After seeing a couple commercial hay bale blinds at the Iowa Deer Classic, decided to experiment and build one for this next deer season.
This is an on going project so updates will follow until it's completed.
Listed the features I found appealing in the commercial units and what would fit our needs. First of all it needed to be large enough for an adult and kids. Wanted no floor but it had to have a flat bottom that could be staked to prevent rolling away in high winds. Needed to have a small window on all four corners, preferably a quiet slider type window. Height of about 6' with 7' in overall length. Bale blind had to be light enough to transport to other locations and rugged enough to leave out year round. There will be a door at one end with a window.
In an effort to keep cost low, used EMT tubing and cattle panels. The framed up unit (without grass and covering) is about $100. EMT electrical conduit is about $1.50 for a 10 foot stick. Blind will take three wire cattle panels (50" X 16'). The 16' length of the cattle panels works well since that's about what the circumference of the blind measures. I found concrete wire mesh too flimsy and opted for the heavier gauge wire on the cattle panels.
The flat pieces of metal for the base are 3/8" X 1" X 4' long, drilled four 1/2" diameter holes for staking to the ground. Window panels will be expanded metal attached to plastic blocks that slide on the EMT tubing. Reason for expanded metal windows allows grass and covering material to be attached with cable ties or wired on. One could easily remove these and install a frame with shoot thru mesh if desired.
Round EMT hoops were run thru a tubing roller to get consistency and the shape right.....takes two 10' EMT lengths to make a complete loop. Ends of the EMT tubing are smashed flat with a hammer to make fitting and welding easier. EMT tubing is easy to blow holes through with a welder and the galvanizing has to be burned off or ground to get a good weld. Practiced on scraps to get the right heat and wire settings for the welder.
Will go into detail on the sliding windows in the next installment.....