Monday, October 24, 2011

Pallet Shed -- maker type blog

Wanted a shed for a while. Didn't want the $1500-plus price-tag. Saw some people do pallet buildings in Farm Show magazine and a few on the web. Got a bunch of pallets, all relatively newer, clean, and of similar sizes, so I decided to give it a go. In addition, some larger boxes must have come in to the same place, as there was a lot of beautiful wood, 1/4 inch thick by 44 inches long by 5.5 inches wide that was great for soffits and the door...... Took as much as I could get and it was worth the extra trip. got the siding from a salvage job, so most (95%) of the shed is recycled.
Bought some longer 2X4s for the rafters, and a few to stabilize the walls.

The plan was not too elaborate. Had to fit the guidelines for "shed protocol" and still alarmed the neighbors when I brought home 47 pallets and a bunch of extras. By-law officers were there right away.

Floor Plan includes 2 pallets wide by 3 long. End walls are 2 wide and 2 high. Side walls were 2 high and 3 wide.
On the floor I placed a 2x4 in between the pallets lengthwise, and one on each side, as well as on each end. Floor was then covered with 2 1/2 sheets of Osb salvaged from another job.

On the walls, I only put a 2x4 on the corners as a stabilizer, as well as one in the middle of the end walls to act as a spacer and match the floor pallets. I left the door opening till later, removing only a couple slats to get in and out till everything was sturdy.

As you can see I put the pallets with the slats horizontal and the 2x4s vertical, which is opposite to what is on other sites. It seemed more logical to me, and is similar to house framing. The slats in this configuration give very good side to side strength. As well, use lots of 4 inch screws. Even longer ones to tie the corners together, and the wall mid joint between pallets using screws at a 45• angle.

The roof was done with 10 foot trusses (should have used 12 foot) and is very simple. I cut down the slats on the top at the front so the 2x4 would fit flush with the top, and at the back, measured down 8 inches for a 1/12 slope. I then fit 12 pallets on the roof with the slats side to side, and the pallets upside down. This gave me a lot of contact with the trusses and lots of places to connect the roof. It overhangs a bit front and back and about 18 inches each side. The trusses are held in with three screws each end, (no lentil), and a supporting crossmember along the walls underneath the trusses.
Once everything was tight, I picked the corner for a door, and took off the slats. I then made and hung the door.

The door was made to be 42 inches. Because the sheds are not allowed to be more than 107 sq feet, and I will make two, so that they can face each other, (they aren't allowed to touch) and when the doors are open, they will close the space between them and I can have an extra work area. Hopefully I can have the open doors lock into the walls of the facing shed, and thereby both sheds will be locked whether the doors are open or closed.
The siding and roofing material is the basic 9/36 ribbed metal, and also acts as a stabilizer. Inside I placed 2 shelves of pallets 2 wide, and one in the front corner for my vice and drill press. ( I have since ripped out the one in the front and put in two half width pallets along the back wall so the work space is better laid out, and allows for better positioning of the drill press and other bench tools. I also have a much better reach under and over the bench and as a result have much better space utilization). These also help with the rigid strength of the building.
I used the thin slats from the other crates for soffit and facia, and will also place three skids the full length of the building underneath.
-- as well, I found the legs for one end of a collapsible table. I then secured it to a piece of plywood and attached it with hinges to the door. Now when I open the door, I quickly unfold the plywood and legs and have an instant work table strong enough for a chop saw.

Total cost to me: less than $100
Total cost retail: $1500 -- $2000


(sorry about the order of pics --google has a mind of its own)

SHED # 2
I started the second shed which will be 2 pallets long, two high, and one deep. This one will have wood siding, with the bottom and top pieces meeting a horizontal strip with a 45-degree bevel. I'm hoping that is enough to keep the rain out. (it's just a shed, not a shangri-la). The primary difference in this one is that I only added one 2X4 as a truss length ways, and one on each side of the floor pallets. Fortunately the pallet sizes worked out in such a way that I did not have to cut or adjust for the roof. The end wall and floor pallets were fit on the inside of the outside wall pallets, and the wall is supported by the 2x4 running lengthways. All of these pallets were 44 inches square. The roof was made from 4 pallets, 36x48 inches in size. I placed them lengthways so that it measured 72x96 and left enough overhang for the rain.
The roof was done with leftover tar paper and tyvek, and some real cheap metal used in newspaper printing, held down with wood slats on top. It's not optimal but will keep the rain out till I salvage enough metal to do the roof properly.
I also decided to use metal strapping to hold the pallets on the corners, center and roof together. --- Better two parts safe than one part sorry.
So far the shed is dry, sturdy, and looks quite nice, and of course -- cheap as the dickens. Less than $30 for this small shed -- mostly screws.
Again -- google doesn't allow me to set the order of the pics -- but I'm sure you can work it out.


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