Progress Report 20 – 30×48′ Pole Barn build


Adding wall mounted fans, an exhaust fan, finishing up insulation and now ready for sheetrock! I went with some cool and different ideas for ventilation in the shop that might be worth checking out. Read on for more!

Steps to building a pole barn
Here is the last section that I needed to finish up and insulate.
Steps to building a pole barn
The new MR2 project and my Dad’s old motorcycle still have a place to live for the moment before they get kicked out for sheetrock.

How to Install Shop Exhaust Fan

I knew I wanted/needed an exhaust fan. While planning out the shop, I determined that this area on the west wall would be my fabrication area. The CNC plasma table gets quite smoky so I wanted to make sure I had a way to vent that without sucking all of the conditioned air out of the shop. My plan here is to use some industrial curtains to create a ‘dirty room’ where I can open the window and turn on the fan so that contained area can have it’s own ventilation.

Clear as mud? I promise it will make more sense after a couple more posts.

Steps to building a pole barn
First I had to take down a couple of my framing members. Then I measured and marked the location of the hole and cut out the square where the insulation was.
Steps to building a pole barn
I then drilled a ~2″ hole on one side with a hole saw and started cutting with my tin snips.
Steps to building a pole barn
There might have been faster ways I could have done this but the snips worked pretty good. As long as you have the green and red snips (left and right handed cut) you can work both sides of the hole pretty cleanly.
Steps to building a pole barn
Next, I worked the hole until the fan fit snugly through.
Steps to building a pole barn
And checked from the outside to make sure everything looked good (no, the louvers are not blue, that is protective tape I haven’t peeled off yet)
Steps to building a pole barn
I then scabbed in boards all around to screw to and replaced my framing. I don’t have a large selection of wood clamps so I had to improvise and link them up.

This fan does ~3,300 CFM so in theory at this amount of flow it can exchange all of the air in the shop roughly once every 5 minutes. Once I get my ‘dirty room’ set up it should very easily be able to clear that room out quickly.

Steps to building a pole barn
All framed up, ready for an electrical box and insulation. I had already hung the light switch box but needed to run it up to near the fan so I can plug it in.

This fan is a little bit on the louder side, but I expected it to be. I bought a cheap fan controller to slow it down a bit if needed though I haven’t tried it yet. The fan has straight blades and really moves a lot of air for its size. I didn’t want to go too much bigger because I would have had to cut out some of the structural framing on the pole barn itself. This one fit right in between the stringer boards.

In other news

Steps to building a pole barn
Bag worms killed off our bush so we used PJ’s winch to pull it out. PJ wasn’t quite heavy enough so we had to strap it to the Expedition as an anchor.
Steps to building a pole barn

Pulled through a bunch of ethernet cables while the walls were open. I ended up with 6 drops throughout the shop.

Installing Oscillating fans

Why did I pick oscillating fans and not ceiling fans?

Good question. My ceiling is 13ft high and my scaffold is ~12ft high (maybe a littler taller, I didn’t measure it but it is less than a foot from the rafters). I wanted to keep my lights up close to the ceiling so the scaffold and eventually a 2 post lift would clear them without issue. Because of this I didn’t want ceiling fans because the lights would have been above the fans causing the light to flicker as the fan blades spun around (which would absolutely drive me crazy). Also, I would have had to work around ceiling fans when I had the scaffolding out.

Instead I found and ordered these oscillating fans from Amazon and they are AWESOME!
They have 6 speeds, oscillating or fixed, and a little wired remote that hangs down a couple of feet to control it all (I like the wired because the remote can’t get lost). These things are pretty quiet even at higher speeds, at lower speeds they are practically silent. They also take up no floorspace. As a bonus, these two are on the East wall facing West and the exhaust fan is on the West wall blowing out. In theory if I had it really nasty smoky in there, I could use these to push it out in a single direction. I would suggest these 100%.

Steps to building a pole barn
I wired for and hung some really cool oscillating fans. You will see them finished in later pics.
Steps to building a pole barn
Here you can see the fan on the wall. I ended up buying two of them.

Link to the fans I used:

Filling in the insulation

Steps to building a pole barn
Adding in more insulation. You can see the electrical box next to the fan in this one.
Steps to building a pole barn
More insulation.
Steps to building a pole barn
The corner ones reallllllly sucked. And of course I saved them all for the end so I ended up doing a lot of these lateral cuts.
Steps to building a pole barn
Safety first. I spent a lot of time with this respirator while doing the insulation.
Steps to building a pole barn
More details… I had to hand cut some of the craft facing to cover it up. I went through >5,000 staples on this project 😮

Getting the sheetrock

Steps to building a pole barn
Picked up 4x8x12′ x 5/8″ fire reated sheetrock at Home Depot since they were the cheapest after bulk discount. The teenagers that loaded it put it all up front toward the tongue. It was ~3,500 lbs of sheetrock.

Lesson learned / things to watch out for. Since I had a utility trailer they couldn’t load it with the forklift so the guys peeled the strips off the end and loaded them one at a time. That royally screwed us down the road though because sheetrock is packaged in 2 packs face in and when they loaded one sheet at a time they ended up mixed and they scratched a bunch of the panels which created more mud/sealing work later. Just make sure if they load by hand they do it 2 sheets at a time without taking off the strips.

Steps to building a pole barn
I just dropped the trailer in the garage so the sheetrock was protected and ready to go.
Steps to building a pole barn
After seeing some videos on the internet of using the rachet strap tail to tie itself, I had to try it. It actually worked pretty well.
Steps to building a pole barn
Insulation pretty much done and sheetrock ready for install!
Steps to building a pole barn
One last pic before the next phase.

Now YOU, go outside and work on something!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.