New Barn Project

  1. I finally bit the bullet and ordered the 3 tons of steel for my new barn, I went with Parkers in the end as they could process it for me, blasting, painting and cutting to length.
    Main reason for getting it processed by Parkers and not doing it myself is that the steel has to be unloaded in a car park and transferred onto my tractor trailer for the journey up the 1/2 mile stone track to the field and the most economical lengths for my requirements with minimal wastage is 9.5m and my trailer is just over 3.5m long!
    The logistics of this meant that is was easier for the supplier to process, with the longest pieces now being just under 6m so a lot easier to transport.
    I have made some brackets to go on the tractor power loader so I can mount a pair of hooks and slings to unload the lorry which is coming next Friday.
    I will document the process and will be taking lots of pictures.
    eSCHEn and balmerchris like this.
  2. edd Member

    Aaaaaarrrr I love to hear the start of an epic project.
    Best of luck with the build, take it one step at a time.
    What size are you going for?
    BarrieJ likes this.
  3. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    Is this going to be a workshop?
  4. Its a complex build, 2 storeys with the bottom storey built into the side of the hill.
    The bottom storey is 8m long by 5.5m wide with a 2.8m ceiling height, the top storey is 10.5m long by 5.5m wide with an open ceiling going up to 2.4m at the eaves and 4m to the ridge.

    Bottom storey is going to be a workshop, with a universal beam running down the centre to hang a hoist and trolley on.
    mike os likes this.
  5. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    Envious already!
  6. After 3 false starts the steel for the barn finally turned up. Parkers Steel have a very glossy online image but their delivery scheduling doesn't quite match their storefront!
    Can't fault the ordering process or the staff in the sales department who chased up the transport department for me but after giving me 3 separate dates to deliver the steel which they failed to meet it finally turned up this morning at 6am.
    3 tons of blasted and primed steel, mostly 203 x 102 x 23kg UB.
    Managed to get it off the artic and onto my decrepit 3 ton tipping trailer with the JD and loader and drag it up the 1/2 mile track to the build site.
    It's all cut to size, including the mitres for the rafters but I need to cut the haunches etc.
    The shorter lengths, like the rafters, I can trailer back to my existing workshop to drill and weld but the longer stuff will be fabricated onsite.
  7. eSCHEn

    eSCHEn Bit Wrangler Staff Member

    SW Scotland
    Super exciting :D You must be buzzing to get started on it?
  8. Definitely glad I have the steel onsite now, each time I was given a delivery date I would go across to the site and get the tractor and trailer ready only for the lorry not to turn up.
    I was trying not to get stressed but it was becoming a pain.
    Now I have the steel I can crack on, first on the list is to cut the 6.1m UB into transportable lengths to cut some haunches from back at the workshop.
    Its only 3 portal frames but there is a lot of other steelwork on the two stories tying it all together.
  9. brewdexta

    brewdexta Forum Supporter

    Sounds very similar to mine, I built into a hill side but I put the workshop on top and used the lower for the barn. I have a beam and beam trolley in the workshop, very handy.

    I know the feeling when my build started, I bet your well chuffed :)

    I used reclaimed steel and wish I had it blasted and primed, random bits of old paint occasionally peel off, usually when I'm spraying, I have about 30 litres of smoothrite I got as job lot that I intend to paint it with after a good pressure wash.
  10. Beam for a hoist trolley is in the design :laughing:.
  11. norlander

    norlander Member

    Europe, mocycling paradise
    Great stuff, kinda jealous looking at all that nice fresh steel and prepared ground, looking forward to the pics and progress reports, my main area of competence in this welding and fabricating lark is watching others do it whilst drinkin me tea.
    So your project will do nicely.
    Be careful liftin n shiftin them RSJs,.
    BarrieJ likes this.
  12. It's progressing, I transferred the steel for the roof beams back to the workshop where I set up my welding table outside.
    My cheap CUT50 made short work of cutting the 100 x 12mm plate for the joining plates and also made a neat job of cutting the knee and apex haunches from the 203 x 102 UB.


    Do you like my welding table, it's an old MFI furniture folding stillage, when they went bankrupt they dumped a pile of stillages outside the warehouse to go rusty, so I repurposed one as my welding/plasma table, it's ideal for clamping on and I have a 6mm sheet that sits on it for layout and small work.

    I used a combination of my TecArc 231 MIG with 1mm wire and my new GYS 200 MMA inverter with Lincoln Osmia 46 4mm rods, the TecArc cut out a couple of times when I exceeded the duty cycle but the GYS took everything I threw at it, burning through the 4mm rods without missing a beat.
    Had some nice peelers too!


    Stupidly I forgot to order some 50 x 10mm flat for the web reinforcement so I bought some locally, the rest of the steel has been blasted and primed so I cropped the flat to size and then chucked it in a plastic bucket with a gallon of non brewed condiment (£2 vinegar) which did an excellent job of removing the mill scale.

