Shed Building Monthly Issue 12
August 2009

We won an Architectural Design Prize!

Following all the great suggestions you made to my garden office design last month, the revised garden office design won a prize! You can see the revised entry here and see the announcement at the Shedworking site. This marvelous success is all down to some great suggestions that you have made.

I need your help!

One thing that struck me following all the suggestions I received about the garden office design was how much knowledge and experience you all have. It struck me that if I am the only one doing the talking here things could get a bit boring! So I have tweaked the format yet again to make it easier for you to add your comments and contributions

Each month I will get the conversation started with some suggestions and then please pitch in. It's possible to put your comments at the bottom of this page. Tick the box so that you get notified as others contribute and this page functions a bit like a forum thread for this month's issue of Shed Building Monthly.

I'm sure we would all like to hear from you and get your life experiences. In fact, I'll bet you've got some great tips that will help us all. Don't be shy. We won't bite!

Using recycled timber to build a shed

To get things going this month, what are your opinions and experiences on using of recycled timber to build sheds?.

Some of the most interesting looking sheds are built completely out of recycled material. This one from Uncle Wilco's shed blog always sticks in my mind.

I have built several sheds and have used varying proportions of recycled timber in all of them. The important thing for me about using recycled timber was that it helped keep the construction cost down. Many people also use recycled timber to reduce demand on the environment and also just because well chosen recycled timber can look great.

Buying recycled timber often isn't too great an experience as the merchant often prices the timber at a high percentage of what it would be new. The quality of the timber also needs to be considered has it got splits and shakes in it (these may be desirable) has it got nails or metalwork in it that could damage your woodworking equipment.

The best sort of timber is the totally free variety, however this normally only comes along when you don't need it! But it always pays to keep an eye open!

Here are a few of the places I have found useful timber.

* A local garden centre had some Christmas tree packaging. This was planed 20 mm by 75 mm and in eight feet lengths. To use this for the framing of the shed I screwed two pieces together to make a sort of 4x2 for the frame.

* I used to work at a company that supplied concrete formwork to construction companies they were about to burn some surplus beams and plywood until I got my eye on it!!

* As I was leaving a country pub one evening I spotted many usable lengths of 6x2 timber in the wood pile. I asked the landlord and he said to take as much as I needed. I used the timber to support the floor to my latest shed in the picture below.

Comments for this months issue -

* What experience have you got of using recycled timber for using sheds or other things?

* What would you like to see in future issues of Shed Building Monthly?

The lines are open!

Comments for Shed Building Monthly Issue 12
August 2009

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Jul 26, 2009
by: Billy Bob


you forgot to mention timber pallets as a source of free wood. I see them all over the place. I tried to break one up and it was pretty well nailed together and taking it apart without damaging the wood was hard.

Anyone know how to take apart a pallet?


Jul 26, 2009
My shed is recycled
by: Anne Michelle -

My shed (Vivante Art Studio) is built of recycled timber and corragated iron. I love recycled timber as it is always dry and stays straight, Shrinkage is complete and in my town, recycled timber is so much cheaper to purchase that new, at the local demolition shop. Also I have so much fun down there poking around. I found all my windows there, just the right size and lots of interesting bits and pieces, like the bench tops and the wall linings. There is my full description of the building and collecting process of my Studio on my blog.

Anne Michelle

Jul 27, 2009
Great Studio
by: John - Admin

Hi Anne Michelle,
I enjoyed having a look through your blog at the studio conversion. You have a great workspace there and I enjoyed looking at the artwork you have created too! I tried to visit your Etsy shop but the link didn't work?

I forgot to mention about using recycled building components but you found a very interesting door there and the re-used paviors make an already weathered surface. Which other components did you get from the recycling yard?

Billy Bob,
I have tried dismantling pallets and found that the best way to do this is with a cold chisel and lump hammer at right angles to the nail to cut it in two. When all the nails have been cut the remaining bits can be driven out with a hole punch. Of course the folk who build whole sheds out of pallets do not dismantle them they use the pallet as a panel and use other longer timbers to align them. That could be the basis of another article.

Thanks for the input


Aug 04, 2009
recycled lumber
by: linda

i am just finishing up my little shed and have had so much fun putting it together, we have a recycle store here in wyoming habitat for humanity where all the builders donate used windows and left over stuff , i love poking around in there and collecting interesting shutters and windows for my shed, i am really enjoying your news letters, it amazes me all the great ideas people come up with for their sheds keep up the great work

Aug 14, 2009
Recycling Building Components for Charity
by: Anonymous

Hi Linda,
I've been back from holiday a week and am still catching up! Thanks for your comment, your shed sounds really cool.

The idea for getting builders involved in recycling building components for charity sounds great. I had a look at the main Habitat For Humanity site it was really interesting, do they have a local website showing this recycling project that we could look at? It would be great to see some pictures of your shed as well.

Glad you enjoy the newsletter.

All the best


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