Fort Studio

I was gonna build the studio walls of 2x4s but local millers don’t do 2×4.  They are of the 2×6 school of construction and, for the most part I agree with that.  But, you know, a 16′ wall for a shed to house tools in a temperate climate could easily be done from 2x4s.  Plus it is so much lighter and easier to work with.  Especially on a small space like a suspended deck.  They make those Home Depot 2×4’s out of recycled Styrofoam and woodchips, I think.  They are so light.  Feels like you can spin a HD stud like a baton.

I kinda wanted 2 x 4’s.

But I didn’t fuss.  Some of the local guys are pretty skint and need to sell lumber and, to be fair, their stuff is so much better than standard product at building yards.  Your basic dimensional lumber at any yard is junk compared to the worst of the local product which would be your spruce or Hemlock.  Even the Hemlock is far superior to anything mass marketed.  A locally made fir 2×6 is often so strong and dense you can’t screw a deck screw through it using an 18Volt Milwaukee drill. And forget trying to nail through it with cheap Chinese-made nails.  They’ll fold up on ya.

More than once I have resorted to pre-drilling a nail hole.

But, like I said, foam-boards were not bought and local lumber was.  So, to lighten things I was gonna go to 2 foot centres on the walls.  I’ve built everything so far to 16″ centres but, like I said, this is a workshop.  For tools.  Two foot centres with local fir studs is still stronger by far than store-bought foamboards on 16″ centres.

But….. the best laid plans of doofuses, eh?    

Truth be told, I don’t work from plans.  Should.  But don’t.  I kinda like to wing it, ya know?  That is one of the reasons Sal wants to call it a studio.  Somehow ‘wingin’ it’ fits with the artistic temperament of an artist and a studio rather than the precision of a skilled builder and his workshop.  She has a point.

But, really, what kind of doofus needs a plan to build a 16 foot wall?

Well, now….that’d be me….. 

You see, I bought 3 x 5 windows.  And 3 x 5 windows in the middle of a 16 foot wall naturally align with 16″ centres for the studs and, should you try to lighten up with 24″ centres, you end up adding ‘cripples’ and spacers and extra blocking to make it work.  Ironically, using 24″centres requires almost as much wood and a helluva lot more cutting.  Better to go with conventional 16″ centres.  So, I built the little shed wall and it is like an US-engineered wall for holding the Mexicans at bay!  It weighs a ton!

The Wall

The Wall

‘Course then you clad it.  Almost four sheets of 1/2″ ply.  And then paper and siding and interior finishing later on and I doubt that an AK47 could get through that wall in most places.

And I have three more to build.

The point is that this shed will endure.  If not from good engineering or skill, then from pure bloody mass!  I am building the linebacker of sheds.

Perhaps a little planning might come in handy sometime.  Someday.  I dunno………….feels so restricting, ya know?  I am an artiste, after all.  Still, making a bunker instead of a shed is the result in this case.  So, I am gonna have to re-think this artistic approach some.  I guess.  But I am into it now.  Fort Studio is underway.


5 thoughts on “Fort Studio

    • Wingin’ it is a style. Kinda. If you plan, especially on graph paper, things tend to be square and aligned and oriented and like, formal. But, when you wing it, things are more organic, free flowing, quirky, a bit bent even. Shelly Duvall played Olive Oyle and Robin Williams played Popeye in a movie that had a ‘set’ of a small town that literally spilled around a small cove. Like an exagerated Bamfield. That crazy quilt of building has always appealed to me and, to some extent, it is showing up here. And I love it.


  1. Try doing that here without architectural drawings, survey site plan drawings, engineered plans, electrical plans, life and safety, fire dept inspection, building inspectors, etc, etc. Where’s your harness, hard hat and reflective vest? Enjoy your freedom.


    • You are aboslutely right! I am building without bureaucrats! It could be called the incredible lightness of building! If you do look at that wall and compare it to say, the leaky condo construction epidemic of the 80’s and nineties’ then maybe eliminating the experts and inspectors and engineers is the safer way to go? My wall won’t fall down, that’s for sure. And – before you ask – no, I will not be wrapping the whole enchilada in plastic to form a vapour barrier. Don’t believe in it. A wall and a man has to breathe.


      • I would skip the whole plastic thing and use natural materials wherever possible if I had a choice. I hear cedar shakes are getting pretty dear these days.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.