Author Topic: Questions and Advice for Constructing a Wheelhouse for 2022 - 2023  (Read 2065 times)

Offline flyfish59102

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I have recently started a major project of constructing a wheelhouse. I am starting from the ground up and building the entire thing myself. I bet I  have watched every Youtube video in existence to see ideas people had to construct their own wheelhouse. Still, I have some questions and I would appreciate advice from someone who is just guessing, to someone who know what they are doing, or someone who has screwed up on their own already trying to do the same thing.

The question for today?

How do you insulate the floor?
- More accurately, I am planning on using two inch thick foam to insulate the bottom of the shack between the steel beams. Then I will cover the foam insulation with very thin galvanized steel to protect the foam. So, do I make the bottom of the shack smooth/flush with the ice or should I recess each panel between steel supports. If I should recess it then how much? I cannot find any videos on line or links that explain this. 

My concern is my shack freezing down to the lake while I fish. I am not planning on leaving  the shack out on the lake. It will be for day and overnight trips. If it is flush, has anyone had problems with the shack sinking over a day or two days to the point where it is difficult to break out?

Other information that may be of interest is shack will be 6.5 feet by 12 feet. Very light and capable of being moved by a 4 wheeler. Anticipated weight will be around 1300 to 1400lbs. The goal is to make a shack I can move around to many different lakes and drag behind my truck. Set up fast, drop wheels fast, and move fast. The design is a rough copy of Zack Shack with significant improvements to suspension and ski system. Also it will have a v-nose with a slanted peak on the V for easier towing.  I am going to heat it with a diesel heater and power with two deep cycle batteries. Might install solar or a wind generator to provide additional power. Hard to say right now because it will depend a lot on the budget and this project has me about broke.

I am going to attach a few pictures of the plans so you guys can see what I am talking about.

Your thoughts are welcome.
flyfish59102





Offline flyfish59102

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Just for giggles, here is the suspension I will be using. It is a Timbren Independent suspension I will be mounding on swing arms.
flyfish59102


Offline Rebelss

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Is there a reason why you are using galvanized steel on the bottom instead of aluminum?
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Offline ice dawg

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I blocked my shack up off of the ice to keep it from freezing down and banked it around the outside to keep the wind out from under it. Another thing I would recommend is hole sleeves to keep the wind out of it.
It seems to go from zero to hero all some have to do is lie.

Offline flyfish59102

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So, the wheelhouse will be constructed out of steel, not galvanized steel, just regular steel. The reason is two fold. One, I don't know how to weld aluminum. Wish I did, but I don't. Also, Aluminum is too expensive with the current metal prices. By my estimate, I would have probably doubled or tripled the cost. Don't get me wrong, steel isn't a whole lot better, but it is still cheaper.

Where I am, weight isn't a huge issue. I live in Montana. It is freaking cold here for a really long time. My favorite lake to fish still has 2.5 feet of ice on it at the end of March when the season closes. Pretty sure I won't be going through anytime soon.

As far as freezing down, I like the idea of blocking around it. It would be nice to not have to do that if I could avoid it. a lot of times I will just go out for a morning or an evening. Blocking it each time seems like a pain. The point of a wheelhouse with the swing arm suspension to raise and lower is so I can move around fast. I guess it is still way faster than setting up my tent.

So, here are some different ideas and I am curious about thoughts.

1) will it help if I paint the steel with white rhino lining? that should help keep it from sinking.

2) What do you do with the blocks at the end of the day? do you just leave em? I presume they are frozen in?

3) Has anyone come up with a block design that is easy to break out of the ice? Something where a lever is or can be attached to pop it out. Just asking out of curiousity because it might be my next invention.


flyfish59102

Offline flyfish59102

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I blocked my shack up off of the ice to keep it from freezing down and banked it around the outside to keep the wind out from under it. Another thing I would recommend is hole sleeves to keep the wind out of it.

Any chance you could post a picture of the bottom of your shack just for construction ideas? It is the one thing I haven't been able to find any images of. I am curious to see how people are securing the protective cover on the bottom.

flyfish59102

Offline flyfish59102

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Is there a reason why you are using galvanized steel on the bottom instead of aluminum?

Been a long day and it took me a few. Galvanized steel sheeting. Basically, it is steel roofing material before they put the kinks in it. Aluminum sheeting of the same thickness is pricey as $#%@. It would be cool, but it is only going to add an extra few lbs to the entire shack. It is already painted too. I was going to use white to reflect the sun and help keep it from sinking...I think.

flyfish59102

Offline Pudsky

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My Ice Castle Fish house has a painted steel frame.  The underside is insulated with closed cell spray foam.  It is very durable.  The frame is 6" thick and the foam is probably around 2", so its not flush the the underside of the frame.  I would suggest asking around to insulation companies around you how much it would cost to spray the underside of your house.  Might be a good option to using 2" thick sheets and covering that with metal. 

