How to build a wooden hut

Written by jane smith
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How to build a wooden hut
You can make a simple shed with a two-pallet floor and a shallow-pitch, single-sheet roof. (shed image by Julia Chernikova from Fotolia.com)

Some campgrounds permit wooden huts as long as they are on a movable foundation. Huts must be able to withstand wind and weather for one full season, while being able to be torn down and packed away in less than a day. "This hut design was tested in 70mph winds," said Gene Rowand, who rebuilds his clan's 610 cm by 610 cm (20 foot by 20 foot) hut every season at Brushwood Folklore Center near Sherman, New York.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • 2 fully reversible, 2-way entry pallets, 120 cm by 120 cm (4 feet by 4 feet)
  • 9 straight metal truss braces, 50 mm by 200 mm (2 inches by 8 inches)
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • Power drill, 3 mm (1/8 inch) diameter bit, countersink bit
  • Box of 25 mm (1 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws
  • 8 sheets marine plywood, 6 mm by 120 cm by 240 cm (1/4 inch by 4 feet by 8 feet)
  • 50 mm by 100 mm (2 inch by 4 inch) stock lumber, 4 pieces, 240 cm (8 feet) long
  • 50 mm by 100 mm (2 inch by 4 inch) stock lumber, 17 pieces, 235 cm (92 inches) long
  • 50 mm by 100 mm (2 inch by 4 inch) stock lumber, 7 pieces, 105 cm (44 inches) long
  • 100 mm (4 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws
  • Carpenter's pencil
  • 75 mm (3 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4-inch) diameter brass wood screws
  • Rubber mallet
  • 150 mm (6 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws
  • 6 mm by 12 mm by 240 cm (1/4 inch by 2 inch by 8 foot) framing wood strip
  • 25 mm (1 inch) finishing nails
  • Hammer
  • Sabre saw
  • 3 standard door hinge kits
  • Bar-type door pull
  • 50 mm by 150 mm by 240 cm (2 inch by 6 inch by 8 foot) length of stock lumber
  • Table saw with mitre fence
  • 30 cm by 120 cm (1 foot by 4 foot) piece of 25 mm (1 inch) thick marine plywood
  • 50 mm (2 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Place two fully-reversible, two-way entry pallets side by side on a level surface, with their bearer boards creating the long sides of your hut's foundation. Bearer boards are the closed, narrow sides of a two-way entry pallet, shown in the diagram at Pallet Supply Company (see References).

  2. 2

    Face one of the long sides formed by butting the two pallets together. Position two 50 mm by 200 mm (2 inch by 8 inch) straight, metal truss braces, 50 mm (2 inches) apart, from bottom to top, across the gap between the two pallets. Mark the screw holes with a carpenter's pencil and lay the braces aside. Repeat for the other long side formed by the pair of pallets.

  3. 3

    Drill the screw holes, using a one-eighth-inch diameter bit in your power drill. Secure all four truss braces using 25 mm (1 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws.

  4. 4

    Lay a sheet of 6 mm (1/4 inch) thick, marine plywood on the platform created by the two pallets. Align the corners of the plywood with the corners of the pallets as best as you can. Beginning 25 mm (1 inch) from the corner closest to your left hand, as you face the pallet platform, drill one, 3 mm (1/8 inch) diameter pilot hole through the plywood into each end of each pallet slat.

  5. 5

    Countersink each hole and secure the plywood to the pallet slats, using 25 mm (1 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4inch) diameter brass wood screws. The slats are the spaced boards across the top and bottom of the pallet, as seen in the diagram at Pallet Supply Company (see References).

  1. 1

    Lay two lengths of 50 mm by 100 mm by 240 cm (2 inch by 4 inch by 8 foot) stock lumber on their 50 mm (2 inch) sides, 235 cm (92 inches) apart. Position two pieces of 235 cm (92 inch) stock lumber on their 50 mm (2 inch) sides, between the two long pieces, with all four corners flush, to form a rectangle.

