Childrens Toy Shed; Reclaiming My Shed

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Established Member
8 Aug 2020
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North Yorkshire
This year, I hoped to build a childrens play centre, which would have incorporated a storage area, but my drive project was hindered sourcing materials due to Covid. I never completed the drive until September, as a result, by the time I was ready to start the play centre, and materials for such started arriving, I was out of time and weather. I am hoping to start early next year - but I want my shed back from the plethora of Childrens garden toys!

I have therefore decided to build a small, 3' x 5' shed to store the kids' toys in. The height would be 1800mm, simply because this is roughly what the lengths of 3" x 2" I could easily manage in the car.

I have never built anything before, so this is my first foray in to woodworking [save for a course I did with Chris Tribe in Yorkshire]. It is somwhat rudimentary, but I have learned much from on this forum and also a couple of UK Facebook groups.

So, I have planned the playcentre on SketchUP for Web, and decided I'd use this for the Shed. A few hours on nightshift, and I had a basic frame with a door. If nothing else, this could all be used to dertermine just how much and what timber I would need.


This was the basic idea, but I did change a few things once I got going. For example, the vertical in the middle of the long wall, I decided to double it up when building the walls, you will see what I mean.

I started of making the base. I had some 4" x 2" lying around, so I built a 900mm x 1500mm frame. This was a simple affiar with a cross brase piece in the middle to support the floor, which is made up from 22mm OSB.
I had to buy a full sheet of 22mm OSB and cut to size. I used a circular saw, with a straight piece of whitewood as a straightedge clamped to the board to cut the 900mm x 1500mm floor.


Once the floor was cut to sice, this was fastened to the 4" x 2" frame using screws, although this next photo was taken before I had drilled/screwed it together.


Once the base was complete, I decided to start working on the 'walls'. Starting with what would be the back wall, I built an oblong frame with the outside dimensions of 1800mm x 824mm. This would allow me to double up the verticals, as the 2" of the 3" x 2" is nominally 28mm. 28mm + 28mm + 824 being 900mm. I am not sure if this is overkill, but looking at sheds you can buy, these are build from timber much smaller, and definately without doubled up verticals.


Once I had completed the back wall, I tried a dry run of how I expected it fit to the base. Have to say I was fairly chuffed it was coming together how I had planned it in my head! You will note my ommission of a cross-brace (don't know what they are called). The very good reason for this missing is I forgot. I had already fastened the two strengthening pieces on the outside of the frame by this point, so decided not to bother. Whether this will come back to bite me on the buttocks remains to be seen!


Once the back wall was complete, I marched on with the next. This is the reason the centre vertcal is made up of two 3" x 2"s.
If it was done in one frame with one centre vertical, I wasn't sure how I'd fasten the horizontal parts to just one vertical becuase after screwing one side, there is no way to scre through to secure the other horizontal piece? Does that make sense? I don't like the idea of screws going through th eheels of joints.

I also made it in two halfs to make it easier to manage. Here you can see the two halfs clamped together ready for screwing together.


The remaining wall sections were completed in the same way. The front section though where the door will be, while efectively the same as the back wall, there is no bottom to the frame, as I would trip over it. There is a piece of scrap timber though keeping the space correct and square though, shown below. It's even painted white, not for clarity - it just happened to be so!

Once all the walls were complete it was time to look at the roof. I had decided on the style as per in the Sketch UP designs, but after initially chosing a 30degree pitch, I decided to go for 45degrees then I could simply use my rafter square to get all the angles. For a beginner, I thought this would be a good place to start.

Starting with teh rafters, using measurements from Sketch UP, and the rafter square as a straight edge for the circular saw.


I cut four pieces to the correct size, and placed them together on a flat surface to get them square. With an off cut of 22mm OSB, cut a triangular piece to keep what would be the roof apex at 90 degrees. The rafter would then be located on the front and rear wall by cutting out 'crows feet', is that the right term? as shown. I guess there was a risk of the rafter splaying out, but when I have the facia boards on, made up from tongue and groove (T&G) then this would keep their shape. After all, I don't foresee anyone climbing on the roof!


