View Full Version : Uh-oh!

Ed Harrow
01-08-2003, 09:15 PM
So, I've been a bit negligent with the respect to the amount of snow accumulating on Our Lady. Set work on it today in the usual way, tapping on the plastic until the snow looses its grip. I'd start at the bottom of the snow and work my way up. Well, CRACK, what was that... Anyway several of the arches are half broken.

I've removed the snow from nearly all of the structure using a wooden rake (there is still some at the very top which remains out of reach for now).

So, suggestions as to how I might best reinforce the cracked arches? I figure an additional bit of strapping at least 8 feet long, but I've not come up with a good way of bending it in. I suspect supporting the ridge will be a useful thing, and attaching the additional bit of strapping to the bottom of the arch, somehow loosely at the upper end, and then forcing it into position by pushing in the center area? I'm afraid that if I use the cracked arch to clamp on to with the idea of drawing the "sister" to it that the whole thing will fail. :(

01-08-2003, 09:19 PM

Would a couple ply gussets work?

On Vacation
01-08-2003, 09:20 PM
It sounds like your structure broke. Can you send me a photo. Maybe you can make a new one or two and put along side of it?

01-08-2003, 09:26 PM
OUch, I was wondering with all the heavy snow we've been having lately... :(

They look like the frames of a boat. Why not borrow a boat fix and sister them?

<edit> read that a little too fast

Put in a ridge pole with an a-frame supporting it at the ends maybe?

[ 01-08-2003, 09:30 PM: Message edited by: brian.cunningham ]

01-08-2003, 09:32 PM
How much snow do you guys have? Was there an obvious flaw in the stock Ed? I'd of thought that Stimpson's arched shed would stand up to the snow pretty well.

01-08-2003, 09:48 PM
20in in some spots.

wet and heavy not light and fluffy

Probably the day of rain we had, that soaked it in that did the job.

01-08-2003, 11:01 PM
Think steel.
Get some 3"x 3/16" steel, 8' long, or whatever you need, and screw it into the curved face of your arches. the steel will try to straighten out the arches some, but it should hold you over for the winter. It's cheap, fast, and you can always use it for something else later...

Paul Scheuer
01-08-2003, 11:36 PM
? Is Phoenix ok ? When I saw the pic last week the snow didn't look that bad. You must have had more. At the time I thought that a little heat might melt the snow. Might still be an option. Probably not a good idea to warm the boat up at this point.

Wild Dingo
01-09-2003, 03:26 AM
Originally posted by brian.cunningham:
20in in some spots.

wet and heavy not light and fluffy

Probably the day of rain we had, that soaked it in that did the job.That is 20in of snow Brian???? 20 flamin inches??? of snow right??? ****e!!!!!!!!!! whooooeeeeeeeee could do with some of that here man its flamin hot!!! heres a pic of Joshy tryin to cool off... in the wheelbarrow! :eek:


Agreee Ed a couple of strategically placed gussets would could help??? of course you have consulted Finbar the great right? :rolleyes:

Take it easy

[ 01-09-2003, 03:28 AM: Message edited by: Wild Dingo ]

ken mcclure
01-09-2003, 06:44 AM
Where exactly did they break?

Can you run fore-and-aft stringers, and side-to-side cross-braces to form a light truss?

01-09-2003, 08:26 AM
Like they say you might be able to do the trick with a plywood gussest. Once it is in place you could than go ahead and sister a new frame without fear of it falling and than you can remove the gusset if you like.


Ed Harrow
01-09-2003, 09:20 AM
Couldn't sleep last night.... Almost got on when I woke up with Foster Monster...

This is what I'm thinking, picture later. Steel interesting, hadn't thought of that.

Breaks are in max curve area. I'm thinking of using strapping, somewhat shorter than existing, prebend it into a "Bow" using line and truckers' hitch, set the bottom in place at the sill, just in side of broken arch, start attaching from bottom, loosening hitch to keep the "sister" in place against the cracked one. Also will check to see if ridge has dropped, and attempt to jack it into position.

Gotta go to a class... by for now.

Alan D. Hyde
01-09-2003, 01:17 PM
Perhaps strap steel, maybe 1/4" x 1".

I'd think of hose-clamping it on to the broken frames.

The ridgepole's a good idea too.


01-09-2003, 01:21 PM
Ed, I have a simular setup, using arches. My arches are laminated ash, 2" x 2" , with 1/2" EMT cross braces. I don't have a digital camera to show you, but as of right now there's 16" of heavy wet snow on the "winter-boathouse." I've used this setup for 3 seasons now, and this is the most amount of snow that I've seen on it.
Could you sister up a couple of 1/4" laminations to the broken arch, to hold to together better. Than use some other form of straping as a truss across the top of the arch, than I ran ridgebeam down the center of the arches, and at each intersection of the trusses the length of the building. Collar ties are at the bottom of the structure, the boat sits in a cradle ontop of the collar ties. A plywood,OSB,and whatever was around to build a walking surface on is the floor.
The building is covered in 10mil clear plastic, on the outside & inside (air-space insulation).
If the sun would come out & melt the snow, it would be a cozy 50+ degrees in there with no heater.
Don't fret none Ed, spring will be here next week for 2 days only, tipical New England weather!


