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applestar
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

Tossing ideas out -- do they melt or soften when heated?
- Red hot re-bar?
- Blowtorch then and use heat proof gloves/pliers to push/bend?
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DoubleDogFarm
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

applestar wrote:Tossing ideas out -- do they melt or soften when heated?
- Red hot re-bar?
- Blowtorch then and use heat proof gloves/pliers to push/bend?

oh stinky! Use a holesaw. Drill a hole and then make two saw cuts. Done.


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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

There's a plastics vendor near work that sells scrap pieces by the pound, and they did the cuts for free, so I got 7 pieces of 10 x 10, 1/4" acrylic for $35, and didn't need to pay for shipping. I also got all the remnants left over after the cutting:
image.jpg
image.jpg (33.38 KiB) Viewed 1460 times
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sheeshshe
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

what a fun project!
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TheWaterbug
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

DoubleDogFarm wrote:Use a holesaw. Drill a hole and then make two saw cuts. Done.
Done! I have a drill press at work.

Image

Well, at least half done. I'll make the saw cuts at home tonight.

I'm off to Home Depot to find some brackets or hinges or channels or something to hold it all together.
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

TheWaterbug wrote:Image
My original plan was to build one exactly like this (except 10" per side), but then I thought if the pumpkin is really pressing hard against the fixed walls of the box, it might be impossible to slide it out, and it might require disassembling the box in the field to extract it.

Assume the sides are numbered like this:

Image

I was considering adding a hinge at the 1-4 edge and a hasp at the 3-6 edge.

Another option would be to fix the 1-4-5 sides into one structure and the 2-3-6 sides into another structure with a hinge at the 2-4 edge and the stem slot on the 3 side, with hasps at the 3-5 edge, the 1-6 edge, and the 1-2 edge.

Any thoughts on this?
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

I would draw a picture but I don't have a scanner to upload.


I'm thinking a wood base. The bottom dosen't need to be clear. Cut 4 dados so the four side set in. Then cap with the plastic framed in wood with corresponding dados. Hold the whole thing together with a couple bungee cords.


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applestar
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

You could draw a picture then take a picture of the picture with your camera. :wink:
Who needs scanners? It's all James Bond stuff, now, :lol:
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

So I finally built it today:

Image

Image

I did an absolutely _horrid_ job with the two saw cuts on the vine opening, but I don't think the vine will care. I also had to redrill for that one hasp that wouldn't close properly.

I have the mechanical repeatability of lightning (e.g. never the same place twice) so there was a lot of trial and error and fiddling, but I eventually got everything put together. Tomorrow I'm off to the garden to select a cube candidate.

Once it's all put together, it seems like it'll take quite a sizable pumpkin to fill it up. I'm thinking definitely one of my Big Maxes.
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ElizabethB
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

I did not take the time to read every answer in detail or visit every link..In high school - oh so many years ago. I grew square melons by placing the young melon in a cinder block. As it matured it conformed to the shape of the cinder block and we had square watermelon. Of course a cinder block limits the mature size. You could just as easily make a box from scrap lumber.

The face molds are just too cool!

Can't wait to see pictures of your finished product.
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

Awesome...I'm so anxious to see how the melons turn out!

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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

Hey awesome project! Love DIY stuff.
Great work but one think I would suggest if it's not too late is to add two more of those latches to the corners that have nothing because those un secured corners will bow out under pressure. How much is questionable, it may even be negligible, but it may not be.

If the door is #2 I'm talking about that corner on #6 and #1. They are opposite ends of the cube from each other.

Regardless, it's going to turn out awesome and I'm excited to see it! Inspired too.

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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

Schnazleberry wrote:If the door is #2 I'm talking about that corner on #6 and #1. They are opposite ends of the cube from each other.
Using the numbering from the red die photo above, you're talking about the 3-5-6 corner on the 6 face and the 1-2-4 corner on the 1 face, correct?

Yeah, those could bow out under pressure. It's not much effort to add pieces; I'll have to see if I have time to get to Home Depot this afternoon.

