Storage Units: Curved-Roof Plywood Unit (DIY Small Buildings)

HOME | Plumbing Basics

Budget Upgrades
| Outdoor Structures

Plywood has considerable strength in itself, so a building made from it needs less framing as the panels contribute plenty of stiffness. The standard 4- x -8-feet- plywood sheets are large enough for you to complete your project with few joints. Of course, any plywood which will be exposed to the weather should be exterior grade. The quality plywood you choose depends on its purpose.

You can make a covered unit with a few sheets. The simplest unit would be with a sloping roof, but you will obtain an increase in strength and rigidity by curving the plywood. You can make the assembly in figr. 3-18 from four sheets of ½ inch, or thinner, plywood, with framing of 2-inch-square strips. Of course, you will not be able to walk into this building as the doorway is only 27 inches high. You could use it for sheltering tools, equipment, or for animals. If you want to treat it like a small tent, it would be possible to sleep inside!

The roof is a full sheet without cuts. The front and back are full width, but reduced in length. The ends are made from half sheets. You can complete construction quick if you need the unit in a hurry. Making this shelter is probably quicker than any other building in this guide. If you are able to spend more time on it, you can give it a better finish.

Mark out the front (figr. 3-19A). Cut the piece to length and mark a centerline on it. You can obtain the curve of the top by bending a batten around and penciling against it, but you will get a better curve, which is part of a circle, by using an improvised compass. Have a strip of wood just over 11 feet long. At 11 feet from one end, push through an awl. Extend the centerline from the sheet and position the awl in the floor on this line so the end of the “compass” is on the edge of the center of the sheet. Pull this “compass” around to draw the curve with a pencil against the end. Cut the curve and use the front to mark a matching back.

When you have assembled the parts, remember to place a beveled strip across the end to take the roof (F 3-19B,C). Mark where this strip goes on the front, using the actual piece of wood as a guide to size. Put a strip of wood across immediately below this beveled strip and mark the height of the doorway (figr. 3-19D,E). Cut out the plywood to this height and 12 inches in from the ends (figr. 3-19F).

Put a rail across the bottom of the opening and another across the top, with uprights at the ends and at each edge of the doorway. You can nail these parts through the plywood, but for a better construction, use waterproof glue as well.

figr. 3-18. A curved-roof unit made from sheets of plywood.

At the back, put strips at the ends and across the bottom, leaving gaps at the top corners for the beveled strips that you will put across there. Cut the end plywood pieces to match the heights of the back and front and 42 inches across (figr. 3-19G). Nail the ends to the back and front (figr. 3-19H). Put beveled pieces across the top edges and square pieces across the bottom edges.

Stand the assembly on a level surface and check for squareness. Put three more pieces across to hold the roof in shape (figr. 3-19J), nailing them through the back and front and leveling them so their upper surfaces are level with the curved edges.

See that the assembly is still square, then bend the roof sheet around, with help if necessary, to check the amount of overlap at its sides and each end. Mark on it where the walls come as a guide to nailing. Start at one end to nail the roof sheet down. Progress from there, nailing to each of the crosspieces in turn, until you finally nail to the beveled piece at the other end. It is the nails at the ends which are important. If you have very stiff plywood, it might be advisable to alternate screws with the nails at the ends.

You should bevel or round the corners of the roof to prevent splintering. For a better shelter, you might take off sharp edges all around. As designed, the unit goes directly on the ground. You could nail a piece of plywood to the underside of the walls to make a floor, but plywood is a better floor placed on top of the bottom edge framing. The plywood will be easier to fit before you put the roof on.

figr. 3-19. Size and construction of the curved-roof plywood unit.

Materials List for Curved-roof Plywood Unit:

3 sheets plywood

3 rails

6 uprights

7 rails

48 x 96 x ½

2 x 2 x 92

2 x 2 x 30

2 x 2 x 44

Top of Page
Prev: Simple Storage Units: Stressed-Skin Workshop Next: Shelters: Take-Down Shelter Related Articles

Updated: Thursday, December 9, 2010 4:21