  2. 2

    Drill a 3 mm (1/8 inch) diameter pilot hole one-half inch from the floor and 50 mm (2 inches) from the left end of the rectangle formed in the previous step. Drill a second hole 37 mm (1 1/2 inches) from the floor and 75 mm (3 inches) from the left-front end of the platform. Repeat for the right-front end of the rectangle.

  3. 3

    Countersink all holes. Secure the 240 cm (8 foot) long top and base plates to the 235 cm (92 inch) upright studs using 100 mm (4 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws, leaving each screw backed out 3 mm (1/8 inch) until after the next step.

  4. 4

    Mark the top and base plates with a carpenter's pencil, on the front side of the wall frame, 120 cm (4 feet) from the outer-left edge. Center the 50 mm (2 inch) edge of one of the 235 cm (92 inch) pieces of 50 mm by 100 mm (2 inch by 4 inch) stock lumber on those marks, between the top and base plates. Secure this support stud through the top plate, into the 235 cm (92 inch) piece, using 100 mm (4 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws.

  5. 5

    Toenail the screws through the upright at a 45-degree angle, into the base plate, to secure the lower end of the stud. Finish tightening all remaining screws.

  6. 6

    Build a second rectangle using the same directions as the first. These will be the front and back wall frames of your hut.

  7. 7

    Stand one wall frame on the pallet platform created earlier. Align the platform corners with the wall-frame corners until all are flush.

  8. 8

    Drill 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter pilot holes every 100 mm (4 inches) along the base plate of the wall frame and countersink all holes. Secure the base plate to the deck using 75 mm (3 inch) brass wood screws. Repeat the previous step to secure the back wall.

  9. 9

    Using the same procedures from Steps 1 through 4 in this section, build two wall frames 110 cm (44 inches) wide by 235 cm (92 inches) tall, using the 110 cm (44 inch) pieces as the top and base plates. These are your left and right wall frames.

  10. 10

    Gently tap the smaller wall frames between the larger ones using a rubber mallet, until the edges of the smaller frames are flush with and perpendicular to the edges of the larger frames, as seen in the Wall Member diagram, third on the page, at Timber Educational Resources. (see References)

  11. 11

    Drill and countersink 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter pilot holes through the uprights at each end of the side wall frames and into the uprights at each end of the front and back wall frames. Secure the right and left side wall frames to the front and back wall frames using 150 mm (6 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws.

  12. 12

    Secure marine plywood sheets to the front and back walls, flush with the right and left ends of the front and back walls, using 50 mm (2 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws. The plywood sheets should butt together along the centre line of the centre front and center back support studs.

  13. 13

    Cut an 240 cm (8 foot) length of 12 mm by 50 mm (1/2 inch by 2 inch) framing lumber to cover the seam between the plywood sheets on the front and back walls, if desired. Secure it using 25 mm (1 inch) long finishing nails every 150 mm (6 inches).

  14. 14

    Secure marine plywood to the outer-right wall of the hut using 25 mm (1 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter brass wood screws.

  15. 15

    Create a 90 cm (36 inch) wide door frame on the outer-left side of the hut using two 235 cm (92 inch) lengths of 50 mm by 100 mm (2 inch by 4 inch) stock lumber between the top and base plates of the left-side wall frame. Cut a 90 cm by 180 cm (36 inch by 72 inch) doorway in the remaining sheet of plywood, using a circular saw.

  16. 16

    Attach the door to the plywood using three standard door hinge kits, following the manufacturer's instructions. Attach a bar-type door pull using the manufacturer's hardware and directions.

  17. 17

    Mitre a 50 mm by 150 mm by 240 cm (2 inch by 6 inch by 8 foot) length of stock lumber to a 15-degree angle along its 50 mm (2 inch) edge and lay it along the front top plate to create a slight pitch. Secure it to the top plate using 75 mm (3 inch) long, 6 mm (1/4 inch) diameter wood screws every 150 mm (6 inches).

  18. 18

    Make two triangles from a 30 cm by 240 cm (1 foot by 4 foot) piece of 25 mm (1 inch) thick marine plywood by cutting it along the diagonal. Secure these to each side of the sloped roof using 50 mm (2 inch) brass wood screws. Attach the remaining sheet of plywood to the roof of the hut.

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