Entirely scratch-built to my own design in mid-late 2012
Workshop with wide range of machinery for working with wood, metal and plastics
Plenty of lighting
Heavily insulated for warmth and soundproofing
6'32 clear headroom
Chalkboard & whiteboard
Robot identification poster
Reinforced concrete floor
Drawers - lots of them
Custom benches & shelving
Racking for commonly used tools
Installed compressed air system
Many more features, too many to list! (see the pictures and description)...
My shed No. 1 Hut, is a workshop, entirely scratch built by myself in late Summer 2012.
The shed replaces a 1950s asbestos cement sheet garage that was in place when I bought the house in May 2012. I felt sure that given a kick in the right place it would have completely collapsed - a notion borne out by the ease of demolition when the time came. The frame had rotted through, particularly in places where the exterior ground level was higher than the concrete base.
The timber frame for the new workshop is built on a low engineering brick wall, built to get the timber well out of the ground, as the garden is on a slope. I made partial use of the existing concrete base so I didnt have to completely start from scratch, capping off the filled in old inspection pit and laying approx 50mm of concrete with integral reinforcing mesh to get a flat and level floor.
I have used almost entirely new materials, primarily from the local builders merchant (TBS in Daventry) and from a local fencing supplier (Mainline Timber in Woodford Halse). Some items, such as insulation, were bought as seconds and oddments such as floor paint and shelving timber scrounged or re-purposed. This approach was taken due to the need to get the project completed quickly so my tools didnt clutter the house for too long, and so I have somewhere to work on house projects I need to complete.
The frame construction is mostly 3x 2 timber - pressure-treated in some places where required - with 3 x 3 fence posts in the corners and 2x 4 making up roof trusses. The exterior is clad in 120mm wide pressure-treated weatherboard over a Tyvek type membrane.
Walls are insulated with 65mm rigid insulation - Kingspan seconds - and internally clad with 12mm thick ply, allowing me to easily fix things to the inside where required. Internally it is finished off with a white paint on the walls and a grey floor paint. Cupboards etc. are random colours from using up paint.
The roof consists of 50mm longitudinal stringers fixed to home built trusses, topped with OSB and 25x38mm battens. In-between these are more insulation - 25mm this time - topped off with Coraline (bitumastic) sheeting. Barge boards are gravel boards and are fitted all the way round with standard house guttering used for rainwater capture, feeding a water-butt.
Doors are ply and 2 x 4 construction on the front and close-boarded timber over a 2 x 4 frame for the personnel door.
The workshop has been designed to give me over 6ft clear height everywhere inside so that I am not going to hit my head, and to allow storage cupboards and shelving of a decent height to be installed. The whole workshop is less than the 2.5m height required by the building regs and so has a relatively shallow roof. The floor area is just under the maximum permitted 15sqm.
The name No. 1 Hut comes from a great little shed at Dungeness in Kent, an area I used to spend some of my holidays as a kid. These huts formed part of a Decca radar testing station - a slightly mysterious place in the fog.....
No. 1 Hut is joined by No. 2 Hut which is racked out as a store shed - this way I can keep the workshop for my hobbies and the raw materials and stuff that might come in handy one day out of the way.
The interior is fitted out with a wide range of benches, storage and equipment as can be seen in the photos. Very little of this has been purchased new, most acquired second-hand (e.g. Vacuum former, Gabro folder, Bandsaw, Milling machine), bought from auto-jumbles (e.g. cold saw), surplus (e.g. many hand tools, fasteners), from auctions and tender sales (e.g. variable power supply, pillar drill), pulled out of skips (e.g. storage drawers and dexion), blagged from friends (e.g. steel cupboard and workbench) or rescued from a scrapyard (e.g. guillotine, welder, anvil and swage block). A new bench has been built along part of one wall to give working space for bench-mounted tools and a band-saw and table saw are mounted on mobile trolleys
Lighting is from 2ft sealed fluorescent fittings fitted between the trusses towards the edges of the workshop. This means I dont cast shadows over where Im working and Im less likely to hit them when wielding wood than if they were below truss height. Sealed units mean they are much easier to keep clean.
So what do I make in my workshop?
My interests are very varied and cant easily be catergorised into one area - I am a tinkerer! So far No 1 Hut has been used for making benches, cupboards and fittings for the workshop itself, and for prepping parts for the house and garden such as oak shelving for the living room and bedrooms, coat hooks and fittings for the utility room and lighting projects. I married last year and so spent some time making table centres, table plans, and giant initials for it, as well as making a few other things for friends' and relatives' weddings. Current projects are mostly obstacles for various Scout camps and events over the summer.
Other projects over the last few years have included: restoration of two antique printers cabinets; printing of posters using wooden type; a gunge tank; a compressed air foam machine; more obstacles for Scout activity days; windows; cooker hoods and flaming torches for a medieval castle built in Sweden for the World Scout Jamboree; restoration of dining room chairs; fluid sculpture; paint cannons; caving lights; fixing tools and car maintenance. I expect these sorts of projects to continue, and in fact become easier as I dont have the compromises of working in a rented property. Examples of projects can be seen on my website: www.superpants.net
I have gained inspiration from a number of sources including this site, the UKWorkshop and LR4x4 Forums, books and Shedwatch, a Facebook social networking group between friends who are also working on their own shed projects, and hope in turn others may gain inspiration from this shed.