A Place Where No Dreams Come True...

Current Topic: We added more sheddage to our largest cluster of sheds known as the 'Metro Shed Area'. We are calling it the Tri-Shed Complex.

Last Year We 'Mostly' Completed Two Sheds From The Tri-Shed Complex...

If you are not up to date on last years progress you should catch up and read the first installation of the Metro-Shed-Area Tri-Shed-Complex report.

Last year we managed to complete roofs on the barn and the tack shed. With a little bit of additional kludging we were able to seal up the barn and move horses in. A nice bonus for the Winter. It's a big barn at 20 by 24 feet. Ok... It's a small barn but it is a single stall. And that's a big stall which was more then enough to accommodate a 'nanny' mare and the two weanlings.

Tack Shed door 10ga 5-conductor extension cord

To start this year, in the frozen cold, we decided to run power to the sheds. It was about all we could do. Everything else we are planning is on hold until our poorly stored materials thaw out of the ground. We did this using a custom extension cord we made. It turns out that I had an old roll of 5-conductor 10-ga. rubber jacketed cable. I also had a 30-Amp three-phase 'Hubbell' twist-lock connector pair. Well... 350 feet later... We now have a 220-volt 30-Amp 'temporary' service at the shed area. This effort also included some internal and external lighting for the sheds. Nothing improves a sheds personality better then electrical power.

And... Picking up from last year... Since the weather hadn't picked up yet (from Winter) we had to arrange our projects to get whatever we could finished. We are also on a serious budget this year.

Tack Shed door Tach Shed storage Tach Shed storage

We managed to acquire an old door. Which we installed on the tack shed (at least it's third use). We also had only remaining scrap and leftover materials (lumber, screws, brackets) to divide the shed at the seven foot level. As agreed upon, the lower portion of the shed would be used as a tack shed and the upper portion would be storage. And storage requires shelving. Which, when added, provided even more volume then we expected. We're in 'bonus' territory again.

That leaves us with only the third shed roof to finish, and some miscellaneous details, to complete the 'Metro Shed Area' 'Tri-Shed Complex' project. To pull this off, on a budget, we used our sawmill to generate the remaining lumber we needed.

After about a week of sawing we had more then enough lumber for the roof. We moved the lumber we needed to the shed and 'stick and stacked' it to air dry for a short bit before we used it. In the mean time we spent an additional week sawing lumber for other projects and we split and stacked our firewood for next season.

Storage Shed lumber Storage Shed front truss Storage Shed roof rafters

After about three weeks the lumber was stable enough to use. What we sawed for rafters was 2 by 10 Fir. 21 feet long. 20 of them. And they were monsters. We figure these as weighing in at about 120 pounds each. Minimum. We also had plenty of one inch side lumber for the remaining sub-roof. The side lumber is only dimensional in thickness. Additionally one or both edges may be 'natural' (unsawn).

The first thing we did was to tie the front and back of the shed together, on eight foot centers, with some old 2 by 12 deck leftovers. By temporary placing 2-by material across the ties we were additionally able to use them for scaffold. The back wall is, after all, almost fifteen feet tall. The beauty here is that when we are done the ties can be used to build a shelf, at the ten foot level, for even more storage. This project is really working out well.

Next... We pre-cut all the rafters including a 'birds-mouth' cut at each end along with the final edge angles. And using the makeshift scaffold we installed them. Wow... That went well. For the front of the shed however we needed to bear a heavy load. It's a 10 by 16 foot opening. And that has to carry a big, heavy, door. So we decided it needed a big truss. Fortunately we were able to build this one in place because I'm sure it would have been beyond our capacity to place. Anyways... The bottom 'two' plates (chord) are 2 by 12 while the upper plates used the rough-cut 2 by 10 rafters. The vertical (web) pieces are leftover 2 by 8. The web is sandwiched between the inner and outer chord members and held together with an over abundance of screws an nails. From both sides. Overall... A monster truss. Suitable enough to bear the weight of Any barn door we could consider.

Storage Shed lumber Storage Shed roof rafters Storage Shed front truss

After completing the rafters we were a little uncomfortable with the height to fastening ratio. We are just 'toe-nailing' (screwing actually) the rafters to the wall plates and these beams are tall. Even though we are using a lot of screws only the lower inch (at best), out of eleven, of the actual roof is fastened to the walls. Even with the addition of 'hurricane ties' all I could see was a bunch of 'dominoes' waiting for a good wind to blow them over. To solve this we placed blocking in between each rafter at the front back and center of the roof. That really tied the whole roof frame structure together. If this shed is going anywhere it's now going there in one piece.

With the roof framing done it's time to set the sub-roof. This is where we use our side-lumber. We cut some pretty big lumber this year and most of the side lumber was ten inches wide and better. For the sub-roof we only need, maybe, four inch width or a little better. Our rough-cut one inch is thicker then commercial lumber (and clearer) so it's really strong. In order to also get maximum usage of the lumber we first ripped most of it in half on our rickety (and heavily abused) 8 inch table saw. Our big cast-iron table saw is in storage. Where the pieces were less then nine inches we used them as they were.

