Build a Garbage Can Enclosure – P2

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This week I’m going to continue the tutorial on how to build a trash can shed. This is a DIY shed for the backyard that is meant to hide the trash cans during the week when they are in the back yard. The shed makes them a little more appealing to look at but still allows them to be functional by having two lids as a roof that are hinged. The lids can open, and held opened, by a gas shock while I reach inside and open the trash can lid to throw away the bag of trash. Then when trash day comes, I can open the front door of the trash can shed to wheel the entire garbage can out to the curb. Woo hoo! If you missed part one you can find that tutorial here. Also if you are interested in building your own, I have a set of plans available.

Here is a video giving an overview of the build:

Things I Used In This Project:

This week I started off by adding the trim to both of the sides. I’m once again using treated fence pickets for this to keep the cost of the project down.

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After the trim on both the sides were added I moved to the front and added the trim there. I’m using my triton workcenter to rip down the fence pickets that are too wide. Note: if there is a bow in the picket I make sure to place it facing out so that whenever I screw the board down it sucks it into the material.

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Next I started making the double doors. I set a stop block on my miter saw and began cutting the boards to length. I took the two outside boards of each door and ripped them down a bit using my workcenter. I’m using the deck of the enclosure as a work surface. I laid my boards down that will make up the door and butted them up next to one another.

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I cut the boards that will make up the door trim and added them as well. I started with the top and bottom, then the left and right, and came back with a diagonal. I repeated this same order to make a second door.

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With the doors made I now started adding hardware. First adding the hinges to the doors, then moving the doors in place on the shed and attaching the doors to the shed. Tip: to make adding the doors easier I first laid down half-inch material on both the bottom and the sides so I could rest the door against these and use them as spacers.

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At this point I tried to shut the doors but they didn’t work. Unfortunately the frame of the enclosure was slightly out of square and not allowing the doors to shut properly. I needed some more bracing! So I added corner braces to the front frame to stiffen it up.

I used some spare cut off material from framing the enclosure. I would hold one side in place and screw it down, move the enclosure until it was square, and then secure the other side of the diagonal with two screws. I repeated this on the other side and now the doors worked perfectly.

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Next I moved on to making the lids. Instead of having one giant lid, I am making two; this way I don’t have to open one huge lid to access the trashcan or the recycling been.

I set up a stop block at the miter saw and cut all of my pickets to length. Then I placed them on top of the shed, using a spacer to make setting them up easier.

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To hold the boards together I cut three cross braces. On the first attempt, I tried securing the cross braces fro the top, then flipping the entire lid over. This worked okay but was a little difficult. So on the next lid I moved inside the trashcan shed and secured the cross braces inside. Both ways work but the second was a lot easier.

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After the lids were finished, I moved to the back and added two hinges per lid. This is a lot easier if you have somebody to hold the lid open for you as you attach the hinge.

I would first attach the hinge to the body of the enclosure, then move the lid in place. I moved to the inside of the shed and had my husband hold the lid open for me while I positioned it correctly and screwed the lid down to the hinge.

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You could stop here if you wanted. You have two functioning lids and two functioning doors however I thought it would be a big pain in the butt to have to hold open the lid of the shed while reaching inside to open the lid of the trashcan, then throwing in the trash. So I experimented with using a gas shock as an assist and it works great.

I purchased two gas shocks from Amazon. To attach the shocks to the trashcan shed, once again I used some scrap framing material and attached two pieces; one to the backing and one to the lid.

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I had to modify the end of the shock slightly to run a bolt through it in order to mount the shock. When I ordered these, I was not aware they did not come with mounts. They are sold separately which makes for quick mounting but I came up with a suitable work around that does the trick. The shocks come with a flexible metal clip at both ends which I used to pair of needle nose to remove. Then I used a 3/8″ drillbit to make a hole in the center of each end of the shock.

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Now I could use a 3/8″ bolt, two flat washers, and two nuts to secure the shock in place. Note: I used a touch of grease where the bolt contacts the shock.

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The placement of the shock will determine how easy or difficult it is to lower the lid. I had to drill three different hole placements to get the right amount of lift and resistance. Since the shock holds the lid open for you, a closure latch is required to keep the lid closed. I purchased a simple hook and eye latch for both of the lids.

And that’s it! The front doors will be used to move the garbage cans in and out of the shed, then the lids on top will be used to access the cans to throw away trash. It works great since the lids keep themselves open.

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All in all it’s a pretty a simple build, made from materials that can all be found at the local big box store (with the exception of the gas shocks). I am way too pleased with this outdoor project, it will allow me to hide my trash cans from sight during the week but I’ll still be able to access them conveniently. However when trash day comes, I can simply open the front door and wheel the trash can out to the curb…..well, my husband can anyway ; )

Total, I spent $271 on this build. If you would like to build your own I do have a full set of plans available here.

If you liked this project and want to stay up to date with what I’m building, then be sure to sign up for my email newsletter and you’ll get an email when I post something new. See you soon!

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