Ross Faneuf
01-09-2003, 05:32 PM
Some yards in this area use plastic piping successfully to make arches. They use the continuous black tubing commonly used for, for instance, deep well connections (someone more knowledgable can give the correct material name). In 1 1/4" size or so, it's good and stiff, and very tough; no worries about breaking. You could use some to splint your breaks.

01-09-2003, 06:03 PM
I guess I'm not seeing this clearly Ed. Why not get some 1/4 inch ****e board ply (you'd probably only need one sheet), make a cardboard pattern of the proper shape, goose the offending arches back into line, and screw some properly shaped and sized gussets of ply to the inner and outer straps, with numerous, small self tapping screws?

A few collar ties would also be a good idea, if you ain't already got'em.

But I haven't looked at either the plan or your shelter in a number of years/months.


01-09-2003, 08:04 PM
Ed – You might try using pressure treated firing strips to sister the breaks. You could use two instead of one piece of board and if they are as wet as they are down here when you get them, they will almost bend in a circle before they will break. You will have to pick through them to make sure they do not have a big knot right in the middle. I find the ones at Lowes a lot better quality than the ones at Home Depot. I would add some support to the ridge to help hold the weight. Even if it is from the deck of the boat, you can remove them come spring.

It has been a strange winter here. Usually the cold wind comes from the northeast. This year it has come from the west and southwest. We have had some strong winds from the south and southwest this year. After re-arranging the canopy and adding a tarp to keep the north east winds out, we now get it from the south and southwest. Seams like I spend a lot of time working on stuff just so I can work on Sarah.

Good Luck with however you repair it.


Ed Harrow
01-10-2003, 05:52 PM
OK, the day's report.

1. Got 98% of the snow off, there still a couple piles right on the ridge.

2. Put two vertical supports under the ridge. I cut them long and they had to be forced into place.

3. Tied some lines across the structure kind of like collar ties (there are gussets at the top of the arches tying both sides together.

4. Cut a piece of 2x6 to match the inside curve of an unbroken section (almost all the breaks are at the same level, one is one horizontal lower). This gave us two pieces, one of which went in between the two arches, the other, thicker piece, went on the inner side of the inner arch. Steel strapping was placed between the fractured arch and these two piecs of 2x. I put hose clamps around the assy and snugged them up, then used C clamps to help squeeze the two peices together, forcing the cracked arch back into shape.

So, one arch "repaired", five more to go, about 4 "collar ties" in place, and the ridge supports no longer are sitting on their bases, LOL.

I think we're on the right track. I am concerned that this repair will create a stress riser, but after looking at the whole thing this morning it seemed the best solution to the problem.

Observation: The max ridge drop seemed to be at one of the joints. I gussetted the joints with 3/8 ply, and lots of deck screws. Obviously it would be better to have fewer joints, esp butt joints. Perhaps a better ridge could be made using 1x, with large overlaps. Additionally, nut and bolting would probably be considerably better than deck screws for the gussets.

So, hopefully, between Foster Monster obligations, I'll get the other cracks repaired before the next snow falls.

Resolution: I ain't lettin no more snow accumulate on top!

Ed Harrow
01-11-2003, 09:45 PM
With the aid of The Lurker and Son, I've now repaired four arches. There are at least two more to go. I'll have pictures tomorrow.

Whew, that's a weight off my shoulders...

ken mcclure
01-12-2003, 08:47 AM
Ah! Great!

"Collar ties." That's it. That's the term I couldn't remember. SWMBO thinks I should go to a doctor and get checked out for Altzheimer's. I'm starting to think she's right. I'm starting to forget the darndest things.

01-12-2003, 11:05 AM
I had a similar problem...I had bought the pipe fittings that they sell that fit onto fencing pipe to construct a tarp shed. The pitch is inadequate to shed snow and the spacing between the pipe "bents" was too far apart to offer much support. Snow would land on the roof and create big bellys of accumulation. I would have to do some serious pushing with a push broom from the inside to lift the tarp to the point to where the snow would slide off. What a pain! The worst of it were the March storms which dump a foot or so of heavy wet snow. I believe I was close to collapse several times. This year I de-tarped it and put some framework on the boat and covered that directly. I'll re-roof the shed in April as it does do a good job of keeping off the sun and rain. But I can't easily get on and off the boat to work on it....rats.

Ed Harrow
01-12-2003, 02:32 PM

Most of the cracks were on the southeasterly side of the shed, probably four or five, if you count the "hmmmm" ones as well. The other side has just two, and one of them falls into the "hmmm" catagory as well.

Some were keyed on a knot, no surprise, and all, but for one in this picture, were at the same elevation. There was little loss of basic shape, tho the ridge did settle a bit (1/2 - 3/4") at one point.

On Vacation
01-12-2003, 02:36 PM
Cut you some more shortblocks the same size as you have inbetween the original pieces. Ease the ends to relieve the pressure or install them cross the pieces and install in place like a railroad track. Get you some 1/4 inch plywood and scab over broken joints. Use multiple layers for this as it will bend in place.

01-12-2003, 06:07 PM
Glad to see the repairs are going along.

Sing out if you need a hand.

Paul Scheuer
01-12-2003, 08:09 PM
Not at all what I imagined. By the way, I hope I didn't precipitate all this by my earlier question about sagging.

At this point you might be able to do some prevention by installing short blocks in all of the arches midway bewteen the existing spacer blocks, at that high-stress elevation. Much easier now than after the parts break.