Boat Shed Construction - Part 3

With the weather cooperating nicely I was back at it pretty early this morning. Well early for me anyway. As I mentioned, my goal for today was to finish the west side pad, level the gravel and install the earth anchors that hold the shed down.

Yesterday I started work on the row of 4x6s I was using for the base for the west frames. This pretty clearly shows the sloop I am dealing with. In addition the west side isn't quite as level and the 4x6 provide a stronger base in places that needed bridging. But mostly they are used as spacer to level the shed. I started out today double checking that my ends were level side to side. I then started work on the northwest padding that I hadn't got to yesterday.

This was problematic because of tree stump that we weren't able to completely remove. As it turns out I caught a break since I could leave a gap in the support base as there weren't any frames at the location where the roots were the most annoying. I did have to do some digging to level 4x6's on either side of the stump, but all in all not too bad.

After finishing and installing the west wall pads I drilled holes every 4 feet and installed the rebar that I am using to hold my pads in place and locate the frames. I also decided to drive the rebar in a bit deeper than I had been as I liked how much firmer they became. My guess is that I drove the 4 foot section of rebar about 2 1/2 feet into the ground.

With that done I quickly install the short section of each frame. The manual actually instructs you to assemble the frames using these short piece, but I like have a cover for my rebar and being able to assembly the first row of purlins.

With this done I started thinking about leveling the gravel a bit. It didn't take much thought for me to ask Craig if he could spare me 10 minutes on his John Deere. His 10 minutes save me at least an hour of raking.

With freshly leveled gravel I decide to have a go at the ground anchors. I had been dreading this job since I ordered the shed. I have dug enough holes to know that this wasn't going to be easy. Even with a fancy drill bit that Craig whipped up this task more than lived up to my reservations.

I had originally planned to install an anchor every other frame, per a conversation with the Clearspan folks. I quickly went to plan B which was install an anchor were I could actually set one. In the end it worked out okay. I got the anchors I wanted at the front, anchoring the first two frames, and most of the anchor I wanted along the way.

Some were perfect, like the one below, and I could set them all the way to the eye.

But others sternly refused to go more than half way in. I am not terribly thrilled with the quality of these anchors from Clearspan. The would easily twist due to the torque of trying to install them. I am still pondering what to do about the few recalcitrant anchors, but I needed to move on. Perhaps a little rain may help soften their resolve.

With the pads, rebar, gravel and anchor done it was time to move to the erector set portion of this project. This is the easy part or so I thought. The instructions read:
Select the six (6) pipes needed to assemble a rafter and arrange these on a flat surface as shown below for assembly.
No problem. Except where was I going to find a flat surface to assemble these 14 feet by 14 feet frames. Any twist at all at the joints results in a frame that is not planer. I tried laying out a frame on the frame pads and shimming the gravel but I wasn't happy with the results or the method.

About that time Craig took a break from his shop to see how I was doing. Her spent a minute looking at the problem and mention that I could always use the roof of his shed next to mine. It was brilliant. Off he went back to his shop.

Craig is truly a artisan Blacksmith. You can view is portfolio on his site

Armed with this great new idea I quickly went about setting up my rooftop framing assembly line.

Not much later, I had 10 frames ready to go.

About this point I quickly started to realize that my progress had eclipsed my planning so I call it a day.

Saturday is Bolero's haul out day so maybe Sunday I will be back at it.