View Full Version : Work Buildings

08-11-2004, 04:06 PM
I have seen ads for those building that you and a few friends can put up yourself, after have a concrete pad poured. Anyone done this type of building? Any pointers or tips?



08-11-2004, 05:59 PM
You mean a pole barn. IOWOLF has one for his shop and it looks good,solid. I think he said the slab was the major cost.

08-11-2004, 06:19 PM
Hi, I do have one. A steel master, i love it. if you wish to give me a call i can tell you an earfull. I would here but I dont type well, and it would take forever.

thanx, rustybolt. I hope the saw is comeing along well.

08-11-2004, 07:48 PM
You see these house trailers frames sitting around with the trailer cleared off.

LOOK at one, they are light I-beam with sheetmetal cross supports the floor used to sit on.

Cut the trailer frame up into lengths you want the wall tall.. cut out plate to bolt to the concrete floor. Stand the I-beams up with the cross arms to the outside and weld to the floor plates.. BOLT your metal siding to the cross arms with TEK screws.

Sounds like a $1000 building to me.

I used wood frame on the walls, stood them up and them fastened the metal siding on the stud walls.

I like to take the ridge pole, put a similar sized board on the ceiling joists and put plywood between the two. THIS is so strong you can pull car engines with it easily. It locks the ridge and the ceiling together and spreads the weight across the building.

I have the middle of My 12" ibeam hanging on the affair listed above.. I also have it sitting on the outside wall above my garage double door. I notched the Ibeam and welded the flat back on it so the bottom top would sit on the wall..

OR, you could do what everyone else does, just write a check to some contractor that will rape your wallet.

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-11-2005).]

08-11-2004, 07:57 PM
I have a friend who bought one of the metal type buildings that advertise how easy it is to set up. I'm not sure of the brand name, but one of those that have rounded corners. His is 40x80, so a substantial size, but the "trusses" were more than several guys could handle. These guys do construction for a living, so we are not talking about office types trying to stand the trusses up either.

They ended up being rescued by a guy down the street with an old time crane that made it work. The building once completed is very nice, but its not the "day at the beach" as advertised.


08-11-2004, 08:00 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 09-02-2004).]

08-11-2004, 08:55 PM
On another post, there is a picture of a 4wd dodge powerwagon with a gin pole, a pair of pipes forming a tee with a cable going up to them for the winch.

It is holding up in the air about five feet a farmall cub.

That should hold a truss.

In INdianna they use old trucks with a type arrangement to lift tractors for tire changes etc.. I have saw numerous 50 model trucks in fields with these.

There are always numerous ways to accomplish anything. Depends on your perspective.

08-11-2004, 09:35 PM
I can setup the forms for the concrete and have a concrete company pour the foundation. I know I have to put gravel down and then run over the gravel with my borrowed "monster truck" to compact it, then pour and level.
Then get the nail gun out and start building walls. I am not real keen on using a Gin Pole, but it may be neccessary for the roof trusses.

Or I may just write a check, don't know yet.


08-11-2004, 10:43 PM
One of our customers put one up,I believe it was 60x100,he found it was easyist to assemble the truss on top of a rolling scaffold that he built up to just higher than the finished truss,they he just rolled it into place and removed two blocks lowering it on to the anchor bolts,went like clock work and lots easier than trying to hang it all in the air.

[This message has been edited by wierdscience (edited 08-11-2004).]

08-11-2004, 10:54 PM

I have a 40 x 50 metal building on a concrete slab. The manufacturer sent all of the plans as per my spec which layed out the foundation and all of the foundation bolt patterns for the steel beams. The building was erected by two people and a big fork truck in 3 days. It is insulated and has two 10 X 10 powered doors and a double mandoor. There are also 5 windows installed. I had it beefed up with heavier steel beams and roof sheeting material because I am so close to the Gulf of Mexico. Hurricanes can be a problem in this area. It has proven to be a great shop and very strong.


