NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Pole-barn / equipment shelter advice  (Read 433 times)


  • Joined Apr 2012
  • Moray
Pole-barn / equipment shelter advice
« on: February 28, 2019, 05:53:03 pm »

  I want to put up a small (3x 4.8mx3.6m bays about 2.5m-3m roof-height) equipment shelter to keep my tractor, digger and other stuff under, out of the rain etc.

  I'm planning a simple eight vertical pole structure, tied together at the top with joists and then joists on top of that, front to back, some exterior board of some sort on top of that and then metal roof panels on top of that - I'll worry about the sides another day.

  A 33kV power line crosses my land and all the poles were replaced a while ago - I managed to keep hold of the old poles - they're a mix of 9m, 7m and 5m lengths.  The thing is, though, they're enormous diameter - some are about 50cm and some are about 40cm.

  Would I be better off splitting them into quarters or halves?  If so, how would I do that without a saw-mill on site?!

  If anybody's done anything like this before, I'd welcome your advice,

Thanks :)
Voss Electric Fence


  • Joined Jul 2011
Re: Pole-barn / equipment shelter advice
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 04:20:37 am »
I built my sheep a field shelter using similar although a smaller structure: 6 poles, some simple cross members and then tin sheets on a pent roof and the sides leaving one half-side open as doorway.

I don't see any benefit to timber sheeting the roof under tin. If you need insulation under it then investigate insulated sheeting.

If you cut across one of those poles you'll see that the tar impregnation doesn't really make it to the middle so splitting them isn't such a good move unless you treat the exposed. As for spitting r cutting the poles longways.. the chances of having straight enough grain to get away with wedges.... I wouldn't bother and handsawing it would be a job for a younger man. A chainsaw sounds easy but controlling that from running off would be a mare.. definately a case of a new perfectly sharpened chain so it doesn't have any bias on it's cut and take it slow and then a  lot of dressing the cuts - more work than benefit.

I have a full-size dutch barn here and park some of my tack under that but weather from the sides gets to more than halfway so you really would need some side cladding to achieve your goal.

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Pole-barn / equipment shelter advice
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 10:03:10 am »
don't split the poles for reasons above as you need the strength of an entire pole and before cutting them inspect the area to be cut carefully , there maybe an earth wire running the length of the pole , sometime this can be well embedded and hard to see.  On the upside the earth wire is worth recovering as they (up here anyway) are copper £££
I know you have your own idea of size but  3x 4.8mx3.6m , have a wee think , best to make it bigger now than regretting it later .


  • Joined Jun 2013
  • South Wales .Carmarthenshire. SA18
Re: Pole-barn / equipment shelter advice
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2019, 12:08:38 am »
When making the joints at the top  do as much as work possible on the ground . A chalk line and a plumbob  will allow you to get both ends of the poles in the same plane once you locate the center of each end of the poles .

 Buy your own auger or  get a short carpenters one made up to give you abut 20 inches in length for the 19 mm zinc plated steel studding that you use to bold them together and use big construction washers  under each nut . For your upper most rails  make a shallow  cut in each one so it sits on the rail underneath it and make a shallow hollow in its uppermost face before you use the auger to make the fixing hole … done so the nut & washer are not going to stick proud  in the sheeting you use to cover the shed
  It's also well worth using stainless steel banding strapping to tie the roof to the uprights .. dong it as you go not trying to do it at the end of the job .

 My pal has purchased  a roll of the fine lorry netting  , sat down and hand sewed  a double hollow hem for the top so he could insert  a length of 30 blue alkathene waterpupe to hang it from the roof back front & sides .

Giving a foot or more extra length  to make a similar hem on the bottom, again using the water pipe to weigh down the netting so  it is about 2 inches too long when resting on the floor . He's used 6 mm stainless studding washers & nuts  to make pinch bolts drilled  through bottom weight .
 Each net " drop down " net  is about 8 foot wide   and he's overlapped them by about six inches .  getting things in & out is done by either slipping in between th drop down or for bigger things  rolling he netting up to the required height and slipping a long thin reusable cable tie  through the netting & round the pipe to hold it in place
 It's been in use for 5 years or more is good to get out of biting winds & tends to be quite dry inside .  It has stood up to all manner of weathers .. though he did have to knock the netting on a couple of occasions when the netting was choked with snow .

If you can't locate a long auger or  have difficulty in getting a 20 mm one 150 mm long ..( Sandvik electricians wood auger bit ) it extended PM me & I'll turn up a sleeve for 8 mm threaded rod and turn  down the small auger shank to thread it as well . All you'll need to do is stud lock it together using blue or green stud lock

 Obviousy you'll have to send me the electricians auger  to get it threaded unless you have some facility for doing it at your end  .

Notice I say auger not spade put

 Big tip..

Only use a decently powered electric drill and driil slowly other wise you'll like as not heat up th tars in the wood and choke the cutter & hole every time you try to make the hole .  Have a bean tin of diesel handy to stand the tarred up auger in for a few min so you can wipe it off with a strong rag
Strong belief , triggers the mind to find the way ... Dyslexia just makes it that bit more amusing & interesting


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