The shed of my dreams #1: The everlovin' pile of gravel

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Blog entry by Sandra posted 09-25-2012 01:21 AM 6041 reads 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of The shed of my dreams series Part 2: Shedless for another year... »

I would like to build a shed.

Over the past five years, I’ve purchased books on basic carpentry, shed building, joinery, table saws, shelf building and trim.
I’ve purchased a Bosch colt palm router, a Bosh plunge router, a 10”SCMS and a Bosch table saw (on a gravity-rise stand no less!) and a Bosch jigsaw. Of course the table saw came with a drill and impact driver. I also caved into an informercial and ordered a Sonicrafter. I love it, but since I have nothing to compare it to, it’s the best and worst oscillating tool I’ve ever owned.

Each time I get a new tool, I read the instructions cover to cover and break into a nervous sweat the first time I fire one up. I have push sticks, safety glasses, ear protection and feather boards (STILL can’t figure those things out.)

On Kijiji, I acquired a cordless framing nailer (I’m afraid to even take the thing out of the box), a brad nailer and a finish nailer. Okay, it’s starting to sound like I have a problem. Perhaps I’ll omit the dovetail jig I snapped up.

So far, I’ve built shelves, a trellis and two chairs. On the handymom side, I’ve replaced a vanity, numerous light fixtures, installed shut off valves, replaced a baseboard heater and a few tiles. I feel very comfortable using the CMS, jigsaw and routers. I’m still intimidated by the table saw, but I’m working on it.

My first step toward my imaginary shed was to clear a space for it. Of course that meant buying a small chainsaw.

Then came the everlovin’ pile of gravel. There is good drainage in the area I chose, and my imaginary shed is built on skids, but I thought gravel would still be necessary. The half-load was easy to order up and it got dumped almost where I asked. It hadn’t occurred to me however that the dumptruck would leave 12” deep ruts across the entire backyard. Sigh.

The everlovin’ pile of gravel spent its first winter untouched.

The following Spring coincided with a health crisis, so the best I could do to the gravel was shovel for 10 minutes at a time and then get depressed at how little of it was moved.

The everlovin’ pile of gravel spent its second winter seemingly untouched.

Stay tuned for my next entry, when the everlovin’ gravel starts its own weed garden.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

7 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile


14940 posts in 2690 days

#1 posted 09-25-2012 01:42 AM

Rent a Bobcat and level/move that gravel where you want it. They are fast and REALLY simple to operate but they will chew up your lawn if your not very careful (but it will grow back :))

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View DocSavage45's profile


8559 posts in 2842 days

#2 posted 09-25-2012 01:43 AM

What is the”shed”s purpose? Do you have to respond to building permits? Are you in a remote area? Are you presently having a health issue? And you have a chain saw. OK! But winter is approaching?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View thedude50's profile


3603 posts in 2477 days

#3 posted 09-25-2012 06:34 AM

I would say that you need a mentor someone to teach you to use the tools safely and successfully. Where do you live? I have lots of contacts across the country and we may find you the help you appear to need. If your close to me Ill come and teach you free of charge but I am not flying to Maine or any thing like that. But odds are there is a jock near you that is worth his Salt and willing to teach you what you need to pull this shed off. You will need to answer the above questions as well. Depending on your location your going to need to know how to get this okayed by the government. Also Size matters if you are building this legally. The task will be best broken into stages so pm me and Ill help you with the steps and Ill try to help you find a mentor.

-- Please check out my new stores and

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2075 days

#4 posted 09-25-2012 12:03 PM

Thanks guys,

My plans are for a 10×16 shed. I actually ordered some modified plans that seem suitable. We are on a wooded one acre lot, just a few blocks from the snowmobile trail. In the winter, the sledders access the trail via our street. Because we are not in an actual community, those dimensions are fine.

