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SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!
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I have been looking at the star plates that strombergs sells for building sheds, greenhouses, chicken coops and the like. Has anyone used them? Are they worth it? Looks like one person can build a shed with these is that right?

I would like to build a greenhouse and a goat shed. The sets are $55 and take 25 two by fours and I imagine 50 bolts and then whatever covering - sounds like a quick way to build a structure but I am not sure.
 

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I was just looking at those and wandering the same thing. Any one out there used these???
 

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My folks have a box of them my mom spent a quarter on at a garage sale. I've been hinting that I had several projects they'd come in handy for but she hasn't taken the hint yet. I have read the directions and they do seem pretty simple to use. I think the longest length they recommend using for the 2x4s is around 8 feet to maintain stability. The thing is that the sides slant in at the bottom but there are instructions for building a doorway that is straight up and down. The other thing is that covering with plastic or tarps would be quick and easy but if you wanted a solid roof or siding it would mean a lot of cutting sheets of plylwood or siding or whatever.

DebF
 

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I used them and liked the result. I built a small chicken coop with them. I think most people would size it to fit a given strut length (like an common 8 foot 2x4) Instead, I sized it to maximize the use of a sheet of plywood. I'm not much of a carpenter so I liked the idea of the end connections being being bolts but there's still a fair amount of complex angle cutting. A template is supplied to make the strut cuts easy but you still have to do some figuring on the panels. things would be simpler of course if you're covering with plastic foe a greenhouse
 

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Hi All, I've built two greenhouses with them using 8 foot 2x2"s pressure treated-it takes two people to set it up. If you put the star plates on the inside you don't have to cut any angles-just make a jig to drill all your holes. You do lose some space at the bottom because it angles back in. I wouldn't use them for a solid building because of all the angle cuts and problems with leaks. They do stand out at night with the lights on inside! I have one more set of them to play with this spring, I may try to make a gazebow. Daryll in NW FLA
 

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Oh wow Deb that sounds like the yardsale find of the year for sure! I'd love to find some like that! I did just start going to an estate auction here once a month and they definaltey get all kinds of stuff... I'll have to keep my eyes open. There is a good chance we will use these for our coop and probably a lot of other things also.
 

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Another site from a company that makes them says that struts of over 9ft (3m) are not recommended.... That said I think I'm going to use 10 ft LOL.... 8 is a little to small and why buy 10ft and cut a foot off of all of them. :rolleyes:
 
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I have built 2 starplate buildings, one with 9 foot struts and one with 8 foot struts. Both are covered in plywood and covered inside and out (even the roof) with a concrete stucco. And both were made with regular steel doors for a house. It was kind of tricky to frame the door in. The one with the 8 foot struts seemed to work out much better, as there was no cutting the 2x4 struts, and the plywood fit better. I built both myself.

By the way there are no leaks.
 

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SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!
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Discussion Starter #9
How thick was the plywood you used?

Unregistered said:
I have built 2 starplate buildings, one with 9 foot struts and one with 8 foot struts. Both are covered in plywood and covered inside and out (even the roof) with a concrete stucco. And both were made with regular steel doors for a house. It was kind of tricky to frame the door in. The one with the 8 foot struts seemed to work out much better, as there was no cutting the 2x4 struts, and the plywood fit better. I built both myself.

By the way there are no leaks.
 
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I used 7/16ths OSB covered with tar paper. I also put supports throught the "triangle" parts of the dome for supporting the OSB and concrete stucco. When dried, the stucco covered dome survived a 12" dia tree falling on it without a scratch! It has been up for 4 years now.
 

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Baroness of TisaWee Farm
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Unregistered said:
I have built 2 starplate buildings, one with 9 foot struts and one with 8 foot struts.
When you used 8' struts, how big was your finished building? Could you build the dome part on a 4' high kick-wall or something in order to not have it kick back in at the bottom (and to get more height or something?)
 

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SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!
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Discussion Starter #12
There is a planner on the site - with 8 foot struts it would be 7 feet high at the walls and 11.5 feet at the peak.
That would give more height, but still with the walls either bowed out or in, it would still leave empty space. Might make the door placement better though.

They have quite a bit of info and diagrams on the site. www.strombergschickens.com

cc-rider said:
When you used 8' struts, how big was your finished building? Could you build the dome part on a 4' high kick-wall or something in order to not have it kick back in at the bottom (and to get more height or something?)
 

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They have quite a bit of info and diagrams on the site. www.strombergschickens.com

Thank you so much for pointing that out! You don't have to build in that shape. It shows you how to make square walls! yay!!!! :D
 

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While that looks like a fun project it does not look easier then conventional stick building. Nothing much easier then nailing 2x4 together to make a rectangle. Plywood fits better, easier to place doors and windows etc. The dome shape would make a nice sauna room or little house for the kids to play in. For a green house I would go the cattle panel hoop house. Easier to build and cover. Whatever you build have fun and let us know how it works out.
 
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The size for the dome using the 8 foot struts is correct about a 12 dia. dome.
My dome using the 9 foot struts is about a 15 foot dia.
The dome using the 8 foot struts was easy to frame in the door.
I made my door frame with 2 layers of 2x4's, and took an area that has one of the triangles of the dome, pointing down, and my door frame in place. Then you need to unbolt the starplate thas is now coming through the doorframe. I placed a brace in the doorway to keep the door square, then start taking the unbolted struts one at a time, pulling them to the squared door frame to mark the very strange angle your 2x4' needs cut in. I cut and nail the 2x4's one at a time that way. The whole frame took only a few hours to do myself without any power tools in a remote location.
 

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The guidebooklet that came with my starplates includes instructions for making the "dome" roof and vertical walls. Easy to do, simple construction, cheap, better to use lumber than plywood for covering the dome...it all simply flows from the material. Plywood is better used in more efficent applications.

A neighbor has one built as a pumphouse and it has functioned fine for years. I built a gazebo for my sister using vertical posts and the pentagon roof. Quick and easy!

Build and enjoy.

bearkiller
 
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