08-12-2004, 08:25 AM
My neighbour used to have one of those round metal buildings. He said "Never again" The structure was good and solid but he lost alot of space over head. Because it was round he could only put the hoist in the middle of the garage.

Something to think about when it come time to build. nothing more frustrating then lowering the height of an in house crane because it won't lift over the machines due to the roof.

If you build it yourself, and it comes time to install the trussing, just hire a boom truck. For the price and time it would be worth it....Just my opinion

Rob http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

08-12-2004, 08:38 AM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 09-02-2004).]

Milacron of PM
08-12-2004, 08:50 AM
The problem with Morton buildings is they are a metal building, but with wood framing, such that you have to have conventional roof trusses and therefore loose the ceiling height advantages of the roof pitch of a typical steel frame metal building.

I was tempted to buy a ex CNC machine shop that was out in the country near here that was a Morton building. 7,000 sq feet I could have bought for $75,000. But upon closer inspection I was very unimpressed with the building.

Any money you might save with a wood frame construction you will more than loose when you resell eventually.

08-12-2004, 09:36 AM
I am not trying to save money, I want a substantial building. It looks like I will be in Southeastern Ohio, the hills of Ohio.

What I want is a strong building, one that I can a have garage door or a hanger door as a part of the main entrance. Then divider walls. Or maybe do 2 buildings. Right now I am doing all of this in my basement and my 2 car garage.

I need to look at having four work areas, wood working, machining, delicate metal work/jewelry and blacksmithing.

I have to put this all on 2 or 3 acres and leave room for outside storage, building a new house, etc. etc. etc.


[This message has been edited by jfsmith (edited 08-12-2004).]

08-12-2004, 09:39 AM
Plus I want to put in a sound system so if nothing else I can jam to the tunes.

08-12-2004, 10:22 AM
A friend of mine just finished his 20' x 35' wood shop.
He buried 5" air duct in the concrete floor, all around for his dust collection system.
I thought that was a good idea. Otta the way and easy to clean.
The shop ("Tough-Shed") went up in about 3 days, looks good and well built.
Tom M.

Milacron of PM
08-12-2004, 10:39 AM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by mayfieldtm:
He buried 5" air duct in the concrete floor, all around for his dust collection system.
I thought that was a good idea. Otta the way and easy to clean.
Tom M.</font>

Hope he *really* buried it, as the problem with anything buried in concrete where some weight runs across the floor are increased likelyhood of cracks in the floor.

I once has wiring buried in the floor and after some years noticed cracks that followed the wiring run exactly.

Also, if one ever runs water lines in concrete keep good plans as to exactly where they are located. I once rented a house that developed a leak in the hot water output line. Real cute problem as not only was the water bill sky high, so was the electric bill ! After digging up suspected areas with no results they eventually had to create a temporary new line in the attic just for us to get by !

08-12-2004, 11:59 AM
WHEN I do my "other half"

I really should've put a house vacuum system in. I really should have put a shallow ditch well in to run all the plumbing and slope it to the outside.

If I was building another garage. I'd run a ditch right down the middle of each bay, run pvc conduit, air or whatever else I wanted in there with access boxes w/quick connects..
Hook a exhaust fan up to pull out of the ditch and use it for paint exhaust under the car... You could wetsand the vehicle in there and wash the floor keeping my shop cleaner easier..

As far as the fabrication side, well I'd want a piece of 5x10x+1/2" metal on the floor to tack to.. when I subframe a car it is good to have a anchor to tack weld supports to retain stock locations on bumpers and body mounts.

And the machine side?
Then the vacuum system.. whoo hoo.. wouldn't that be grand? but how do you vacuum up 10-12" spiral chips? Also a drain in that floor.. but covered in metal plate instead of grate. AND a private clean office with phone... my phone in my present shop.. well you better have a rag handy to hold it with..

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-11-2005).]

