Starplates

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by DayBird, Oct 31, 2005.

  1. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Has anyone here ever used the starplate building brackets to build a mini-dome? Stromberg's makes it seem so easy. I'm wondering what the dimensions of the building would be if I used 8' standard lumber? I'm wanting something to use as a nice henhouse. My wife loves the look of the starplate mini-dome.

    Any pros or cons?
     
  2. bearkiller

    bearkiller Well-Known Member

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    I've used the starplates. But I am contractor and prefer five vertical corner posts. I only used one starplate at the peak of the roof and used standard hurricane clips at the wall plates. Makes for a quick and easy system. Only real trick is the angle cuts, and they are not hard. Think about it...360 degrees in a circle and five angles. That means each piece is angled 36 degrees.

    The starplate information supplied with the plates tells you the size buildings with each strut length. Mine are long ago eaten by mildew, but if memory serves, they recommend a maximun of 10 foot strut which yields a pentagon about 14 feet diameter. Which is the size I built my sisters deck and gazebo. She loves it! A nice size.

    Eight foot struts will result in somewhere near 11 or 12 foot diameter structure.

    Consider an alternative. Look at:
    http://www.buildeazy.com/fp_gazeboimp_0.html

    Remember this can be built any size simply by layout changes. It does NOT have to be 8 feet diameter. Go through the plans sequence to see just how simple it is to build such a gazebo...which can also work well as a chicken house or whatever other use you may have for it. Remember too, that these structures do NOT do as well if made of plywood. Lumber results in much greater efficiency of material use.

    bearkiller
     

  3. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    I built an aviary with starplates about 10 years ago. I used 8 foot struts which gave a building of almost 12 ft diameter and 12 ft high. Excellant for my quail, doves and finches. It was completely enclosed in aviary wire and the roof was covered with greenhouse grade plastic sheeting. The only mistake I made was to not put eaves on it. If I were to build one now for chickens or other birds I would put it in the middle of a pasture and build a run around it that was divided into sections to match the building and have access doors in each wall.
    The thing I really liked about the starplate system was it kept lumber waste to an absolute minimum.
     
  4. starwalker

    starwalker Well-Known Member

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    I haven't ever built it but I've had them in a box 20 + years....lol
     
  5. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    360 degrees divided by 5 equals 72 degree per unit, not the mentioned 32, that would be half of the angle.
     
  6. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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    The buildeasy.com website is fantastic!! Thank you! :)
     
  7. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    Yes the two pieces add up to an angle of 72 degrees. But each "piece" is cut at 36 degrees.
     
  8. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Yes, see, that's why I need Starplates. You two have already confused me. For me, it needs to be perfectly square with 90 degrees.

    Are you talking about cutting the angles on the pieces that run horizontally at the top and the bottom?

    360 is a complete circle. Divide that by five and each angle is supposed to be 72. There are two pieces of wood making up that angle at each junction so the cut on each piece should be 32 degrees. Is that what you're saying?
     
  9. moopups

    moopups In Remembrance

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    That sounds correct, I was not aware there were two pieces, am not familiar with that system. Two pieces cut at 32 degrees would throw a 72 degree angle. Go get a quality 'speed square', an instruction booklet comes with the name brands with lots of useful info.
     
  10. Ed K

    Ed K Well-Known Member

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    I built a chicken coop out of starplates.

    A plus is that you can make the frame parts in advance and assemble them pretty easily by bolting later.

    A minus is that you can either use standard dimensions of plywood efficiently or the struts efficiently but not both. I chose to build my building to maximize the efficient use of plywood. Sounds like you're chosing to use the struts efficiently by sticking with a standard length.

    For a chicken coup wih 8' struts I think you'll end up with a lot more space in the roof than is necessary.

    They're definitely unique and fun to build
     
  11. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    yep, but 36 not 32 (typing error?)
     
  12. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    I have built several buildings using the star plates. If you use all the star plates the angles will add to the construction time. It will also make it a lot harder to enclose. It will make a very strong building.
    For bird pens I found it is easier to not use the bottom star plates, instead put the studs vertical. It will increase the height and make it a lot easier to enclose. Doors are a lot easier to add when the walls are square.
    The instructions included with the star plates will have all the templates for the angles. It will also have the instructions for the vertical studs.
    There will be quite a lot of roof area. For chickens this isn't really necessary but for other types of birds it can be used for a roosting area, nesting area.
     
  13. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    If I don't use the bottom stars, do I still have to use the stars for the top? I'm wondering if I use vertically plumb uprights with the 36degree cuts on the bottom lumber, and if I do the same on the top, could I get away with just using one star bracket for the very top peak? If so, the price for the brackets would decrease significantly if I could get six buildings from one kit.

    I could think of lots of ways to use six buildings. One for the cockatiels and finches. One each for the Orloffs and Cochins. I could have a nice aviary for pheasants. What could I use two more for?
     
  14. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    Not using the bottom plates will make it weaker but more easy to work with and still strong enough. If you don't use the plate at the top it would make the building so weak it would not be worth the price to build it. The star plates are what gives it the strength. It is possible to build it without any starplates at all but then it would be better to build another style building. The price of lumber is a lot more than the price of the star plates. Other types of building would be a better choice if the cost of the starplates is too high.
     
  15. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    The price of the plates is not too high, I was just wondering if it were possible to save money. Could longer lengths of lumber be used, with additional bracing, to build a much larger structure. The height would be ideal for an aviary for some of my exotic birds.
     
  16. heather

    heather Well-Known Member

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    We're right there with ya! :D
    Maybe this will give me some inspiration!
     
  17. starwalker

    starwalker Well-Known Member

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    LOL....I went as far as to buy all the bolts, washers, lumber....Everything on the parts list. I still have the plates and instructions. Lordy knows where the rest of the stuff went!

    I've been trying to figure out what would work as inspiration to get Rick and the boys to build it....Oh well, about 23 years....They still look good in the box. :clap: Nice, pretty and shiney.

    I think I'd really like to see built with my chickens doo-doo on them tho. :rolleyes:
     
  18. Unregistered

    Unregistered Well-Known Member

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    According to the pamplet the longest 2x4 can be is 9ft. This will give you a building 14ft wide and 13ft tall. It will take 25 2x4 to make the frame , 50 carriage bolts, nuts, and washers. They also suggest for the larger buildings to be placed on a concrete pad or footings. For the larger buildings there will have to be extra bracing in both the roof and sides, this will double the number of 2x4's you will need. These braces have to be cut on different angles to fit.

    If the verticle studs are used the outsides will be square but if built according to the pamplet all the side walls will either be sloping in or out. An overhang is advised. Without one the rain will leak inside the building.

    They are a very strong building, total roof load of 10,000 lbs. One thing to think about since there isn't any completely vertical of horizontal braces any fixtures mounted inside will have to be built according to the angles.
    Unless you especially want that style it isn't very easy to work with.

    If you happen to be near Ms. I can sell you six already built. Just have to haul them yourself. Treated lumber, shingled roof, 1/4 inch wire enclosed.
     
  19. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    I'm just over in Alabama. I wish I could come get them.
     
  20. starwalker

    starwalker Well-Known Member

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    What price are you asking? If it's acceptable to Rick....(The Boss Man) He has an 18 wheeler he can use. I wonder if they will fit in a dry van?