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Header Size for Woodshed.

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by daveswoodhauler, Mar 5, 2013.

  1. Stegman

    Stegman Feeling the Heat

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    Sterling, MA
    I think a header of that size might be overkill. I built a 9x12 lean-to woodshed and used two sistered 2x6s for the 12-foot header [I do have an third support 4x4 post in the middle, though]. This was at the advice of my brother-in-law, who has been a carpenter for 25 years. And I second the notion that you should be using 2x6s rather than 2x4s for the rafters. I did mine every two feet on center.
    daveswoodhauler likes this.

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  2. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    Whatever you decide add 10-20% to the overall dimentions. As with pole buildings, garages, storage buildings of any sort - once finished you ALWAYS wish it was a little bit larger. The cost on the front end is a little bit more but the payoff on the back end is priceless.
  3. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I think the plans I have for the 24 X 8 would be the perfect size. You can reduce the size by 8 feet just by taking a bay away. 16 X 8 would be nice also.
  4. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    More good info. Thanks all. I am thinking 12 X 6...I burn about 2 cords a year, so this should give me enough room to stack inside with a grid pattern to allow airflow and help with seasoning. My biggest issue is going to be digging the footings as there is a nearby tree and I am going to het some huge roots. I'd like to get the footings down 30", but may have to settle for less depending on what the digging holds.
    ScotO likes this.
  5. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    NY Capitol Region
    Maybe this has been said but-

    You need extra room for the actual stacking process,parking your wood cart/wheelbarrow etc, and I find extra floorspace useful for piling those chunks/uglies out of the way for extra aging
  6. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    With the rocky and root filled soil of the NE you'll be lucky to dig 4-6 holes in the right places that can go down 30" without dynamite.

    Lesser hole depth only means a little more heaving which will mean nothing to a structure with a little flex in it. It's not like you're worried about cracking plaster or uneven floors.

    A pole barn I built 30yrs ago sits entirely on flat rocks with no post holes at all (the first two holes I dug filled w
    water). Just another alternative
  7. Flamestead

    Flamestead Feeling the Heat

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    If you have a university Extension office close by you can see if they have any plans. I did a quick online search and found free engineered polebarn plans for regions with no snowload. Keep poking around and you might find something useful.There are plan books that will provide example designs for headers, rafters, etc. These days they try selling some of the books, but if you knew just what you wanted, some offices would photocopy a page or two for you. Some of the better books (in the $15 range) go into wind and snow loads (no falling dump truck loads (that I've seen)), as well as detailed discussions of various grades of lumber and plywood, as well as fasteners.

    I agree with a lot of the posts above - for a small shed, why not over-engineer? Alternatively, find an older shed locally that you like the design of and that has stood the test of time. Spend some time there with a measuring tape, note pad, and camera.
    PapaDave and BobUrban like this.
  8. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Well, I feel like Hearth.com Members lol.
    Last weekend I was able to dig 6 footing holes 30-32" deep and picked up 6 sona tubes (8" each)
    Would like to get and work some more this weekend, but the freakin foot of snow we got this week didn't help.
    My wife is going to be shaking her head at me when she sees me snowblowing the footprint of the wood shed in the backyard, lol.
    Will take some pics of the progress, but the holes are filled with snow
  9. 19FarmHand78

    19FarmHand78 Member

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    6 footing holes I assume your doubling the size of the shed to 16x6 or so?? I was going to suggest doing that, leaving a wall in the center. The center wall will do two things, one= help hold stacks up. And two= if you built it this way, basicly having two 8 foot bays you can do away with the headers, use 2x6 rafters at each 6' wall, then run 2x4 purlins over top of your rafters running the 16' direction at 24" O.C. The purlins need to be on edge to span the 8 foot bays. This way you can use either steel roofing, or if it was my shed use the fiber glass or poly see through panels. I attached a drawing to show my thinking.

    I build and design post frame buildings for a living, I know this will work.

    Attached Files:

    daveswoodhauler likes this.
  10. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Nice info. My original plan was for 11 or 12 X 6....but I was running into an issue on transporting 12' headers....I might know go 14 X 6 and I can use 7 foot sections with the post in the middle. Great Idea.
  11. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Well, got the headers figured out, now starting to figure out the floor joist/stringer size??. The floor size will be appx 12 X 6. I was going to use PX 2 X 6's 16" on center, but I am now concerned the weight will be too much. (I plan on the shed holding appx 2 cords of seasoned wood (split and stacked for 18 months before going in the shed) I left enough room on either side of the post bracket so that I can have each 2 X 6 resting on the concrete footings (footings are 8" and go down anywhere from 22-34")
    I'd like to stay with 2 X 6's, as I don't want a huge rise up to the shed.....but maybe need 2 X 8's)
    post2.jpg
    ScotO likes this.
  12. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Just make the 2x6 joists 12 inches OC to gain a lot of strength. Use Simpsons to attach them.

    As for the OP, snow loading in MA is serious (yes, like a truck parked up on the roof). I used this beam span calculator when I rebuilt my garage:

    http://www.awc.org/calculators/span/calc/timbercalcstyle.asp

    It will calculate floor joists, beam and rafter spans. For a 6 ft floor span 2x6 at 16 OC should be fine (using doug fir or southern pine #2 grade wood). That can span 8 ft with a live/dead load of 60/20 psf. 12 inches OC would be overkill, but I would use that spacing myself.
    19FarmHand78, ScotO and Nixon like this.

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