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How to best attach the floor to a skiddable structure?

 
pollinator
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We are designing a new skiddable rocket powered sauna here at Wheaton Labs and I am considering trying something new for mounting the structure to its skids.

The dominant method involves cross bracing the skids together and making a flat on the top side of both skids, then screwing 2x4's directly to the skid laying horizontal, as is common for attaching deck boards.

This works well for sheds, willow feeders, and other outbuildings. The sauna is however, an indoor heated space and I would like the floor to be draft and insect proof. There is also a question of structural integrity of the current method for when the structure is moved large distances over uneven ground.

Below are pictures of existing skid to deck attachment techniques here at Wheaton Labs.
IMG_0939.JPG
shower shack
shower shack
IMG_0940.JPG
decking screwed to skid, 2x4 angle bracing visible underneath decking
decking screwed to skid, 2x4 angle bracing visible underneath decking
IMG_0941.JPG
willow bank: skid heavily notched to receive vertically oriented 2x4 deck (lots of wood).
willow bank: skid heavily notched to receive vertically oriented 2x4 deck (lots of wood).
IMG_0944.JPG
willow wonka: skid notched to receive roundwood cross brace and posts. 2x4 deck is on top of the cross brace.
willow wonka: skid notched to receive roundwood cross brace and posts. 2x4 deck is on top of the cross brace.
IMG_0945.JPG
canning kitchen
canning kitchen
IMG_0946.JPG
below deck of canning kitchen
below deck of canning kitchen
IMG_0948.JPG
Bee shed: skids and cross bracing below with joists and decking attached to posts. Conceptually I like having the extra space under the floor to allow good airflow to the skids.
Bee shed: skids and cross bracing below with joists and decking attached to posts. Conceptually I like having the extra space under the floor to allow good airflow to the skids.
 
pollinator
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Why not introduce some technology and creat a steel skid deck that will be strong and not rust out quickly?
 
Josiah Kobernik
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John C Daley wrote:Why not introduce some technology and create a steel skid deck that will be strong and not rust out quickly?



We won't use steel because it has a high embodied energy and I can't grow it in my back yard. It is a good idea though for something very sturdy.
 
John C Daley
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There is plenty of old steel about, can that fit the criteria?
 
pollinator
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So what are you wanting to accomplish?  Some sort of walking beam system to distribute the flexing?  Some thing else?
 
C. Letellier
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3 points determine a  plane  So if you can tie all the structural strength to a single skid and let the other one pivot.  It might look something like this.  If the purple cross bars are floating with chain link pivots to hold the skids parallel.  The main cross bar pivots on the mobile skid.  The green of the floor is solid to the the one skid.  the other skid is made as a socket so the skid can pivot over it.  The red posts will be strongly diagonally cross braced to the free floating corners of the floor to eliminate any tendency to rack by the building.
Frame.JPG
[Thumbnail for Frame.JPG]
 
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Hi, draft proof is solved with leather hinged boards on the bottom of the sides. Treat the skids like a house foundation. 2 walls and 1 up the middle. Don't cross brace them. The floor becomes the cross bracing. Use bug resistant wood, but you will still have bugs.
 
Arthur Angaran
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Hi, thought of something else.  The wall of China was made with lime and sticky rice. It has lasted for a long time. You could grow your own rice to make the paste mixture, like cement. Put it over the floor. Then put a redwood mat on top of it for drainage and comfort like in the state park showers. Or embed rounded stones in the paste like in a shower floor.
 
pollinator
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I really prefer 'building, on skids',  versus 'building on skids'.

Ie, a structure that could in theory be removed from the skids, and still be complete.

The skids are probably going to rot out well before the building. If they are separate, they can be removed or replaced as needed. I imagine this is more urgent in my climate than at WL, but figure it's probably still applicable...

I have built sealed floors, with dimensional lumber for joists/blocking and ply top and bottom, and then through-fastened the skids to the joists with GRK RSSs in countersunk holes, from below. Seemed rock solid.

If avoiding ply, maybe try diagonal decking on opposite angles top and bottom?

I have also done it with decking running the same way as skids, atop larger joists, like one of those pictured above. Not nearly as good, more prone to shifting. I'd use heavier diagonal blocking to reinforce if trying this method again.

I've also done structural screws through the bottom plate of standard stick-framed walls straight through the floor to add skids to existing lightly framed sheds.. worked alright, blocking attached between the skids was definitely necessary on the larger of them(10×20) as the floor and fasteners are not up to loading in that direction without help.. and even towing in a straight line imparts a fair bit of that.

Skids longer than the building, with good bracing between them including diagonally.. seems like you guys already have that part under control.


I plan on loading buildings onto a trailer for any longer moves. Planning skid spacing to suit this might be wise given the scope of the lab..

I have a dump trailer with removable sides, but ideally need to space my skids to sit between the structural wheel-wells, with the floor high enough that outside overhang is above them.  Long as I manage this, a winch at the front is all thats needed for structures that more or less fit on the 18' deck...

A nice low equip trailer would work fine too...


That 'walking-beam skid' idea is neat! I think it would need a stout timber above the socket on the pivoting skid side, and/or some diagonal bracing from above that socket up to the top corners of that wall, to help transmit snow-load without wracking the wall. I would rather standardize around a stout-enough design that is trailer friendly, though; I think it would be more cost/lumber efficient.
 
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I don't know much about building (with wood or otherwise), but I find the subject very interesting. Especially such movable structures (on skids). So I hope to gain knowledge by reading this.
 
C. Letellier
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Someone should explain there are several reasons for skidable structures.  Ability to adapt as needs change is the biggest.  Ability to take what you built with you when moving is another.  And in Wyoming at least it is also to avoid part of property tax.  Provided the building is less than 200 square feet and on skids it doesn't count on the property tax.
 
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C. Letellier wrote: If the purple cross bars are floating with chain link pivots to hold the skids parallel.



what do you mean by chain link pivots? Are you intending to mean that one of the skids would be able to move forward (left or right in this design) while the other stays stationary? (only small amounts i guess)

C. Letellier wrote: The main cross bar pivots on the mobile skid.  The green of the floor is solid to the the one skid.  the other skid is made as a socket so the skid can pivot over it.  The red posts will be strongly diagonally cross braced to the free floating corners of the floor to eliminate any tendency to rack by the building.



how would the cross bar pivot? Also if you were to put posts on the bottom left and right corners, it seems like they would not support much weight.
 
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