I also very nearly made a mistake with my cuts! I marked out where the crows feet would go using the measurements taken from the wall, and a bit of pythagoras, and started the cut. After one saw movement - I decided I would place the rafter up against the wall (shed wall) only to realise that I had marked them for the inner verticals rather than the outers! Very nearly a blunder. You can see my deliberate mistake! Thankfully I was using a hand saw, rather than anything electric, as that might not have been as forgiving.

Once the Rafters were complete, it was time to start building the shed by putting the frame together. I built the frame up seperately from the base so I was certain I had ample support, and I was away from the breeze. I put the base in place, leveled it with packing, and then carried the whole of the 4 walls which by now had been fastened together, over to the base. The base had to be in the right place as it is far to heavy to move with any timber fastened to it.


Once in place and tapped square to the base, the frame was screwed down. You may also notice a further piece of 22mm OSB on the top. I added this to stiffen the frame up, for when I was manouvering it. It reality the frame was pretty stiff anyway. I have decided to leave it in place, and it can be used as a shelf in the shed to keep a few things away from little hands!
The next bit was the easy and fun bit! The cladding. This bit was fun as it actually felt like I was making progress with it. Careful attention was [paid to ensure that the sides remained in line with the back wall and across the front. It would look daft if the joints weren't level all the way around? In faireness I think there was only a variation of 1mm half way up one side, so the boards are pretty consistent.


On this final image, you will notice a board across the roof. This was 'tacked' in place to ensure the exact correct distance between the rafters was maintained, and add a little stiffness while I fitted the cladding. it seemed to work as everything remained square.

nice job, hope the kids appreciate it.....
trouble is it will soon be full....
Next time put the door on/in the long side that way u can get to the stuff at the back without unloading everything....
oh and get the wood off the floor, or it'll soon rot.....

thumbs up.....
Nice work, I have something similar planned for the Christmas break to free up more workshop space
nice job, hope the kids appreciate it.....
trouble is it will soon be full....
Next time put the door on/in the long side that way u can get to the stuff at the back without unloading everything....
oh and get the wood off the floor, or it'll soon rot.....

thumbs up.....
The door on the long side is a good idea, not one I paerticularly thought of at the time? Certainly one to think of next time. Hang on, next time?!

With regard to getting the wood off the floor, the 4" x 2" is treated for being outside, I just need to treat the ends I have cut. Will that not suffice? Otherwise any ideas for raising it off the ground?
Next up, the roof. I had a sheet of 12mm OSB for this. The sheet was cut using the same methods as the 22mm OSB I used for the flooring. The dimensions were a rough measurement as because I had increased the pitch of the roof to 45degrees, I decided I would have a slight overhang on each side of the roof (front and rear) to assist with the felting and attach a small facia panel. I decided that 30mm each side would be enough but, since I never planned this in the model - this was later not to be quite enough. The 2400mm x 1200mm sheet was cut so I got 1560mm x ≈ 700mm, this left two pieces that I had to make up the remaining side. I knew after changing the apex angle, that I would not have enough 12mm OSB to do two full roof pieces, so I had to have three pieces make up the other roof side. This was not a problem, as after I had 'fixed' the first piece on the rafters, the 12mm was sagging in the middle, the rafters centres are ≈1460mm apart, so I would need a centre rafter to stop the sag. Unfortunately I did the centre rafter in a rush so forgot to take photos!

The second part of the roof was made up of three pieces of 12mm OSB, but with a centre rafter, this gave the support required for fixing. The sizes ≈ 1560mm x 500mm and two pieces of 780mm x 212mm. This having an apex length of 12mm longer to meet up with the other roof side making a nice apex? does that make sense?


Once the roof panels were fixed in place, I felted the roof, using the £20 a roll for 10M from B&Q. Really don't wast your money on this junk, it's like tissue paper. Granted I was working in the cold, and it was a bit brittle, but it really is garbage stuff. Still, I have enough left over to recover if necessary.

First of all I ran a centre strip over from the left side to the right. This was an extra layer which would cover the centre joint of the roof boards which was above the centre rafter. I then covered the right hand side with cover over the apex, and then the left hand side, the most visible side, which meant the apex would have a double layer effectively.

Left hand side with the right hand side attached, also shows the centre strip.


As you can see, my hammer punctured the felt. I did leave this, as this would be covered by the felt from the left hand side of the roof, which covered the apex.


