We had some beautiful weather over the weekend in Hampshire which was just perfect as we managed to just about finish our new wood store. It was one of those gorgeous November days, crisp frosty mornings followed by glorious sunshine in the afternoon.
Living on the edge of Salisbury plain we tend to miss the worst of the bad weather to be honest, which I understand is why the military moved here around 30 years ago.
I went to the builders merchants first thing Saturday morning to pick up an extra roll of roofing felt so we were able to finish the roof and move on to the closing in the frame.
Building the walls of the wood store
The walls are built using a combination of 6″ and 4″ treated weather boards pinned to the wall plate and a kicker board fixed between the support posts.
First job was to mark the posts for the kicker board remembering to leave approximately a 12″ gap at the bottom for air to circulate through the wood pile.
The plan was for the boards to sit flush with the outside of the post so I added a packer block to the inside of each post, stepped back from the outside edge the same thickness of a single board. (Use an off cut of board to gauge the depth)
Fixing the boards
A useful tip I picked up along the way is if you’re doing this job on your own try fixing a piece of timber the length of the run that’s thicker than the kicker boards to use as a rest while you fix the vertical boards. Just remember to make sure the top of the rest is level with the top of the kicker board before you fix it.
Having fixed the kicker and set the level between the posts I measured and cut all the boards. As the timber arrived in 4.8 mtr lengths I cut three equal lengths of 1600mm board which when offered up to the frame left me with roughly a 12″ gap at the bottom.
I made a spacer out of timber so I’d have a small gap between each board and then proceeded to fix the boards.
Another tip is not to drive the nails completely in until you are absolutely sure the boards are straight and true.
Lining up the boards
Secret to fixing the boards nice and true is to make sure the first board you fix is dead straight (on the vertical) then use the spacer to fit the next board, and so on until all the boards are fixed, Occasionally I stop to check the boards are plumb using a spirit level as the smallest error will just get worse the further you progress. Also don’t be afraid to pull a board off if you’re not happy with it, after all you’re going to be looking at it for a good few years, so best make sure everything is at least straight!
I’d originally planned to only fill in two sides of the store as one faces North and gets the worsted of the North winds, while the other looks onto my neighbours garden. But I’ve decided to board out half of the third side so the back of the store will be pretty much enclosed. For now I’m using a sheet of OSB I had left over, but I will replace it with boards when I have a few more pennies.
Apart from cutting the occasional notch out for the rafters the boards went up ok. I decided to mix up the pattern using a four inch board every third or fourth board, which worked out ok.
One of the last jobs was to add some trim to the front and rear eaves to hide where the felt is tacked on. Pretty straight forward, just needed to work out the angles top and bottom, cut to length and fix to the front of the joists.
Unfortunately we ran out of boards and it was getting late before we could complete the soffits, but there’s always next weekend!
Then as if by magic…
On Sunday afternoon we had a call from a friend who lives in the next village. He’d removed a limb from a horse chestnut tree that was hanging over the main road in the village. Two hours later and four trips in the car we had a half decent pile of unseasoned wood that should be perfect for burning by next winter.
It’s not a good idea to burn fresh cut or unseasoned wood as its called as its full of water and apart from the fact that its wet it doesn’t produce much heat. Wood burns hotter the drier it is, so always a good idea to stack fresh wood for the following year.
Well, apart from the guttering that’s pretty much it!
We’re really pleased with the results and for a little effort and not a huge amount of money we have a great little wood store that should last a few years and provide us with a fantastic stock of free winter fuel.
I’d like to have a fire pit outside the front of the store to warm ourselves with when we’re busy in the garden in the winter months. I’m also planning on adding a light and maybe an electric socket in case we need to use any power tools, but that will have to wait.
So that’s the end of my mini series on building your own wood store. I hope you enjoyed what you read and found some of it useful. If you’d like more details of how the store came together please drop me a note and I’ll be glad to help.