My husband would like to be able to drive his sled into the shed in the winter, then out the opposite side when leaving. As far as I’m concerned it’s a huge waste of wall space, but I can live with it. So I plan on having the long end of the shed facing the back of the house with double doors toward one corner of the long end, with the opposite double door on the back of the shed. That way one end of the shed is for the sled and the rest will be for storage. On the opposite end of the shed, I’ll have a single door on the narrow side. I have a drawing, maybe I’ll figure out how to load it here. I have a supplies list, instructions etc… My husband would also like a covered porch on the front of it, which poses a design problem considering I’ll need a ramp for the sled. I completely sympathize with those of you who have spouses who want projects done without knowing what they’re asking for. And in case my husband sounds demanding, he’d be happy to buy the shed, but that’s missing the point altogether…

I’ll do a bit of reading to see how I can post a page of the plans.

The shed would also be for lawn furniture during the winter, winter tires during the summer…. Ideally it would be nice to have a larger shed larger shed with a dividing wall for a workshop, but then it would have to be insulated, wired etc etc…

We live in Eastern Canada. North of Maine by several hours. I finally hired the teenager next door to spread the gravel, and he did a decent job.

Health-wise, I have nothing life threatening, but it’s certainly been life-altering with several stays in the hospital. It’s a long story, but the working theory at the moment is that I have small fiber neuropathy. (Google that and have a good chuckle – fancy way of saying “thanks for coming out, go live with it”) Essentially I’m like a truck with bad wiring. The mechanical parts work fine, but the electrical system is unpredictable and unreliable. It’s actually what got me more into woodworking in the first place because I can get away from everyone and focus on something else. (according to my family, I”m not always pleasant when I’m in pain….) So working in the heat is now completely out of the question.

A Fall build would work the best, but this year is slipping away too quickly. I also need more confidence with my tools. My thoughts on doing the blog was to set a concrete goal, plan for next year, make myself accountable, put aside the money and DO IT. Perhaps this winter I can work on a few things that would help with my skills, so if you have any suggestions, fire away.

thedude- thanks so much for the offer. I’ll try not to pester too much, but I know I’ll have questions. I do have an uncle who is very handy. He’s done decks, sheds, piers etc. He’s also not the type to ‘take over’ my project. He lives in another city, but he’d likely be more than happy to come up for a couple of weeks. I just have to ask him…
I have great colleagues at work who have offered to help, but once they started telling me that I really wanted a gambrel roof (I DON’T) and a poured floor, I backed off. They’d be good to have around however when putting up the trusses and shingling the roof.

Thanks for the feedback, it’s more than helpful. I may have to name my shed LJ and let people guess what it means…


-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View DocSavage45's profile


8559 posts in 2842 days

#5 posted 09-25-2012 04:15 PM


Your shed..your husband’s shed is just an 8 ft tall box. A shed roof w/enough pitch should take a snow load..I’m in! Build it as big as you canafford. If you have a large commercial store close, they can sell you a package with plans? Friends from work can help lifting and organizing. A shed building party? Just hold the booze til your done. LOL! People are glad to help and be part of something.

From my hind site..two sheds and a rehabbed small animal barn..Protect your shed from plants and water..Wood is quick to wick water.

A good framing square and a speed angle, a chalk line, and a good level are essential for outside. Oh yeah those saw horses! Do you have an unfinished garage you can study?

And you have an uncle who can help? Make him or have your husband make him a great dinner?

Go slow, think in small steps, “it is just a big 2×4 shelf.

Redirection of thoughts, exercise, and meditation can be very helpful with pain! (I do neuropsych interventiions..or I use to do a lot of them. )

Thanks for sharing the ride!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View bigblockyeti's profile


5120 posts in 1720 days

#6 posted 07-21-2014 01:29 PM

At 664 days ago, I’m sure she figured it out already.

View Sandra's profile


7207 posts in 2075 days

#7 posted 07-21-2014 01:59 PM

Thanks gents. For the record , its still not built. My uncle is coming up in the Fall to help me build it.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

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