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Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
7/18/12 6:55 p.m.

I keep making plans for the next chez Curmudgeon and the plans include a Garage Majal II. I keep thinking about using a Quonset hut for same; pour a concrete slab, anchor the sides of the hut to said slab, put a rollup door in one end. This eliminates having to buy silly stuff like roof trusses, shingles, etc.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quonset_hut

What says the peanut gallery? Any practical experience out there?

BoostedBrandon
BoostedBrandon Dork
7/18/12 7:04 p.m.

A guy I knew (who is no longer with us, unfortunately) had his shop built like that. It was one of those steel building you see advertised on television. It was probably 30x60 roughly, had an office in the corner with a small break room, full bathroom and a kitchenette I think. Weird thing is he was the only guy who worked there. Had that spray insulation all along the roof, and it was warm in the winter.

I say go for it.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
7/18/12 7:09 p.m.

In reply to Curmudgeon:

no windows. no headroom at the side walls. easy to insulate via spray foam.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
7/18/12 7:20 p.m.

I am thinking of the type where there is a 'knee wall' of masonry or what have you approx 3 feet high then the top is the Quonset. I've seen pictures of what looks like dormer windows, anybody have any experience with that?

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 Dork
7/18/12 7:56 p.m.

There are lots of choices for that type of building for workshop/garage. Just search metal building and alot of choices come up. Reasonable price too. Know people that have them for garage/workshops/barn.

Anti-stance
Anti-stance Dork
7/18/12 8:18 p.m.
Curmudgeon wrote: Any practical experience out there?

My only experience was sleeping in one with no door on one end in the mountains of Camp Pendleton in January. Won't forget that anytime soon. We took a mattress, put it in front of the door, and pushed a rack up against it. It kinda worked.

HappyAndy
HappyAndy Dork
7/19/12 6:53 a.m.

There was a thread on this forum a while back (maybe 2 years ago) featuring tricked out quonset huts. They were pretty neat.

Some time back in the early eighties, on a family road trip, I spotted a quonset hut painted like a giant Pepsi can.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
7/19/12 6:55 a.m.
HappyAndy wrote: There was a thread on this forum a while back (maybe 2 years ago) featuring tricked out quonset huts. They were pretty neat. Some time back in the early eighties, on a family road trip, I spotted a quonset hut painted like a giant Pepsi can.

There's an idea; paint it like a giant beer can.

neon4891
neon4891 UltimaDork
7/19/12 8:09 a.m.

I want to say Hess has some, or it might be plain steel buildings.

cwh
cwh PowerDork
7/19/12 8:36 a.m.

Check with building and zoning first. They may have something to say.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess UltimaDork
7/19/12 9:48 a.m.

This is mine:

30x46. As far as I'm concerned, that's the cheapest way to put up a shop. I have another that is 20x30, I think, that I built as a garage for my MiL. I have hints, tricks, tips, etc., if you go that route. These came from Future Steel, which advertises in American Rifleman. I like to support magazine advertisers of the mags I like. Future Steel is "located just south of Detroit" if you ask them. Canada if you drill into it.

92CelicaHalfTrac
92CelicaHalfTrac MegaDork
7/19/12 9:52 a.m.

Can you put skylights into these things? The no windows thing creeps me out, but i also guess with doors on both ends wide open you might get enough natural light that i might not feel like a mad scientist.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess UltimaDork
7/19/12 10:03 a.m.

I have a skylight in both mine. I should have had 2 in the big shop, about 3 -4 panels in from each end. Some day I may add another. The skylights are just one of the straight long panels in fiberglass. They just took a straight panel and laid up fiberglass on it. Didn't even create a proper buck. But it fits good enough.

Cotton
Cotton Dork
7/19/12 1:04 p.m.
Dr. Hess wrote: I have a skylight in both mine. I should have had 2 in the big shop, about 3 -4 panels in from each end. Some day I may add another. The skylights are just one of the straight long panels in fiberglass. They just took a straight panel and laid up fiberglass on it. Didn't even create a proper buck. But it fits good enough.

I could use any of those tips and tricks you have. Our house in currently on the market and the house we want to buy doesn't have a shop. I'll need to built something right away, so am exploring all options. This will be a big shop. My current building is 32x60 and I need to go bigger.

Also, did you build it yourself?

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess UltimaDork
7/19/12 3:33 p.m.

Ain't you in LR, Cotton? That's almost local. Ya'll are welcome to come visit here near Fayetteville. Yeah, I put up both buildings myself. The big one, I put up 1/2 of it entirely by myself. It was a PITA, but I did it because I couldn't find anyone to help the rest of the time. For the next one, 20x30, I hired a hand and we put the whole building up in 36 hours of work.

