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Considering the idea of making my own box blind for some harder to hunt areas of our farm that do not have trees. I assume there are some here that have made their own.
This is an off-season project so Id like to spend some time on doing it right. At the same time, cant seem to justify the high cost of commercially made blinds.
The idea is to make it a wood-framed structure mounted to an old hay wagon so it has a degree of portability. Looking for design ideas, lessons-learned, window sizing/kits, etc.
I was also looking making one though not necessarily portable. I had a pic of this one saved. I like the wood grain siding on this one. I think they are called Smartside panels. I also bought some Summit compound elevator brackets to attach the 4x4's to the base.
We discussed this quite a bit last year at work. One of my co workers was trying to talk his father out of buying one because of the expense. Once we did a little math on building materials (especially when you considered good, quiet windows) the price tag on the commercially available didn't seem so high.
deer view makes what looks to be a decent window for a reasonable price. I have no real world experience with them yet but I will at this time next year.
I keep hearing the argument that you cant build one any cheaper than you can buy one..... that's crazy. Anyone who is even considering building one probably knows how to scavenge some of the materials and you can buy an awefull lot of materials for $2500
I agree grubby. my guess is the one JL shows isn't much cheaper, but there are some easy variants that will be long lasting and still get the job done.
For any of you that live in Michigan there are several Amish in the central part of the state that build blinds both for archery and firearm use.
My son bought one last year and they are very well built. Sliding windows, rough sawn boards and steel roof. We priced the materials for building one our selves and by the time you figure your labor you can buy one much cheaper. Their ads are posted on craigslist.
I doubt I will ever build one again. I don't have the time or the willingness to scavenge for material, I go buy so I have exactly what I need to do the job right and how I want it (insulated walls, insulated windows, thick carpet, quiet opening windows, maintenance free, etc.). For the cost and several weekends of hassle to build in the middle of the woods, I will buy one already made next time, probably a Banks.
5.5’ X6.5’ and standing height inside. The roof is made of discarded, foam core aluminum garage door panels. 2”X2” and3/8” sheathing for the walls. 2”X4” and double 3/8” on the floor. Carpet for noise. And old carpet underlay on the walls really deadens the sound.
What about buying a good pop up blind and putting on the hay wagon? If it were me, I'd build it to look like hay bails, or maybe just buy one of those round hay bail blinds.
Grubby referenced Deerview windows. They are pretty good windows for the money. I used the vertical 24”x 10” tinted ones. I mounted the bottom hinge slightly offset just enough so that when you open the window it swings open slowly on it’s own. If you’re going to put your blind up in the air very far, make sure you mount the bottom of your windows low enough to be able shoot below your blind somewhat. You need to determine if you are going want to shoot standing or sitting as well, before installing your windows. I much prefer standing, myself, when shooting out of a blind for a couple of reasons. First, it’s just more comfortable for me. Second, I can maneuver around more easily, if needed, vs sitting.
I only recently started deer hunting out of blinds and I would much rather hunt from a tree stand, but, sometimes the blinds are your only option, plus they are tailor made for taking kids/spouse with you.
I use a swivel, rolling office chair with arm rests. Tried a few used ones to get one that was comfy but more importantly dead quiet. I can position myself slowly and quietly with just my feet
I would buy a quality blind such as Banks or Muddy if it’s in your budget. Shadow hunters are decent too but a step down from the first two. I own about 30 box blinds of different shapes, sizes and makes. I have found that the cheaper ones don’t hold up and usually get mouse and pest infested before too long. They also don’t contain your scent as well as the good ones. I’ll make you a good deal on any of my first generation Amish built blinds!
Just my two cents. Good luck on whatever direction you go.
So I have one of these..... completed, however, not assembled. Only reason it isn't complete is because I have to get the base in place. 2 x 4's, a laminate and screws. I bet not over $100.00 in the blind. Easy to make (& i'm not even a great carpenter). I plan to assemble the sides once I get the stand in place. Lift it up piece by piece and screw into place. The roof is a variable. I live in hog country so I found a farmer with an old feeder that had a round top that will fit the blind perfectly. The only additional item that I added were custom brackets for the corners. In a small town we have a handyman welder :) You can make these any size that you want. Read the entire post as it's very interesting. SEE THE LINK>>>>>
If you build, you want a floor that doesn't creek. I also added carpet to the floor to keep it quiet. For windows to shoot out of I just cut them out - no protection to keep snow or rain out and hasn't been a problem. Made it tall enough to shoot my longbow while standing.
A noisy floor would be my biggest concern.
If your going to be mobile with it, like on a hay wagon, I to would probably go with a pop up.
I have two like these, both on platforms that I built. I have another that I just moved back home that's gonna be re-covered and put on a platform, and one that's on a commercial platform 10' tall.
I build the platforms out of 1/2" plywood and the legs out of a 10' 4x4 cut into 4 equal lengths. That gets it up enough so that no critters want to call it home. All of it is screwed together and I put more carpet on the platform. I tie it to the platform with some J hooks with a small piece of 1" strap welded to it that I've drilled a hole in. Hook the hook over a wire in the cattle panel and run a screw through the hole and into the platform X four and it's tied down.
