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How to Build a Garden Shed

Master carpenter Hartman Kable shows how to design a stylish shed for all your backyard storage needs.

Garden sheds come in all shapes and sizes, but they aren't necessarily what you'd call the highlight of your landscape.
Master carpenter Hartman Kable has some ideas for a stylish shed to store your tools.

Hartman starts by making a wooden shell for the basic structure of the shed. First, he measures and cuts 2-by-2-inch boards for the frame. He binds the pieces with decking screws after pre-drilling screw holes. Pre-drilling is a smart way to maintain the strength of the wood in building projects.

After Hartman forms a box for the frame, he's ready to attach plywood to the backside and bottom. He uses paper-faced plywood for the back and floor of the shed. It's a heavy-duty material that holds up well against the elements, and it takes paint well.

To achieve the sleek, space-aged look that Hartman's going for, he uses a polycarbonate material for the sides, roof and door of the shed. Before using his circular saw to cut the polycarbonate to size, Hartman scores the material to make his final cuts easier and clean. "This plastic acts like shrapnel," he says, so he makes sure to wear protective goggles.

The shed design calls for a cool aluminum trim. When it's time to cut this material to size, Hartman goes for a blade with bite. He replaces his regular wooden blade with a nonferrous metal cutting blade.

Now it's time for the doors. Hartman fashions a runner from more aluminum trim. "I epoxied these four pieces together, so it's four pieces of angled aluminum," forming a T-channel.

The door itself is simply more of the polycarbonate material cut to size. Before he installs it, however, he uses a Forstner bit to create a hole that will act as a handle for opening and closing the shed.

The roof (also polycarbonate material) is screwed directly onto the frame of the shed. He uses a screw with a neoprene waterproof washer that will help keep water out of the shed.

Hartman finishes off the shed with a few shelves on one side and divider pegs for long-necked tools on the other.

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