How to Build a Timber-Frame Woodshed

Build a sturdy woodshed that will keep firewood stacked, dry and ready for use. Includes materials list, plan, and building instructions.

| August/September 1995

Here is a woodshed from real wood-burner's country-the ski mountains of Vermont-where city dwellers can find a few days' respite from smog, traffic, and the rat race in the crisp mountain air of places that have invigorating names like Mt. Snow, Suicide Six, Mad River Glen, and Smuggler's Notch. Days are for hurtling through fresh powder on mile-long downhill runs, and evenings are for nursing sore muscles and a cool drink in front of a roaring wood fire.

Wood fires are as much a part of the life as the snow itself, and hundreds of cords of hardwood are burned each season (most of it in free-breathing/freestanding metal fireplaces that radiate heat well, but burn clean-although the wood smog that chokes inversion-prone Western ski areas in Colorado is never a problem in the free-flowing air of Vermont's Green Mountains.)

The woodsheds that help make the evenings glow and crackle must be filled by local woodsmen as fast as they are emptied by vacationers, and they are marvelously designed for the use. The best have full-open fronts for easy access, no floors to trip over or low roofs to bump a head on. They are not so deep that either loader or unloader has to step in more than one pace. Roofs are steep enough in back to shed the heaviest snowfall and have a front overhang that is so sharply-pitched it will never collect snow to avalanche off and dump down the back of a wood gatherer's neck ...and that juts out just far enough to keep rain or snow off the wood.

Here is how to build your own Vermont-ski-country woodshed. Dimensions and materials are given for 1 1/2 cord, 2-, 3-, and 4-cord capacities. When empty in the summer, any size can serve to store the garden tools or mower. Add a folding shelf in back and use it as a potting shed. Or, add a floor, frame and close in the front, cut door and window openings and you have a garden house, work shed, or playhouse for the kids.

Best of all, the shed is timber-framed built from square timbers with woodplank siding rather than being "stick-built" from scrawny little two-bys and plywood that demands precision measurement and must be designed in four-foot increments to avoid endless ripping of awkward 4' x 8' plywood sheets.

You can build the frame by simple butt nailing or you can enjoy the challenge of building half-lap, notched, or full mortise-and-tenon joints. Peg the joints together if you like. Side with clapboards or shingles to match the house, or make a mini-barn with rough-sawn board and batten siding.

4/16/2015 3:43:40 AM

Appreciate your willingness to share BUT Its a shame that we have to read screeds of notes when all I want to do is see a picture of the shed first, then the materials needed and then the how to. That would make your section far more appealing. Thanks very much.

Edmond Rivera
7/5/2009 12:22:24 PM

Oops, no article. Is it possible to post this back article?

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