Category Archives: The Tank Shed

2021 Started Well …

As we were again dining in alone for 2021, The lovely Mrs K decided that this year’s theme would be Fancy Dress, which of course, means Pirates¹.

It started well …

But rapidly degenerated at the crew’s end of the table …

And quickly became very messy! Which reminded me of the pirate game at Sandhurst in the late ’80s, in which,

Jim Roche brought copious quantities of rum and gunpowder …. (what could possibly go wrong?)

Suzanne almost took someone’s fingers off with a Kukri², whilst opening a coconut … (They weren’t Trebian’s, but he might have been there, being a re-enactor of some note in his day)

And John Mengham may or may not have been very drunk, singing sea shanties during the debriefing.

We continued the party on New Years Day in Shed 24 at the allotment, surrounded by all the comforts of home.

Arrrh!

  1. For clarity, we mean those loveable swashbuckling scamps of Hollywood fame, not the murdering scum that were exterminated by the Royal Navy in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and South China Seas.
  2. She was, and remained, sober throughout the day. Ours was one of the few ships that did not run aground at some stage during the game.

 

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More Sheddery

The thing about true-scale shed modelling, is that it is addictive, so when Suzanne took over her new allotment, we inherited a 6 x 6ft galvanised zinc and polycarbonate box. In case this sounds a bit modern, trust me it isn’t. The existing shed came with an almost flat roof, a 1000 litre water cube and a massive galvanised water cistern from the 1940s or 50s. It looked like this last November:

 

The big piles of dark brown earth are all horse poo!

 

And like this after we had managed to get onto the plot and grow stuff  post lockdown.

The plot is windy and has no piped water (hence the cube), so the first priority was to build a rain collector from corrugated polycarbonate, recycled from our pergola at home circa 2004.

 

Then a roof for the original shed , but this time with enough slope not to leak, and enough height for me to stand up in (one of the very few disadvantages of being tall.)

After that it seemed pointless not to roof the space between the rain collector and the shed. The problem with big roofs and shallow foundations is WIND SUCTION. A good online primer to start with can be found here: (https://www.mcrma.co.uk/pdf/Wind_guidance_document_final.pdf) . Our immediate neighbour’s shed felting blew off in the last windy spell that we had, so I’m not being cocky about the very real possibility of having just built a 18 sq metre wooden kite. I anchored the roof down to the water cube until everything is completed. That’s only 700kg  at the moment until it fills up, but we normally get rain in October, so that will be a ton of dead weight that The Kite has to lift. Oh, and a neighbour was throwing two French doors away; well it would have been rude not to …

Various names were floated about .. The Cowshed, Shed Ordinaire, Bonnydoon, but in the end, it had a water tank in it, so it was the Tank Shed. Suzanne didn’t think that  The Kite was funny.

A proper Engineer would have done his calculations before throwing up such a ramshackle structure, and as the full calcs are complex, I did my usual engineering approximation to see if my roof would fly. As luck would have it, The Den is about the same roof area as The Kite, so that gave me a negative pressure of about 1kN/sq m. ( A Kn is 101.97 kg)  The rough calculations gave me just shy of 1000kg to pull a fence post out (found by rooting about on university websites for student design projects for fence pullers), that gives me 4 tonnes of downforce on the upwind side resisting  a likely up force of 1kn/sq m acting on 18 square metres of roof or 1.8 tonnes. That’s without any dead weight from the structure itself.  I should be OK by a factor of two, and need to rethink my sail area if I want to be an aviator, but I’m still keeping the tiedowns, just in case ……………………………..

 

 

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