Offline ice dawg

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Any chance you could post a picture of the bottom of your shack just for construction ideas? It is the one thing I haven't been able to find any images of. I am curious to see how people are securing the protective cover on the bottom.

flyfish59102
My shack didn't have any type of protective covering or underfloor insulation. I used 1"◊6" boards to block it up to keep it from freezing down. I banked around the bottom of the shack with snow to keep the wind to a minimum and used hole sleeves to keep any wind from entering through the holes in the floor. At the end of the day or several days, I would tap the blocks with something to loosen them from the ice. One thing that made it fast and easy to move was having a drop hitch installed so I didn't have to unhook from my pickup. I don't have any photos as I sold my shack a couple of years ago since it spent most of it's time in my driveway. It was 6.5'x12' and weighed 1,520 lbs before I installed the Empire Direct Vent heater which probably added another 40 lbs.
It seems to go from zero to hero all some have to do is lie.

Offline flyfish59102

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Interesting. I was worried about wear and tear on the foam. Rodents, critters, ect. We also have lots of dirt roads around here. I am talking about towing the thing for 40 miles on dirt and mud roads. Worried about wear and tear on foam. I think recessed with metal protection will work well.

Flyfish59102

Offline flyfish59102

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Next question. I am ordering electrical components. What amp inverter charger should I run in this thing? If you have a name or link, that would be awesome.

Flyfish59102

Offline Rebelss

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Ya might get some ideas and help from all the builds on here. Put "fish house build" in the search function at the top of the page. Lotsa great builds/ideas/pics out there....heres a sample:


https://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=343175.msg3646010#msg3646010
"Seems like time is here and gone".....Doobies

Offline cwavs1982

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Ya might get some ideas and help from all the builds on here. Put "fish house build" in the search function at the top of the page. Lotsa great builds/ideas/pics out there....heres a sample:


https://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=343175.msg3646010#msg3646010

Rebelss found the thread that I was looking for.  This thread documented the process the builder went thru pretty well.  Not saying its a handbook to do everything, but we all got to follow along as the build progressed.  Lot of good information in this thread. 

Good luck with the build and will be following along!
I do hunt, and I do fish, and I don't apologize to anybody for hunting and fishing - Norman Schwarzkopf

Offline flyfish59102

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Ya might get some ideas and help from all the builds on here. Put "fish house build" in the search function at the top of the page. Lotsa great builds/ideas/pics out there....heres a sample:


https://www.iceshanty.com/ice_fishing/index.php?topic=343175.msg3646010#msg3646010

That is a really great thread. Thank you. I think a lot of what I am going to need will be there. I will still post pics and ask advice as I go. I want mine to look more like a cargo trailer than a house on wheels. That is what I have envisioned anyway. One cool idea I had was to use reflective spray paint and forms to put something on the side you could only see when it got hit with headlights at night. I think that idea may have potential. It is a long way away though. Metal is ordered and should be here next week. Won't have a day off for about three weeks so not seeing a lot of hope between now and then. Mainly looking at my ideas, refining them, asking questions, refining them again, back to the drawing board and repeat.

flyfish59102

Offline flyfish59102

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Got my steel today. Guess if I wasn't serious before then I am now. I suspect I will be burning through those angle grinder and chop saw cutting blades I bought last weekend. Base frame first. Get the wheel and lift mechanism on it...mainly so I can move it the &@$# out of the way, then start on the rest.

It now occures to me that as I cut them apart I should number them with a grease pencil and put the numbers on my blueprints for easier re-assembly on welding day/days/weeks when I have the time.

...and don't be fooled by the welcome sign in the background. That totally belongs to the wife...the garage is a manly activity zone only.



Offline Rebelss

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...and don't be fooled by the welcome sign in the background. That totally belongs to the wife...the garage is a manly activity zone only.



Then get that Hamm's/ Miller Beer clock up, and a scantily clad hootchie-cootchie sittin' on a car.....:roflmao:


"Seems like time is here and gone".....Doobies

Offline flyfish59102

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The metal cutting and measuring has begun. Also, I took down that stupid welcome sign. I also just ordered hole covers. Felt pretty good about the cost until shipping kicked in. Freakin $70. Are the buying the new mule to ship it on across the country or what? Those hold covers better come with a hot chick who likes to ice fish, cook and doesn't speak.

flyfish59102




Offline Rebelss

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The metal cutting and measuring has begun. Also, I took down that stupid welcome sign. I also just ordered hole covers. Felt pretty good about the cost until shipping kicked in. Freakin $70. Are the buying the new mule to ship it on across the country or what? Those hold covers better come with a hot chick who likes to ice fish, cook and doesn't speak.

flyfish59102





She's the one that took yer money and sent 'em out.  :roflmao:
"Seems like time is here and gone".....Doobies

Offline flyfish59102

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Should I angle the corner welds at 45 degrees? Do you think that will add strength?

Any suggestion on the thickness of the shaft going from the shack to the swing arm?

