Late in the Winter of 2016 we sat down and tossed ideas around about a sugar shack and roadside stand build. After browsing the internet, contacting timber frame outfits, and surveying our current set up, we decided to proceed with a 20′ x 10′ double bay building with a lean-to roof. As with everything we build on the farm, we try to always find multiple purposes for it. The roadside stand will triple as a sugar shack in the Spring, a roadside stand in the summer, and wood storage in the Fall for our greenhouse operation. If we happen to add a farm store in subsequent years, the design will allow the building to be used as a run-in-shed for our livestock (horses, sheep, cattle, etc.) The ability to plan ahead saves a farmer time, energy, and money. Each of which is a precious commodity for a small farmer.
In March of 2016, Jonathan and Justin purchased a 1996 air-cooled Skandic 500 to haul logs off of our woodlot to the farm. We cut down 10 sizeable spruce and cedar trees to be milled at a nearby neighbors saw mill. He cut our logs into beautiful rough sawn boards, 2 x 4, 2 x 6, 4 x 4, and 6 x6 timbers. Given the restrictions of the length of lumber he could cut on his mill (14′) we decided to sister 2 x 6 lumber together to get 21′ skids, which formed the base of the building. The sistered 2 x 6 lumber formed a 4″ x 6″ skid that we could use to tow with the tractor. After the skids were nailed together with 3.5″ spirals and screwed together on either side of the joints and at the ends with 3″ lag screws, we put the circular saw and chisels to work to farm 1/2 lap joints on our 4 x 4 x 10 cross pieces. The cross pieces needed corner half laps and the skids needed 3 dado joints (notches for the half lap to sit into). The dados can be made by making multiple passes with the circular set to a 2″ depth. The slivers can then be knocked out with a hammer and then the seat of the joint cleaned up with a chisel and rasp. With the base finished, we moved on to the front and rear walls.
Flying solo, I used 2 x 6s to temporarily brace the three front sections of the 10′ high front wall and the three 4 x 4s on the 8′ rear wall. Once the walls were erected and temporarily braced, I fastened the top plates to both front and rear walls with 10′ rough sawn 2 x 4s. The front and rear walls are connected with 9’6″ rough sawn 2 x 4s that are toe nailed at a four foot height on both corner 4 x 4s of the front and rear wall. At the midway point on the side walls I installed a 4′ stud to remove any sag in the cross piece. Each bottom corner (with the exception of the two bay openings) are knee braced with 4′ 2 x 4s while 2′ 2 x 4s are used on the top a the plate height using 4″ spiral nails.
Our lean-to roof uses 12′ 2 x 8s purchased from a local lumber yard. The pitch of the roof is 2.5/12 so I used a framing square to cut the birdsmouths for the front and the back walls as well as the ridge and tail cuts on both parts of the overhang. The rafters were positioned with 2′ spacing on centre and toe nailed into place on the separate top plates. Afterwards, I nailed the 2 by 4 purlins at 2′ spacing perpendicular to the rafters. The purlins will be used to give the roof more rigidity against prevailing winds as well as provide a surface to fasten the royal blue metal roofing sheets.
The royal blue metal sheet roofing came from a company called Vicwest through one of our local hardware stores. The royal blue is in keeping with our color scheme for the farm that includes green and blue as found in the MacCurdy tartan. The metal roofing went on lickity split, as they say, and I was careful to follow the manufacturer’s suggested installation technique to avoid any future issues. Always be careful to not overtighten the self tapping roofing screws as the gaskets will wear more quickly if compressed too much.
Sheathing the structure involved some creative license. I had tried board and batten before but with growing carpentry skills I thought making our own cedar shiplap siding by using a 3/8″ rabbeting bit with a guide on our router. By clamping the boards to both sawhorses and passing the router and opposite edges of each side of the board some beautiful shiplap siding was made from this year’s rough sawn cedar and spruce as well as last year’s boards, which I removed from our smaller chicken barn. This was very time consuming but worth it in the end given the beautiful look of the vertical shiplap on the three enclosed sides and the horizontal ship lap on the front wall. It took a lot of measuring and cutting over the course of a week during free moments to make the shiplap. After running out of full length 10′ boards I used shorter 8′ boards and jig-sawed the pieces together to make the siding.
On the triangular ends there is some math involved in cutting the appropriate angle on the board to run plumb up the wall. The pitch of the roof is 2.5/12 so depending on the size of the board used (4″, 5″, 6″, or 8″) I solved for the unknown rise for each board width by finding an equivalent fraction to 2.5/12. For example, for an 8″ board, the rise is 1 and 2/3 of an inch which is about 1 and 11/16″ on a measuring tape. Measuring down from on end of the board 1 and 11/16″ I would make a pencil mark and then using my speed square draw a line from the mark to the opposite corner of that end of the board. It is important to note that each board width has a different rise which must be used to cut the board to the appropriate dimensions.
After the siding was attached with 2″ spiral nails, the building had to be stained. We used a semi-transparent cedar stain to completely stain the outside of the roadside stand. After many brushstrokes and a day of drying it was ready to move to the roadside. In order to haul the stand on skids, we drilled holes in one end of the skid in order to insert 8″ eye bolts. Make sure these eye bolts are heavy duty i.e., thicker gauge. Do not use them if they have rings. The weight of the building combined with the pressure from the steel cable can pull the eyelets apart. For a 10′ building, we used a 18′ braided steel cable. We roughly calculated 18′ from the length of a semi-circle of a circle with a diameter of 10′. C=pi x diameter. Circumference = 3.14 x 10′ = 31.4′. Half of 31.4′ is approximately 15′ 8″. The braided cables have to be looped so we add at least a foot of length to each end to get us to 18′. Once the steel cable is passed through the eyelets it is brought back and run through a cable clamp that matches the gauge of the cable. Tighten them with a ratchet or wrench. Once this is done you are ready to haul and set up your roadside stand…by the roadside.
We used our 5445 Massey Ferguson Tractor to haul it slowly and carefully down the hillside to the preset location. It’s best to have your site prepped in advance so that you can pull it into place, unhitch, and start your season selling veggies. More to come on the honor system and our first summer with the roadside stand in a blog to follow.