Tips/Tricks: Every sales place has this line: "Big Company XYZ cancelled an order on but put down the deposit, so I can discount it that much for you." The price they initially quote you doesn't include ends, doors or base plates. You want base plates, which are plates they bolt down to. Some people have a local shop make the plates for them, but I dunno how much they would save. The shop companies are proud of those plates.

When you pour the slab, screet a 1/2" drop in the last foot all the way around the perimeter. If you don't do this, it WILL leak. They don't tell you that anywhere in the manual either.

Lay out the base plates, then use a power hammer with concrete nails and attach them to the slab, then hammer drill and concrete anchor (Red Head) the plates down.

You can save a lot of money by making the end walls yourself from conventional 2x4 construction. They're real proud of those end walls too.

I built my slab to Texas Highway Department specs. My friend is a retired Civil Engineer from there. It must be the only uncracked slab in Arkansas.

procker
procker Reader
7/19/12 3:51 p.m.

It seems like there is a lot of wasted space along the side walls d/t the shape of the building. What is the purpose of having it in the shape of a half-cylinder? I know I've seen some newer simpler metal pre-fab shed/garage type of buildings that appear to have more usable space...

Something like this seems to be more conducive to usable space, but maybe it's not what you're looking for?

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
7/19/12 3:55 p.m.

I was thinking more of this type:

There are no ribs, the deep V of the panels is all the support the roof needs. It should be easy enough for one person to assemble if they are assembled on the ground, then a forklift etc lifts each section into place.

Another thing I like about this is if it gets rainy for a few days during construction no harm done. When I was building the last Garage Majal of conventional frame construction, it was a PITA keeping materials dry.

DoctorBlade
DoctorBlade SuperDork
7/19/12 7:48 p.m.

Not mine, mind you. Philadelphia, MS

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess UltimaDork
7/19/12 8:52 p.m.

Look at the cost and PITA factor of those concrete walls versus just buying an A frame building like mine.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy SuperDork
7/19/12 10:11 p.m.

I was involved in building one (40x60) in about 1975. Curmudgeon, your last picture is deadly similar to what I remember, although that looks like real scaffold...

Ours had a footing poured with a groove formed in the top of it- wide enough to accept the base of the spans, and about 4 inches deep. After assembly, the groove was filled with concrete, with the outside poured a little thicker so it could be sloped away. No bolt down plates. The floor was then poured inside.

The building is still standing, and I although I haven't seen it for 15 years or so, there were no rust issues at the time. IIRC your age, you'll be long dead by the time it fails.

The sloped interior walls are not a concern in a working shop, as long as you don't want a hoist up against the side wall. We had work benches, and custom fit tapered cupboards, and random stuff around the outside walls. You can put all the windows you want in the end walls, and if you have the skills to straighten and weld up a bent fender, you can fit a window to the side walls too.

We built all the spans on the ground, the got the neighbors over to assemble- the main spans were up in a day, I think, and the end walls and doors took another couple. Then we pulled one of the chunks out and bolted it in correctly, since they pull in a ton of water when it rains if you overlap it wrong.

You ain't gonna lift the spans by yourself, either. My brother and I were on the scaffold, then after about 5 spans were up, we stood on them, just pulling ropes with two hooks spread across the center of the span, but we had at least two guys on each side to help them get started up- they have very little structural integrity before they are bolted together, and will fold up if they are being lifted without support.

It was (fireproof) spray foamed after wiring, and used as a welding shop for quite a while, until my brother built a post and beam 60x120 replacement.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
7/20/12 6:39 a.m.

My boss has one in pieces on pallet that has never been assembled. He keeps threatening to make me build it, I keep talking him out of it.

Looks like I will be doing it soon.

For now, I've got nothing to offer, but I will let you know soon if I learn anything.

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
7/20/12 6:41 a.m.

That scaffold is a bit of a nightmare.

But, he does have his cowboy hat on, so I guess everything will be fine.

Curmudgeon
Curmudgeon MegaDork
7/20/12 7:41 a.m.

Dood, that's a Texas hardhat. Let me know what you learn if the boss does browbeat you into building one so I can pick your brain.

4cylndrfury
4cylndrfury UltimaDork
7/20/12 8:20 a.m.
  1. buy a decent tubing roller
  2. buy a crap ton of 30' x 2" tubing
  3. spend a month churning out the ribs
  4. Cover with aluminum siding
  5. win
Cotton
Cotton Dork
7/20/12 10:08 a.m.

In reply to Dr. Hess:

Thanks for the info. I'm about 30 minutes West of Nashville, but I might take you up on that offer sometime when I get closer to building.

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