Also, I am attaching a general sketch of my swing arm assembly. I think the key will be to keep the wheel as closely centered to the axel as possible. That should reduce the amount of pressure that needs to be applied to the lever arm to lower or lift the shack. My rough calculations so far suggest that I am looking at about 70 lbs of pressure to lift an 2500lbs of shack at the end of a 7 foot lever. I knew that math I took in school would pay off someday.

flyfish59102




Offline old truck guy

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i built my own shack a few years ago, I leave the shack on the lake for the whole season. I do move around lots too it doesn't take long to pack up and move it, I just use 2x6 blocks at each corner to sit on. For the floor I just used 4x8 sheets of bubble wrap before installing the plywood on the steel frame. It stay plenty warm enough, also used the bubble wrap on the walls as well. You can check my link out if you want, "New ice shack build 8x14"

Offline flyfish59102

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Spent some more time last night cutting metal. I think i have the front end roughed out and the tongue set up. Now I need to go through and make some cuts so that I can make everything flush. I also got my shafts/spindles. That will be the next major measuring and cutting. Cutting the holes is going to be a pain in the a$$. I am figuring on a lot of cutting oil and a very tired drill press by the time I get that one done. Then it will be time to break out the welder and see if i can get this thing to go together squarely enough to tow down the road. Fingers crossed because i have enough money invested that i can't really afford a several thousand dollar lawn ornament.

flyfis59102

Offline flyfish59102

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Spent some more time last night cutting metal. I think i have the front end roughed out and the tongue set up. Now I need to go through and make some cuts so that I can make everything flush. I also got my shafts/spindles. That will be the next major measuring and cutting. Cutting the holes is going to be a pain in the a$$. I am figuring on a lot of cutting oil and a very tired drill press by the time I get that one done. Then it will be time to break out the welder and see if i can get this thing to go together squarely enough to tow down the road. Fingers crossed because i have enough money invested that i can't really afford a several thousand dollar lawn ornament.

flyfis59102

Thanks. That is a good thread on your build. I like to see how other guys did it. I am planning on doing the structure frame out of 1x2 steel. Hopefully, i will be able to use less of that than you used 2x4s and thust make it lighter. We had very similar ideas. I was wanted to do the swing arm. I was hoping it would go up and down faster. My cabinet design is a bit different too. Finally, I was going to use a diesel heater instead of a propane heater. Might have some questions down the line for you about wiring. in the end, about how much did yours weigh?

flyfish59102

Offline hawg

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Center supports on those back to sections might not be a bad idea. Iím not an engineer but most commercial ones have them. Still trying to figure out the bubble wrap idea?? Foam everything, it really adds to a tight, ridged house.

Offline Rebelss

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Absolutely on the center support. I think a full spine support is probably the best, IMO. Frame rigidity is a must when bouncing over a rough lake, ice, and gravel roads. Things flex when really cold, then the cracks appear....



"Seems like time is here and gone".....Doobies

Offline hawg

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Thatís another reason to foam.

Offline old truck guy

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Quote
Thanks. That is a good thread on your build. I like to see how other guys did it. I am planning on doing the structure frame out of 1x2 steel. Hopefully, i will be able to use less of that than you used 2x4s and thust make it lighter. We had very similar ideas. I was wanted to do the swing arm. I was hoping it would go up and down faster. My cabinet design is a bit different too. Finally, I was going to use a diesel heater instead of a propane heater. Might have some questions down the line for you about wiring. in the end, about how much did yours weigh?

I cut all my 2x4's down to 2x3's then cross braced the walls. My shacks weighs approximately 3000 lbs when loaded with beer, I mean gear!

Offline flyfish59102

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Ok, ok. Rear center supports it is. No new pic to add at the moment. I am flippin tired. Spent all day getting everything to fit together the way I wanted. That took way longer than I thought it would. probably would have gone faster if I had 1\2 a clue about what I was doing, which I don't.

Then I started drilling holes for the swing arm axles. That was a s#!%show. Before you ask, yes I was using machining oil and yes I had drill press going as slow as it would go. Still burned out my circular bit. Went to go buy a fancy better one and store was out of the components I needed. That's a problem with living in the back of beyond. The next closest store that might have what I need is 80 miles away.  :'(

Time to shop on Amazon's evil empire.

Flyfish59102

Offline flyfish59102

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Well, I managed to find an arbor for the diablo bit. Turns out the neighbor had one that I was able to borrow for a day. Mine is now in transit from Amazon's evil empire. Either way, I was able to get the holes drilled and measure out my shaft covers that will hold the axel. The final design will a cover welded over the inside edge, but I am still roughing out everything. Once I get the shafts cut it will be time to work on the swing arm assembly. The shear strength on the shafts is 45,000 lbs. That should be enough for a shack with axles designed to hold less than 3,500 lbs. Now watch me break one because if anyone can, I can do it. Here are some pics of the progress. Also, no center beam has been added yet in the rear. That is next. It also might be time to take an hour or two for shop clean up and organization.

flyfish59102




Offline flyfish59102

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Most of the way done with my swing arm assembly now. Need to drill the hole for the pivot point and add handles. I am also going to add ski fenders like what Zack Shack/Daq Shack does. That might end of happening later in the process though. It is about time for me to order my siding materials so I can start working on that part of the project. Any suggestions about a sturdy material to use for the ski/fender? What metal or how thick? I thought of fiberglass, but I am afraid it would shatter in the super cold weather when it got hit with a flying rock.

flyfish59102

Offline flyfish59102

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wrong pic on that last one....


This is the pic I meant to post.

flyfish59102

 



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