An Idea with Legs

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An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Sat Apr 23, 2016 12:38 pm

Image

So here is a basic implementation of "scissor-lock cattle panel construction." Here we have the skeleton of my current woodshed. Three cattle panels have been connected with hog rings, zip ties and emt tubing. The resulting mesh rectangle has been stabilized in something close to a semicircular arch with 2x4s, 3 headers and 6 legs. Stop screws in the ends of the 2x4s keep the wire from getting off the ends. The arch is 10+ ft. wire to wire, the top of the arch is over 7 ft. off the ground, the bottoms of the headers are at about 6'4" , maximizing height utilizing 8' boards.

As a place to store wood, this sort of construction has obvious advantages over an unsupported cattle panel arch sitting on the ground.
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:10 pm

Oops, got some dimensions wrong. That structure is 11' wire to wire, but only 5'8" at the bottom of the headers, about 6'5" to the top of the arch. The lets hold the wire arch about 18" off the ground.

Image

Here is a shot from a similar structure showing the stop screw.

The plane of the wire mesh can be observed to intersect the 2x4s at an angle of about 27˚. The angle can be calculated, based on the spacing of the wires, width of the 2x4s and the thickness of the wires as arcsin((3.5+0.2)/8)=27.55˚.
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Mon Apr 25, 2016 2:54 pm

you can also see in that picture how the end of the 2x4 has been cut to parallel the plane of the wire. It's not hard to make a cutting guide for a circular saw by simply drilling a couple holes in a piece of plywood and inserting wires from a short section of mesh. Then just stick the 2x4 through, snug it up to the wires and voilà. You don't need to know the exact angle. Plus, if you want to change the angle with some sort of shim, you can duplicate it on the guide. Or just use it as a marking guide and cut freehand.
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Mon Apr 25, 2016 3:39 pm

Initially, I just piled wood up, trying to keep the ends inside the drip line until the stack reached the wire. Then I had a better idea.

Image

You can lean a short length of 2x4 or whatever on the lowest wire and just use that to brace the end of the row. This has the added advantage of ballasting the structure. I did have a two-panel version of this thing (in use as a field shelter for our dairy goats) get picked up and dropped on one leg during a wind storm. However, after pounding some wires back to more or less straight and replacing some torn-out screws, it was back up and good as new.
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Mon Apr 25, 2016 5:19 pm

5'8" is still a bit low for the header height, though entirely workable for me (5'10") as a woodshed. But this does bring up the question of exactly how high the header can be. The legs make a 55˚ angle with the ground, 96" x sin 55˚ = 78.6". Subtract the width of the 2x4, the overhang past the wire at the top and the cut-off to make the foot more or less flat, you are down another 7-8". Factor in some digging in of the feet and ground irregularity, along with a ground contact angle likely a bit less than the theoretical 55˚, you are down to the 5'8" I measured yesterday. Obviously, one could make it taller by 1) putting it on footings of some sort, 2)using wider boards (or shims) to increase the angle of the wire plane to the boards, 3) using longer boards for the legs.
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:28 pm

Image

So here is another structure, four panels long, now in use as a duck coop. As you can see, I've stood it up on 4x4s. Later I added 4x4s across each end, framed in a door on one side,attached 2'x8' plywood sheets to fill in between the wire and the 4x4s (and increase lengthwise rigidity), and put in screws to lock the legs to the headers.

Image

Here's another shot as it stands now. It's a bit over 5'10" at the end I'm shooting from, measured from header to 4x4.

The flat cattle panel thing on the right can be lowered, with the chain holding it horizontal. Hey,you can store things like 2x4s up on those headers, can't you?

The plywood works, but I don't really like it.
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby matt walker » Tue Apr 26, 2016 12:53 pm

That is a pretty damn awesome structure system Nutcase. Have you spent any time in our "Member's 'Steads" section? Tru has a similar wood shed style going on in his early land posts. Check it out.

I think there is quite a bit you could do with what you have as a base system there. It's strong, fast and cheap. I like it!
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Tue Apr 26, 2016 1:47 pm

Cattle panels are 16' long, with wires spaced 8" apart along the length, so there are 24 spaces to potentially put the 2x4s through. There are two options that keep the three arch sections close to equal with the sides symmetrical — 9-8-9 like this structure, or 8-10-8. One could potentially go to 7-12-7. I haven't actually tried that, though. I went down a different branch of the maze, with what I call the "six-pack." Here it is at a proof-of-concept stage.

Image

Four transverse panels have been attached to two that run lengthwise, adding 76" to the transverse dimension of the mesh rectangle. The bottom three wires on each side are separated by 4", so I got the 8" I wanted by just cutting out a section of the middle wire. Note also the 3/4" plywood shims I've added to the header, making the legs closer to 60˚.

It's an interesting problem, figuring how to raise the mesh into an arch and then how to work the boards into position.
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Tue Apr 26, 2016 3:13 pm

Image

So here it is with all the 2x4s in place and stood up on 2x6s. The mesh forms something close to a 16' half-cylinder with a 7' radius, Later I got a nice clear tarp to cover it and have since used it as an out-door workshop. It's a pleasant and useful place to keep things and work out of the rain, even without covered ends. Not bad at all for something put up in an afternoon, with zero site prep, utilizing a little under $300 in materials, including the tarp.
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Re: An Idea with Legs

Postby Nutcase » Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:46 pm

Matt, I have read through Tru's thread, and I did notice his use of unreinforced arches. It's the way to go in some circumstances, if you can work with the low overhead and the limited stability. Lots of interesting stuff in that thread.

However, I'm playing hooky right now, can't write as much as I'd like. Later.
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