Author Topic: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.  (Read 34370 times)

Offline Pete W.

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Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« on: May 21, 2013, 10:58:15 AM »
Hi there, all,

I've decided to pension off our smaller 6' x 8' wooden shed.  If its wood were any thinner, it'd be a paper bag!  When the weather is hot, the tongued & grooved boards shrink across their width and when the humidity rises again they expand but the tongues & grooves don't re-engage.

Strictly speaking, it hasn't been my workshop - that's a 12' x 8' shed, also wooden but insulated and lined with steel mesh and 6" x 1" planed boards.  However, it has been used to store various items (garden tools, lawn-mower etc.) that would otherwise have taken up space in the workshop.

Note on terminology: if you're in the UK, NEVER use the word 'workshop' in a planning application!  However well you define your intended use, planning departments will automatically assume that you're going to spray-paint cars and let the over-spray waft over the fence on to your neighbours' washing, or have large noisy trucks turning up in the middle of the night to deliver materials or that you're going to use lots of environmentally unfriendly chemicals.  Better by far to call it a 'garden shed' to be used for domestic storage, home maintenance and hobby activities!

I was thinking of building a new, slightly larger, wooden shed but a friend offered me a shed made of ribbed galvanised steel sheet, fairly light gauge.  It's slightly larger than the one we're replacing so I hope, with careful layout, to be able to run my bench grinder in there, avoiding abrasive dust in the main shed.  It's not top of the league as regards insulation but beggars can't be choosers, it was free.

 :worthless:  so here goes:

After laying out and digging out the site, I had to get this:



into this:



(I tagged the photo 'not an advert', it's not but the tag isn't a criticism either.)  I call the material 'limestone scalpings' but the builder's merchant calls it 'MOT Type 1'.  The properties that make it good for the base also make it quite difficult to shovel out of the Jumbo bag!  Actually, the one in the picture was the second bag; the second photo shows the site after addition of the first bag.

Before Awemawson rushes over to help with the shovel and barrow he pictured in his CNC lathe thread, I should say that the sideway is only just wide enough for an ordinary builder's barrow but thanks anyway!
  :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D 

When I've got the scalpings raked-out and levelled, the next job is to position five railway sleepers so that all their upper surfaces are in the same level plane.

Watch this space.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2013, 07:31:39 AM by Pete W. »
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Rob.Wilson

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2013, 11:55:34 AM »
Hi Pete

Cant go wrong with a free shed  :med: dont envy you hand balling a couple of tone of that stuff ,,,,,,,,,looks like hard graft  :coffee:


Rob

Offline shipto

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2013, 12:56:21 PM »
even better yet, your allowed quite a large shop without going near the planners stick to that and you can call it whatever you like  :D
Turns out this life c**p is just one big distraction from death but a good one. For the love of god dont give yourself time to think.
https://myshedblog.wordpress.com/

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 02:38:56 PM »
Hi Pete

Cant go wrong with a free shed  :med: dont envy you hand balling a couple of tone of that stuff ,,,,,,,,,looks like hard graft  :coffee:


Rob

Rob, thank you for your sympathy!  (The delivery note says maximum weight per bag is 945 kgm.)  Twenty years ago I'd have shifted it all in a short morning including a coffee break -  :coffee:  - nowadays, four barrow-loads and I need a lie-down!   :Doh:   :Doh:   :Doh:   :Doh: 

even better yet, your allowed quite a large shop without going near the planners stick to that and you can call it whatever you like  :D

That would have been true in places I've lived previously, I think the limit would be half the area of the back garden - here, we're in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and a National Park so even the 50 cubic metres of 'permitted development' is far from certain.  Besides that, we're tenants, not freeholders.   :bang:   :bang:   :bang:   :bang:

One thing I didn't mention in my initial post is that this tin shed has no windows - that's NO WINDOWS.  But it has double sliding doors.  And, being an all metallic construction, my cheery 'music while you work' VHF radio might not work in there.
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline awemawson

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2013, 03:41:54 PM »
"Before Awemawson rushes over to help with the shovel and barrow he pictured in his CNC lathe thread, I should say that the sideway is only just wide enough for an ordinary builder's barrow but thanks anyway! "


Too late - they're already one the way !!!!!!!!!
                   
