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Thread: Bow roof shop

  1. #1
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    Default Bow roof shop

    I am thinking of building a permanent bow roof shop on concrete pad. Roof would sheathed and shingled so pretty heavy.

    Ideas for beefing up arches to carry load? Know anyone who has done this? All suggestions appreciated!

    THANKS

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    I think of bow roofs for something that is very light, easy to erect, & temporary. But if you want something permanent, designed to withstand hurricanes, &c (and hence much heavier) I would suggest a more traditional & time proven structure. I don't know what zoning or building code restrictions are in your area, but they could differ widely for "temporary" and "permanent" structures.
    If you like the steep pitch for shedding snow, then maybe think along the lines of a gambrel roof barn. The trusses used to make the gambrel could be thought of as your beefed up arches.
    In addition, by using more-standard construction you'll also be more able to make useful modifications later - like installing electricity, partial 2nd floors, standard windows, interior cabinets & shelves, &c &c.

    When I built my barn/shop, the earth & concrete works were 33% of the cost, the materials were 33%, and the labor was another 33%. Just roughly, I'd imagine a bow shed might save 1/2 the materials and 1/2 labor, for a total cost of 66% of standard construction. IMHO, if thinking permanent, your get a lot for the last 33% cost of going stnadard (that's why it's standard).

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Alfonso you're in Maine so I'd look carefully at buildings near you being used for similar kinds of activities you have in mind, that have been there for at least ten years. Twenty'd be even better, or longer. You may not have to weather the infrequent hurricane but Maine's climate's not exactly a kind one when winter arrives. Structures that have stood up to the local conditions will tell you much about what you need to avoid, as will talking to locals who've been using 'em.

    If you're stuck on a bow-style roof, are comfortable with techniques common to boat building, and have the time to do the work, you may be able to make up proper laminated bows or perhaps box-beams on that concrete pad that then would be used to frame up your building. That's an endeavor that potentially could yield a properly built structure but given the engineering needed may require the services of a licensed professional as a consultant to run the numbers for you.
    Last edited by sp_clark; 08-30-2021 at 09:16 AM.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    I agree with the first paragraph of #2. I'm a HUGE FAN of bow-sheds as temporary (less than 10 years) structures, I absolutely love them, but they do have some shortcomings which I wouldn't tolerate if I were investing in a "real roof".

    I disagree with some of the second paragraph of #2. I think a bow-shape built to hold a real roof doesn't save any labor or materials at all. I could make a reasonable case that it actually increases both.

    If you're doing a real roof, do real vertical walls. In addition to the obvious structural and construction-efficiency advantages, the additional utility (shelving) and space cannot be ignored.
    "Visionary" is he who in every egg sees a carbonara.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Rick Laporte has a bow shed in Ontario that he's be building a motor cruiser in for over 10 years. He initially skinned it with boat shrink wrap. It didn't last. Its now skinned with green house plastic. Its been repaired, upgraded, and modified over the years. A real building would have been much better, if it weren't prohibited by his local zoning regs.
    There's the plan, then there's what actually happens.

    Ben Sebens, RN

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Quote Originally Posted by BBSebens View Post
    ...if it weren't prohibited by his local zoning regs.
    That's most often the biggest hurdle.

    Then there's simply the "I want to..." motivation before reality kicks in (some time later after significant time / money / energy (or any combination of two or all of those) have been expended.

    In the end it may prove the best path just to go with what's most practical once all the significant attributes are balanced out.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    A Google found this, not big, but no plastic was harmed in its construction
    http://thehomesteadingboards.com/for...ow-roof-cabin/

    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Sheetmetal Quonset hut building, would allow you to get out of the weather, and even attach a winch and lift some pretty sizable loads inside. they can be insulated too.Their prices seem to be reasonable to me.
    Last edited by the_gr8t_waldo; 08-30-2021 at 02:30 PM.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Quote Originally Posted by mmd View Post
    ........maybe you should budget a few hundred dollars to consult with an architectural technologist (AT) in your area who will know the local building codes and will have the ability to calculate the size & strength of the beam structure. Make a dimensioned sketch of what you envision and take that to the AT so he will have the gross dimensions in-hand for his calcs.
    Please take this advice. I am an architect, and have designed and/ or supervised literally hundreds of outbuildings. I've seen some horror-shows from people who thought they could just design something ad-hoc, or who copied something someone else had done and "just changed it a little". I'm really not sure why anyone would go to the trouble of making those curved frames unless utilising them to keep a fabric taut, but if it's what you want to do there are very different loads at play in a solid-roofed structure compared with a tensile fabric structure, and you really should take professional advice before heading down that route.