I then focused on some of the trim, which was made up of some bits and bobs I had around. It was approximately 1 1/4" by 3/4". I folded the felt over the edge, and screwed the trim through the felt to the underside of the roof board. The centre rafter can just be seen inside.



The eagle eyed will notice that I have not yet put the T&G trim down the right hand side of the door. This is because I want to hang a door here, and figured it would be much easier without the trim.

This is as it stands just now. For the last two weeks I have been stuck at work, looking after children, or it's been p***ing down. Mostly the latter!


I did cover up the door aperture to try and keep the weather out, but I really need to complete the door.


I could probably do with some advice on how to hang the door though?

I did buy 3 x 100mm heavy duty stainless steel hinges to hang the door, but I think the door will be too heavy. I planned to make a gate like door, with a frame of 3" x 2", with the 7 pieces of 12mm T&G running vertical. I wonder if that amount of timber is too heavy for the frame and the hinges I have chosen?

Any ideas?
I prefer the door in the short side, longer pieces can be accommodated that way.
A door in the long side limits the length of items that can be stored.

May I ask why you put such a steep pitch on the roof?
I prefer the door in the short side, longer pieces can be accommodated that way.
A door in the long side limits the length of items that can be stored.

May I ask why you put such a steep pitch on the roof?

In fairness, probably inexperience. Initially I was doing approximately 30degrees, but this was mainly so I could get two full roof boards from one sheet. 45degrees was just easy to cut with a rafter square.
I wonder if that amount of timber is too heavy for the frame and the hinges I have chosen?

Any ideas?
I think your framing is, if anything, a little over engineered, so it should carry a 3 by 2 framed door with 3 hinges. Three by inch and a half would suffice and save a little weight.
In fairness, probably inexperience. Initially I was doing approximately 30degrees, but this was mainly so I could get two full roof boards from one sheet. 45degrees was just easy to cut with a rafter square.
It looks ok, with the added bonus of being practically snow proof.:)
I like the steep pitch of the roof, can only help to keep it dry. As a storage shed, I would have gone for more of an outdoor wardrobe, double door on long side, pent roof rather than apex, as far as I can see you shouldn't need to step inside the shed at all, space for feet is space that could be used for storage.
I managed another few hours yesterday on the Toy Shed, and finally built a door, got it closing and locked. Using the same vertical T&G treated timer for the door face, and 3" x 2" CLS for the supports (whatever they are called?). I have built it like a gate I suppose? Still this have given valuable experience of how not to do things in the future. This method produces a hefty door, which is not stronger, IMO.

Anyway, started off with the part of the door which would have the hinges attached. Measured and cut it to length, and marked out where I would attach the hinges. I cut out a recess for them, or rather butchered the softwood CLS using what were sharp chisels when I started. The chisels were only cheap ones, but the back was flattened and the edge sharpened when I attended a Chris Tribe woodworking course. They really were sharp, but I did find on softwood they were less effective than hardwood?


...following on from the previous post, with the hinge post of the door notched out for the hinges, I aligned the T&G that I was using for the door.

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The width of the door was ≈50mm less than the sum of 7 pieces edge to edge, so this gave me a chance to use my table saw for the first time. I decided since I was cutting at least one board to size, that for extra strength at the heel of the door, the 'groove' could be trimmed off. So I trimmed the groove off the heel side of the door, and then ripped the final pice of T&G to make the door a good fit. This would leave 4-5mm clearance.

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When fitting the hinges, I was to learn that leaving the groove on the edge would have been beneficial as it would have been easier to trim for the hinge, the photo will show.

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For extra strength, I also put a rather large screw from the edge of the door in to the horizontals.

And pretty much, the full finished article. I have the trim down the right hand side of the door to complete, need to add soffits and facia boards, and I will probably add some guttering. Need the weather to warm up a little first! Note the use of a bag of ballast to hold the door in a position where I could mount it! Sometimes doing things completely on your own is a PITA.

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The eagle eyed amongst you will notice some plane shavings. The part of the door with the door lock contained was too tight with the door stop/jam where the lock engages - so this needed planing a good 1mm or so.


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Overall, pretty happy with the way it's turned out, and have learned much along the way.