Andrew Mawson
East Sussex

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2013, 07:08:24 AM »
A bit of progress to report:

This is the state of play as of Sunday evening,



The eagle-eyed among you might detect a slight dimensional adjustment (measure twice, dig once!).  I managed to enlarge the hole and remove the soil and turf without unduly contaminating the scalpings.

You might also have noticed a brown plastic bottle on the fringe of the photo, beyond the concrete block, and a wooden batten leaning against the trellis?  These are the main components of my single-handed water level.  When the weather is more suitable, I'll take a couple of photos of them in action and describe the system.

The next stage is to really level the scalpings, lots of work with the rake, takes its toll of the tummy muscles!  (Can't find a suitable smiley for that!)
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #6 on: May 31, 2013, 11:08:59 AM »
I promised some pictures of my single-handed water level, here they are:

The water level has a small end and a big end, here is the small end on its staff, aka 'wooden batten', (supported for the photo by my glamorous but shy assistant!) and a close-up:

   

The tube is 5 mm bore PVC, as used for motor car windscreen washers.  The liquid is ordinary tap water with a pinch of fluoroscein to enhance visibility and a drop or two of washing-up liquid to ensure the fluid wets the PVC tube.

Here is the big end:



The bottle is approx 160 mm diameter and is about 3/4 filled with the tinted water.  There are two tubes fitted to the screw-on lid.  One is just an air vent, its tube points downwards to exclude rainwater - the other tube leads to the little end.  Because the only opening into the bottle is at the top, the liquid siphons in and out of the bottle as the little end is raised or lowered.  At the start of each working session, the tube is 'primed' by carefully sucking at the open little end.  If you 'park' the staff during a working session, you need to be careful that it doesn't fall or get knocked over - all the working liquid could escape!  At the end of a working session, all the liquid is returned to the bottle by raising the staff and connecting tube progressively hand-over-hand.

Years ago I originally tried a water level that had two identical ends.  The problem with that is that movement of one end affects the level in the other end so if you're working single-handed, you have to keep going back and forth to check that the reference end is properly at its level mark.   :bang:   :bang:   :bang: 
Enlisting the aid of the glamorous but shy assistant to hold the reference end and call out the level information has been known to cause domestic discord!   :hammer:  :hammer:   :hammer:   :hammer: 

I arrived at this system independently, I'm not consciously aware of ever seeing anything like it elsewhere.  Still, it's such a simple scheme, I wouldn't be surprised if I'm not the first.

With this system, you set the big end at such a height that with the foot of the staff on the working surface the liquid level at the small end is at a comfortable height up the staff to be viewed without stooping or other contortions!

As the foot of the staff is moved between lower and higher points, so more or less of the PVC tube is filled with liquid.  This liquid can only come from or go to the big end bottle.  However, the surface area of the fluid in the bottle is much greater than the cross-sectional area of the PVC tube (in my current set-up, (160/5)^2 or 1024 times).  So in my set-up, a movement of 1" liquid level at the small end results in less than a thou change in the reference level in the big end bottle.  Simple but effective!

In the second photo, you can just see a pencil line on the staff a few inches above the liquid level.  That corresponds to the liquid level when the foot of the staff was on the bottom of my excavation, before the scalpings were added.  The level operation involves a reversal - as the staff is lifted, the liquid in the tube falls.  There is also a second line on the staff, more or less at the liquid level - that corresponds to my guess where the surface of the scalpings is going to be once they are raked-out flat and level.  A draw-back of this water level implementation is that it would be cumbersome to use up a ladder!  However, I've found it to be a great help when working at ground level.
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline dsquire

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2013, 11:23:30 AM »
Pete W

That is one very good level system that you have constructed there. It will be every bit as accurate as a laser level and a whole lot cheaper. Thanks for shareing it with us.  :thumbup:

Cheers  :beer:

Don
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Offline John Hill

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2013, 04:08:56 PM »
That's a very classy level Pete...

I needed to level an area around two sides of our house so I made a plastic tube level too.  My glamorous and not so shy assistant lost interest after about three minutes and it took me weeks to figure a way of using the level alone.  I stuck the garden hose into the 'master' bottle and opened the tap enough to keep the bottle overflowing and therefore at a constant level.
From the den of The Artful Bodger

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2013, 09:06:09 PM »
I like the big end -- good idea!

I used to plug both ends with a whittled wooden plug or bit of pencil stub if one was handy when quitting for the day. Then the water won't leak out either end. You'd plug the vent end and working end.

