How to fix timber to a shipping container
Timber is relatively cheap, readily available and easy to work with, so it's the ideal starting point for lots of structural extras and accessories to your shipping container project.
With our new timber Bolt On adapter, made from 30mm birch plywood, you can easily cover your shipping container in cladding, shuttering ply, or stage flats, or quickly attach things like wooden signposts. Many people are far more comfortable using woodworking tools than metalworking ones, so being able to fix timber and sheet materials to a shipping container was always a high priority for us.
For more heavy duty applications such as building a structure off the side, or on top of your container read our post on how to bolt structural timber to a shipping container.
Why would I need to fix some wood to a shipping container?
One of the most common reasons for attaching wood to shipping containers is to add some cladding or siding. Shipping container cladding can be used to provide insulation or to enhance the appearance of the container, helping it blend in to its surroundings.
Insulation such as spray foam applied to the inside of a shipping container can take up valuable room which is why some people choose to add the insulation to the exterior of the container and then cover it in a weatherproof cladding.
Most shipping container cladding tutorials will tell you to start by fixing timber battens to the walls of your container, because then it's easy to screw sheet material directly to the side of the container. They will suggest using glue or screwing through the sides of the container. Both of these are obviously not ideal, and no good at all if it’s not your container!
What you'll need
For each Timber fixing point at the corner of a shipping container, you’ll need
- A Domino Clamp*
- A Plywood Bolt On adapter for timber, with two M12 x 45mm Countersunk screws*
- A 10mm and an 8mm hex key
- Your timber
- Your woodworking tools
- Correct length woodscrews (see step 3)
How to put it together
- Use your 6mm hex key to attach one plywood Bolt On adapter to your Domino Clamp using the M12 countersunk screws which come with the adapter.
- Attach one Domino Clamp in the top corner casting of the shipping container and one in the bottom, if you're unfamiliar with the technique following our detailed installation instructions here
- Check you have the correct length wood screws, by adding together the thickness of the adapter (30mm) to the thickness of what you need to screw to it, and making sure your screws are at least 5mm shorter than that. For instance, if you are attaching a 50mm x 50mm batten to the adapter; 50+ 30 = 80mm is the total thickness before the screw would hit the domino clamp. So stick to 70mm screws. With the plywood adapter now firmly fixed to the container, you can now screw your timber or sheet material to the two unused areas on the plywood Bolt on, using the correct length screw, and drilling a pilot hole if necessary.
NOTE: if you prefer step 1 and step 2 can be done in the opposite order, since the central hole in the adapter will allow you to attach and detach the Domino Clamp from the shipping container corner casting even when the Plywood is fixed to it.