Providing customers with the highest quality greenhouse structures is one thing, and helping them build a highly functional system by offering them the necessary hardware components required to install the greenhouse tunnel is another. So here is a list of some of the necessary bands, clamps, and connectors you should include in your greenhouse tunnel kit.
These are absolutely necessary, especially for high tunnel projects. Brace bands are small, inexpensive components in the greenhouse tunnel kit used for major structural features of a greenhouse frame, such as where the end-walls make contact with bows/ hoops, at the corner braces that attach to the bows or ground posts, wat the truss rafters contacting bows, where the purling hit the end-hoops, etc.
- Brace bands for round tubing: Most greenhouse structures are round tubings. These brace bands are designed to connect to the round tubes and are available in various diameters. Most of them are made to fit 1.315”, 1.90”, and 1.66” OD tubing. These bands can line up perfectly with the end-wall bracket connections, ends of the tubes that have been flattened and drilled, or pressed steel cups. Brace bands allow for a sturdy bolt and nut connection.
- Brace bands for square tubing: If you are providing greenhouse kits with bows/hoops made of 2” X2” square steel tubing, the square brace band should be an essential item in your kit. These are necessary even if the bows/hoops are made of round tubing and end walls are made of 2” X2” square steel. These bands can be used if the installer wants to attach a diagonal brace from a hoop/bow to the square end-wall tube.
Cross-Connector Purlin Clamps
Cross connectors are designed to easily and quickly attach two pieces of steel tubes that are crossing perpendicularly. When the tubings are connected with these clamps, they are called purlins, hence the name purlin clamps. One of the greatest benefits of cross connector purlin clamps is that they can be installed without a drill driver. The installer can simply put the clamps onto the two pieces of crossing tube and attach it by tightening down the two nuts and bolts on the clamp.
Lock-Up Purlin Clamps
This is another way of connecting perpendicular metal tubes. Lock-up clamps do not require nuts and bolts. One part of the clamp goes over the top of the tubes, and the other one is hammered on the underside to create a firm connection. These clamps come in various sizes and are quick to install. Since, in recent years, these clamps have become less readily available; it is better that you recommend your customers use a cross connector. However, if they want to go with lock-up clamps, advise them to drive a single self-tapping TEK screw through the underside of the plate and into the purlin.
This is an extremely versatile option for greenhouse builders. Two-hole straps are said to be an economy version of lock-up and cross-connector clamps since they can be used to attach perpendicular steel tubes. Two-hole straps can also be used to connect a double aluminum channel hip-rail to the vertical steel tubing. The type of double aluminum channel that works perfectly for two-hole straps is the one with a slot through the full length of its backside. This hardware is especially necessary for those using lumber for their rails and baseboards. At every point the lumber makes contact with a ground post or hoop, two-hole straps can connect the lumber to the tunnel. The strap can be prevented from shifting by driving a self-tapping TEK screw through the strap into the steel tube. Two-hole straps are extremely versatile greenhouse-building components.
Hardware For End-Wall Connections
- Twist -plates are great with many types of lumber or square steel tubing. One side of the twist-plate fitting is flat, which can be directly attached to the side of studs or horizontal members. While the other side twists to provide a hole that perfectly lines up with a brace band.
- Lumber End-Wall Bracket Assemblies: These are used for attachment only to the end of lumber 2X4s and 4X4s. These units connect to the top of lumber framing components very firmly, and the hole in the bracket lines up perfectly with a nut and bolt or a brace band.
- Steel End-Wall Bracket Assemblies: These are designed to firmly attach to the end of square steel tubing at one end. They have pre-drilled holes in the bracket that receive self-tapping TEK screws. The hole in the bracket can line up with brace bands on the hoop.
Regardless of whether the customers buy a small or a large greenhouse of the high tunnel, it is important that you inform them about the components required for building the structures so that they can assemble a highly functional structure.