They're built from cattle panel turned in a circle to fit a commercial top. I fabbed the doors from cattle panel and I cover the whole thing with cheap indoor/outdoor carpet and then military type camo netting. Deer and hogs pay them no attention after a little while, even if they're not brushed in. I put shoot-through netting on all windows. It's not insulated but if it's too cold I just run a little propane heater. If they smell that, they'll smell me.....
Drycreek, can you explain the commercial top?
I built this one out of salvaged aluminum insulated wall panels. I used the panels for the roof and walls and flashed it all together. The platform is 2x6 joist topped with 3/4” form ply. I have 5 deerview windows that I will install once it’s in place. I will have the bottom sprayed with about 2” of closed cell foam. I have a lot of time and probably about $750 tied up in this blind not counting the Milwaukee saw that I bought to cut the panels. It should be a solid blind and should be here for a while.
On an unrelated note.... I am also building a 4x8 walkin cooler out of the same materials. I will be cooling it with a window unit and a coolbot.
grubby, there's a guy near me who makes plastic blinds and he uses these tops on his blinds. The blinds don't appeal to me but I did buy some reject tops from him and they have worked very well for me. I got to know him when I did a bunch of dirt work for him when I was a contractor. I'm about to redo one and I'll take some pictures to show what I'm talking about. Lots of cattle panel blinds are built and I've seen some guys get pretty creative on tops, but none I've seen look as good as mine, although I'm sure they do the job.
Just a thought. I have made 4 box blinds for my northern Michigan property. Made 4 for my cousins property up there also. I make them in my shop at home ,over the winter. Use 2- 2x2 at each corner. Make 4 panels, leaving leaving the 2x2 inside the side panels,the thickness of a 2x2 ,so when I take to woods ,I can run long deck screws thru to connect the 4 panels. On the end panels the 2x2 is on the edge. So you end up with 2 -2x2 on each corner. Use green or brown metal barn roofing on top. I can haul the top,4 sides and bottom ,laying flat on my trailer. Have my openings cut out and all painted before installing. Use treated wood for all materials. Had $300 each ,in the last 4 i made. I use parachute cord ,laced thru camo fabric for curtains . Can slide camo fabric open or closed as much as needed for shooting holes. The bases i use treated 2-4x4 ,with deck material for flooring. Place carpet on floor for quietness. Make complete in my shop and put 2 screws in each corner. Pull out screws ,haul up ,install more screws when complete. Spray paint inside ,flat black. Fun winter project and makes installing in woods quick. Added some shelves for range finder ,binoculars etc. Have made some for bow and gun and some for gun only. Of course the gun only blinds can be made smaller and shorter in height. Lots of pictures and YouTube videos ,that can give you ideas. My work is slow during the winter so I have a heated shop and time to do this .
BB and DConcrete taught me everything I know that works for box blinds. I'd highly recommend checking out all of BB's antelope posts over the years to see how it should be done.
Here's a video that shows a couple blinds BB and Jeff built, that my son and I got to hunt a number of years ago in Wyoming for antelope.
https://youtu.be/wd1d33qUXIE Shows the arrow my son shot through the heart in slow mo toward the end !!!
Anyway he's who I'd go check out on how to do it right.
on skids anchored with cables. moved with frontloader of tractor.
So this might be a dumb question- but on these big blinds - are mature bucks leery of them? I don’t mean resident bucks. The reason I can never get in a blind is I’m worried about that roaming buck in the rut that’s never seen that blind before and when he sees this huge blind or box that’s obviously out of place that he skirts it. Any experiences to relay?
APauls...I think the resident bucks would way more leery of recently set blinds than the roaming bucks would be. I would think the roamers would be less leery of any blind setup, recent or long term. The deer around here see structures of all sorts. Just speculation on my part.
I own two banks blinds, both are on 6 foot structures I had built. Extremely well made blinds but not cheap, I am into them about $2300 each.
I am researching a cheaper alternative for field edges with Lazyman blinds, specifically the Jaba bow model. They are fiberglass made and $495 each. Whatever you can afford, I am a fan of buying a premade like banks or lazyman vs building one that will ultimately rot and become immobile.
My buddy’s in Montana. Complete with bed and bar.
Yeah, bullbuster is in first place for sure!
Thats NOT a blind that's a HOUSE! wicked cool man!
Built two. One is just a soft side redneck blind set on a base and works well. pictured.
The other is was all built.
Scott, Here is one I built in an old gravity flow wagon that I can move around if needed but have kept it in this spot for the last 4 years. I have a set of stairs on the left side with a 4 foot door. I built the windows myself 10"x30" with smoked plastic sheets from Menards. Originally I put the 4 vertical windows in but after a year or two I hated the blind spots so the other 2 horizontal windows are for viewing only. It is not insulated but would be nice to do but not necessary. With the height of the windows I use a taller directors chair inside.
Since I have left it in this spot for the last few years I would like to build some cribbing and get it in the air 3-4 foot higher. That would be one negative is you have to be careful with opening a window to shoot (bow) as my food plot is narrow and sometimes they are fairly close.
I have another wagon undercarriage and am planning on building a platform on it then either build another blind or purchase something like a haybale blind to put on it then move it around when needed.
Yes, I thought of using a gravity wagon too. You can find them around here pretty reasonably and some guys are putting floors in them, etc. Great design!