Ideas and build log for my CNC Shed


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Thought Club
I have a large shelter/tent, that i will be using for the base frame. the end walls will be stud-walls, rather than tent-walls. the front wall will have a double door. one that will usually be kept closed, and one for entering and exiting. both doors can be opened to get the CNC inside.
the roof/side-walls will be the tarp-like tent material, with a layer of greenhouse plastic over it, that will be inflated for insulation.
i will be installing my alarm system into the shed, for a little security, though i am unsure of how to detect if somebody simply cut through the plastic walls. not sure if a motion detector would be best, or if just a surveillance camera would be best. as i will be having a network connection out there anyway, i would think a camera would work best. maybe even two... with one facing the back, and another facing the front.
the CNC will be at the back wall, and spaced forward enough to get behind it for maintenance. the computer station for the CNC will have to be close to the machine.
i hope to be getting a mobile home oil furnace for the shed. this will go on the front wall, and exhaust through the wall.
the electrical entrance panel will also be located on the front wall, closest to the garage side, as i will be pulling power from the garage. i hope to have enough wire for the 6 or 8AWG wire i already have, but if it is too short, i will have to either buy more, or use a smaller gauge wire.
i think, rather than the greenhouse method, i may just install some 2X4 boards at 4' intervals, horizontally. then i will install 1" or 2" high-density foam panels, and 1/2" plywood over that. i may need to also have strapping 2' on center, vertically , just to support the plywood better.
the plywood is so i can mount stuff anywhere. i may use plastic under the tent material, as added protection from leaks, simply to channel water down and out, rather than inside where it will cause damage.

i will want to install the LED recessed lights i have, in the ceiling. so i will have to accommodate wiring somehow. but to keep it away from rodents, that i hope won't get in, i will mount channels to mount the lights in, and route wiring. all wiring will be surface mount. outlets will be at counter height, in case i install work benches, and will be mounted in surface-mount boxes.

if i can get 6AWG wire from the garage to the shed panel, i will be better off, but i may have to settle for 30A 240V service over 10/3 w/ground. i shouldn't need more than 40A service, but having it available for more, will make it more future-proof.
for loads, i will have the CNC machine, the laptop that controls it, the spindle/VFD (240V), lighting, various outlets, and the furnace i haven't got yet (not holding my breath at this point). oh... and the dust collection vacuum. all total, it is likely less than 30A with everything running, but the startup current of the various motors will be higher.

if by some miracle, i do get the furnace, i will have to have an oil tank. i don't know how much fuel it will use, but to start, i will use a 10 gallon tank, as i already have one, though it is a gasoline fuel-cell, so i will have to remove the foam from inside. but a 10 gallon tank, i can fill with just hand carry cans, and use off-road diesel, as it is cheaper currently than kerosene.
the tent is a 13' X 20', the platform will be KD lumber, with a vapor-barrier spread on the ground underneath. the end walls will be either 2x4, or 2x6, with diagonal bracing, and clamps to the metal frame.

power will come in via a buried conduit to the garage. maybe 2", or so, to make sure of enough room.
network will be via the wireless bridge i already have. and in addition to the WiFi router, i will have a PoE switch before the WiFi router WAN input, so i can connect a VoIP phone, and some security cameras. i will also be installing my Alarm System in the shed.
with the super greedy prices on material, i am trying to cut some costs, and still get this done. i would like to use 3/4" foil-faced foam on the walls and ceiling. also perhaps something for insulation in the two end walls. this is because if the summer heat, or winter cold is too much to work in, then i will need to be able to heat and cool the shed. i will install a single window for a window A/C, and i am not sure yet what i will do for heat. i doubt the line i had to get a trailer furnace is still open...

there are still some things i need to do before the shed is started. my fathers old van needs to move (or be gone), and i would prefer if the cherry tree was gone, but it may not be in the budget.

and to make matters worse, i may be out of work for an undetermined amount of time...

