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Build a Timber Frame Style Woodshed

By September 12, 2018 February 26th, 2019 No Comments

Build your own Timber Frame Woodshed for Firewood Storage and Drying. Plans available for download in PDF Format.

part 1 of 3

see part 2   –  see part 3

See the How to Video.

We heat our house with wood and need a drying and storage shed as close to the wood stove as possible. There’s a perfect spot right beside the house here that has easy access through the front or back door. It’s also close to the driveway for loading with my truck.

Part 1 – Build the Timber Frame Style Woodshed

Timber Frame Design

Here’s the 3D model I created in Sketchup. I wanted the woodshed to be designed and built in a timer frame style with some simple joinery.

Sketchup Model of Timber Frame Style Wood Drying and Storing Shed

Sketchup Model of Timber Frame Style Wood Drying and Storing Shed

The four corner posts are 6″x6″ connected with girts that are 4″x5″. The door way and rear wall supports are 4×4’s, front cross members connect the front corner posts to the doorway. Across the back of the shed I have a pair of 2×6’s.

Timber Frame Woodshed - Posts. Girts, and Cross Members

Posts. Girts, and Cross Members

The front and rear beams are 6×6 and there’s a curved header over the doorway.

Timber Frame Firewood Shed - Front and Rear Beams and Doorway Header

Front and Rear Beams and Doorway Header

All eight curved corner braces were made from 2×8 stock.

Timber Frame Firewood Shed - Curved Corner Braces

Curved Corner Braces

The rafters are 2×6’s, topped with strapping and a metal roof.

Build a Timber Frame Woodshed - Rafters and Strapping

Build a Timber Frame Woodshed – Rafters and Strapping

The walls are made from 2×4’s for strength, and spaced for ventilation.

My shed is 8 feet by 9 feet in size. I have a full set of plans available for download.
It’s easy to modify the dimensions on the plans for the size you need.

Ideal Timberframe Shed Location

Last fall we excavated and levelled this spot, built plywood forms and poured a low retaining wall. Then dug holes and poured the footings. The floor is fine crushed stone over a weed barrier.

Spot for the WoodShed - Retaining Wall and Footings

Spot for the WoodShed – Retaining Wall and Footings

Two years ago we had a few large red cedar and fir trees felled on the property. Here’s a pic of Marilyn with some of the logs.

Red Cedar Logs - to be milled into boards for woodshed construction

Red Cedar Logs – to be milled into boards for woodshed construction

Our friend Jay came with his bandsaw mill to turn these logs into lumber for future projects we had planned for the property.

I stickered up the boards and covered the stacks with old tin and left to air dry. For this project, I’ll use mainly this red cedar and some fir for the rafters.

Red Cedar Stickered

Red Cedar Stickered

Getting Started with the Build

The 6×6 and 4×4 post saddles attach to the concrete footings with a nut and washer on a galvanized anchor bolt I embedded in the concrete. These particular saddles are slightly adjustable to allow you to square up your structure if the anchor bolts are a bit off.

Galvanized Adjustable Post Saddles

Galvanized Adjustable Post Saddles

After the posts are attached, you can tighten the nut. I had to grind down an old wrench so it would fit in the narrow slot.

I selected the posts and beams and other parts and hauled the lumber up to the side of the house. I’ll start with the rear posts by cutting them to length. I mark a line around the post with my square, cut half way through on the miter saw, rotate the post, then finish the cut.

Cut Posts to Length on 12" Mitre Saw

Cut Posts to Length on 12″ Mitre Saw

I lay out the slot at the bottom to receive the lower 4×5 girts. I cut these slots with my circular saw set at a depth of 2″ and use a large speed square to guide the blade.

Layout Groove with Square

Layout Slot with Square

set depth of circular saw to 2"

Build a Timber Frame Woodshed – set depth of circular saw to 2″

After cuts, break thin sections with hammer

After cuts, break thin sections with hammer

I break off these thin segments with a hammer and clean up with a sharp chisel. I then lay out the half lap at the top of the post to receive the upper girt and cut it in the same manner as the lower groove.