    The principle difference between a temporary structure and a permanent one is nothing to do with the shape of the walls and the roof. It's in the detail at the ground. A decent building should have no timber anywhere near finished ground level, or, if in a snow-prone area, anywhere where drifting snow can sit against the bottom edge of the timber structure. This means some sort of masonry plinth.......and that means a proper foundation. Again, this is not territory where the amateur can easily just crack on and make up details for themselves.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Cruck framed buildings go back centuries.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    My bow roof shed is framed with rough sawn 1x4s, so a true 1x4. Many bow roof sheds use nominal 1x3s so 3/4x2-1/2. This makes for a much stronger bow. Spaced a little closer together I think would make it plenty strong to hold sheathing and asphalt shingles.
    This is the time of year I built mine. I lucked out buying Red Pine for the frame. The dont mill it commercially as it is not as nice looking as White Pine. What they do mill it for is boat shrinkwrappers. They just make 1x4s and it is dirt cheap. I think I paid 7 cents a foot. The framing for my whole structure - 14 wide x 30 long x 14 tall - cost only $135.


    0C0BCE91-5D60-4D38-9ADA-0BAB9D0B6E9D.jpg
    Last edited by StevenBauer; 08-30-2021 at 03:29 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    A friend in Georgetown (~10 miles from Bath where the OP is) has a 10 year old Stimson Shed covered in shrinkwrap that's only needed one small repair. It is indeed temporary however. Additionally, David Stimson is in Boothbay, 8 miles or so from Bath as the crow files - 25 road-wise in typical Maine fashion. IOW - the temporary Stimson Sheds can last a while in a coastal ME climate.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  13. #13
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  14. #14
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Would love to know your source for "red pine" ASAP as I am nearby. THANKS




    0C0BCE91-5D60-4D38-9ADA-0BAB9D0B6E9D.jpg[/QUOTE]

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Quote Originally Posted by Garret View Post
    David Stimson is in Boothbay
    He's moved to Bowdoinham and his old shop is for sale.
    "Be curious, not judgmental." - (Misattributed to Walt Whitman as recalled by) Ted Lasso

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Quote Originally Posted by rbgarr View Post
    He's moved to Bowdoinham and his old shop is for sale.
    Thanks - haven't talked to him for a while.
    "If it ain't broke, you're not trying." - Red Green

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    A Google found this, not big, but no plastic was harmed in its construction
    http://thehomesteadingboards.com/for...ow-roof-cabin/

    It's a nice little "man cave" type space but as a shop it strikes me as terribly inefficient. Where do the tools hang? Peg board and slotwall are pretty much out. Where do you store materials?

    If one is enamored enough with the bowshed roof shape to go the trouble maybe build it on a 6-8 foot tall wall so at least you are making useful space? I've been in a house designed around the bowshed concept, it was pretty cool but the arches where quite large to support the added weight of actual roofing materials (especially compared to the more ethereal arches found in most plastic-sheathed buildings)
    Steve

    If you would have a good boat, be a good guy when you build her - honest, careful, patient, strong.
    H.A. Calahan

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    I got my Red Pine from Maschino And Sons Lumber in New Gloucester. http://www.maschinolbr.com/ It might be a little early, I think I got mine later in September. It was so wet it was too heavy to put on top of my truck. I commented to the yard guy that I had put larger loads of wood on my truck and he replied but this wood was a tree two days ago. Id give them a call and ask when theyll have it.

    I didnt use any plans for my shed. I made a 16 long table from a couple of 2x4s and two sheets of plywood. Then I screwed down some blocks of wood at two corners and the center of the opposite side. Id bend a 16 long 1x4 against the blocks, screw on the spacers then bend on another board. And screw it all together. So each rafter is 16 long with a 4 bow. The whole structure took me four days to build including making the bows. My wife helped me stand them up.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Bow roof shop

    I built this bowshed to shelter my houseboat during construction. I found the plans online and I think it's one of the most functional and pleasing shapes I've seen. I disagree with those who said they could only be temporary. This same structure could be sheathed with 3/8" plywood and be incredibly strong. I am a builder of 46 years and know a bit about construction. It has less surface area than a conventional building therefore it is cheaper to build. The only drawback I can think of is trying to put windows or doors anywhere except the gable end. I glued my arches together and if one additional layer was added they would be extremely strong. The plan I copied the had a rating of 150 MPH wind. I'm not sure about that but there are no eaves to catch the wind and I believe its inherent shape is wind resistant. It experienced 80 MPH wind and many storms because I live near the water. I got more compliments about the building than my boat.




    http://forum.woodenboat.com/showthre...hlight=bowshed

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