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Timber Frame Woodshed

Post in 'The Wood Shed' started by DiscoInferno, Aug 19, 2010.

  1. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    A couple of years ago I was cutting down some standing-dead balsam fir trees on our property, and thought to save the poles in case I ever wanted to build something. Balsam grows straight up and is comparable to hemlock in strength, and isn't worth much for firewood. Last year I cut down a bunch more, and got a cheap drawknife and started peeling. This year I finally got around to building a woodshed with them. I elevated the posts above ground and treated the posts and beams with copper naphthenate, as balsam fir rots rather easily and is a favorite of many bugs. Cedar would have been a better choice in this respect, but I've only got about 2 sad cedar trees on the property.

    The shed is ~8' deep by 24' long, sloping from something like 8' in front to 6.5' in back. Here's the first 6 posts and the rear 12' beams in place:
    http://lh3.ggpht.com/_J8_pVZfCTaY/TGunCHdH0dI/AAAAAAAAAhE/rDLbdizy7sI/s800/p7243531.jpg

    The frost line here is on the order of 4', but the ground in many spots is full of rocks and even with a loader w/ hydraulic auger (borrowed from my parents) I was not able to get down that far in most spots. I didn't feel like mixing that much concrete anyway, so I filled most of each hole with gravel before pouring the footers. Besides rocks the it's all sand here, so I'm hoping frost heaves will not be a problem. The 2x4's attached to the posts are actually sunk into the ground, I used them to plumb everything up and hold the shed together while building. I'll attach siding to them later.

    Here the second set of beams are in, and the intermediate post footers are poured:
    http://lh4.ggpht.com/_J8_pVZfCTaY/TGunDYg_UxI/AAAAAAAAAhI/YSC8kGBGUd4/s800/p7283542.jpg

    I used Simpson Strong-Tie metal strapping to secure the posts to the footers and to splice the beams and secure them to the posts (also have a 12" spike into each post). A lot cheaper than T and L brackets of the size I needed.

    Here's a couple of shots with all the posts up, the cross-bracing in, the rafters up, and the purlins attached:
    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_J8_pVZfCTaY/TGunE8jPPXI/AAAAAAAAAhM/K0jRB-FLQ0o/s800/p8173669.jpg

    The shed doesn't really lean backwards, just camera distortion:
    http://lh3.ggpht.com/_J8_pVZfCTaY/TGunIIWnlyI/AAAAAAAAAhY/_jxlrMAckLQ/s800/p8173674.jpg

    The rafters range in diameter from a little over 3" at the small ends (strength equivalent to a 2x4) to a little more than 5" at the butts (equivalent to a 2x8). Checking span tables for balsam this seemed to be acceptable for a 60 lbs/sqft snow load. We'll see next summer!

    My original plan was to go as cheap as possible, but I couldn't find anything cheap for the roof. So I got 8 10'x3' steel roofing panels, which with purlins and fasteners was more than half the total cost (which is around $350 so far):
    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_J8_pVZfCTaY/TGunJu5cM4I/AAAAAAAAAhc/k6YDnCeRN5A/s800/p8173675.jpg

    http://lh6.ggpht.com/_J8_pVZfCTaY/TGuoXiP0FaI/AAAAAAAAAis/7ocheuHXBCw/s800/p8173676.jpg

    That's where things sit for now. I still need to put up flashing around the roof perimeter. The floor will be two rows of 7 40"x48" pallets, for a stacking area of 8' x 23'4". If I average 6' high stacks it will hold 8.75 cords (call it 8 for space lost to cross-bracing). I plan to side the sides and back next summer, I have a line on a guy with a sawmill that's cheap.

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  2. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    That is a stylee shed, nice use of the balsam. How did you secure the rafters?
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Nice Job looks grate!
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    I like it . . . looks rugged.
  5. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

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    Very nice!!!!!!!! I like it!!!!!

    You didn't say if you built it in MD or MI. But if you want some cedar posts in MI and want to drive 30 miles east of I-75 by Cedarville I'll give you some. All you have to do is cut the stumps off branch them and cut for your length. I have put in two miles of trails on my property there in the last year and half and have not had time to pick up all the logs yet.

    Billy
  6. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    3/8"x8" lag screw on each end. Also how I connected all the cross members.

    edit: Actually, some were 10" long, for the thicker butts.
  7. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the offer, Billy. Unfortunately my next trip in that direction will be the start of the long slog back to MD.
  8. Beetle-Kill

    Beetle-Kill Minister of Fire

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    Disco, that shed really, and I mean really looks nice.
  9. Nixon

    Nixon Minister of Fire

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    Very well done ! absolutely first rate work .
  10. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    real woodshed worthy of the hall of fame! critique= shudda wrapped underground posts with plastic to keep the preservative from leeching. for future preservation, if needed, consider drilling a 45* hole into the groundpost so u can pour more preservative in.
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    That's what they've done to all the telephone poles here.
    With a screw in plug so they can come back and reinject soem more.

