Bob's Hut

I was contacted last year by Bob who is building a Shepherds Hut from scratch.  Top man!  He had been searching for a while for a set of wheels but those he did find normally had axle holes that would be too small for a large hut.  So to get the whole thing rolling, I made the steel bar stub axles and had the wheels cast for him, and supplied him with all the other metal work to get things started.

The wheels are cast iron ...the front set are 51cm diameter and the rear are 68 cm diameter.  The axles are 2" diameter and the front axle pivot pin is 1.5".

The wheel rim widths are 75 mm on the small wheels and 80 mm on the large.

The hub length is 169 mm on the large wheels and 122 mm on the small.

Bob is kindly forwarding me photo's of his progress to date and we look forward to sharing his Shepherds Hut build here on the Thurgarton website!  The story so far ...

June 2010  Upper front axle with turntable and skids ... 

Front axle timbers with turntable and spindle fitted ...

July 2010  Front axle with stubs and wheels in place ...

Rear axle ...

Rear axle with top beam ...

August 2010  Every Shepherds Hut build or restoration needs a fine canine with a sharp eye on site.  Here's Bonzo the "Chassis Inspector"! ...

Bonzo Bio ...Bonzo is a 14 year old red Welsh Collie.  He was born on a farm in Merthyr Cynog, where he trained as a sheepdog.  By 1999, he decided that shepherding was not his chosen vocation, so he moved to Norfolk where he has spent most of his time herding a flock of chickens.

Bonzo has also been acting as a consultant on Bob's Hut project and has been keeping a particular eye on the chassis construction, spending many hours asleep beneath it ....all in the line of duty!

Where were we?  Oh yes .......

Chassis almost complete.  Chassis side ...

Chassis top ...

Side frames ...

September 2010  Side frame showing the view from the side.  At this stage the whole frame has been screwed together and all temporary supports have been removed ...

The end frame which shows the view from the steering end can be seen below.  We have placed the doorframe at this end as it faces south and will give us the best light inside the hut.  As the hut will mostly be moving in a small arc to the south and west of its current position, we need the steering gear to be at this end too.  This means that we will need to build a set of steps that will fit in front of the H-frame, and the A-frame will be stored under the hut when it is not being towed.  It will be hung on hooks below the chassis.  (I have seen this arrangement on another hut).

The upright rails of the front and rear frames have been cut over-long so that they may be brought down to their exact size when we get the curved roofing sheets.  This view also shows how the side frames are angled slightly outwards.  The extensions at the top of the side frames show how the roof will overhang the door.

Meanwhile, Bonzo the Construction Inspector looks on in anticipation ...

Bonzo is happy enough so far with the frame construction, but would dearly like to see some floorboards in place fairly soon.  The temporary work platform is just too narrow to have a good sleep on and the ground is getting a bit damp as autumn progresses!

20th September 2010 Unfortunately we have had very sad news from Bob to say that dear Bonzo passed away yesterday.  Thankfully it was a peaceful and swift end and he had a very good life.  We know that his spirit will live on and our thoughts are with Bob and Fraser.

23rd September 2010:  Both sides of the hut boarded in, using pressure treated tongue-and-groove shiplap.  The curved corrugated roof sheets have been delivered (made to size by Clark's of Walsham).  One sheet has been placed on top here, so we can position the rafters and cut the upright rails to size to fit the curve ...

3rd October, 2010:   The hut from the front (steering end) ...

We have followed Richard's suggestion and have capped axle beam ends that are exposed to water run-off from the sides of the hut.

This is a picture of the upper axle beam-end at the front of the hut.  It is capped with lead flashing. The little gutter with flared ends has been added to shoot rainwater away from the wheel hub and metal axle stubs. This feature is based on a detail observed on a lead-roofed gazebo where the gutter-rolls were added to shed water away from the supporting pillars.  It works well on the gazebo, I hope it will work equally well on the axle! 

18th November, 2010:  ...and meet Max, the Hut Apprentice!  Max is the new member of the build team.  He is Bonzo's nephew and comes from a long line of working sheepdogs.  His brothers and sisters have gone on to continue the shepherding tradition but Max was apprenticed as a Hut Mutt at the age of 8 weeks.  Bonzo would be proud!

...and the roof is on!  The seven galvanised sheets were made to order ...

December 2010  Steps can be tricky when you're very small ...

The Hut with the front boarded in ...

The Hut boarded in ...rear view.  Note the little hatch at the bottom left hand corner.  This will have a door on it to allow access to storage space from the outside ...

 
July 2011  Door and window shutters in place ...
 
 
The stable door ...
 
 
Right hand side window aperture with shutter open.  (Glass will follow later !) ...
 
 
Left hand side window aperture with shutter closed ...
 
 
The all important steps ...
 
 
Note the lead work on the top of the steps, to prevent the end grain from rotting ...
 
 
The lead cap on the foot of the step rails ...
 
 
But most importantly, young Max (aged 10 months) at his "passing out ceremony" as a newly qualifed Hut Inspector ...a proud day and a Mutt born to Hut!