Progress Report 18 – 30×48′ Pole Barn build


Despite being on the struggle bus this year, I have actually made a lot of progress! Just about finished framing, plowed some giant snow drifts, broke some things, fixed some things, and got the exterior lighting finished.

At about 5 months since my last update, this is the longest I have gone without a post in a while. One of the big reasons for the delay is that I permanently lost a very important subscriber. My dad passed away from Covid 19 in January… he will be missed greatly. I am very grateful for all the skills he passed on to me while I was growing up, if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be able to do half the stuff I do.

So, that sucks and slowed things down pretty significantly. We are finally getting to the point where the train is getting back on the track though! We will have to carry on.

Steps to building a pole barn
Despite not being done, the shop has been SUPER useful.
My fleet ready for the snow.

Lots of projects have gone through the shop at this point. Most of which have been sold or flipped, but some have stuck around for a while. I traded the silver golf cart for the ATV with plow. It plows well but shifting to reverse is kind of a pain. So I ended up using PJ for the most part this winter because it has a heater and I can throw the kids in the back.

Steps to building a pole barn
First snow was like 5″, not a big deal.
Steps to building a pole barn
The second snow we got a couple of weeks later however was a good 10″. It was the most my area had gotten in a very long time.
Steps to building a pole barn
I made the usual rounds to some parent and neighbor’s houses but DANG this snow was deep. It was the first time I had clutch slippage while plowing even in 4lo
Steps to building a pole barn
10″ of snow must be about the upper limit for this plow, I found a new weak link. I hammered it back straight, should be good for another couple of seasons.
This threaded rod is the part that I use to set the angle on the blade. It is pretty hack but works so I don’t plan on changing it at this point.

Shop Progress

Steps to building a pole barn
Before
Steps to building a pole barn
After framing
Steps to building a pole barn
Junk everywhere. I made the 4 tier cart into a future parts bin. I have been keeping the inventory of all the parts to be installed for the shop on it.
Steps to building a pole barn
Showing the space around the toilet drain pipe after I peeled out the cardboard spacer. This made it so the toilet flange could go on the OD of the 4″ pipe.

Random repair

The front wheel on my kids’ electric go cart kept falling off. The bearing toasted itself and the spindle nut screwed off in the same direction as the wheel turned with no cotter pin so it kept falling off too. I didn’t want to go on a wild goose chase for some new bearings so I decided to make my own. I have found now that I have a critical mass of tools and junk parts that it is often easier for me to just make something than it is to research and find the direct replacement (if it is even available).

Steps to building a pole barn
Took some leftover HDPE from the snow plow cutting blade. Cut around the outside in the miter saw to get it close in size then sanded it on my bench sander until it fit.
Steps to building a pole barn
New HDPE bearing vs the toasted bearing. The other inner bearing race had completely broken in half, so I had to make replacements for both sides.
Steps to building a pole barn
Drilled the nut for a cotter pin, won’t be coming off anymore.
Steps to building a pole barn
Ready to roll! Our neighbor gave us this 36V cart and the kids have gotten good use out of it. It doesn’t go fast enough to really wear on the HDPE so we should be good for a while

Future tube

I have had this idea for a future tube for a while now. I wanted a way to run wires for my tech gadgetry through at least a couple of areas of the wall. I plan on having an office desk, projector, and surround sound inside the shop, so I might as well plan for it now. The 2″ tubing is WAY overkill but will make it easy to pull even cables with big heads on them through like DVI, HDMI, etc.

Steps to building a pole barn
Started with a 2″ Conduit body.
Steps to building a pole barn
Worked my way up and over to approximately where the projector will be hanging on the ceiling.
Steps to building a pole barn
Here is where it terminates on the ceiling. It also shows why I had to make it so high in the attic to account for the 90* sweep.

Once I got the drop over to the ceiling, I was staring at the conduit body and decided to go ahead and use the outlet to go over to the East wall too since it was already there.

Steps to building a pole barn
Here is a shot of the fully finished future tube system. Probably overkill but my goal here is to have no regrets once I cover up the walls.

The way it is set up now with the future tube, I can have HDMI cables or whatever running up to the projector from either the back wall or the East wall. Once the shop is done, I plan on also working from here when it is nice out since I work from home permanently now.

To the right of the picture you can see at the top of the back wall I have a power outlet for a TV and a stop in the conduit so if ever switch from a projector to a TV, everything will already be there. Going to be ready for a movie night!

Steps to building a pole barn
Pork Tenderloin. Yes that is a full size bun that looks tiny in the middle. It is from Billy Gail’s near Branson, Mo.
I got a full 3 meals out of this with the leftovers.

DIY Trailer Jack Wheel

Steps to building a pole barn
Drilled a hole, then made it bigger with a step bit. Step bits are great when you are feeling lazy, you just drill and check until whatever you are trying to stick in the hole fits
Steps to building a pole barn
Add caster wheel from random junk bin
Steps to building a pole barn
Now I have a mobile junk trailer so I can move it out of the way as I work on the different wall areas. I have run out of places to put stuff so this should work good for now. It is surprisingly easy to push around with the wheel on the front.

More shop progress

Not going to lie, I admit I am running out of steam. Huge thanks to my buddy Russ that just quit his fulltime desk job to do remodels fulltime. I was one of his first customers, and he ended up spending 3 full days in the shop finishing up things that I ran out of time and motivation to do. Worked out great for both of us!

Steps to building a pole barn
Before status

I had some pretty major changes from the original plan. In the last year+ since the shop was built, I have only been dirty enough to need to rinse off like twice. So I nixed the full bathroom and instead decided to do a half bath with a ‘mechanical room’. I found that when I put the air compressor up on the mezzanine the vibration transferred through the breezeway into the house and was just generally kind of loud. Now that I am not putting in a shower, I have the perfect spot to put the compressor inside a little room with some other mechanicals where it will be quiet and easy to access.

Steps to building a pole barn
After Russ got done. You can see he also framed out a 2×6 wall extension. It really bugged me that the heated floor and plumbing pipes were exposed on the outside of the wall. Now they will be concealed within the wall and protected from damage. It will also be easy to toss a small electric heater in there as a backup in the winter case my primary heat goes down for any reason.
Steps to building a pole barn
Better view of the mechanical room. It has a 24″ door and is about 28″ wide inside. In addition to the air compressor, it will also store/conceal the water heater, air hose and electrical cord reels.

Finishing touches on exterior lighting

Another project Russ finished up for me was installing soffit lights on either side of the outside of the shop and finish cutting in the lights in the breezeway. He also sealed up all the penetrations with fire rated foam (code) and installed the soffit vents while he was at it.

The plan really came together and I am VERY happy with it. The soffit lights will be great for finishing up outside work when it gets dark out.

Steps to building a pole barn
Finished exterior lighting.
Steps to building a pole barn
Soffit lighting down the East side. I temporarily have my Dad’s boat there until we can get it sold.
Steps to building a pole barn
West side. Turned out awesome.

That is all for now. There has been a lot going on and I didn’t document all of it. Now that things are slowing down I am hoping to get back to working IN the shop and not ON it (among 100 other things that are going on). That all sounds like a bunch of whining though, so I will stop now.

Next things up are to get a final rough in inspection so I can insulate (then get the insulation inspected) and eventually slinging some sheetrock!

Till next time… YOU, go outside and work on something!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.