    Dug down around the pole and added a tarpaper wrapper of some sort.
    From the dirt mess it doesn't look like they dug down too fat though.
  12. vvvv

    vvvv New Member

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    thanx, i did this 30 yrs ago & thereafter ithink. used corks & probly otta do it again....soon
  13. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful shed! Super job!
    I'm planning a bigger timber frame building - a 2 bay garage with wood storage, 26'x32'.
    Probably use balsam fir, too. Got some Scotch Pine I'm peeling now for posts.
    Did you flatten any of the rafters? It's an area I'm not confident in. I want to make sure the metal roofing looks good.
    What centers are your rafters at? 16" or 24"?
    Do you have more pics?
    Thanks. Trust you'll get years of dry wood out of this job.
    Happy burning.
  14. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Nice uniform logs.
    Looks great
    Good job,
    firewood in it soon?? :)
  15. 'bert

    'bert Minister of Fire

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    Disco that looks first rate!! Nice work with use of local building materials. Keep the pics coming please, but lets get those measurements in metric for us Canucks. After all we must honor the stupidest move the Canadian Government ever made.
  16. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    Silver Spring, MD/ Munising, MI
    Thanks for all the kind words, it's by far my biggest construction project ever and the first time I've built with round timbers, and I'm really happy with how it's turned out. I spent a long time planning it in my head and on paper before I started building, and went slow while building.

    Blimp/Pook - the only wood in the ground is the 2x4's that I used for initial alignment and stability while building. They don't serve much of a purpose now except I'll extend them all the way up and attach the siding to them. The posts are all on concrete several inches up. Balsam just rots too easy to bury it. One thing I did do was fill any existing borer holes with preservative, in case any new bugs get any ideas.

    maplewood - my rafters are on 19.2" centers (that's about 48.8 cm for 'bert), which is five rafters per 8'. I chose that mainly because that's about how many rafters I had without heading back into the woods for more, and the span tables seemed to be happy with it. I was going to do 18" (one extra rafter in 24') but that doesn't work well with 3'-wide metal roof (purlin nails and roof screws line up). I did not flatten the bottoms of the rafters, I just tossed them up there however they preferred to sit. I did rearrange them to try to get maximal flatness on top. When putting the purlins on (untreated 2x3 and 2x2 furring strips) I shimmed the lower rafters and shaved down the higher ones (only at the purlin connection) to get reasonably close. It's nowhere near perfectly flat, but the metal roof really does hide flaws well. Definitely the right choice for this project. BTW - I think the most important tool for this project might have been a ball of string. I aligned most everything with a taut string and a string level if needed.

    There are some more pictures here:
    http://picasaweb.google.com/scholnik/Woodshed02?authkey=Gv1sRgCOX7x6XxhO3BYA&feat=directlink
    I meant to take more intermediate ones but forgot as usual. Some of the pallets are in and some wood stacked now, I'll post that soon. (There was a pallet/tarp stack where the shed is now, that's the pile of wood you can see in the pics. Only thing worse than stacking wood is stacking it twice!) Siding pictures will have to wait until next summer, as I won't get a chance to do it this year.
  17. Medman

    Medman Feeling the Heat

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    Too bad they will no longer let us bring non-processed wood across the border - I have a need for some cedar posts and could have come down from the Soo and picked these up! Where is your property - De Tour or on Drummond Island? My wife has family very near you across the water on St. Joseph Island.
  18. Cowboy Billy

    Cowboy Billy Minister of Fire

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    Howdy Medman

    Thats great! I'm in Pickford which is just north of Cedarville. I didn't know about hauling wood across the border I wish we would have done that with wood from overseas! I lost all the ash around my house 2-3 years ago and I hear they have the ash bores in Brimly and the Soo now. I'm headed back UP sunday for anouther week of fun in the woods.

    Billy
  19. 70marlin

    70marlin New Member

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    Grass Lake mi
    very nice job, whats copper naphthenate? and where do you buy it?
  20. thewoodlands

    thewoodlands Minister of Fire

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    Looks great and blends in perfect.

    zap
  21. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno Minister of Fire

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    It's similar to what they use to pressure treat lumber I think. I got it at Menards in/near the paint section, ~$15 for a gallon can. I think it was called "copper coat". It's a green liquid (some other brands tint it brown). According to the instructions is best to soak in it, but lacking any practical way to do that I settled for soaking the ends of the posts and brushing on two coats everywhere else.
  22. Medman

    Medman Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, no more moving wood! Lumber must be kiln-dried or pressure treated to come across, too - even though most of it comes from northern Ontario. I buy most of my lumber/building supplies in the US (United Buliding Supply in Rudyard) because the dollar is now about even and the price is so much better in the US. No problems bringing most things back through the border, just some lumber and no unprocessed wood. Too bad, I guess I will have to pay for the poles somewhere on this side.
  23. golfandwoodnut

    golfandwoodnut Minister of Fire

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    Now that is a man's shed, very impressive. Hope it last a long time.
  24. wsorg

    wsorg New Member

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    Great looking shed!
  25. maplewood

    maplewood Minister of Fire

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    Thank you for the link to the extra pictures. It has given me more ideas for my own structure.
    I appreciate it!
    I'll have to set up a camera to take progressive shots of my attempt at a timber frame building.

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