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Thread: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    Hello everyone,
    I have to build a bow roof shed and have been trying for about a month to reach David Stimson to order plans. He hasn't been answering the phone or returning e-mails so I assume he is on hollidays or away. I need to get started on building the shed before the real winter hits and am looking for an alternative. Does anyone else know if there is another bow roof shed plan out there? I have toyed with just trying my own design by looking at web pics but I don't know how all that would go. Any ideas for an alternative plan?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 1999
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    Hyannis, MA, USA
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    While there are plans out there that lend confidence, these are temporary structures so you should not (better check) need a building permit. Emphasize that it's a tent.

    Anyway, none of the three or four sheds I've helped with came with someone else's plans. A few basic dimensions help.

    Firstly, it works out that if the sticks for each side of the arch are as long as the final arch is wide, you'll have nice porportions.

    Figure no more than 4' (I like 3'6" better) between arches.

    The arches themselves are typically about 1x3 for bigger arches or 1x2 for smaller. Get stock that's clear enough to bend. Scarf for length if you must.

    Surely an engineer can do better but the space between the inner arch and outer arch is not too critical and can be made from cut-offs of the arch material or cut-offs of the horizontal bits as you choose.

    The basic bow pattern can be staked to the ground. If you think standard x width and y height coordinates, with l being the actual straight length of the arch pieces, 2x = l with y being whatever it turns out. You might rough draw or stake a bow-on profile of your project as it will be when blocked, mark room needed on each side (3' out from each gunnel is comfortable) and then see what bow actually fits over that. Start by using a long batten and two people so you can stake at gunnel height and then one person moves the 'upper' end while the other moves the 'lower' to get a rough idea. Then start fooling about with the shape as you want the width at the base to be as little more than the width at the gunnel as the wood will comfortably take. Most of the bow is in the upper third.

    So much for fine engineering. The key is to make all the arches in advance.

    Assembly is easy if you're building it over an existing boat as then you don't have so high to reach for getting the arches up and mutually attached. You'll need to think more deeply or get an experienced friend to do it over bare ground but it does not require cranes or complex scaffolding, just smarts. Lotta ways depending on what you have at hand. If you can get a ridge pole up to simply push the arches over, so much the better. Like two uprights at each end on center buried 4' or so and the pole run between. One of the uprights will have to come out on completion, of course, but with a firm ridge pole you can get each arch in position, lay a ladder to get up and screw the arch to the ridge pole (it's an inner ridge pole) and then move on to the next, so eash step you're at is secure.

    Before putting the plastic or shrink-wrap or whatever on, I'd lay a slat on each side of the top of the arch, sort of a ^. Now you've a really strong ridge that won't cut up the covering.

    Some people make really nice looking jobs with the horizontal slats neatly run between the inner and outer arch member, acting as additional spacers. Others tack strapping (the wood strapping) over the outside in a diagonal pattern. Either way if you work from the bottom up the climging is safe.

    There can be a lot of fun and creative problem-solving which Stimson's plans will save you from if you can get them.

    G'luck

  3. #3
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    Thank you Ian for the great reply. I think based on your answer, I'll just go ahead and start. Should be fun.

    Andrew

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    One important structural point is how frequent the spacer blocks need to be. As I recall we just kind of started with spacers at the apex of the curve, at top and bottom, and half way between those three. Then we added blocks in between, half and half again, till it felt right. Again, adequacy may be different from best engineering and it's likely that we made things both too heavy and not as strong (though not critically weaker) than is possible. So by all means start but if you hear from Stimson, be prepared to evaluate.

    In the end it's really hard to go too far wrong here. If it sways too much, add some more strapping and maybe a few external anchors. These sheds are a nice shape to cover with FEMA tarp (there are nicer colors than blue). If you use two such that each one ties to the ridge and you then get another ^ cap nailed down over the joint, the lines holding the tarps down at the other edge and along the front and back will go far towards stiffing it up. HINT - you can nail that ^ cap on if you join the tarps to the ridge and each other while they are rolled and stop-tied lengthwise. Then cast off the stops to let the two sides roll down.

    G'luck.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    Have you tried your local County Ag extension? They have plans for lots of this sort of thing which farmers use for sheds of one sort or another.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    I used faux lumber (Trex or somesuch) for staking out the perimeter and truck vinyl sewn to shape of course for a cover. The far end is cedar clapbpoard. I through bolted the spacer blocks along the curved trusses and the bottom of each truss sits on and is bolted throigh the faux lumber perimeter (staked upright) Bulletproof!
    Live and let live

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    I think this thread needs pics.
    If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.
    -Henry David Thoreau-

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    Quote Originally Posted by Sailor View Post
    I think this thread needs pics.
    Here you go. One bow roof shed during Hurricane Irene last August:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MAX5iEg2oQ0


    Here's the builder of the above shed's blog about building it:

    http://www.farreachvoyages.com/thebowroofshed.html

    First you build the jig for the bows and build the bows (each bow is basically a bent I-beam):





    then you get the thing started:



    Then you flesh it out.



    Don't forget the stringers and double-diagonal cross-bracing lest it tip over. Sometimes pros forget this, too

    http://blog.pieforensic.com/2011/03/...-construction/



    Pie was retained to determine the cause of a roof truss failure at a retail building that was under construction. The contractor alleged that a gust of wind caused the roof system to fail over a holiday weekend.

    We conducted an observation and took measurements at the site and reviewed the construction documents. Based on our investigation, it was determined that the roof trusses temporary bracing during construction was inadequate
    Since, unlike a building, bow-roof sheds usually don't have structural sheathing to prevent racking, you need the bracing.
    Last edited by Nicholas Carey; 11-02-2011 at 07:35 PM.
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  9. #9
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    Jul 2007
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    Sturgis MI
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    here are some free plans, from a reputable source.

    http://bioengr.ag.utk.edu/extension/...Plans/6298.pdf

    cheers
    jerry

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    Thanks for the replies, photos and plan references. Does someone actually own this design - did David Stimson design this shed? Could other people market designs? Just wondering.

  11. #11
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    The plans from Kentucky are presumably in the public domain, the theory being we already paid for them with our tax dollars.

    I have no idea whether the original idea was Stimson's, or someone else's. Anyone can sell plans, unless they are copies of someone else's copyrighted work. If the original inventor of the idea got a patent, it would have expired by now.

    On the other hand if you sell plans, you are suggesting that the design is suitable for the suggested use, and if it fails you could be sued.

    Allan

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bow Roof Shed Alternatives

    I'm obliged to post on all such threads: man, I REALLY miss my stimson shed.
    We must go too far in order to know how far to go. Yeah.

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