Introduction: Bike Shed
Second Prize in the
Outdoor Structures Contest
I have just built a bike shed that I like to think of as a bike wardrobe!
This was a project I undertook with my design + create business pricklysauce.com with clients who were looking for a funky bike store that visually didn't look too big and would fit in well in their garden.
This was a great project and I would like to share it with you in this Instructable
I realise that you may not want to follow the exact design though there are a few unique ideas within the design that you can easily use or adapt for your own shed project.
Particularly look out for the feet, the way the large door opens up and if you want to make a bike shed the slider system.
As the project is fairly large and to reduce the amount of information I give in this Instructable to a manageable amount, I will assume that you have a good understanding/experience of working with wood and that some of the details will be obvious or easily worked out.
Come with me and find out how to make your own Bike Wardrobe...
Step 1: Tools + Materials
To undertake a project like this you will require general wood working tools including power tools.
If you have larger workshop machines like bandsaw, circular saw table and planner/thicknesser, will make this project easier, though they are not essential.
50x75mm sawn timber for the framing. I used regulised timber that now is the standard 'sawn' timber available in the UK
50x150mm sawn timber for the roof timbers. I used regulised timber and planned in the planner/thicknesser
11mm OSB3 sheeting exterior quality
General exterior quality nails + screws
General bolts/washers and nuts to suit
Piano hinge + small standard hinges
6mm Marine cord
SLIDER ASSEMBLIES per slider
18mm shuttering ply - x4 120mm discs
Step 2: Design
Throughout the project I made a mini series of videos of the design process and the build that I include through out this Instructable.
I have included two of the videos in this section outlining my design process, prototyping and modelling.
I went through a couple of designs prior to this final design.
The clients desired a shed to store four bicycles, one being quite big and an off-road unicycle! Catch video 006 in the slider section to see the client riding off-road on the unicycle. Impressive.
They wanted the shed to be visually light which is hard to achieve as bikes take a huge amount of space when stored.
Otherwise they left the design up to me - perfect- and were happy to go with my ideas.
I wanted to achieve a unique bike shed, something that no one else would have and to explore new ways to store an object that is visually light, though physically takes up a large space.
I experimented in stacking the bikes in as small a space as possible and the best results were by hanging them so that they could be jostled together to interlink taking up a much smaller space.
I tested this on a scaffold pole and developed it further to hang them from their wheels on bike hooks.
This led me to prototype a number of sliders that fitted over a scaffold pole.
The final design was informed by this process with a small storage 'shed' section and an open area with the roof extending over both.
The bikes would be slid out for a choice to be made, just like clothes in a wardrobe.
I came across scaffold pole fittings that are used for handrail applications, it would be easy to make a sliding pole and end pole arrangement to hold up the roof at the open end.
The bikes would slide out through a door into the 'open' area where the required one can be selected.
This open area would also be a place to work on the bikes and the inside of the door would form a back wall when open with shelving and fold down tables for all the tools and bike bits needed.
I decided to take the aesthetic of the existing standard garden shed that existed on the site as the overall feel of the bike wardrobe. A traditional feel that would fit in with the clients though with a unique twist.
Please check out the images above to see the overall dimensions that I worked on, though I would encourage you to work these out based on your own requirements.
Step 3: Walls
The bike shed has to be solid and secure as it will store some expensive bikes.
With this in mind I made the walls strong!
The shed had to be built in my garden, dismantled and driven up to the clients garden to be re-assembled.
The wall panels were framed with 50x75mm regulised timber.
Generally the joints were simple butt joints with exterior screws to fix.
The only exception was on the end wall where I made a halving joint at the apex of the roof to add strength to this area. The ridge timber has to fix into this.
The side walls were split in half to make the panels manageable and to be transportable in my van.
These were bolted together with four coach bolts and nuts.
The frames were clad with OSB sheeting [nailed]. This is to brace the structure, add solidity and to make a secure shed as an additional layer below the exterior shiplap.
The side walls had a foot plate timber that spans the whole width that would be screwed to the split panels to help lock the panels together.
The design required that the shed didn't have a floor to allow water on the bikes to drip away to ground.
As I knew the shed would sit on an uneven paved area I came up with the idea to use four tower scaffold adjustable feet to act as the sheds fixing to the ground.
These would allow the shed to be easily leveled and to keep the timber off of damp ground.
Holes were drilled through the wall plates to accommodate the diameter of the feet threaded poles.
This worked really well and could be a great idea for other types of timber sheds/rooms.
Step 4: Roof
I wanted to achieve a visually light roof to the open section.
It also had to be solid.
I used 50x150mm regulised timber though I planned them to remove the rounded corner look of the timber as they would be seen externally and the external look had to be sharp.
I cut in a ridge beam.
