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Billboard Tarps Used To Make Machine Shed
When Ted Carlson needed a shelter for his grass seed farming equipment, he called Damon Carson at Repurposed Materials (www.repurposedmaterialsinc.com) and ordered a few billboard tarps. Using a “seed sack sewer”, Carlson sewed two of the 40-ft. plastic sheets together lengthwise. Stretched over trusses made from old highway signposts, he soon had a watertight roof overhead. Bales stacked along the side act as sidewalls.
  “Jerry Chadwick, my full-time employee, came up with the design,” says Carlson. “He is a real good rigger and built trusses and a framework to keep the tarps stable.”
  The two used the standard 1 3/4-in. wide signposts and the 2-in. wide sleeves that are normally pushed into the ground to anchor the posts. Carlson compares the posts, with their holes every inch, to erector set material. The posts are highway department rejects and are up to 10 ft. long. Some may be shorter or have twists or bends in them.
  “I get them from the state highway department for a dollar apiece,” says Carlson. “We cut off the straight parts to use and splice them with 2-in. sleeves to make longer lengths.”
  Chadwick designed the trusses to match the billboard tarps. They stand at 6-ft. intervals. Each truss includes two 6-ft. uprights with 10-ft. rafters bolted to them and reinforced with knee braces at the joints. The rafters are bolted together to form a peak. A length of signpost bolted to each rafter about a foot below the peak, with a second piece tying it directly to the peak, serves as a collar brace.
  Three more purlins are bolted to the rafters with the lower one just above the joint of the upright and the rafter. A fourth 2 by 4 purlin is bolted to the truss uprights at the joint and a fifth at the 3-ft. height, running the length of the upright legs of the trusses.
  The purlins at the joints of uprights and rafters and ridgepole stabilize the trusses, but also provide a rounded angle for the tarps. To mount the billboard material, Carlson and Chadwick pulled one side up and over the top so the center seam ran down the ridge. Edges are well anchored to the bottom purlins on the sidewalls. The bale walls help protect the anchored edges from wind stress.
  Carlson has found another use for old billboard tarps. A grass seed producer, he commonly harvests the grass seed at high moisture to prevent shattering. Normally, he uses homemade wagon driers (covered wagons with air pumped through 3-in. drain tile in their bottoms). If he has a lot of excess seed, he lays drain tile on a billboard sheet on the ground and piles grain over it.
  “I cover the pile with black plastic and pump air through it,” says Carlson. “If the piles are only a few inches deep, I just pull the top off and turn it over with a shovel.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Ted Carlson, 11120 Vermillion Rd., Longmont, Colo. 80504 (ph 303 776-4402).

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2013 - Volume #37, Issue #2