starplate construction anyone?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by SherryR, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. SherryR

    SherryR Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone used that starplate construction that Strombergs advertises.....if so what did you use it for, how hard was it, (I'm not a builder of things . . . . my 12 yr old and I ar thinking of bumbling through something like this) and how did you do windows, or ventilation, etc.

    This looks like something I could do, but hubby says it's 'trash'. (he's not jumping up and doing any building or suggesting any alternatives for me)

    I'd use it for chicken house or greenhouse, or even spring lamb enclosure . . . . have you used it/built it? What's your input, both positive and negative.
    thank you,
    Sherry
     
  2. Hip_Shot_Hanna

    Hip_Shot_Hanna Well-Known Member

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    Hi Sherry,

    Over 20 years ago, we used a starplate construction for a well house. I wouldn't do it again, it was awkward, we never had a proper fitting door for it, and roofing it was pretty steep. The folks that purchased our home promptly tore it down and put in a regular rectangular type building for the well house.

    However, I still think it would make an acceptable gazebo or something like that.
     

  3. Dubai Vol

    Dubai Vol Well-Known Member

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    Haven't built one YET, but it's in my plans. Maybe even in October when I'm home for two weeks on a visit. Geodesic structures are very strong for their weight, and at $65 for 11 plates, it's not like they are charging the earth.
     
  4. Shadow

    Shadow Well-Known Member

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    Doing regular framing is simple and there are several books on it at Lowes, Home Depot, book stores , even your library. Heck if I can do it anyone with the IQ of a clump of turnips can.
     
  5. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

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    OFF TOPIC TANGENT:
    Turnips can be very cunning. In fact, Baldrich from Black Adder knew that the most incredibly cunning turnips are in Great Britain.

    BACK ON TOPIC:

    I've been interested in star construction as well. Hip Shot Hannah, what did you find awkward about it? Did you use more than one kit? If you were to do it over again, what would you do differently?

    Thanks,
    Pony!
     
  6. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    IF you want to build something quick that won't last very long they are OK. They will loosen up over time. At the price they want you can buy a lot of lumber. Like was said before almost any body can stickframe. (I know I've had almost anybody work for me :) )

    Just search out stick framing on the net
    If you go about it logically its pretty easy

    I can answer questions
     
  7. Bruce in NE

    Bruce in NE Well-Known Member

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    I built one once. It was hard to figuring what to fill all those odd shaped holes with so I finally just put plastic on it. Difficult putting a door on also. Finally a wind storm blew it away. Thanks, wind. Go for traditional bldg.
     
  8. SherryR

    SherryR Well-Known Member

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    thank you all!

    I guess hubby is right; it happens frequently, but it is very irritating when he wont (or cant) do what he said he'd do. I feel really helpless & mad because I'm an idiot (above a turnip, though) with hammer & nails. Have lots of great ideas, but getting them to fruition is hard when you cant even make them.

    Well I appreciate everyone's input--thought it was something I could do, but it looks like a bad idea.
    I will dig up hub's book on shed and additions, he has one somewhere around here, and even if I finish late in fall, at least I'll be ready for chickens THEN.
    Sherry
     
  9. TNHermit

    TNHermit Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First of all lets not quit. Now if your a homesteader you can drive a nail. And if you don't want to do that you can get a nail gun. They are not the horrible things that they are portraid to be. ANd probobably once you start he'll jump in so " IT gets DOne Right" LOL Just ask that bunch of ladies on SIngletree.

    IF you want to put together a wall you can dill a small hole in the board to guide the nail and make it easier. there are lots of ways around it. givin up aint one

    If you want to do it. I can help you. Let me know
     
  10. GrannyG

    GrannyG Well-Known Member

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    Many years ago I bought the starplates and had a greenhouse made with them. When I got tired of it, it was downsized and make into a large dove cage. Now those plates are somewhere in the garage, when I moved, I had it disassembled and kept the star plates. I can remember it went up very fast.
     
  11. frazzlehead

    frazzlehead AppleJackCreek Supporter

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    My 'construction cheat' is to use the cement blocks that are for holding deck supports as the base of a small building (shed/bus shelter/etc). They are the ones shaped like pyramids with the slots in the top to set your lumber in. You set those on the ground (and get them level by digging down the one that's too high until it sits right), put your board in the slots (to check for level) and make yourself a square base. Attaching the upright supports to those is fairly easy, and then you just keep going from there.

    For a well house (which doesn't need a floor, I am thinking..?) this might be an easy way to support the structure.
     
  12. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    I have used the star plates many times. They make a very strong building. The one problem is the angles, nothing is square. There are several different ways to construct the sides. They will not loosen up if you use the lock washers as per the directions. The frame work goes up very fast and can be adjusted to many different sizes. The instructions will explain the different length of boards for different size buildings.
     
