DIY Composite Oven

So, every good shed needs an oven. Oh, and a work-bench. Bearing this in mind, it make sense to combine the two, and put it on castors so I can move it about.

I have made the bench deep and that’s for two reasons. Firstly, one needs a lot of room to lay up parts. Secondly that was the quickest way to make it using roofing boards and pressed boards. They’re already pre-cut to a certain size so there was less jig-saw action.

IMG_3669Here it is laid out and on castors. What I didn’t realise is that the roofing boards aren’t remotely stiff on their own so there’s some reinforcing under the floor to hold it all together. Once the sizes are on and the top is on, it will get more rigid.





Sides are on. Top is on. It’s now stiffer, but not fully priapic.






Here’s a perspective of the bench – big innit?






In the true spirit of being an oven, I dismantled an oven I got from ebay for £10. All the wiring and controls get gutted, and it’s a simple wiring job after that. Fans and lights are always on (rather than under control of the controls) and the element itself is under control of the PID controller.



IMG_3697Here is the PID arrangement. Again, £30 from ebay gets you a PID and a very heavy duty solid state relay. The case and assorted bits and pieces came from maplin. You can see two bolts on the front there, where the solid state relay is bolted to the case to act as a bit of a heat-sink if needed. The 3-pin plug on the front is the output power supply for the heating element. I deliberately did it this way in case I then wanted to power something like a convection-air heater or summit else. Up the back of it is a kettle-lead which powers the PID. The kettle-lead is hard-wired into the main power of the oven. If the oven is plugged in, the fans are always on and the PID is powered. You can’t have heat without fans.

The oven now needs king-span to insulate it (sat in the garage gathering dust) and a thorough soak-testing with a fire-extinguisher near by to be sure it works. I don’t think I’ll be leaving it unattended but at least it’s in a shed if there is a fire.


More work on shedopolis – foundations are completed and base is done

IMG_0082So, here we are with a nice set of brick pillars in place, as well as the ground lowered by 6 inches and the retaining wall on the right built up.

Once everything dried out a bit, the holes were filled in with some of the soil taken out, and the whole lot then covered in a tonne or so of bark. Once the shed’s in, I’ll get Jon to put a paving slab or two in leading up to it.

Below is the finished base, installed on the pillars, insulated before the top goes on. It’s all bracketed and screwed in with 70mm Reiser screws.


The new composites shed – digging foundations reveals nasty secret

So, I’ve engaged the services of Jon-The-Builder, who is wonderfully classically, old yorkshire. He’s a 60 year old experienced builder for whom belt and braces are not enough. You accept that when you engage his services, you just have to step back and watch the force of nature in action.
In my head, I wanted a few concrete pads set at ground level, and where the ground drops off, I would box in the concrete laying to take it above ground level. Simple, or so I thought.

Then, along comes Jon. He’s wonderfully old-Yorkshire. To quote (ish):

Tha’ don’t want pads, we need do level it, dig down, 2ft square concrete pads, brick pillars. Then, young’un, tha’ll have a solid foundation. T’shed won’t blow away.

Jon is brilliant and I’ve learned not to second guess him.

Here he is, about to get started.

Then, more or less straight away, he let me know I had a problem. This wasn’t a normal ‘air sucked through the teeth’ kind of problem, nor was it a dead king with an identity crisis. It turns out the people (or landscapers) who landscaped the house (before we bought it) had the soil tipped in up to the damp-course level. Looking at it, one can see the moss blooming up the wall.

So, we agreed and he went digger-tastic and took 6″ off the top-soil. It meant we could level-out the soil and I now don’t have a problem emerging in 5 years time.

The shed wins again.