Tom Selleck and his saw had to get started somewhere
August 29, 2011 4:53 PM   Subscribe

I wanted to try my hand at building a garbage enclosure (something like this) and also a mini greenhouse. Does anyone have any resources to help me get started. I can have a stab at it using the pictures but turning these into actual plans (especially types and sizes of lumber) is more of a stretch.

I took woodwork for a year or two of school all those years ago and am reasonably handy. Searching online leads to a whole lot of spammy pay sites offering plans, I was wondering if there were any sites with good basic information, e.g. lumber sizes, fasteners, basic joints that would allow me to put together a shopping list and help me build something sturdy. Bonus if there are actual plans for these types of projects.

Otherwise if there is a go to site for woodworking (or bona fide plans) I would love to hear it. Thanks for the help.
posted by Disco Moo to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite might not have the exact project you're looking for, but it looks like a great resource. Lots of projects and plans.
posted by ellenaim at 5:13 PM on August 29, 2011

Here's a plan with a list of what you need to buy. Make sure any plan you chose will fit the cans you already have. You could also just take the picture you have to a local lumberyard and ask someone what you need to buy.

Do you have tools? If you don't have a circular saw some lumberyards will cut pieces for you. Any wood that touches the ground should be pressure treated, actually any wood that's unprotected outside unless you want to use paint on it.
posted by mareli at 5:20 PM on August 29, 2011

I can possibly save you a bit of trouble here - Forget about wood, and go with PVC pipe. 1" should have enough stiffness for the project you want. It costs nothing, working with it feels like playing with frickin' legos, won't rot, cuts like butter (seriously - I've literally cut 1/2" pipe with a butter knife in a pinch. Takes about 10 minutes per cut, but you can do it)...

For the plastic, don't even take it off the roll. Get yourself an 8'x100' roll, put the lower-rear pipe right through the roll, drape the plastic over the top and wind it loosely onto the lower-front pipe. To repair holes, wind a few more feet onto the lower-front pipe. :D

(For the sides, you can either use a small pentagon cut from the plastic, or a neatly cut pair of thin plywood shapes, or something more creative such as building the frame itself to match anything you have conveniently lying around that roughly fits the shape you want - The ends present both the easiest, and the hardest, part of the project).

Note that this design actually scales up rather well... Use 2" pipe, a bit of cross-bracing (PVC pipe normally comes in 10' lengths anyway) and a 20' roll, and you can build a "real" sized greenhouse.
posted by pla at 5:32 PM on August 29, 2011

I've seen plans in Mother Earth magazine for a greenhouse made from old storm doors. You make a frame such that you cam attach the doors as the walls and use some old storm windows at a slant for the roof. You could find the doors and windows on freecycle or a salvage yard.
posted by dawkins_7 at 6:52 PM on August 29, 2011

If you don't get anything you like here, this is the kind of question for a decent library is often a good bet - not very long ago you see there was not such a thing as an internet and anyone who wanted plans for things had to find them in books and such. Books full of things like pragmatic carpentry plans are built to last so many libraries have stacks of them. You might call that mini greenhouse a large cold frame, incidentally, and see if that leads anywhere searchwise.
posted by nanojath at 7:27 PM on August 29, 2011

Best answer: I looked at the photo of the garbage bin and wrote up a the following for you, hope this helps. If it does let me know.
Floor Frame
Cut 2 – 4’ long pressure treated 2x4’s
Cut 2 – 1’9” long pressure treated 2x4’s
Lay these pieces edge-wise and screw together to make a 2’ by 4’ frame
Cut 3/4'” plywood panel 2’ x 4’ and screw to frame to make floor

The height of the front and back side panels needs to be adjusted to fit the size of your garbage cans. The dimensions assumed here are for garbage cans that are 40” tall.
a) Cut 2 – 54 ¼” long 2x4’s for the front side walls
b) Cut 2 – 66 ¼” long 2x4’s for the back side walls
c) Cut 1 – 48” 2x4 for the top front wall
d) Cut 1 – 48” 2x4 for the top back wall
Screw side posts into the floor frame. Make sure that they are square with the floor.

Install the top front frame 2x4 between the posts
Install the back frame 2x4 between the back posts
Cut 1 – 61 ½” long 2x4. Install in the center of the back wall panel and toe screw into floor frame and into the top back frame.

Now cut T-111 panels to fit the side and back outside walls
Use the framing to mark the angle of the top of the side panels
Remember to square the frame as you install the T-111 panels

Frame the face of the front using the 1”x2” cedar boards to make like a picture frame on the front.
Cut two doors to fit inside the frame on the front. Leave a ½” to 1” gap on the bottom of the doors.
Install the doors using the hinges. Screw into the door and the other side of the hinge is screwed into the face frame.
Cut plywood to fit the top. Allow 1” overhang on all sides.
Attach the plywood to the top using two hinges.
Cover the plywood top with the roofing felt paper
Install cedar shingles to the top working from front to back.
Paint or stain the T-111 panels and doors.

Materials List
5 – 2x4x8’ pressure treated
1 – 4’ x 8’ ¾” exterior plywood sheet
3 – 4’ x 8’ T-111 exterior panels
4 – 1” x 2” x 8’ cedar boards
3” galvanized screws
1 ½” or 2” galvanized screws
3 sets of hinges for the doors and the top
Hardware to keep the doors closed
1 – bundle of cedar shingles
Piece of 15# roofing felt paper
Cedar shingle nails
posted by susu 1958 at 9:38 PM on August 31, 2011

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