08-12-2004, 12:29 PM
My dad has been thinking about adding a garage to the side of the house. We started looking and found these guys;


They have a very interactive page that will allow you to design the steel buliding of your dreams, to your local county spec. At the end of the online process it will even quote you a price...Delivered. I don't think you can find a more comprehensive building webpage anywhere. No, I don't work for them.

[This message has been edited by Rugby10 (edited 08-12-2004).]

08-12-2004, 08:59 PM

[This message has been edited by pgmrdan (edited 09-02-2004).]

08-12-2004, 11:06 PM
Jerry, A couple of suggestions from what I've seen in various shops. They are never big enough. I don't know if my cars will every go back in the garage. My dad recently put up a 24 * 50 storage shed (10 ft longer than he needed). It was full before it was finished. Make sure not to skimp on the concrete. Machine tools are of course heavy. I noticed you do blacksmithing. Depending on the size of your average pieces, it may be a good idea to have an extra thick section to the slab to set the anvil on. If you possess a trip hammer or are thinking of one, it may be appropriate to have one more. I like your decision on how to split up areas, Right now I've got three (Woodworking/electronics/material storage, machine tools/blacksmithing/welding/general assembly,& foundry) It would be nice to get all the hot work in one area and maybe have an area for painting and sandblasting some day. Something else I've found that is important is the doors. At least one big bay door makes life easier (more are even better!!). It's great when moving tools or supplies in and out. Extending the slab outside of a bay can be useful. There are many days I've wanted to take the cherry picker outside, but could not because small wheels like to sink into gravel. Don't make it too nice though, otherwise you may never see the inside of your house again.

08-12-2004, 11:23 PM
...Don't make it too nice though, otherwise you may never see the inside of your house again.

one of my customer's did just that. Lower level of his house is the garage. Room for 3 cars, rest of the garage is raised 4" for water and snow. Left side is 30 foot of floor to ceiling cabinets. In front of the cars is a counter with sink and built in refrigerator. 40k in cabinets and Coran counters. Then the bathroom is in the right corner. On the right side is a leather couch, recliner and weight lifting area. Ceramic tile through out. The 27" TV is mounted on the wall of the bath room on a swivel (hospital style) so it can be rotated for viewing throughout the garage.

I kept thinking, my house is not as nice (or cost as much) as his garage.

[This message has been edited by JPR (edited 08-12-2004).]

08-13-2004, 10:44 AM
I know for the machines, like my mill and lathe, I may need to make the slab thicker in those areas or just make the whole slab thick. For my power hammer, that is a different situation. I am planning on leaving a well in the slab, then fill it with sand and put the hammer on the sand. The sand absorbs the beating that normally the floor gets.

How thick are garage floors and how thick should I make the slab for this work building?

I have plenty of time at the moment to do the planing as that we haven't gotten the land yet.


[This message has been edited by jfsmith (edited 08-13-2004).]

08-13-2004, 06:04 PM
My slab is 4" w/fibre hair reinforcement.

I have it on a retaining wall on the back about 3 feet tall on a foundation 24" wide and at least 12" thick. The retaining wall is full of gravel w/no dirt. I am on the side of a hill. The concrete slab and foundation cost me $4000 (w/backhoe & bobcat rental), the building 2x4 and sheet steel cost $800, no finish inside.

It is 24x24.. Now I have subdivided it inside, got too many machines in it. I got this perfectly good 24"x120" cinncinati lathe gave to me.. yeah it is in the corner of one side with things piled on it.. And then the 24" shaper-project-boat anchor. ANd the B&S 1900 drill press project. and the 50 ton press project... and..(harley,racecar,electronic parts).. My mill and leblond lathe occupy about a 8x8 space in the air conditioned side.. I do have room for my stereo and my beer fridge over my leblond on a shelf..

As you may have guessed, it is too small.

Tools are like having a 747, it'd be nice but where do you put them?

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-11-2005).]