first, i will need to get the platform built. then i can move the tent frame onto it, some how. then i can get the CNC machine moved in and tarped for protection, and get the end walls built.
Attached is the CAD drawing of the floor plan.
2x8 – 16) 5
2x8 – 14) 16
2x6 – 10pt) 4
18” cement circles) 6
ship-lap boards) 300sqr-ft


  • shed_layout.pdf
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(the image from the above posted PDF)

the the drawing does not show it, but the two end joists will set past the width beams first 2 X 8, so that it can be fastened both from the side and end. in other words, i will cut the first-inner 2 X 8 of the beam, back 1.5", and run the outer joists past, thereby allowing the joist to be fastened both in the end-grain, and side.
there will also be a pressure-treated 2X6 sill, to help support the joists.

It is my hope to start buying material tomorrow. :D
i finally got all the cement pads set for the shed platform. now it will be just a matter of leveling up some posts to build on, and building the platform. then, i will have to buy a cheap tarp to protect the platform surface from water damage, while i set the tent frame on it, and build the end-walls. followed by cutting the tarp (hence, a cheap tarp) out from under the walls and tent frame.
the end-wall framing will be built just flush to the metal tent frame, so the siding can be run just over the ends of the siding.
the wiring will come in on the front-left (from outside, facing it), with the panel just inside, down low. there will be either a window there for a A/C to mount in, or i will just frame in an A/C directly into the wall.
back wall will have no windows, i don't think. i will rely on LED lighting. though i may want to open a window or two for cross-ventilation... we will see.
CNC will be positioned center of the back wall, with walking room behind it, for maintenance. and the control box will be wall mounted on the back wall, left of the machine, along with the power cabinet. the VFD will mount beside the control box.
while i would like to run wiring inside conduit, i don't think it will be very cost effective. maybe just suspend the wires along the walls with zip-ties, or something...
the side walls will be insulated with, perhaps 1" foil-faced foam, along with the ceiling. but i will also run strapping to help hold the foam, and to attach stuff to, like wires.
the furnace will go on the front-left, when facing from inside. and the entry door will be a double door, with latches so one can remain closed, while the other opens. but will also allow for a wide opening with both open, as i will have to get the CNC machine through the opening.
i managed to get the beam on one side built, and added the two outside joists. then i ran out of steam...
i hope i will be able to get more progress done tomorrow morning.

unfortunately, there is too much time spent setting up and putting away the tools, so there is less energy for the building progress.
while since update...
the joists are all screwed in place, both beams are built, and i still have to attach the beam to the ledger board. then, i need to square up the framing, before i attach the decking.
Far too long since an update...
the platform was done quite a while ago. just waiting for spring to move the tent-frame over the platform.

considering the idea of building a wall, dividing the shed, and using the first section for my electronics workshop, and the second section for my CNC. the problem with this idea, is dust. the furnace needs to circulate air to work... perhaps the cold-air return from the CNC side could simply have a furnace filter. though this will cause a negative pressure in the electronics side, and pull dust in through any crack. but if the furnace is in the CNC side, and has furnace filters on the intake, then the air could blow into the electronics side, and create a positive pressure, pushing the dust out of the electronics side.
the best way to provide A/C is simply to use an A/C in each side. but the heat can be shared.

for insulation, i will likely mount 1-2 inch foam board near the outside walls, and eventually have studs inside of the foam, with insulation between the studs. then either plywood, or 1/4inch paneling on the inside. though i think that will be the second build stage, as i have no money or material for that.
i have been trying to think of a way to improve security, where the side walls are tent fabric. about like locking the doors of a convertible, with the top down. eventually, i would like to replace the fabric with something, but i don't know what.
best i can think of is to have no windows to look inside through, so that it is less of a temptation, and to cover the front and back with security cameras, so i have a record of whom has been around my shed. the alarm system i have will protect some, if i do it correctly. i can cover the door, and fire alarms, but the side and back walls will be hard to protect with an alarm, should someone cut through. and for that matter, the fire alarm will detect dust from the machine, as well as smoke from soldering.
and before i add an A/C, it will be very hard to control the heat in the summer. it may perhaps be a good idea to have windows in back, with coverings for when they are closed. the alternative would be a vent fan, but those run fairly expensive, and are hard to heat.
it could be possible to go over the side walls with boards. i could attach 2x4s (or strapping) up the wall post, to attach the boards to. then do the same up the roof, followed by strapping run horizontally. then i can get some corrugated steel roof panels to cover the roof with.

