Machine Shed Mania

It was another incredible day with lots of satisfaction. Tex and I started out by burning the wood pile, it was very large and took about 2 hours to completely burn up as it was impregnated with lots of petroleum products of the last 80 years. We then finished cleaning out the right hand side of the shed. I was hoping to salvage a few of the wooden cabinets or shelves that were in the back right corner. Unfortunately, water is leaking from the back of the building under the stem wall and soaking the ground causing a lot of wood rot in all of the cabinets. I was only able to salvage one metal cabinet.

We then drug out all the dirt until the concrete pillars were all exposed. You can see that they built the shed with an inherent slant. When you take a tape measure and measure all the pillars they get progressively longer the farther you go to the right. Its amazing how much forethought went into some things they built.

After lunch, we have been eating from the deli at the minimart, we started in on the broken beam over one of the entrances. They used to just hang a chain over the beam and use a chain lift to hoist engines out of equipment. We opted to use an old beam we salvaged from the fuel storage area. The new beam was a little thicker than the old. We did a basic overlap joint then recut the old truss members. It was nice to reuse all old wood. Tex did the cosmetic repair to the outside while I started in on the upright beam repairs. I had him go get a weather 1×12 from the pile that has been out in the sun for a year. It blended quite nicely. It should not take it long to blend in.

We used a 20 ton jack and a 3×8 inch board that I kept cutting to length. Luckily, I inadvertently started on the tallest end so I just kept cutting the support board shorter as I moved across the front repairing beams. Each concrete pad has a 3/4 inch x 5 inch tall metal rod sticking out of the middle of the pad. So I cut the beam off at 6 inches and then drilled out the new spacer to go over the rod. There were some spare metal drilled flat stock laying on one of the shelves that I saved instead of tossing it in the scrap pile. I was not sure what I was going to use it for but I figured they would come in handy. One day later and I used four! The beams had to be pulled out away from the pad after jacking them up. We used the tractor to pull them out 6 inches. I love how flexible old wooden structures can be.

The patch material was slightly smaller but once we pulled the jack out the beams dropped down and are solid. All we need now is gravel and gates. I will order in 50 yards of 3/4- gravel this week and have them dump it in front of the machine shop. Once that is spread out I will install five matching gates over the front and it will be done. I may even decide to run some lights inside the building. If so that will happen late summer or fall.

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