Bill Hood
08-13-2004, 09:56 PM
I may be prejudiced as I build metal all steel and wood post and beam buildings. I have never erected one of the curved roof--either the straight wall or the quansit type, but I don't want to either. I used to put up feed mills with thousands of bolts in the feed and grain bins and you wear the ends of your fingers off even with the best tools available. A tractor friend of mine recently bought a 38 x 65' Miracle Span building at an auction for $1200 new in crates and sitting inside. It was 7 years old and the owners did not want to put it up either and local contractors declined. It took him and three sons with forklift and good equipment 3 weeks to get it up. Then it did not have windows in sidewalls and he had to cut additional window and door openings in endwalls and weld frames. My steel supplier is Meuller Manuf out of Ballinger TX (they have wearhouses in TX, OK La and NM) and they sell what are called Kit buildings in several sizes. You can erect one with a forklift, tractor and loader, winch truck ect--I know as I have done all of the above. We set most of our steel with backhoe with stinger on bucket and then sheet with manlift mounted above bucket--saves on skytrack rental. Anywhere in US there are metal building fabricators who offer buildings like these--shop around and the prices are comprable with the others and are much more versitle. Whatever you do, figure what size you need and double it before you pour concrete or buy steel.

08-14-2004, 06:18 AM

Milacron of PM
08-14-2004, 08:15 AM
Sprayed insulation looks ok new but is some seriously ugly stuff when it gets old and dirty.

08-14-2004, 12:37 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by D. Thomas:
Sprayed insulation looks ok new but is some seriously ugly stuff when it gets old and dirty.</font>

Curious though... It may be ugly as hell when the dust settles on it, but does it still work fine? Or does it start to compact down and loose it's insulation value?

I've got that stuff in my attic, never really looked up there, so I only care if it works!

08-14-2004, 07:36 PM


08-14-2004, 08:46 PM

I'd live in a cave if I had one... I agree.. if it works it is great.

Some building codes are not so liberal thou.

I don't really like welding in a wood frame shop.. My grinder has blackened some spots here and there..

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-11-2005).]

08-14-2004, 09:30 PM
JF, such a personal topic. I live near to the general area you are talking about. I have done much research,tire kicking and inspection. there was one of the KENTUCKY STEEL buildings put up by the road on the way home. Which gave me the opertunity to see it up close and personal. I was not impressed at all. we all want a compfortable enviroment to work and play in. I am in the process of building a shop. I am going to use 2x6 walls
setting on a poured slab.
sheathed inside and out with "Barn Metal".
The best book on the subject I have found is
"building the multi-use barn" I can find the
ISBN If anyone is interested.
nothing looks as good as a block building painted inside and out. but we are in the north and block buildings are expensive and expensive to heat.
Just my opinion.
Happy Hunting
archie =) =) =)

Milacron of PM
08-14-2004, 10:05 PM
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by IOWOLF:


I assumed you were talking about the typical use for sprayed on insualtion, which is on the walls and ceilings of Quanset hut type metal buildings.

If in the attic of course it doesn't matter, but we're mostly talking metal buildings in this thread which usually means no attic.

08-14-2004, 10:13 PM
I know about heating, it ain't cheap. Some people in the area have gas wells on their land, so they heat cheap, but I probably won't be so lucky.
I found a 15 x 20 chicken house in the area, modern construction and was heat with 2 wall type electric heaters, it was well insulated and the chicken moved out 15 years ago. I am not going to live there, but it told me a lot about what is needed to be done.



08-15-2004, 05:01 PM

08-15-2004, 05:07 PM
I just want it to stay at workable temperature, just get the machines started and let them warm up.

I too, live in a house, the shop should be else where, in my case in the garage.


08-15-2004, 05:13 PM
I live in the house, but the shop is my refuge... no silly sitcoms, no giggly friends..

Just me and the pup and my greasy machines..

[This message has been edited by ibewgypsie (edited 11-11-2005).]