Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Project #01 — Shedlette

My first project for 2017 is the building of a little shedlette or shedling or mini-shed or whatever you want to call it. The first stage is complete, the clearing of the ground — in the foreground you can see about a quarter of the pile of crap that came out of that little area by the fence.

The space is an odd shape, because of the tree that's grown up over it. That tree prevents the left-side door of my workshop from opening right up, which is no big deal from my point of view but it does mean that the building will never again be any use as a garage.

My intention is to build it as simply and cheaply as possible, probably out of treated exterior plywood with just enough framing to join it all together and to hang the doors, and sitting on a couple of ground-treated wooden skids. What I haven't quite decided yet is whether to build it in situ, or to build it and then manhandle it into place — probably the latter, since it won't be very big or heavy, and that would ease construction enormously.

More than a week later....

Rain (or forecast rain that never eventuated) prevented any progress until today. However, now I've got some framing and a ground-treated fence post to cut up for skids.

Here's the state of play when I packed up for the day:

The floor area is 2000 x 600 mm, made of 18mm strand-board, and you can see pretty clearly here the carpenterial gymnastics I'm going to have to perform to work around that tree.

I kind of wish I had access to a Paslode gun, or at the least, a framing nailer I could use with my compressor.

I was originally going to make the walls of treated plywood, but I find that I've got about a dozen old sheets of roofing iron out the back (currently hidden behind a wall of ivy) so I'll probably use that instead. It means the framing will have to be a bit more involved, since the iron will provide no real structural strength, as plywood would.

Next Day

I've completed the back framing. I compromised on the joinery: rather than going all-out with mortice & tenon joints, I settled on quicker nailed lap-joints throughout. It's not a strong joint, but it does provide a bit of torsional support.

Now I will have to wait until I can afford to buy more framing timber, since I gravely underestimated how much I'd need.

The vertical section on the right will have a roof sloping up and forward, more or less following the line of the garage's roofline. The lower left hand side will slope down to the left, to avoid the tree.

Some time later

Having bought some more framing timber, the box is more or less complete except for a few more cross-pieces. It's threatening rain, so I've cleared up for the day.

Next stage will be to clad the sides that aren't accessible in place, then lift the whole shebang on to its floor and nail everything down.

After that, the remainder of the cladding is finalized, and the doors get made and hung, but I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.

Owie on my fingy
I managed to skip off the head of a nail and smoosh the side of my finger. Which kind of hurt. There was swearing.

Coupla days....

Plasticky!
Translucence abounds
I've clad the top, back and sides in gossamer sheets of only the finest plastic.

The sheets of corrugated PVC are cheap, but it cannot be denied that they look pretty crappy. However, little of it will be immediately visible when everything is in place, and the front will be in proper lumps of wood.

Now I have to get it on to its floor-pad. It's not amazingly heavy — one of the advantages of the PVC — but it's awkward, and I'll have to enlist some muscular help to get it shifted. Once it's in place, it will be usable to an extent, even without the doors.

Coupla hours....

Well, I managed to manhandle the thing into position and secure it on its base. No easy task single-handed, I can tell you.

Still, it's done.

I have to do the front now, and hang the doors. That'll be for another time though; I've already spent quite enough money on this little project.