Other Projects: Aluminium Shed

Sheds really get on my nerves. They seem to cost a fortune, need constant maintenance and fall apart in no time. When we moved here bought an expensive 8′ x 10′ shed and treated it but the front is already coming apart – the tongue and groove is separating and it is really getting on my nerves.

With the summer house falling apart we needed somewhere to store the bikes and general tat and I decided to make my own, but I wanted something a litle different.

I like the look of riveted aluminium and wanted a softer shape, not just the usual box, so decided to design a shed that has a curved roof to make it stand out some.

The base is 4 x 4 inch with 2 crossbeams logitudinally and one laterally to really spread the load and the florr is made of the best decking planks I could find, really thick and sturdy.

The shed itself is made of 1 inch tubing for a simple frame (found at Aluminium Warehouse) and then clad in 1.2mm 2m x 1m aluminium sheets (again from Aluminium Warehouse) and all rivetted in place with 4mm x 12mm rivets. Really quite satisfying putting them all in place.

The curved shape on the side walls was made by marking 3 key points and clamping a thin piece of pine to create the curve and marking the curve with an indelible pen. My air shears sorted it a few seconds and good to go.

The side and rear rear top panels overlap the bottom panels signifcantly and the corners then covered with a right angle section to help keep it weatherproof.

I put 2 beams across the roof between the side panels along with the front and back beams and the roof then simply dropped on. Small sections were cut from the overlapping panel underneath and then rivetted to the crossbeam making it extremely rigid.

At the back the roof sticks out about 10cm keeping the rain off the back and stick out 1 inch to the front to keep rain out from the doors which are fitted onto the front (not set inside) and held with 3 stainless external hinges.

The whole aluminium structure is then screwed into the wooden frame so it is not likely to go anywhere.

The roof panels were just sitting on top of the side panels and I thought I would be able to braze them but the 1.2mm makes it too tricky for me with the kit I have. I simply therefore sealed it with Evo-Stik “Sticks like Sh*t” which seals and bonds it really well.

The roof panels themselves were sealed with flashing tape from screwfix to prevent any water being sucked back up by capilliary action – the tape is awesome and works really well.

Internally at the back I then put in a strong bench to house the bike and sailing gear and allows the bikes to attached with spare bungees from the kaymaran project. Some locator slots were made up from spare 1 inch section and rivetted to the back for the front wheels to slot in then the bungees are clipped to the becnh and go over the bike handlebars to hold them firmly in place.

The final thing to address was ventilation – being metal it will attract condensation, so I wanted to put in various active and passive ventilation. The repvailing wind means I don’t want any ventilation holes on the left side as it will simply flood water in as winds can be pretty strong here. There fore a large panel is on the rear top left to let air in while being protected. I have put some vetilation holes at the top of the right had side and they are under the overhang so nothing can get in.

Lastly, I added some active ventilation by making a hole in the right hand side at the back above the bench and fixing a spare computer fan there. This is wired into an old motor bike battery which is fed by an old solar panel outside (previously used to keep air moving in loft office at our old house). A solar charge regulator allows manual control of the fan and stops the battery getting fried from overcharging or being completely flattened by the fan. A timer box then runs the fan overnight for a couple hours several times drawing air across the bits and pieces on the bench keeping them hopefully in good condition.

The solar panel needs mounting better but then basically we are sorted.

At the same time, I wanted some extra storage for pond items so also looked to make a small box to sit alongside the shed – see this page for details