Build your own Timber Frame Woodshed for Firewood Storage and Drying. Plans available for download in PDF Format.
part 1 of 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. The internal volume of the wood shed is 392 cubic feet (11.1 cu meters). A full cord of wood is (4’ x 4’ x 8’) 128 cubic feet (3.62 cu m). So stacked to the top of the walls, this shed holds 3 cords of firewood.
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.
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.
The front and rear beams are 6×6 and there’s a curved header over the doorway.
All eight curved corner braces were made from 2×8 stock.
The rafters are 2×6’s, topped with strapping and a metal roof.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I’ll snug up the anchor nuts as I go along.
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.
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.
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.
On this project I’ll be using half inch and five sixteenths galvanized carriage and lag bolts with flat washers.
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.
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- Dewalt Compact Job-Site Table Saw (DW745)
- Dewalt 12″ Sliding Compound Miter Saw (DWS779)
- Dewalt Miter-Saw Workstation Tool Mounting Brackets (DW7231)
- Dewalt Heavy Duty Miter Saw Stand (DWX723)
- 10″ Bench Drill Press with Laser
- Dewalt 20V MAX Compact Drill/Driver set
- Dewalt 20V Battery Charger
- 20V Dewalt Batteries
- Milwaukee 7 1/4″ 15 Amp Circular Saw (6390)
- Dewalt Cordless 6 1/2″ Circular Saw
- 9″ Bandsaw similar to mine
- 12-Inch Disc Sander similar to mine
- Hobby Disc & Belt Sander
- Bosch 1375A 4-1/2-Inch Angle Grinder similar to mine
- 4-1/2-Inch Sander Backing Pad with Lock Nut
- DEWALT DWE6421 5-Inch Random Orbit H and L Sander
- Dewalt 20V XR Oscillating Multi-Tool (DCS355B)
- Metal Cutting Attachment Shear
- Electric Hand Planer
- Excellent Hammer
- Socket Set
- Wrench Set
- Woodworking Chisel Set
- Pipe Clamps
- Irwin Tool Quick-Grip Clamp Set
- Toggle Clamp Set
- 48″ Spirit Level
- Johnson 7″ Speed Square
- Adjustable Combination Square
- Framing Square
- Aluminum Ruler
- Swanson 12″ Speed Square
- Carpenter’s Pencil
- Center Punch
Adhesive & Finish
Drill Bits & Blades
- Grizzly Master Forstner Bit, 31-Piece (H7694)
- Countersink Drill Set
- Brad Point Drill Bit Set
- Long Drill Bits
- Bosch 9″ Jigsaw Blades
- Bosch 6″ Jigsaw Blades
- Oscillating Tool Blade Pack
- I’m sure there’s something I forgot