Hi all, I decided to build myself a little wicking bed. thought I'd share some photos of it with you. I drew much of my inspiration for certain details from THIS BUILD thread over at the BYAP forum. When you're done looking at mine, you should definitely check his thread out.
I designed the box based on the dimensions of some plastic soda crates I got from one of the convenience stores nearby. I zip tied the crates together, zip tied the fill tube to the crates, and wrapped with permeable weed cloth.
using the dimensions of the assembly I laid out the box for the 300-320mm (12") soil depth rule of thumb. I used cedar fence pickets for the sides, 2x4's for the corners, and 2x3's for the top rail.
All connections screwed with wood glue.
I used some waste banner vinyl for my liner, sourced from a local print company (unusable runnout at the end of a roll). in the bottom corners I put healthy dabs of aquarium safe silicone to prevent leaks in case the vinyl cracked.
Once I had the liner fit to the box, I removed it and sealed the whole box using deck sealant. Since the soil isn't not going to be in direct contact with any part of the wood, there is no risk of the sealant leeching into the soil.
I then drilled a hole for the overflow (bulkhead fitting), and test fit the reservoir components.
Filled the reservoir to check for leaks prior to back-filling with sand for the "wick".
Success! Water draining from the only point I wanted it to.
Back-filling the gaps in the reservoir with clean sand. The small particles will help wick the moisture up into the soil.
When fitting the permeable layer between the reservoir and the soil, weighing it down with some of the soil you're going to use helps immensely. Weed cloth trimmed, stapled and fit.
With the top rail drilled and fit, I'm nearly done.
..... and BOOM! Just add soil.