the first thing I thought I needed to do when I decided to restore
old cars (after deciding which cars I wanted) was to build a shop inside the barn so that I would have an organized place
to work in the winter that I could heat without owning the utility
company. The shop would have a loft (to organize and store parts from
the cars as I was restoring them) above it so I decided to build a set of 4' stairs to the loft. That way I could
utilize the loft that was currently unused in the barn.
This barn had three old stall which I had previously closed
the outside doors to and insulated them well. I also removed and sold
the inside doors and put floors in the stalls for storage and work
area. After I decided to build the workshop I decided to place it in the back corner of the barn and include one
of the stalls. The stall is about 11'X11' and I decided to build a 12'X16'
extension to that area to use as a shop. Well, it has been a very
long time and a few concussions since I've built anything like this so you have to excuse a few mistakes
and the first one was in making my measurement as an inside measurement instead of
the outside measurement. Think about it! Six sheets of OSB plywood
are 4'X8' or 12'X16" OUTSIDE MEASUREMENT. I measured to have 12'X16' for the inside dimensions
initially and, of course, you have to take into account the 1 3/4" on both sides or
3" total of your ceiling or floor joists (depending on where
you're standing). Well, I got that straightened out fairly quick and without much damage,
except to my ego. Here is a picture of the old stall area that I included in the shop.
First I built a 12' wall of 2"x4" stud lumber and three 2"x4"x12'
pieces. This comes at a 90 degree angle from the back wall of the barn
and is exactly square and plum using a good square and 4' level. Next
I built the 16' wall. Now, since both of the walls had studs on 16" centers, there was a lot
of lumber and a lot of weight. Now you have to understand that I'm doing all of this by
myself. I had a couple of young guys that were supposed to help but
both were no shows for whatever reason so I decided to go it alone. I'm 60 and in poor health at times
but my Daddy always told me that a man just does what he has to so I started in doing
it. That 16' wall was so heavy that I decided to use the gantry crane
to lift it and it worked just fine. I attached a strap in the middle of the top of the wall
and slowly lifted the wall up. After it was almost straight I was able to shift it around and get
the end next to the stall nailed into place and then finally attached
the other end to the first wall that I built. After I make sure that both walls
were square and plum (straight up and down with the level), I anchored them to the concrete floor with 1/4"X31/4"
I put a 10" ledger board against
the back wall and, because I like to have added strength I placed extra support beneath it with 2"x4"
to the floor. These will also have the pegboard screwed to them so they serve
double purpose. This ledger board has joist hangers attached to it
every 16" on center starting with the 12' wall I built. This is the ledger board and supports. To install the joists I used hurricane hangers (Figure 14A and 15A) on
the 16' wall as guides for the beams as in Figure 16A and then rested
the 12' beam on the ladder in Figure 16B.
I then climbed the ladder and rested the beam on my shoulder and
on up the ladder I climbed until I could push the beam up and into
the joist hanger on the ledger board.
After getting all of the joists or beams installed the last
one is a little tricky by yourself so I adapted a hurricane tie for
it in Figure 18 and Figure 17 shows the joists installed.
Now it is time to take a break but I'll be back to tell you more
and we'll bet started on the stairs. I've never built stairs before
so this will be an experience. Gene
Now that I've taken a little break, let's look at a
few of the tools you'll need. Now these are not all of them but these are the major ones.
Some Tools You'll Need
I thought I'd take a break from the usual post and tell you about some
of the tools I used and made my life much easier while doing his construction.
First, you need a good stable saw. I used a 12" Sliding Miter
Saw from Harbor Fright with an extension roller for long pieces. (See below) Now, one of the most important
tools I've used is my Dad's hammer that he left me and a big bucket of his nails.
I figure that his nails will never let me down and will always hold
strong. Now some of you may think there's nothing to that; but, are you sure? Gene
need a couple of sawhorses to cut the stringers on and a good saw to
cut them. I used a circular saw to begin and finished the cut with a zig-saw. Remember that on the stringers you DO
NOT want to cut beyond your angle in the steps. That will greatly weaken
your entire setup! You'll also want a regular hammer, a dead blow hammer
to convince those stubborn pieces, a good tape measure, a few good pencils, a good angle square and some
other miscellaneous tools as shown below.