Working alone building my house, I used to not bother with getting the reference end exactly to a datum mark. I'd just fix both ends in place close enough, and then I'd just measure the distance from the level to datum mark on a post and add that to the working end level. In fact it can be done without measuring -- just mark a stick with the distance and use the stick to mark it off at the other end. Calipers would work, too.

Nevertheless, yours is a nice solution, Pete, and I'll probably adopt it in the future.

Cheers!  :beer:




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Steve
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Offline PeterE

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #10 on: June 01, 2013, 03:07:50 AM »
A very nice setup Pete. So simple and yet very, very accurate.

A hose level (which I believe it is called) and a plumb bob one have almost all accurate measurement tools needed for building.

If one wants further accuracy from the water level I found this at my local (swedish) tool mart:
http://www.jula.se/slangvattenpass-tac-100-160000
The only real difference is the scales on the end containers.

Will be following this build with interest  :thumbup:

BR

/Peter
Always at the edge of my abilities, too often beyond ;-)

Offline andyf

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #11 on: June 01, 2013, 05:22:02 AM »
I reckon Pete's version is better than the Swedish one. He can stand his big bottle in the middle of the site and just wander around with the tube taking measurements without having to return to the bottle.

But it won't help much when it comes to the floor surface, levelling wet concrete.

Andy
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I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2013, 05:16:46 AM »
I reckon Pete's version is better than the Swedish one. He can stand his big bottle in the middle of the site and just wander around with the tube taking measurements without having to return to the bottle.

But it won't help much when it comes to the floor surface, levelling wet concrete.

Andy

Hi there, Andy,

Not planning to use any wet concrete on this project - see last Saturday's progress:



Surely, if you vibrate wet concrete sufficiently, it levels itself?  (I usually try to keep my concrete as 'un-wet' as possible and bring it to the tops of previously levelled stakes in the bottom of the trench.)
« Last Edit: June 04, 2013, 12:11:18 PM by Pete W. »
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2013, 10:21:57 AM »
Hi there. all,

This is Tuesday afternoon's progress:



I just have to trim the levels so all the top surfaces of the sleepers are in the same plane.  The lumpiness of the limestone scalpings is too great to allow that by dead reckoning with the water level alone.   :bang:   :bang:   :bang: 

My shy assistant has objected to my describing her as 'glamorous' but will allow me to describe her as 'lovely' in future.   :clap:   :clap:   :clap:  She's certainly a 'bonny lass' and more than pulled her weight on the other end of the sleepers.
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Rob.Wilson

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2013, 01:44:21 PM »
Your defiantly putting some graft into the base Pete  :clap: :clap: :clap:


I dont think its going to move any  :thumbup:


Rob 

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2013, 03:27:23 PM »
Hi there, Rob,

Thanks for your post.   :beer:   :beer:   :beer: 

It's good of you to take an interest considering you've a cupola other threads to keep up with!

[Pun intended!!!]   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2013, 10:35:36 PM »
Keep him distracted.  :thumbup:
I love it when a Plan B comes together!
Steve
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Rob.Wilson

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2013, 01:56:22 PM »

It's good of you to take an interest considering you've a cupola other threads to keep up with!

[Pun intended!!!]   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D


 :lol: :lol: :lol: very poor Pete   :palm:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,you got that shed up  :poke: :)


Distracted Rob



Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #18 on: June 08, 2013, 12:03:26 PM »
Hi there, all,

A bit more progress to report, here's the pic:



These (i.e. the top layer) are so-called 'eco-sleepers'; they're impregnated with something that's supposed to be more environmentally friendly than creosote.  They obviously don't try hard with the pressure treatment - where the sleepers have developed cracks since I've had them the wood in the cracks shows snow-white!  I've given them a coat of 'Creotine', also supposed to be environmentally friendly but it made my skin itch.  I applied it 24 hours ago and it hasn't dried despite the bright sun-light.  The un-treated blocks at the corners are temporary, to hold the sleepers in the right place when I drill and fit the 200 mm long screws to secure the corners.
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline doubleboost

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #19 on: June 08, 2013, 03:22:44 PM »
Diesel mixed with old engine oil gives lasting results  :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
John

Offline vtsteam

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #20 on: June 08, 2013, 06:04:32 PM »
Now that's what I call a rugged building base!  :thumbup:
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Steve
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Offline DavidA

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2013, 05:27:24 AM »
My original shed was lathered with a mix of dark creosote and old engine oil. Looked quite good. The wood is still fine after 15 years.
As for eco-friendly.  It didn't stop the weeds and suchlike growing around the shed base.

