Monday, August 5, 2013

More Arctic Redneck Engineering

I surprised myself by finishing the dog-food shed project the same day I started, even though I had to run into town for more fasteners.  Here's how it all came down.

Last year I converted one of those large shipping crates into a dog food storage shed, simply by installing a pre-hung door and some sheathing.  It worked well enough over the winter, but a couple of problems did crop up.  Because the door was designed to open inward, it wasted a lot of interior space, and the snow build-up on the flat roof caused it to sag, making it difficult to open the door and stressing the minimal framing of the shed.

I decided that turning the door around to open outward and installing a slightly pitched metal roof would solve those issues, without costing a ton of money.  Materials on hand included some new 2X4 studs left over from last year's projects, and some partial sheets of metal roofing that was scrap from a friend's own project last year.

So, this morning I started with this:

Shed at the start of the project
The first step was to remove the door, turn it completely around, and basically install it into the framing 'backwards'.  That wasn't quite as easy as it sounds, as I had to tweak and shim the door frame here and there so the door would swing freely on it's hinges.  It nonetheless was finished in a reasonably short time.

I decided that to support a simple shed roof, I would need to add some additional framing.  The quick and easy approach would be to simply build a frame of 2 X 4 studs and header, but to accomplish it solidly, I needed some lag bolts long enough to screw through a total of nearly 4 inches of lumber.  That required a quick trip to town to buy fasteners (and deposit a check, buy gasoline, &c.). 

Back home, the frame came together quickly.  Next was to install rafters.  I had a fair number of 10 foot long 2X2s, which I usually use to built door frames for dog houses.  I simply laid seven of those from the header to the back wall of the shed, and fastened them into place.

Shed roof framing, simply 2 X 2s placed and fastened.

Although I had a fair amount of scrap roofing, it was odd sized stuff that kind of had to be pieced together.  I started at the lowest point of the shed, the back wall, and worked my way forward, overlapping the metal until I had the whole surface covered.  Then it was just a matter of screwing it all into the framing using roofing screws, and the job was essentially finished.

Modified dog food shed, ready to receive another ton of kibble

I may add some sheathing to enclose the new attic, or I may just leave it open.  That kind of depends on what I can find in my recycled materials pile.  So far this shed, like the chicken coop, has been a low-cost recycling project and I'd like to keep it that way.  As it stands now, the roof will accomplish what I need it to accomplish, and there are other projects needing to be done around here.

For now, I need to start feeding, watering and scooping after the dogs in 2 different kennels.  I'll try to keep you abreast as the R&R progresses.


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