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worktable roof tweak


After about a year of wanting, I finally got a roof up over my worktable; not brilliant, but at least it was done.

I wasn’t satisfied with it as a finished project: I knew I needed a different roofing material, as the strip of shower curtain I’d found wasn’t wide enough or long enough.

When I took it down, I found several punctures that hadn’t been there before; the squirrels must have thought that I’d put it up for their benefit! So I thought that whatever I put up would need something on top of it to protect the plastic, which would defeat the objective of having a see-through roof – if I put some wood up to protect the plastic, I’d need some plastic on top to protect the wood, which would need some wood on top of that to protect the plastic … and so on.

I had to take the frame apart to get at the back; didn’t feel like reaching three foot under and over to get at the back while it was still in place. Took the top down completely, then tied the back to the top of the fence. Then tied the front to the uprights again, made the top level. Found that the upright on the left was somewhat higher than that on the right, stuck up above the level of the fence and so the level of the roof at the back.

Could have tied the back of the top to the uprights to level it, but there was a gap between top and uprights, and I didn’t really want to untie it all and move the uprights in a bit – apart from the work involved, I wanted as much table space as possible to be under cover.

I’d found the clear dust sheet that I’d intended to use as roofing material; it was wide enough to use doubled. Tied the corners to the bottom of the uprights

That left quite a bit of flap, because even halved, the plastic was too wide for the roof. I did think of tucking it under, but not soon enough; left it so that I can put an extension on the front so that I as well as my work could be in the dry. For the moment I’ve just clipped the excess underneath

It’s only two clips, and not very secure, but so long as it holds the flap out of my way for now it’ll do.

Then I put some bits of wood along the back of the top – partly to hold the plastic in place, partly to (hope!) give the squirrels a runway that wouldn’t damage the plastic; few large stones on them to add some weight.

I went out after some rain to see how it was holding up. There was a bit of a puddle on the roof: that raised back corner, plus the wood at the back had made a dam. I tried to move some of the wood over to cover the corner and leave a gap in the middle to let the water out; got a bit damp while I was working on that.

Went out again after some more rain, seems to be working, sort of – at least there weren’t puddles. Though there were damn patches on the table at the back; I should have thought of extending the roof a bit over the fence to make sure drips didn’t find their way down. Ah well, it’s a learning process.

Finally got it sort of sorted: really I need to put some wood under the plastic to raise the level, but then that’d make a bigger dam that’d need draining.

Actually, I think I need a sheet of rigid plastic, either straight or corrugated; that’d be flat, level and squirrel-proof.

But for now, the rain’s being mostly kept off the table, so it’ll do.

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I think you have done a brilliant job,Fran,and as you say,it's a learning curve,but you will get what you want in time..maybe a rigid roof would be more substantial..but
it is serving its purpose :o) It would be good for sheltering plants or pots too..well done :o)

29 Sep, 2012


I have a tray of babies there, but of course have to remember that they need watering, even after rain!

I've been looking online for acrylic sheets, but most would be too big, and corrugated ones are too narrow; either way, can't see me lugging them home from B&Q etc on the bus. ah well, it's done for now, and something will turn up later.

29 Sep, 2012


I agree,it's difficult,Fran..and don't know what else to suggest..someone will come up with an idea on here,I'm sure..maybe one of those mini trays with a perpex lid ,would help to protect your babies.? I know they used to sell them in Wilkinsons,as I have one,but I have had it a long time ..just like a little cloche but with air vents in the top..or maybe put some short lengths of canes in your existing tray,and wrap in double fleece,fastened with pegs at the top,so it can be opened easily to check how they are,or if they need a little water ...just a thought :o)..

30 Sep, 2012


thanks dear! at the moment I've got them in small pots in a cat litter tray - they're amazingly handy for that, being deeper than most trays (for obvious reasons!). I have some seed trays with lids, but never seem to be able to get it right: if I leave the lid on all that grows is mould; if I take the lid off, or even leave it a tiny bit ajar for air circulantion, they dry out with alarming speed.

lol maybe I can make a "nursery", with clear plastic sides and perforated roof; raise hte roof a bit for air circulation. hopefully these babes will soon be able to mix it with the other kids, i jsut want to make sure they start off as well as poss; will put some pics up later.

30 Sep, 2012


Hi Fran....
Fascinating blog and straight to GoYpedia :o)))

30 Sep, 2012


You obviously have lots of ideas perseverance and brain waves will win in the end ! good luck :o)

30 Sep, 2012


You have made a good of your worktable roof Fran. A lot of work and recycling and thought went into the project. Don't give up till you get it the way you visualise.

30 Sep, 2012


Fran you are so clever! Just a thought on corrugated sheets - could you cut them and put them on the other way on, overlapping them where they meet? (No idea how you would cut them but it would be stronger than the plastic sheet. Any chance that B&Q would cut them for you if you wave a white stick at them? )And if you cut them wider than the roof they could stick out and shelter you as well as the work station?

30 Sep, 2012


Fran - you are still amazing me with your ingenuity. Great job!!
I think Steragram's idea is a good un! Those corrugated sheets are strong - maybe someone local is dismantling an old conservatory with a polycarbon roof? Just an idea - may not be practical for you but you never know :)

30 Sep, 2012


thanks everyone!

I've looked into corrrugated plastic, Steragram: all I can find online is 30cm wide, which wouldn't be wide enough, unless I get two sheets and double them up - but then the "furrows" wouldr un along the table rather than front-to-back, which would make drainage a bit hard unless I made one end slightly higher htan the other.

Most of the sheets I've seen are for car-ports etc, a tad large for my needs; but I don't want to go down to mini-panel, because the more joins, the more leakage opportunities. I don't mind the sheets overhanging, especially at the front!

My nearest B&Q is nearly two hours by bus[es], so I don't fancy trying to bring home a couple of 6x3 sheets that way! They usually cut wood, I've had a lot cut to size when I had a chum with a motor, but delivery is the main prob with anything I can't carry in one hand.

I've seen mini-guttering, could get some of that and find a big enough tub to lead the rain into - don't think I've got enough space for even a small water butt between the table and "shed", unless it was a very slim one.

never thought of checking Freecycle, will do that, and maybe post a request that if anyone will have any in near future to think of me if they can.

1 Oct, 2012


Great work Fran - looking very smart too

1 Oct, 2012


thanks, Ghost - lol I was thinking that it looks more like a shed on a rundown allotment than a proper garden shed - ah well, one does what one can with what one has!

1 Oct, 2012


It looks fine Fran. It reminds me of our wooden version of seventies Ladderax shelving. That was a reach me down off friends long gone. We have black metal in the living room . If the slats are level, and with your eye for off the wall recycling, you could maybe have a shelf or two above the bench. My bench is an old kitchen table off the old long gone is partly under the canopy.

1 Oct, 2012


I'm intending to use the slats to each side to hang tools etc on - the only prob with hooks is that, when I take the item off, the hook usuallyjumps off (lost so many down the back of kitchen cupboards!) - so I might try to recycle some wire coat hangers to make "stay-on" hooks. And of course I could hang small shelves from the slats in the roof - and the fence, of course, is always there!

1 Oct, 2012


I meant lay the corrugations front to back, and overlap them. They are very unlikely to leak - we had them on our conservatory roof done that way with no trouble.

2 Oct, 2012


thanks dear - it would be better, or water would be trapped in side-to-side furrows. In that case, they can be shorter

2 Oct, 2012



5 Oct, 2012

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