Build a Woodshed – Timber Frame Style

Getting Started with the Wood Shed 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.

post saddle
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.

handling 6x6 post and beam woodshed parts
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.

marking the depth of the post dado for the woodshed
Layout Slot with Square
setting the depth of the circular saw blade
Build a Timber Frame Woodshed – set depth of circular saw to 2″

Making “Bread”

breaking thin segment with a 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.

chisel finishes up this groove or dado
Clean up groove with chisel
chisel finishes up this lap joint
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.

chamfering posts and beams with power plane
Power plane to “break” sharp corners
power plane has a notch or groove on it\'s plate base
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.

marking western red cedar posts with a large speed square and pencil
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.

breaking thin segment with a 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 Firewood Shed - cutting a notch in a post
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.

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tight joint
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.

chisel cedar 6x6 post
Shave down end of post to fit saddle
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