Bend Your Own Mini-Tunnel Arches

“Where did you buy those mini-tunnel arches?” was the main response to last month”s post about overwintering crops in mini-tunnels,

Well, we bought some 10ft long E.M.T. conduit from a local hardware store and then bent the arches ourselves.

It’s a pretty simple process that you can easily do on your farm.

Come, let’s see what it looks like!

Let’s start with a diagram

There are three parts to the arch. Two x 32″ straight legs, and a curved part on top.

We bend the curved part around a jig made with bits of 2×4 that we had lying around.

Lay Out Your Jig

  1. Hammer in a nail where you want the center of your curve
  2. Tie some string around the nail
  3. Measure 18″ (the radius of your half circle) and then tie a pencil to the end of the sting
  4. Use this string as your compass and trace the outline of your circle.
  5. Nail or screw some scrap pieces of wood along the inside of the half circle.

Start Bending

Measure 32″ on one of the straight legs. Mark that point with a sharpie.

Ideally you should have a buddy to help you with this step.

One person lines up the 32″ mark with the beginning of the half circle.

The other person bends the conduit around the half circle.

Bend Away

You’ll be amazed how easily this bends into a curve.

After you’ve made one arch, double check that both legs are the same length. They should both be roughly 32″. You can adjust the length of the starting leg to be longer or shorter on your next arches.

You’ll have a pile of arches in no time!

Ready For Seed Isolation Tents

Or Overwintering Crops In Mini-Tunnels

Bending Bigger Arches

This is actually almost the same process we use to bend out caterpillar tunnel arches. Except CP tunnels take a lot more force to bend.

You can see how we bent our CP tunnel arches in this classic Going To Seed Post!

Now go out and bend some arches!


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