To support the lower section of the roof I cut in two purlins [beams that support a roof mid way between the eave and ridge]
Usually these would be vertical in section as the ridge though to make it look light I laid them flat to the roof pitch.
This also gave me plenty of timber to fix the scaffolding to and for fixing the roof OSB sheeting.
To tie the ridge and purlins together [as rafters would normally do] I mortice and tenoned a flat on timber into the purlins and halved jointed them to the top of the ridge.
OSB sheeting is then cut in. Two 11mm OSB layers were used finally on-site to give a good thickness for stability and nailing the the felt to.
Using two layers also allows the joints to be staggered achieving a very strong structure.
A 'L' shaped cover piece of timber was run up to screw on-site to the edges to give a good edge all around and to allow the felt to drip clear of the roof edge.
Step 5: Scaffolding
I love scaffolding!
I also love industrial design and scaffolding fits in well with this.
When the poles and fittings arrived I got over excited, it just feels like Meccano for adults!
I chose to use galvanised steel poles to be weatherproof and strong for the horizontal slider pole.
The fittings are designed for scaffold handrail applications. They are cast metal with nice allen key fixings giving a clean look.
It is so easy to put together, screw and bolt. That easy!
The design for the 'wardrobe' has a horizontal slider pole fixed to the back wall inside the storage 'shed'.
It extends to a vertical pole at the open end.
This pole has two braces that are fixed to the ends of the roof purlins.
The end pole has a foot attachment that will be bolted down on-site.
I can see huge possibilities for these poles + fittings and I am planning to use them for the whole structure of a future shed.
Step 6: Door Frame
The door to the shed is under the roof area taking the shape right up to the ridge, allowing the bikes to slide out.
This will cause me problems in the next section!
I planned some more 50x150mm regulised timber to match the ridge + purlin timbers.
This frame has to be well constructed to allow it to be dismantled and to add rigidity to the structure, remember the shed doesn't have a floor and so twist could be a potential problem.
The top timbers are halving jointed together and bolts used to fix together.
The side joints are morticed + tenoned on the angle of the roof pitch.
When setting out the timbers I allowed for the external shiplap cladding to butt up to the frame giving a flush finish that would have a capping piece applied on-site.
The frame was offered up and bolted with four coach bolts to both sides to the wall panels.
Step 7: Door
THE MIGHTY DOOR!
I hadn't fully appreciated how wide the door was going to be!
It had to hinge from the back side to open as a back wall giving easy access to the storage on the inside of the door.
Also as I am sure you have already noticed it had to go right up into the roof space to fully close the space off for security.
Now a door going up into the roof space cant open as it would foul on the roof!
I kind of always knew this would be a problem though hadn't come to a solution. It took a couple of days of head scratching and sketching to come up with the solution.
I decided that the triangular part had to fold down allowing the door to open.
Due to the weight of the door/wall I knew it had to be very strongly constructed.
I used 50x75 timbers to form a grid framework.
The horizontals were positioned for the hinges to give the greatest strength to hanging the door.
The width was split up with four vertical timbers.
All the joints were halving joints, glued and screwed.
The frame was checked for squareness before OSB sheeting was glued and nailed fixed.
A 20mm thick planed timber was fitted to the top and sides to cover any raw edges.
The grid frame also allowed for the shelving that was needed.
I made up some ply planks to screw over the horizontals giving pockets for tools and bike bits.
The middle horizontal was to have some flip down tables for putting tools on and as a working platform.
These again use the shuttering ply and were fixed with piano hinge. The bottom of the ply extended below the hinge acting as a restraint against the horizontal timber when in the open position.
Simple hooks were cut from the ply to lock them in the up position.
I really like these!
I took the opportunity of stencil spaying BIKE onto the middle one to add a moment of suprise when the shed is opened.
The door lock has its own section, coming up next.
Blimey the door is heavy!
It was hung on one + half pairs heavy duty strap and pin gate hinges. I drilled out the screw holes and coach bolted all the fixings as I didn't want any drop of the door.
I really didn't want to add the additional weight of the triangular top sections to the already heavy door and so decided to hinge them from the door frame on the roof part of the frame.
This led to another problem of how to open them to allow the bikes out.
I decided that the solution would be marine cord and pulleys.
I was going to have a cord that was pulled and tied to the end scaffold pole to pull these up out of the way...
...my wife asked 'why can't they move with the door?'
What a great idea!
I achieved it by threading the cord through the door frame and around a number of pulleys to the inside of the shed. The cord then tied to the middle back of the door.
When the door is opened the triangles slowly hinge up to the inside of the roof and lower into place when closed.
A small batten on the top of the door locks them into place.
It is such an elegant solution and adds an unexpected experience to the shed.
Step 8: Door Lock
I decided to adapt a long gate throw bolt to use as the lock and handle for the shed.
To keep the look clean and to keep fixings secure I wanted the hasp to poke through the door from the back of the door.
