Monday, June 22, 2020

Garden Shed part four

As you can see from my post tally, I've gone from updating my blog every other day to posting twice a month at best, and it's all due to my day job taking over; last weekend I was so overwhelmed with work that I didn't even set foot in the workshop....

This Saturday though, it was different: the bin lids were back in town and ready to rock and we had a shed to work on! After case-hardened waffles and non-shatter-proof bacon for breakfast, we dispatched Quinn and Amy to the local lumber yard to pick up supplies, and Sam, Ruby and myself set up our backyard workshop.

We started off by filling-in the final wall that we didn't quite manage to finish last time; we did actully cut the timber last time though, so the wall went up pretty quickly and then Sam nailed on the top plate.

Now it was roof time! Sam and I used trigonometry to figure the roof angle is 18 degrees, and then we carefully measured for the rafter length and where to place the birds eyes. It took a little while to create the perfect rafter, and we were just about finished when Quinn and Amy got back from the lumber yard with the next batch of material. After a quick cuppa tea, we lined up our new material and went into mass production.

We used our first rafter and a framing square to scribe all the others, and then we bevelled all the ends with one pass of the circular saw, and cut them all to length with a second pass. We need a double birdsmouth for this style of roof. The two heel were made with the circular saw set to 18 degrees and a depth of about an inch and a quarter.

We had to make the seat cuts with the jigsaw one at a time...

This is how it looks installed:

We used double rafters at the sides of the roof which are made by nailing two boards together, and yes, this level of strength is total overkill for what we are building.

Time to scatter the rafters and install them. This was a three man operation:

Once all the rafters were secured we crafted some blocks to fit between the end rafter and the side walls, and Sam nailed them in nice and tight:

On to the sheeting. Sam and Quinn risked life and limb to install the roof sheeting:

That was it for the day, except...

....there was just enough time for a quick stress test:

To be continued....

Friday, June 12, 2020

Garden Shed part three

Building our soon-to-be tool shed has evolved into a full-on family project - we're all at home, and the bread snappers are old enough now to be trusted with all the tools I've spent so long keeping them away from.  

Last Saturday we got cracking on the walls - many hands make light work, so I gave Amy Sheep a cutting list and put her and Quinn in charge of the miter saw.

It would have been easier to construct the back wall on top of a larger base, but we made do with what we had....

I put Sam in charge of the cordless nail gun. Quinn precut all the blocks so we installed them as we went along instead of trying to squeeze them in later.

We had to stand the wall up to check for square before Sam nailed on the top plate:

Time for some siding, so I pitched in with the circular saw....

Once the back wall is erected (!) it will be too close to the fence to paint it easily, so I had Amy and Ruby Sheep roller on the top coat; the siding comes pre-primed. We're painting the shed the same color as the house because (1) it will blend in more and (2) we already have the paint and (3) most importantly, we don't have to go through the agony of choosing a color...

While this was going on Sam and Quinn tried out the hammock.

We raised the back wall while the paint was still wet, and then touched-in the finger prints. A quick bit of pythagoras-in-real-life, and we had the wall braced and square.

On to the front....we framed out the basis of the front wall before we decided to pack up for the day - the front wall will be mostly a pair of double doors so it needs a big opening.

The next afternoon Sam and I headed back out to the yard and installed some more bulk at the door opening and put in a header I made from a scrap piece of 2" x 10" redwood I had on my lumber rack.

The rest of the sheep were otherwise engaged, so Sam had to take over the circular saw...

...and the nail gun

When it was time to raise the front wall we had to call in some muscle.

After that Sam and Amy worked on measurements for the side walls...

...and Quinn took over on the nail gun.

By Sunday packing-up-time we had the front and back walls installed and one side wall framed out. Not too shabby!

To be continued....

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Garden Shed part two

Two weekends ago, or a fortnight in Ye Olde English, The Amy Sheep and myself removed a thirty (30) foot tree from the spot where we want to build our new shed. What we left was the stump, and as longer term followers of this blog might recall, we've dealt with one of those before.

This time round we didn't want to rent the big stump grinder: it would be very difficult to get it down the slope to where we need it, and we don't have the budget for this project - the last stump was five feet in diameter, so we didn't have a choice with that one. 

Plan A was to rent a smaller stump grinder for considerably less wonga. This didn't go to well sadly: the stump grinder was pitifully weak and the motor kept cutting out. After messing about with it for half an hour I bailed and returned it. The motor issue was a convenient excuse to get my $$$ back frankly.

Onto plan B, which was a star wedge and the BFH. This plan lasted about 29 minutes less than plan A.

Plan C was for Amy Sheep to dig out the stump.....this went the same way as Plans A and B, but it did clear the path for Plan D.

And Plan D was the chainsaw....

We were definitely onto something this time....

This plan was carried out in full:

The stump was our last obstacle to world domination what will be our new tool shed. But, before we can build the shed, we need a level playing field. Or at least a level pad slightly bigger than the shed's 8' x 4' footprint. The ground in this area is drops about five (5) inches from the right rear to front left. We used some 6" x 4" "pressure treated" (PT) timber to build a retaining barrier for the foundation. This is timber that has been treated with wood-preserving chemicals under high pressure, and is thus highly resistant to fungus, termites etc. This is important for any timber which is in contact with the ground. 

The first piece was installed level, and parallel to the fence - getting it level took a little bit of back-and-forth. I anchored the timber with several two foot pieces of 1/2 inch diameter rebar which were deployed with the BFH: 

The holes were drilled with this tasty bit of kit:

A second retaining barrier was added at the low side...

And then we laid down some base rock - or road base, as it's known some parts of the country. This is material that varies in size from half inch diameter down to sand and is very easy to compact.

We tried to rent a compactor, but we couldn't find one locally, so I had Amy Sheep do it instead with a scrap of 4" x 6" lumber. After that we had to cash out our chips for the day.

The next morning, after a quick trip to pick up more base rock, we set about leveling out the pad.

The next step was to cut and install the skids that the shed will stand on. The skids were cut from 8' lengths of 4" x 4" PT, and we used all six pieces although five would probably have been enough. 

The first skid stands on top of the retaining barrier, so it was easy to get that one level, and then we worked across the pad. 

I cut some spacer blocks from a scrap of 2" x 4" lumber, so it was easy to get the skids parallel, and then I tacked them in place once each skid was leveled out. 

This is the finished foundation pad with the front and rear rim joists installed. I used the fancy GRK screws to set the lumber in place, and then made sure the structure was square before I shot in more nails than were strictly necessary with cordless dewalt.

We framed out the floor next - we used 2" x 4" doug fir for the floor framing. Normally 2" x 6" is required for flooring, and that's what I used on my last shed, but this is tiny by comparison and we can save two inches on the overall height this way. We stapled on some fine mesh screens in the spaces between the skids - we want plenty of airflow below the shed but hope to exclude non-airbourne matter.

The floor is a sheet of 3/4 inch plywood which was nailed on good an' proper and gives us a very solid base on which to construct the shed. One major advantage of the 8' x 4' footprint is that a lot of the materials can be installed without any cutting.

After all that, was it level - well, yeah, it pretty much was, thanks for asking.

There was bit of Sunday afternoon left over so we cleaned up the yard of leftover bits of cherry tree...

...and converted this pile of de-limbed branches....

...into a pile of firewood - the bigger pieces will need a couple of years to dry out before we can burn them, although it will be closer to five years before we need to given our incredibly low consumption rate. It's actually more important to me to look out of my kitchen window and see neatly chopped firewood than it is to actually burn it.