Thursday, December 18, 2014

Firewood Storage

Now that the house is approaching it's finale, I'm trying to get better organized. I'm building some shelving, creating some storage spots both inside and out. I realize that I need a proper place to store firewood up by the house. Up until now it's been stashed out on the lanais. But they are disappearing one after the other as they are being enclosed and becoming part of our living space. So I took a look around for a convenient spot to make a simple shelter. Ah, behind the catchment tanks. Out of sight but close by, and easy to get to. That space isn't being used for anything but weeds, and most likely never will be used for anything. 

Next step, what to build? Just how elaborate, permanent, and expensive do I want it? Answer: simple, temporary, dirt cheap. Since we're still in flux about exactly where things should be, a temporary structure is fine for now. 

Before heading out to the hardware store, I took a deep breath, relaxed, and repeated my mantra....Self Reliancy. Low Input. Ok. I told myself-- no 2x4's and plywood for this project. Let me think on this one......

Ok, what I came up with will work. Since the structure will be out of sight from everyone, it doesn't have to be lovely, cute, and painted pretty colors. It just has to be functional. So it could be a pallet shelter with a tarp roof. If I had salvaged metal roofing available, I'd use that. Perhaps in the future I'll be able to scrounge up more of that. The tarp will do for now. 

First off, I pulled the tallest weeds out, adding them to the compost boxes. Then I brought over several sturdy pallets that were in good condition. 
I had previously leveled this area with my surplus small rocks a few years back, so I didn't have to do anything more to prepare the ground. I had two perfect sized logs that had been cut previously while clearing trees. So they got drug over using just muscle power. The final piece - the roof ridge. The 2x6 that had been salvaged when we revamped the catchment tank set up now had a use. Perfect. 

Digging holes for the logs, they slipped right into place. The little rocks were wedged back into place and the front upright log was braced until the rain settles things again. In fact, I think I'll go pound that with a sledgehammer to stabilize that log better and quicker. 
Next, the pallets were nailed to one another. The end pallets on either side were too wobbly and needed support, so I cut two other pallets into half. I then nailed the halves to each end pallet on either side. This shored them up well. 

Since the tarp will be nailed or otherwise fastened to the pallets, I didn't want a fierce wind to lift everything up. Not that we have fierce winds on a regular basis. The last time was 1991 I think. But one never knows. So I hammered a "U' shaped piece of rebar in at each pallet and wired the pallet to it. I think that will be just enough to encourage things to stay put since the tarp is rather sheltered from wind anyway. 

Finally the tarp. It rests over the ridge pole and is nailed onto the side pallets. Simple to put on. Simple to replace when needed. 

To keep the wood up off the damp earth, I laid down a couple of pallets. As I fill the little shelter up, I can add more pallets,

This simple structure took only an afternoon to complete from start to finish. It cost me only the nails, about 15' of wire, and a tarp. Everything else was either salvaged, free or obtained right on the farm. It should work just fine to store my firewood, keeping it handy and dry. 

If hubby doesn't like the color as the pallets weather, then I'll spray paint them some woodsy color to have it blend in better. But one cannot see this from the house, nor can the neighbors. Thus I don't think it makes much difference. 

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