I went looking for the roots of the term “Jury Rig”, partly expecting to find out that it’s actually “Jerry Rig”. Turns out that they’re two different things and, according to the Wikipedia page on the subject, an alternative term is “to MacGyver” something.
So that’s what I did today. I MacGyvered a storage shed. Now that I know that I’m calling it that, I’ll have to go back in tomorrow and rig-up some booby-traps (another term I might ought to look-up) :-).
Goodbye Raised Planter, Hello Storage Shed
So last year we built some of these raised planter beds. We got a few veggies, but we ran into some issues with local wildlife. We’re not sure if it was Mr. Raccoon, Mr. Squirrel, or the flocks of green parrots, but somebody kept eating our stuff.
More recently, the three raised planters had fallen to being used as a holding area for a ton of wood I recently hauled over here, thereby ending a LTR with a local storage facility and the accompanying monthly rent. The other stuff from storage is in the house, waiting on me to build some built-ins and cabinetry to hold it.
So I have this stuff, and I have this wood, and I need to get this stuff out of the way so I can work in the house. And I also have an awesome new nail-gun from Paslode I want to take for a spin. What to do?
Let’s Throw Together A Shed
That’s really what I did. I “threw” this together. No plans and hardly any use of a tape measure. This is so not the way to do it I can’t even put it into words. But, it worked, and even though I started at noon and made two trips to Home Depot, I had a roof, a floor, and two walls done by dark.
Here’s what I did (and you totally shouldn’t do this because it’s w-r-o-n-g):
- I had a bunch of rough-sawn 1×4 Cypress – good for outside so I wanted to use them for the structure. Yes, I built a shed out of 1×4’s, call the shed police.
- I stuck the 1×4’s up against the side of the planter which is pretty solid seeing as how it’s full of dirt. Turns out the level is at the other house. Teenage boy says, “use the iPod”… wha? It worked. iHandy Level for iPod ROCKS.
- Stuck-em up there, plumbed em with the iPod, and shot em on with a totally incredible nail-gun made for interior trim.
- The Paslode Cordless nail-gun I was using is something we’ll talk much more about when I get to work inside, but I’m telling you I think it’s the best thing since sliced-bread. No air hose, no compressor, just freedom man.
- The nails weren’t what you call framing nails (they were 16ga trim nails) and they probably aren’t made for outside, but they made quick work of shooting on these 1×4’s and I was able to move fast. I went back later and added some Deckmate Screws. It’s much easier to screw when you don’t have to hold-up your wood.
- I didn’t cut them to length, didn’t measure, just nailed one board on each corner, plumbing them with the iPod Touch, and letting them “run wild” into the sky. (technical term -ask anyone)
- I had enough metal roofing laying around to go 8′ but my foundation, f.k.a. – Raised Planter Bed, was only about 4′ wide. So I put a one foot overhang on the side we’ll see from the Tiki Bar, and a huge 3′ cantilever on the other side. (everybody has metal roofing laying around, right?)
- If I had it to do over again, I’d measure when building my roof framing. As it is, I just cut some boards with a 15 degree angle on one-end and stuck-em up there, letting the other end run wild and lapping the board from the other side.
- I “nailed-the-heck” out of it (slightly cleaned-up construction terminology) and then cut-off the excess with a reciprocating saw. I’d show you the pictures of that action, but I don’t need all the “hair club for men” referrals that would come.
- I’m going to have to just go Kojak, but that’s another story.
- Oh, the tape measure. A little more time would have resulted in the peak of my roof in the actual center. As it stands it’s a few inches off! (down here, you’re allowed one-inch off for every visible palm tree, so I’m fine)
- After the roof was framed-up, and relatively level along the eaves thanks to the iTouch, I cut-off the excess from the “wall framing” – the four 1×4’s holding it all in the sky.
- Plywood scraps and little 1×3 fir make-up the ridge beam. No walking on this roof, at all, ever, seriously. It’s for keeping rain out only! The metal roofing on each side is only 3’4″ long overall, so it doesn’t take much strength.
- I added a few more screws as I went along to strengthen the joints and plan ahead for the thin nails rusting away. We’re only about 100 yards from open salt-water.
- The metal roofing I used is actually really good stuff left over from the $20,000 roof I put on my other house. The roof that was supposed to make it sell in like two days. Like two years ago. Anyway, moving on… it’s good roofing and very strong/rigid which allows me to get away with very little roof framing.
- Endless bullet-list that should have been paragraphs continues…
- Arrrrggghhh… I didn’t have any plywood laying around, so I begrudgingly bought some, but I went with the cheapest stuff they had. OSB – Oriented Strand Board. About $9.00 a sheet and I needed 5, so that’s my big expense.
- A sheet made-up the floor (I added framing underneath to make it solid-ish).
- A sheet for the end wall, perfectly square to straighten-up the slightly bending 1x4s.
Before dark I had the back on and had all my tools inside to be under-cover overnight. I’ll finish it (except for the door, which I need to fetch from 120 miles up the road) tomorrow and I’ll show you what comes out of it.
I bet you’ll be highly impressed! Just don’t build one like this at your house. It’s totally wrong and I could list a million things that might go wrong later. But for now, I have the beginnings of a cool Island Shed!