Of course now that I've been to HD 5-6 times and added a metric ton of hardware to my expensive acrylic pieces, my "savings" from not buying the manufactured product divided by my hours is far less than minimum wage!!!

Of course this way I get larger box. That product was only 8 x 8.
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

Schnazleberry wrote:Hey awesome project! Love DIY stuff.
Great work but one think I would suggest if it's not too late is to add two more of those latches to the corners that have nothing because those un secured corners will bow out under pressure. How much is questionable, it may even be negligible, but it may not be.

If the door is #2 I'm talking about that corner on #6 and #1. They are opposite ends of the cube from each other.
Well, you were 100% correct. 2013's cubic pumpkin was an utter failure, along with nearly my entire pumpkin crop, because I planted too late. Most of my crop rotted, the rest of it never even set fruit, and the one in the cuber didn't even fill out 1/3 of the volume.

2014 was a failure in a different way. As you suggested might happen, those un-bound corners bowed out under some tremendous pressure. My weakest panel (from the cutout) just broke off:

Image

Things were so distorted that it was impossible to release the hasps. I had to unscrew the hinges and three of the hasps before things sprang open. Here are the ruins of the cuber afterward:

Image

and here's the pumpkin itself:

Image

It's not a total failure, but it's not what I was hoping for, either. It has some geometry to it, but there's no "presentation angle" from which it looks like a real cube. Oh well; there's always next year. Tomorrow is the 5th annual pumpkin party.

I do have one extra plexiglass panel; I may replaced the broken one with a panel that has only a central hole drilled in it, and I'll put the pumpkin inside when it's very small, so I can just put it through the hole. I'll cut off the vine beyond the fruit, so that I won't have to worry as much about the vine.

And I'll reinforce those two extra corners, too.
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

well, it seems tricky. If the cube is bigger than the pumpkin, it won't make any difference and you will still have round pumpkin. But it seems like if the cube is very much smaller than the pumpkin wants to get, nothing will contain it.
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

Thanks for this thread. It was very informative.

I thought to build my own mold but a friend found these online for much less (time/money) than I could build an untested one for.

https://www.melonmold.com.

I'll update this as the growing occurs.

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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

TXfarmer11 wrote:Thanks for this thread. It was very informative.

I thought to build my own mold but a friend found these online for much less (time/money) than I could build an untested one for.

https://www.melonmold.com.

I'll update this as the growing occurs.
I bought the cube one and the heart one. Here was the heart 10 days ago when I put the pumpkin in:

Image

and here it was yesterday :evil:

Image

Apparently I need to find a pumpkin whose destiny is _exactly_ the volume of the mold. :roll:

I put the cube mold around a fruit that aborted, so I just took it off and put it around another fruit. There's a lotta screws on these things!

If I can find it, I might try my old home-made mold as well.

This is much harder than it looks!
Last edited by TheWaterbug on Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

Yeah as I said on previous page, it seems very tricky. If the mold is more than slightly bigger than the finished melon size, it seems like the melon won't get shaped. If the mold is more than very slightly smaller than the finished melon size, it will get bowed (as in your previous page picture), cracked, etc. I expect the growing melon can exert a LOT of pressure.

It seems like what is needed is a mold with just a little bit of give/flex at the seams. Little enough that it still squeezes/shapes the melon, but enough to keep the mold from breaking. Tricky. Can the screws be loosened to make a little more room?
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

I could loosen the screws to make 1/8" more room, but I doubt that would matter much to the pumpkin. They want to be big!

But, from the link on the previous page, if I remove the mold the shape may persist through some additional growth.

So I'm going to pull the heart mold off this evening and put it on a new fruit. I'll wrap it with a nylon strap to hold it together, and when the new fruit fills it out to about 95%, I'll take it off again.

Maybe I'll get a few hearts out of this.
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Re: Growing cubic pumpkins/squashes/watermelons?

Looking forward to seeing progress reports/photos. :D
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