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How Do You Attach Wood To A Shipping Container? Easy Way

Certainly, a common question for container home builders is how to attach wood to a shipping container home. When considering upgrading your shipping container to be more functional and livable, one secret that stands out is that you must include wood for flooring or aesthetics.

Incorporating wood into the design adds warmth and aesthetic appeal and provides practicality and versatility. Whether you’re planning to create a cozy cabin, a mobile office, or a creative retail space, knowing how to attach wood to a shipping container securely is very important.

This blog post will explore techniques and methods that ensure a reliable and durable connection between wood and a shipping container.

By exploring these options, you’ll gain valuable insights and guidance to embark on your creative container conversion journey. So let’s dive in and discover the art of attaching wood to a shipping container!

How to Attach Wood to a Shipping Container

There are three main ways of attaching wood to a shipping container, and we will discuss all of them here;

General Materials Needed

  • A Domino Clamp.
  • Wood screws.
  • A 10mm and an 8mm hex key.
  • Wood that you want to attach to your shipping container.
  • Woodworking tools.
  • A Plywood Bolt On adapter for timber.
  • M12 x 45mm Countersunk screws.

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Using Bolts to the Domino Clamp

Suitable For:

  • A timber beam.
  • Roof Truss.
  • Additional structures beside the container.
  • Roof Platform.

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1. Drill 1-4 13MM Holes Through Your Wood

The first step when you want to attach wood to a shipping container is to attach your wood securely to the Domino Clamp. Note that you’ll need to drill one to four 13mm holes through the timber. This will provide the necessary points of attachment.

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Once the holes are in place, select a bolt or set screw of suitable length, and pair it with a large washer. This combination will ensure a strong connection.

To prevent the bolt head from protruding, consider using a spade bit to create a recessed hole in the timber where the head can sink in.

Now, position the timber onto the Domino Clamp, aligning the holes with the corresponding openings on the clamp.

For horizontal beams requiring two sets of holes and two Domino Clamps, measure the distance between the two vertical silver lines on each clamp. This will help you know the spacing between the sets of holes at both ends of the timber.

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2. Attach the Wood to the Four M12 Threads on the Face of the Domino Clamps Directly

Secondly, to ensure accuracy, carefully mark the centers of the four holes on the piece of timber. Ensure that you have spaced your holes in a horizontal distance of 100mm and a vertical distance of 50mm.

Proceed to drill the four holes on one side of the timber, adhering to the specifications in the technical drawing.

It is recommended to make these holes first and then use a 13mm drill bit to complete the drilling process. For precise accuracy, it is best to employ a pillar drill.

This ensures that the opposite side of the timber is aligned accurately. Alternatively, you can mark the interior of the timber and flip it around before bolting it to the Domino Clamp.

By adopting this approach, any slight discrepancies in the drilling process will be mitigated, and the initial positions of the holes will still align perfectly.

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Plywood Adapters for Timber

Suitable For:

  • Cladding.
  • Timber framework.
  • Wooden signage posts.
  • Décor.

Get a piece of 30mm plywood or any other suitable sheet material. Cut your plywood to a size of 120mm by 60mm, or adjust it to the dimensions that match your desired requirements.

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Next, drill two holes into one side of the timber. Once the holes are drilled, use a 25mm diameter countersink bit to countersink them.

This process will ensure that the bolt heads sit flush with the surface of the timber, enabling you to attach additional timber or commence the construction of your wooden structures connected to your shipping container.

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Attaching to an Angle Iron Bracket

Suitable For:

  • Roofing of your shipping container home.
  • Useful for both woodwork and steelwork.
  • Overhanging platform.

In scenarios where additional strength is required, particularly when securing steelwork and timber to the container as part of a larger structure, you can use steel L bracket plans.

Using this approach, the timber can rest upon the L bracket and be securely bolted to it. You can flip the L bracket upside down to implement this method effectively.

This will allow the top of the L bracket will align closely with the top surface of the container, offering the advantage of elevating your timber beam above the container’s height.

This feature proves beneficial when constructing a deck on top of the container, as it allows the timber beams to be level with any additional timber beams resting across the container’s roof.

This configuration ensures robustness and stability for heavy-duty applications, catering to the need for steelwork and timber integration as part of your larger structural project.

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Importance of Attaching Wood to a Shipping Container

Presents an Alternative to Metallic Surfaces

Although it is possible to paint the metal, it only provides a temporary fix that does not effectively cover up the original surface or create a truly revitalized appearance.

In contrast, using wood or other types of cladding offers a convenient and transformative approach to introducing a fresh face to the exterior of your structure.

A container adorned with wooden cladding imparts a natural and organic aesthetic and harmonizes seamlessly with its surroundings, be it a backyard, garden, or any other natural setting.

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Wood Attached to a Shipping Container Offers a Multitude of Design and Aesthetic Possibilities

Mobile or container homes’ popularity continues rising due to their convenient installation, compact dimensions, and predictable costs.

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These structures are particularly useful in emergencies, where they can swiftly provide shelter to individuals without extensive construction time or expertise.

Timber and wood, in particular, offer an extensive selection of textures, colors, sizes, and shapes, granting owners abundant choices within the realm of cladding alone.

Wood attached on shipping containers captivates customers, visitors, and even potential buyers in the case of those planning to renovate and sell their container homes.

This method effortlessly incorporates the structure into its surroundings, presenting a striking contrast to the cold, industrial aesthetics typically associated with the metal frames of shipping containers.

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Wood Attached on Shipping Containers Enhances Thermal Insulation and Protection

Metal shipping containers retain excessive heat during summer and transmit cold temperatures during winter. Therefore, insulation becomes crucial when using the space for living or storage purposes.

While insulation can be applied to the interior, this approach reduces the space within the already compact living or storage area.

In contrast, wood attached on a shipping container avoids compromising the internal living or storage space. Also, it introduces an additional layer of insulation that mitigates heat transfer to the underlying shipping container.

This enhances the overall comfort of the space and contributes to maintaining optimal temperature conditions for individuals spending time within the container.

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What Type of Wood Is Best for Attaching to a Shipping Container?

Plywood from tropical woods such as Keruing or Apitong is commonly used in shipping containers for flooring or cladding purposes.

These particular wood species exhibit exceptional resilience to high temperatures and humidity, making them capable of enduring the conditions.

However, this material’s susceptibility to pests is a notable concern. To combat these pests, you should adopt the application of pesticides regularly.

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How to Maintain the Wood

To ensure that the wood on your shipping container withstands the harsh conditions of the weather, you must ensure that you devise a plan of how it will stay in good condition, for example;

  • Treating wood for durability and longevity.
  • Repairing and replacing damaged attachments.
  • Regular inspection and maintenance routine.

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Attaching wood to a shipping container can be a practical and versatile solution. Whether you’re looking to create additional storage, build a temporary shelter, or customize the container for specific needs, securely fastening wood to the container’s exterior or interior can provide the desired functionality.

By following the recommended steps, which involve preparing the surface, selecting suitable materials and fasteners, and ensuring proper installation, you can successfully attach wood to a shipping container. Remember to prioritize safety, structural integrity, and adherence to applicable regulations or guidelines.

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