The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can #18: A roof!

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Blog entry by cmckerliesr posted 06-09-2011 03:10 PM 3871 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 17: Some progress Part 18 of The Chronicles of Woodworking in a Can series Part 19: It Moved! »

As you may know if you have been following this blog I have been struggling with the heat this year in the can. For some reason this year heat has just been a real problem. In the past, it was not that bad and with both doors open I did not always need a fan to work comfortably. This year though it seems that it has not been as windy as usual and the can has been been getting quite hot even with both doors open and a fan running. Some days lately it has been so bad I have resorted to working in the can after dark.

You have also read about insulation and some of my wondering thoughts about what I am doing. Along with that I have made mention of things I have found while doing research on how to best insulate, heat and cool the can. In that research there was talk too about radiant heating of the can. Basically this all comes down to taking steps to reflect enough of the radiant heat away from the surface of the can without taking away so much that come winter you are working in a refrigerator.

So! I will be installing a roof on top of the can soon. Nothing fancy, I am going to be attaching 2 X 4’s or 2 X 6’s to the top of the can. Then I will lay some pressure treated plywood on top of the 2 by’s and then attach metal roofing material over the plywood. I am planning a slight pitch to one side to aid in water run off. I am also planning a slight overhang one the sun side to at least cast some shade on the can. I have not made a definite decision about which 2 by’s I will be using. One because while I want air to pass under the roof, I do not want to create a cavity that will let high winds topple the can (in the case of a tornado). Maybe I am over thinking this but I have seen the documentaries on how the wind gets under a roof and rips it open. For the most part due to terrain around my place, the wind only comes in from two directions. And while the wind would not be hitting either side of the can straight on I am just concerned as to how a high wind will effect this roof.

By the way…as I stated last time the interior insulation is on hold. Because I need to take care of this excessive radiant heat. A few days ago, while in the can I placed a hand on one of the insulated walls. While it was quite a bit cooler then the bare metal wall. You could feel the heat on the wood.

Either way. I will be sure to keep you all informed on how it goes. Due to my budget this too will be a project done in stages. Plus I have to locate the metal roofing material.

Regards from the man in the can!

-- The Man in the Can, Craig M. North Carolina

6 comments so far

View lew's profile


12062 posts in 3756 days

#1 posted 06-09-2011 03:18 PM


In the south, they use “hurricane fasteners” to assist in attaching the roof to a structure. Maybe something like that would provide strength and a method of connecting your roof.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Gregn's profile


1642 posts in 2984 days

#2 posted 06-10-2011 06:52 PM

May I make a suggestion, I understand budget restraints dictate how things sometimes gets done. If your considering using 2×6’s you might want to consider insulating between the 2x’s with a couple pieces of foam board, creating a baffle effect. The layers would deal with the extreme temps and help keep it comfortable inside till you got it all insulated inside. Just a thought!

-- I don't make mistakes, I have great learning lessons, Greg

View Bertha's profile


13528 posts in 2694 days

#3 posted 06-10-2011 06:55 PM

^ I love your can! I also love Greg’s idea. Those boards go up quickly and you could add additional sheathing later. I used panels in my attic and rolls in my walls. The panels were much easier to deal with!

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View patron's profile


13604 posts in 3342 days

#4 posted 06-10-2011 08:25 PM

i insulated and metal roofed a double wide recently
over those asphalt shingles

drip all around
and some 1 1/2” foil backed Styrofoam 4×8 sheeting
with plastic capped nails (2 1/2”)
membrane – the metal guys have one for this (or 30 weight felt paper)
some nails to hold the sheets
but more in the membrane which is marked for this
then the metal roofing with longer screws they have for this with rubber washers

from the central heater running 8 times (for an hour each time) in 24 hours
it went to 2 times in 24 and that just briefly

he will never need to get on his roof again
all cutouts were caulked with silicone

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View cmckerliesr's profile


82 posts in 3446 days

#5 posted 06-10-2011 11:06 PM

hey guys!
First Greg…I always welcome comments and suggestions. There is nothing like getting good information from other people.
Today I was on my way to a near by town and saw something that my dad had used before to insulate a small area. It is an insulated panel.
So, I am going to go back to where I saw these panels to see if they will sell them. In case you do not know what they are. Each side of the panel is a painted steel panel with 3 to 6 inches of foam sandwiched between. If I can get two or three of these panels at a reasonable cost, then all my problems may be solved quickly.

Patron, I liked what you had to say about re-roofing the double wide I would love to see the result. PM me if you have some pictures and I will send you my email address. I have a double wide too and am very interested in knowing cost and so forth too to see if I can do this too.


-- The Man in the Can, Craig M. North Carolina

View patron's profile


13604 posts in 3342 days

#6 posted 06-11-2011 12:11 AM

metal roofs condense underneath
why the membrane

i don’t have pics. sorry

i did make one mis-write to the above

(fold over insulation
at edge of roof)
then drip cap
(so water doesn’t get to insulation
and old roof edge)
metal roof

and the idea of ‘hurricane clips’
on the rafters in the room is good
i use then on every roof i make

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

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