  13. sashay

    sashay Well-Known Member

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    Hi, sherry:
    I agree with the others...I have used the star connectors for out buildings thinking it would be easier for an inexperienced girl carpenter. It went up really quickly, but I was not all that pleased with the resulting building. As a temporary thing...it''s fine. My next attempt at inexperienced carpentry was this framing kit.

    http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/...xsell=183442&storeId=6970&productId=572&R=572

    I was really pleased with the building I built all by my girl self...using these cheaters. After building one building with these connectors...I think I can probably build anything I want on my own....and so can you!

    good luck
     
  14. wheeezil

    wheeezil Well-Known Member

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    I think the starplates combined with ferrocement would be a good combo eliminate all the cutting
     
  15. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    I used starplates to build an aviary. Went up real easy, just me and a friend to raise the roof. Covered the roof with greenhouse sheeting, lasted for 8 years. The sides were done with aviary wire. I built a door for it, fit just fine and closed automatically because of the angle of the wall. I raised a few varieties of quail in there, plus finches and ringneck doves. At Christmas time it looked real nice outlined with lights. I left it when we moved and haven't worked up the desire for another aviary, yet. I'd recommend starplates to anyone.
     
  16. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    Used them to build winter quarters for the chickens.

    I don't agree about loosening up. Mine is about 10 years old. The original untreated lumber floor (pallets with plywood on top) just rotted out so I replaced the floor and dragged it about 1000 feet with the tractor. That's pretty rough treatment and it held up fine

    I do agree about the awkwardness of the door. The bottom of the door has to have a pretty high threshold so if you want to bring something in the door with you you may have to lift it up a bit.

    I covered mine with rolled roofing and it's holding up fine.

    There are some odd angle cuts to make but they provide templates and the bolted construction goes pretty fast and easy.

    The other advantage for an amateur is that the thing is supposed to look odd so if you mess up a bit it may not be as obvious to the bystander who would expect square corners and plumb sides on a rectangular building.
     
  17. jill.costello

    jill.costello Well-Known Member

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    Wow, Sashay, That kit looks like all you'd need to frame is lumber, a tape measure, and a circular saw! Thanks for the link- now I KNOW I'll get my future chicken house, even if I have to do it with just my "girl self"...
     
  18. Lerxt

    Lerxt Well-Known Member

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    TNHermit had it right with the nail gun idea. We built a coop out of old pallets from DW's employer and it's pretty darned sturdy. I used it as an excuse to get a framing nailer because I didn't want to hammer in the tight spaces between the pallet boards. ;) Talk about fast construction... And handy for other projects too.

    Stick framing isn't too bad - especially if you aren't too worried about making a peaked roof. A single slope roof is not unheard of for a coop and amounts to a 5th wall that is slightly larger than the floor and propped up on one side. And the best part is if you use standard dimensional lumber (e.g. 2X6) to prop it up you can fill the gap on both sides with another 2X6 diagonally ripped. Though with standard stick framing (instead of the pallets we used) you would probably just extend your siding to cover that gap.

    I'm going to shut up now before I confuse myself and everyone else. It's getting close to time for me to think about building a new coop since we'll be moving soon.
     
  19. cc-rider

    cc-rider Baroness of TisaWee Farm Supporter

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    From one "girl" to another.... if I can stick frame, any one can! I just finished up my chicken coop - the Taj Ma Coop - and it really wasn't hard at all. (And I'm no spring chicken!!!) :)

    It is 8X12, built on skids. It has a standard screen door (glass and screens), and two big windows.

    I just built the deck, and then built each wall on the deck and set them up. I DID have help getting the rafters and purlins up, also the sheet metal roofing, but that was my only help.

    I also found that I can't manage a 4X8 sheet of ANYTHING by myself, so it is sided with planks. Looks very rustic. One thing I found is that wood shrinks. I'll have to chink it in the fall, but I'm fine with that. I'll add insulation to the interior at that time, too.

    Anyway.... just GO for it. You've got a helper (I would have killed for someone to even just hold the end of the wood for me while I sawed!) And your hubby will come out to help when he sees you working so diligently...if nothing else, just so he can tell others that he built it, too.

    One tip I found.... if you can beg, borrow, steal (ok...not steal) a chop saw...that was the biggest time saver! I bought a table saw for ripping wood to size (trim mostly), but the chop saw was MUCH faster.

    Good luck! Let us know what happens!

    [​IMG]

    (The door and another window are on the back side of the building. The "electric poultry fence" will attach back there, too.) At this point, the roosts are under the windows and the chicks love just looking out.

    Chris
     
  20. limey

    limey Well-Known Member

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    :shrug: I'm a novice too at building, but am hoping to build a smallish shed to house my lawn tractor. "Skids" sounds like something that could be moved?