Clean up groove with chisel

Clean up groove with chisel

Finish half lap joint with chisel

Finish half-lap with chisel

“Break” the corners

I use a power plane to chamfer the edges of the posts and use my angle grinder with a sanding disc to chamfer all the tighter corners. I do this to all parts of this structure.

Power plane to "break" sharp corners

Power plane to “break” sharp corners

Power Plane has groove in base plate

Power Plane has groove in base plate

Next I cut the taller front posts to length and lay out the pockets for the girts and front cross members. These pockets are two inches deep and run three inches into the post on opposing sides.

Layout front beam pockets to accept girts

Layout front beam pockets to accept girts

I’ll make one front cross brace as a test-fit piece before I cut all the pockets in the front posts. I’ll cut a 4×5 slightly longer than needed. Then layout the lap and cut it with my circular saw. Then clean it up with a chisel.

Make a cross brace test-fit piece - break off segments with hammer

Make a cross brace test-fit piece – break off segments with hammer

There’s a number of ways to cut these 2″x3″ pockets in the front posts. You can drill out most of the wood and finish it off with a chisel in the very traditional way. For this project, and my limited time to get it done and filled with firewood before winter, I thought I’d try my oscillating multi-tool to cut out the pockets.

Timber Frame Woodshed - Using Oscillating Multi-tool to cut pockets

Using Oscillating Multi-tool to cut pockets

I start with two cuts with the circular saw then gently run the blade of the oscillating saw into the pocket. I’m checking that I’m plunging square to each face. I remove the wood in long blocks. I’ll use a sharp chisel to finish up. This turned out to work very well and I got faster and more accurate as I cut each pocket.

Test fit cross member/girt into post pocket

Test fit cross member/girt into post pocket

I used the 4×5 cross member to test fit each pocket as I went along. I’m so impressed with the versatility of this saw. It’s the only way I know of making an accurate plunge cut with sharp, square, right angles using a power tool.

My posts are full six inches by six inches. Unfortunately the post saddles I have fit a five and a half inch post. So I had to shave them down a bit with saw and chisel.

Shave down end of post to fit saddle

Shave down end of post to fit saddle

Setting the Posts on the Saddles

When complete I’ll stand up the rear and front posts and secure them to the saddles with screws. The rear posts are close to the retaining wall so It was an advantage to have a saddle I could spin around to run in the screws. I plumb the posts and attach temporary braces to stakes pounded into the ground.

Standing up Posts

Standing up Posts

I have a wrap around post level that I brought out to help plumb the posts. For this job I found it to be too inaccurate so I abandoned it and went back to using a long level.

Wrap around post level

Wrap around post level

I’ll snug up the anchor nuts as I go along.

Wrench into slot to tighten nut on anchor bolt

Wrench into slot to tighten nut on anchor bolt

Making the Girts

I’ll then make the four girts that connect the front and rear posts. There are four identical girts but I make each one according to the inside measurement between posts as there might be some variations. I chamfer each and test fit them. I’m looking for a snug fit with as little gap as possible.

Fitting bottom girt

Fitting bottom girt

I tap the bottom girt into place and hold it temporarily with a screw. Then I’ll fit and tap into place the upper girt.

Slide in upper girt

Slide in upper girt

A long pipe clamp brings the posts together for a tight fit. I use two lengths of pipe for this span. I find pipe clamps very helpful for this type of project.

Long pipe clamp holds girt tight into post

Long pipe clamp holds girt tight into post

On this project I’ll be using half inch and five sixteenths galvanized carriage and lag bolts with flat washers.

Carriage and lag bolts

Carriage and lag bolts

I countersink the head of the lag bolt or carriage bolt with a forstner bit. Then drill a pilot hole for the top bolt. I’ll use only one bolt at this time to allow a little movement to square up the side before adding the curved corner braces.

See part 2

 

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