    Once all the roof beams were finished I gave them another coat of grey primer and I have transported them back to the barn site.


    All the rest of the steelwork will have to be done onsite as the UB's are too long to easily transport back to the workshop.
    Most of the fab work is drilling the columns and welding the mounting plates to the floor and eaves beams.
    I will see how the GYS copes with running off the 15KVA generator, it should be ok as the literature states it can handle voltage fluctuations of + or - 15%. My generator is powered by the tractor and has no electronic AVR which does mean the voltage fluctuates but nowhere near the 15% mark, more like + or - 5V. If not the Pickhill Bantam will make an appearance!
    BarrieJ, balmerchris and brewdexta like this.
  13. Its my day off and its raining so I thought I would update my barn build thread.
    Welding the steel frames together was straight forward all though maneuvering them round was a pain and required some forethought. All the holes in the mounting plates I either drilled on the mill with broaching cutters or punched on my ancient East German made mechanical iron worker.
    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 426.JPG

    I managed to borrow a mag drill from my sons work for the weekend to drill the matching holes in the beams, it was a nightmare to use as it had been dropped and badly repaired at some time in its past so the drill was not quite perpendicular to the base so the broach would snatch at the start of every cut, all 140 holes.

    Luckily every thing lined up when I bolted the frames together on the flat.
    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 439.JPG

    Then to the fun bit, erecting the frames.
    Now this is when I deviated from the normal method of erecting steel work, limited by the fact that I could not get a crane up to the build site, and although I know someone with a telehandler they are about 15 miles away and its always in use on a busy farm, I resorted to my old John Deere tractor, a 1.6 ton Tirfor winch , a very ancient but well placed beech tree and what seemed like miles and miles of ropes, straps and chains.

    First job was to install eyebolts into the concrete pads to stop the bases shift, then I experimented with sling points to stop the frames from twisting when hoisted.

    Here is the first frame going up:
    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 443.JPG
    Lifted as high as I could with the loader and then over to the Tirfor and the beech tree to do the rest.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 444.JPG

    Just to add I did the whole lift on my own over three days, I am happier doing this sort of thing without help as I can take it at my own pace, thinking each job through without interruption.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 445.JPG

    Each frame weighs just under half a ton and two of the frames are over 7m high.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 447.JPG

    That was the end of the first day, I left the frame tied to various trees over night, sods law it was a windy night so not much sleep but the next morning everything was as it should be so onto the next stage.

    Adding in the first of the floor beams to try and stabilise the frame while I erected the second frame.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 450.JPG

    Then I hoisted the second frame, using a not so big larch tree as a hoist point.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 452.JPG

    Second frame up and tied to the first frame and more conveniently placed trees with even more rope and straps.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 454.JPG

    Hoisted the floor beams into place with a couple of Felco chain hoists to tie it all together.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 455.JPG

    I was starting to get an idea of the final size of the barn now, seeing it in its environment instead of a drawing on a PC screen was good. Had to work for three days so it sat like this, lightly braced to the trees, and it was still windy!
  14. eSCHEn

    eSCHEn Bit Wrangler Staff Member

    SW Scotland
    Nice one. Always great to see progress like this on a project :)

    How many frames total to put up?
  15. lchris21

    lchris21 Member

    South Wales
    nice bit of ironworking :clapping:
  16. This just left the final frame to do, it was getting tight for space in the clearing to lift the frame on the loader so I could only approach the apex from an angle.
    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 458.JPG
    This made it awkward to release the loader so a bit of precarious work on the ladder to change from the loader to the winch!
    Parm look away now.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 459.JPG

    Almost there.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 461.JPG

    Just need to add the floor beams to tie it all in.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 464.JPG

    Sods law says the loader won't quite lift the beam high enough so more precarious ladder work to use the Felco's.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 465.JPG

    And its there, 2 tons of steel erected by a 40 year old tractor, a 300 year old tree, a £40 Tirfor winch and 60 kg of homo sapiens.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 466.JPG

    I spent another day packing and levelling the frame before I fixed it all down with M20 studding chemically fixed into the concrete.

    I still have the eaves beams to somehow hoist into place and the roof extensions which bolt to the ends of the roof beams to extend the roof out by another 750mm but I have formulated a cunning plan to do this involving the Felco's again.

    Iphone Pics 13 07 2015 467.JPG
    Sprocket Hole, Dcal, BarrieJ and 14 others like this.
  17. Wallace

    Wallace Member

    Staines, Middlesex, England.
    Top job.
  18. fixerupper

    fixerupper Member

    Crete Greece
    Good work .....
  19. BarrieJ

    BarrieJ Member

    Milton Keynes, Bucks, United Kingdom
    Class act, well done.
  20. roofman

    roofman Purveyor of fine English buckets and mops

    North West
    epic job and very well thought out using whats around you and nothing else..:cool::)