges and positioning the “outside edge” of the pipe clips 3/4″ from the “outside edge” of the frames will make them truly universal.
The biggest “problem” I have now is that due to the addition of a third 4′ x 4′ bed I really need another cloche to maintain the symmetry…