Storage Shed lumber Storage Shed roof rafters

This is a 24 by 16 foot 'lean-to' structure. With a 1/4 pitch roof, plus the overhang, that makes a 26 by 20 foot roof. Not really important except to highlight our error. Even though the bottom footprint is perfectly 'square' and the building is quite level because of it's height we were way off when we measured the roof diagonals. By about six inches. Sadly... We could have easily corrected this but we were to far behind and it was way to hot to even care about it. Oh yeah! I forgot to mention that since Summer kicked in we have been working in 30+ degree (Celsius) weather (high 80s to mid 90s). And the roof is on direct sunlight. And we are feeling it.

As we put up the strapping we leave a large overhang. We also try to orient the pieces so the 'less desired' portions way overhang the end. This way, when they are trimmed they will still be within their better range. We also made sure the best edge is on top. The top is our reference line and the final roof will be fastened to an offset of this line. This becomes very important because no two pieces of strapping are the same. Because of the layout though we know that every roofing screw we place will hit a solid target.

The final 'Tin' roofing went well. We decided, because of our geometry error, to follow the front line of the shed. The result is that the side edges become jaggy (sawtooth) because the roof tiles, in this case 3 foot by 8 foot, are not 'truly' perpendicular to the side wall. Fortunately the Tin extends beyond the sub-roof and has to be trimmed. Trimming will create a straight edge for the side so that the geometry error will go unnoticed. Totally. Although... We also made a few other silly mistakes that will be noticeable. Oh well!

Storage Shed equipment shelf Tri-Shed passage way Tri-Shed alley way

We finished the Tin-roof in only two days. We were both surprised. Aside from the height, and the hundreds of screws, it was summer with mid-90 degree heat. And we installed 27 sheets. Remember 'We' represents a two-old-man team. One is fat, the other only has one arm. Ok... It's not that bad... We did have a little cloud cover.

Since it is mid-summer and trimming the roof requires a grinder with cutoff disk which throws glowing hot spark shrapnel everywhere. And... Directly beneath the roof-line is our construction area complete with chop-saw, scrap lumber and a whole lot of very dry sawdust. From the saw. We decided the area needs to be cleaned before we trim the roof.

Of course... This just opened up another can of worms. There was so much stuff that needed to be included in 'cleanup'. So we built shelving for the tractor attachments. We moved the remaining good lumber to the next project site. We built a palette crate and collected all the scrap suitable to be reduced for firewood kindling. Until all we were left with was fodder for the burn pile (bonfire).

The three sheds Shed and Barn view

Here is where another major improvement now becomes practical. As was in our plan. And now that our shed roof is at a convenient height. We now have enough access to the Hay Shed gable to seal it up. This is going to finally provide some relief to the Hay Shed from the weather. We have suffered huge feed loss (hay) due to the sheds inability to provide protection from the driving rain and snow. So we were really looking forward to this first step in securing the Hay Shed.

The barn gable completed Shed and Barn back gables completed

We had a lot of Pine 1 x 8 and 1 x 10 and side lumber from our sawmill effort earlier which we used as board-and-baton siding. In keeping with our effort to get maximum use of materials with the least amount of effort we used wide batons and wide boards and wide spacing between. Materials don't come cheap and we try to use as much as we possibly can without waste.

After we finished siding the gable there was one last opportunity we couldn't resist. We get some very fierce winds through our property which have been beating on the Hay Shed roof. For over fifty years. The most immediate failure being on the end we are working on. How fortunate. Uh... Not really. Yeah! We ultimately dragged our old crippled (partially disabled) ladder to the roof gaining us access to the barn gable peak, almost thirty feet above grade, allowing us to repair a major problem where the roof had lost all its nails and was tearing itself away. To leave a big hole in the roof. And trust me... A large sheet of metal roofing blowing in the wind can cause a lot of problems.

Tri-Shed progress Tri-Shed progress Tri-Shed progress

Here's the most amazing part. Even with all the structure that we built. The area consumed was in such horrible neglect that the pathways through and around it are now larger then before we started. And we gained several hundred square feet of sheddage.

Finally... And I've mentioned this before. I tend to just 'gloss over' many of the details of building on this scale. These are not small sheds. Furthermore, we are adjacent to the highway out of town. Big deal right. Except for the fact that every time we fall off the ladder or drop a large piece of lumber on ourselves all our neighbors and anyone driving by at the moment gets to see. And of course the neighbors are treated to regular and constant bantering between ourselves as we argue our way to success.

If our results were anything less spectacular then they have turned out to be I would feel like a wimp making such a fuss while building them (totally embarrassed). Sigh! But now I get to watch as my neighbors try to keep up.

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