Dave.

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2013, 09:32:54 AM »
Hi there, all,

Thanks for your respective posts.

I mentioned in my initial post that my actual workshop is a 12' x 8' wooden shed.  I've moved house twice since I bought it and it has moved with me each time.  It's now on a concrete base but when I first got it I put it on a base comprising five railway sleepers topped with second-hand scaffold boards.  In line with the suggestions above, I 'pickled' the scaffold boards with a mixture of creosote and old engine oil.  That sleepers & scaffold board 'raft' accompanied it to its second site.

I didn't treat those sleepers as they were Jarrah wood, a teak-like timber once used for the sleepers on the London Underground system.  I still have those sleepers, separate from this Tin Shed project.  Four of them are holding up a soil bank in the garden - we sawed-up the fifth to provide timber (aka 'lumber' for USA readers) for a new living room mantelpiece!  Subsequent to the 12' x 8' shed's erection on its second site, the UK authorities outlawed creosote because of its carcinogenic properties and I disposed of my remaining stock.
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #23 on: June 29, 2013, 04:29:58 PM »
Hi there, all,

Well, I haven't posted in this thread for a while but work has continued, lots of non-photogenic stuff like painting the foundation strips.  I had to treat a few rusty patches with Jenolite (based on phosphoric acid, I think), then , because the strips are galvanised, a coat of Hammerite special primer.  Then two coats of Hammerite smooth black.  Maybe if I'd chosen a different colour, the result might have been more photogenic.   :scratch:  :scratch:  :scratch:   

Then, while the paint was drying, I drilled the four corners of the 'eco-sleepers' and screwed them together, like this:



I did have a bit of bother with screwing the corners together - it's described in my post on the 'Oooops' department.  Lots of people have read that post but, so far, no replies!?!  It was such a basic set of clangers, I guess folks are declining comment out of concern for my feelings!   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:   :lol:   :lol: 

Then I fitted the foundation strips to the tops of the 'eco-sleepers' and cut a set of second-hand scaffold boards into the frame to make the under-floor,



The rear-most board needs to be reduced in width but I'm postponing that until the boards have spent enough time sheltered by the superstructure to have dried-out in case they shrink across their width.

Today, with sterling help from my lovely but shy assistant, plus a timely assistance from a neighbour, we tackled the walls and roof so it now looks like this:

 

You can see my lovely but shy assistant in one of those photos (well, I did say she's shy).  Also, Man's Best Friend!   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D   :D 

It's still far from complete, there are still a lot of holes to podge into alignment so the screws will fit, the doors to fit, the underfloor to finish and the top floor surface (1/2" shuttering plywood) to fit and fix.  Still, we seem to have got past the stage where everything wobbles!   :ddb:   :ddb:   :ddb:   :ddb:   :ddb:   :ddb: 

SWMBO is now keen that I should paint the exterior - I HATE painting!    :bang:   :bang:   :bang:   :bang:   :bang:   :bang:
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!

Offline Pete W.

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Re: Pete W's Tin Shed Project.
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2013, 04:37:34 PM »
Hi there, all,

Just a quick addition to yesterday evening's post.

When I was offered the tin shed the deal was that I had to dismantle it and to take up the rotten wooden base.  The shed had been in-situ for so long that any assembly instructions were long gone!

So, we dismantled the shed into the minimum number of pieces that would fit on the car roof-rack for transport.  The shed sections then spent almost two years stacked at the bottom of our garden.  During that time, my memory of how it originally went together has faded!   :bang:   :bang:   :bang: 

As a result of all that, the dismantling and the re-assembly we've done so far definitely come in the category of 'flying by the seat of our pants'.   :scratch:   :scratch:   :scratch:  I have a few parts in the box that are a mystery - I don't know where they're supposed to fit.   :bang:   :bang:   :bang:

I've done several web searches to see if I can identify the maker of the shed and whether I could find any assembly instructions.  I've found nothing that fits our shed.

If any readers of this post can confidently identify the maker of the shed, please PM me.  If you have the assembly instructions that you could send as a .pdf that would be super.
Best regards,

Pete W.

If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, you haven't seen the latest change-note!