Portable Shed


  I've been cutting down and chopping up trees for a long time with the Husqvarna saws (mostly the Husky 51 which I recently rebuilt). I take them out to the tree killing fields and turn them into firewood. But then the firewood sits in a couple of piles for years and years and turns into wood sponges, which don't burn. So here in December 2011, I am building a shed in which I can store firewood. Then, in the spring, I'll move it over to the gardening zones for use as a wheelbarrow, shovel and snake garage. Porta-Shed!

  Click for a Larger Image The foundation takes shape. Since its cold and dark outside, I situate the foundation on the flat, relatively level ground of the garage. Note the 4"x6" joists - they are for giving enough structural strength to let me lift it with the EF-3 forks.

  Here, I level of the foundation. I had to take one of the skid lift joists out to be able to run lag screws into the door uprights. The 25 year old Craftsman Circular Saw has given out. The motor bushings are all loose and I can't get a straight cut. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image This framing stuff is pretty easy. That back wall took me about 10 minutes to make . . . once I spent three or four hours to figure out how high I wanted it (66" with 63" studs, allowing me about 42" of extra wood from the 105" stud for use as a rafter (given the 8-in-10 roof pitch). See all my green Hitachi power tools? I like them. The Craftsman is still dead.

  The indoor shed is shaping up nicely. Here it has all it's walls, except for the little part above the door which will carry some load. See, its daytime now. You can just make out the chop saw in the background next to the window. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is a better look. See? Its another green Hitachi. Its set at 38.65 (really about 38 or 39 ). This is the jig for cutting the rafters. The two clamps on the right hold the stop for keeping the lengths consistent.

  This is the little wall at the top of the door. It is only eight inches tall (two 1.5" boards and five inch studs - kind of an oxymoron - little studs). Also you can see how the corners come together with a little overlap. Its the first time I have ever framed a building from scratch (except for the mancave). Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is another jig - this time for assembling the rafters. There is a little piece of 2x6 sticking out at the peak of the rafters - that's to simulate the ridge board. Then there are the clamps that hold the reference rafter underneath the one being made. The clamp handles go up and act as stops for the rafter being screwed together. This jig lets me put a collar tie just above the four foot wide point. When put on the top of the Porta-Shed, the collar tie board will sit on top of the framing.

  Here is what the Porta-Shed skeleton looks like. The rafters are not screwed on yet. Just sizing. I thought I would assemble the rafters on the top of the framing to get everything sized right, then take them off. Then I'll put the box framing on the EF-3 forks and move it outside. Then I'll fork up the rafter assembly and screw that down. Then I screw on the flying rafters to give a six inch side overhang. Then I'll put plywood on for the roof, the siding, and then metal roofing. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Next weekend (Dec 17), after levering each corner of the portashed onto some blocks, I drove the EF-3 forks under the foundation . . . .

  . . . and backed it out into the driveway. Here, I was ready to land it on the two skids (only one visible here). I spent about 10 seconds into leveling it the skids for the foundaion. It creaked and groaned as I put it down. I figured, I could invest a bit more in the leveling. So, I picked it back up, leveled the foundation, and put it back down. So much for speed shedding. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Pre-made trusses installed, with the ridge board in place. It sticks out six inches on each end. This project is having a major impact on parking.

  Both roof panels on. You can just see the flying rafters on the far (left) side. I made these using the chop saw. The rafter is spaced out 3.5 inches, the width of one 2x4. So with the width of the rafter, their faces are five inches out - one inch roof board overlap. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Close up of a flying rafter. See the 2x4 up inside? Its beveled so it will be square to the siding that comes up to its edge.

  Once the flying rafters were on, I could handcraft the siding. Other than taking off a few eighths off from the left angled top edge to make it fit (twice), it was an easy calculation. It would have been a lot easier to put siding on if the shed was lying on its side. So I asked my son, the clamp, to help. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image All four sides on and complete, at about 8:00pm two days from the winter solstace. Note the cheap set of chinese Christmas lights on the right side garage gutter are broken.

  I just couldn't decide what kind of roofing to put on - Shingles? Cedar shakes? Chocolate shakes? FiveV? Corregated? Thatch? So after three days of rain with the nice plywood warping a bit, I went with cheap - corrugated. But first a drip edge. Then, I had to cut the panels with the circular saw and some other gear over to the right. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image All roofed up with a ridge cap made of bent corrugated piece I cut. Still no corner pieces and its getting late on Christmas Eve, 2011.

  A little later and the corner trim is complete. I may put some horizontal trim pieces across below the gable. May also frame the door, but then it won't be a form follows function design. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here's the reason - to have a nice, real, crackelly fire with nice dry wood that's has been drying in the Porta-Shed!

  All finished. Painted with latex paint cut down with water to more easily brush and roll into the nooks and crannies. Drop plastics set up to keep from damaging the beautiful driveway flooring. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Moving Day! December 27, 2011. I woke up to rain. If I didn't move Porta-Shed soon, not only would the firewood get punkier (spongy), I would muddy up both the EF-3 tires and the new ruts they'd make.

  Negotiating the gate in the Medium Picket Fence. Its a double-wide, specifically designed for transporting sheds and septic tank hoses. Note Pporta-Shed is the same color as the fence. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Backing up the hill to the house. With a load, especially a top heavy one, its important to stay level.

  Readying Porta-Shed for a landing. The two skids are leveled up pretty well, considering that I needed to support the weight but I had to use what I had laying around. There, in the background, is the Pergola. By now its raining pretty good. Cold too! Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Porta-Shed in its Winter Resting Place. Nice thing about Porta-Shed is that it moves. Bad thing is that we'll have to mow and weedeat around it. Also, the shiny roof doesn't match the other roofs (black). Another good thing is that it keeps the firewood dry. Another bad thing is that it might tip over. A good thing is that I doubt it will tip over.

  April 7, 2012 and Porta-Shed starts its long journey to its summer home - about three feet south and 100ft east. The main reason for moving it was to mow. Thought I'd leave the firewood for the snakes and mice to live in. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Porta-Shed in its Summer Resting Place. It moved easier now that its not new and I'm less worried about its perfection. I'll still have to mow and weedeat around it. Also, the shiny roof still doesn't match the other roofs (black). It kept the firewood dry but won't be used for anything else (cause of slitherphobia). And, it didn't tip over (yet).


  December 2013, Portashed, again moves back to Near-House proximity. It then gets a starter load of firewood. This year, its the wood from the Derecho of 2012. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is Gus in Portashed. He is about a year old. No better. Still a major pain in the universe. Note the grass - its all beat up around here cause its his. He can do anything he wants, like dig, pee, pee, dig, pee, poop, dig. You can's see the bushes in the foreground. I can't either cause he has busted most of them.

  Just for a bit of a comparison, here is Gustov as a toddler in January 2013 in the same view. He likes Portashed. Click for a Larger Image

  Click for a Larger Image Here is Portashed all loaded up with firewood (though this is a 2012 reprise picture). The little red wagon gets firewood from the back and only allows enough that the G-Cart can haul.

Have you Sawn Me Lately?