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Giant Farm Shop Built From Airplane Hangar
"It was a big project but it paid off. I saved a lot of money," says Clair Wilson, Winches-ter, Ill., about the 120-ft. long machine shed he built by tearing down a pair of old air-plane hangars and reassembling them on his farm 30 miles away.
The shed covers more than one third of an acre. It has 19-ft. tall eaves and measures 33 ft. high at the peak. It has a 50-ft. wide, 16-ft. high bi-fold door at one end and an 18-ft. sq. bi-fold door at the other end. There are also four 18-ft. sq. bi-fold doors on each side.
The shed has three overhead cranes and several work centers, including a 37-ft. wide, 28-ft. long office, 5 working bays, a pit for servicing trucks and machinery, a 30 by 60-ft. area for large metal working tools. Part of the floor is concrete and has buried pipes through which hot water is pumped to pro-vide heat. The rest of the floor is crushed rock.
"We use it to store a number of 4-WD tractors and semi trucks as well as farm implements, new steel, and metal working shop tools," says Wilson, who farms and also operates a salvage and machinery repair business. "I paid $1,976 for the two hangars and spent a total of about $40,000 to move and reconstruct them. Most of that was for a new roof, screws, insulation, concrete, heating and electricity. A new comparable size building, at $8 per sq. ft., would have cost about $115,000 and wouldn't have all of the doors and extra features my building has.
"People who come by to look at it are astounded at how big it is inside. The entire 60 by 120-ft. interior is open except for the two rows of support posts. Thanks to all the doors, I can drive machinery straight through from one side of the building to the other."
Wilson built a new frame for the building, using salvage railroad bridge beams for support posts. The large beams are spaced 20 ft. apart in two rows 60 ft. apart. Each post is set in a footing that's 3 ft. wide and 2 ft. deep.
"One problem is that the shed has so many doors letting air in that it's hard to heat. How-ever, the floor heat system is very efficient. Last winter the temperature inside stayed at 55 degrees even though the shed wasn't insulated. We added insulation last summer and I also plan to switch to an outside burning bale furnace."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Clair Wilson, 132 Hillview Rd., Winchester, Ill. 62694 (ph 217 742-3809).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6