at first i thought i would go over the tarp, but i think that would only serve to be in the way, maybe. i am unsure how i would otherwise run the 2x4s up the rafters, when i can't walk on the roof until the strapping is on.

another idea that may be good is to add some diagonal bracing on the side walls and the end walls. may not be needed, but if i do the roof before the walls, it is required.

i am beginning to think i will not have enough 6AWG/4 wire to run power out to the shed from the shop panel. i may have enough to run to a junction box on the back wall of the garage, but then i need to run another bit of wire from there to the shop, underground. i wonder if 50A camper power cord would be flexible enough and cheap enough to use. it may pull through the conduit easier, and i think it is 6AWG.
the more i think about the roof, it is nearly 4 feet between pipe "joists". much too far to use just strapping to secure a metal roof. at the least, i would have to fill in with joists between each pipe, and plywood the roof before the metal. otherwise, i just don't think it would take any snow-load. so this all negates being able to roof right over the tarp.
there is always the chance that snow would just slide off the metal roof, but i need to build it for supporting snow, and i just don't think it can do it. so i have to consider that the tent is temporary, and that a proper building will need to be built on the platform at some point. really makes me wonder how far i want to go with it...
as seen in the photo from post #14, the metal tent frame does not have a shape that is good for metal roofing. it is a bit curved... so scratch that idea, completely.
one way to put a roof on my shed... camper rubber roof material. i could screw 1/2" plywood down to the metal frame, and then adhere the rubber roof to the plywood.

I have the tent roof "tarp" installed, with 6mil poly sheeting under it to protect from leaks. though the two end flaps, don't go down far enough to keep rain from blowing in. my plan, if there is material enough available, is on the back and front, i will attach a 2-by on edge, and cover it in poly if i can find some. then i can use red-caps to attach the tarp flaps to the 2-by. the back will need around a 2x12, as it is a large gap. and i think i can use just a 2x6 for the front.
sub-panel between main garage panel, and shed panel.
will provide space for the future camper plug-in as well.

sub-panel inside shed.
something occurred to me, the wall with the 6-foot wide door, will not have much wall space for things like a power sub-panel, or A/C, or heat. if i make the door off-center, i will gain a bit more, but i don't yet know how much. the A/C could be mounted up high, as the ceiling would be around 11 feet. so that's 4 feet above the door, roughly.

it is my hope that for my tax return, that i get more money than i am expecting, so i can buy material. i need enough for the end walls, as well as the side walls, and insulation for all walls. oh, and the ceiling too.
for securing framing, it was suggested i could use some 2-hole conduit clamps. that may work great, if i can buy in bulk, affordably.
i was thinking 2x6 end walls, but i only really need 2x4 walls. and insulation could be just 1-2 inch foam, or so. the side walls only really need 2x4 flat-ways on the metal wall "studs", then foam board, then strapping run horizontally. then at some point, i would like to plywood the walls and ceiling, though that would be very expensive. it would need to be a minimum of 1/2" plywood. i had thought 1/4" would work, but it has no strength for mounting stuff.

i don't expect to be getting enough of a tax return to afford all this. but it would be great if i got enough for studding up the end walls, at least. maybe even something for the ceiling, as i need something to mount lighting on.
just thought... i can't use 2-hole conduit clamps on the side walls, as the roof/wall tarp is installed, and i can't get the screws in the clamps to attach them.