I needed a retaining hasp for the throw bolt to lock with a padlock.
I work with wood though I had a piece of 5mm aluminium sheeting in the workshop which would be perfect for the hasp.
Now to mill a slot.
I came across on YouTube that you can mill aluminium with a standard woodworking router and HSS cutter bit.
I cut a slot in the cladding for the hasps to poke through and fixed the throw bolt to the back of the door.
The throw bolt pin was cut to length and secures behind the door frame, making for a very secure lock with a good strong padlock.
The hasp also acts as the handle.
I finished cutting in and fixing the cladding on the door.
Step 9: Slider
The whole concept of the Bike Wardrobe is based on the slider.
Through prototyping I proved the concept before we committed to the project.
We need five sliders, one for each bike/unicycle.
A single slider is made from four 120mm discs of 18mm shuttering ply.
These discs are cut with a little jig I made for my small bandsaw though they could easily be cut with a jigsaw.
Accuracy is important for all of the discs to match and using jigs allows consistency for all the parts.
I use four 22mm diameter ball bearing races per slider for the wheels.
These have short lengths of stainless steel rods for their spindles.
Slots are cut in the discs as shown in the photos again using a jig and a router.
Three connecting holes are drilled.
A 55mm hole is cut in the middle of each disc with a hole cutter, which allows for the 48mm diameter scaffold pole and giving 7mm clearance for the wheels.
The sliders are assembled with the 'wheels' and spindles plopped loose into their slots.
Threaded rod is fed through the three connecting holes and all the discs are bolted together with some nice flush nuts that I found.
The outside of the slider is then sanded to make it nice and smooth.
A pilot hole is drilled in the bottom of the slider and a rubberised bike hook is screwed in.
Only four more to do!
Step 10: Clamp
I wanted to try to make a bike maintenance clamp...from timber!
I had a spare scaffold fitting and it would be perfect for bolting a bike maintenance clamp to.
I cut two pieces of shuttering ply and routered a flat bottomed chamfer groove along the width of both pieces near the leading edge, this would hold the bike frame.
I cut another ply disc, drilled a hole for a M8 bolt and chopped out the shape of the nut in the top.
The nut was then glued in with some metal/wood mastic.
Finger grips were routered around the edge of the disc and all sanded to feel nice.
A hole for the bolt was drilled in the bottom ply piece.
A slot was routered in the top ply piece allowing the top ply to angle up.
A scaffold fitting was bolted to the bottom piece.
A scaffold pole was cut to length and the ply assembly bolted to it.
All was bolted to the shed scaffolding and a bike was clamped.
It works well and turns out is a perfect place for a mug of tea!
I made a bracket to store it inside the shed when not in use...and remember to leave an allen key.
Step 11: Build
My van was completely full of the shed and tools to take it all to the clients garden.
I took my dog for company!
I couldn't have asked for better weather, a glorious spring day awaited me for the first day.
I had designed the shed to be pre-assembled as a flat pack and sothe main structure went up really quickly on the cleared space.
The shed was a little longer than the hard standing and it was decided not to reduce the length which we could have done.
I dug a hole and sunk an old bucket and filled it up with concrete to make a neat pad footing for the end scaffold pole.
The adjustable feet worked really well allowing me to level the whole shed within minutes. These were then fixed to the concrete slabs with masonry fixings.
The walls were clad with the shiplap cladding. I had left the cladding off to save weight when moving the walls and to prevent them being damaged in transit.
This was the first time for me to see the final look of the shed. It looked good and sharp.
The OSB was fixed to the roof and the edging strip and shed mineral felt were nailed on to give that authentic British 'shed' feeling.
DAY TWO saw me hanging the door.
I used my skateboard to move the door into position. A skateboard is an essential bit of kit for moving really heavy things and fun at any other time.
Why not check out my skateboard hook instructable where I make a funky hook out of an old broken skateboard deck.
I added the heavy duty wheel to the outer edge to help support the weight of the door.
On went the triangular infills, cord and pulleys...and the clamp bracket and clamp.
The clients asked me to fit a hangUp skateboard hook that they had previously bought from me [available from my website!] for their sons skateboard.
All Done. Fantastic.
All that is left to do is to load it up with bikes.
I hope you have enjoyed this Instructable and that it may have given you some ideas for your own project. I don't expect anyone to fully replicate this Bike Wardrobe though the ideas of the scaffolding, feet, sliders and maybe even the door opening could be really useful for lots of projects.
If you liked this Instructable your vote in Outdoor Structures Competition would be really welcomed. Thanks.
You can always check out my website to see what I am up to, and also take a look at my YouTube channel where I post videos of the products and projects that I am working on and where I also make cool stuff for the things we throw away with 'Its a Rubbish Challenge'
My next project with pricklysauce? A scaffold board work shed...
We have a be nice policy.
Please be positive and constructive.