DIY Portable Ice Shanty

DIY Portable Ice Shanty thumbnail
Ice fishing shanties cover frozen lakes and create shantytowns during the winter.

Some sportsmen enjoy fishing on frozen lakes during the wintertime. Perhaps it's the isolation, or the adventure that comes from overcoming the elements and bringing home a catch of fresh, cold water fish. Some fish, such as Northern Smelt, only run in the wintertime. Swimming upstream in large schools, fishermen easily catch this small fish by drilling a hole in the ice, and thrusting their nets into the water as the unsuspecting fish swim by. Regardless of their motivation, ice fishermen must protect themselves from the cold winter snows and wind with a reliable, yet easily transported ice shanty.

Things You'll Need

  • 2-by-4 wood studs, 20 pieces
  • Pre-primed fir plywood or OSB board grooved siding, 5 pieces
  • 2-by-2 pine boards, 96 inches long, 2 pieces
  • Hammer, measuring tape, pencil
  • #16D common nails, 2 lbs.
  • 2 1/2 inch all purpose, coarse thread screws, 1 lb,
  • Cordless drill with assorted drill bits and Philips screw driver bit tips
  • 7 1/4-inch builder's saw
  • 6-by-9 poly-vinyl reinforced plastic tarp.
  • Staple gun with 3/8 inch staples
  • Utility knife
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  1. Building Prefabricated Roof and Walls

    • 1

      Cut 6 pieces 2-by-4 stud 42 inches long, and 4 pieces 12 inches long. Use these pieces as the top and bottom plates of 5 wall sections.

    • 2

      Build 3 prefab walls, each 96 inches tall by 42 inches wide. These will be assembled into the ice shanty. The studs should be 16 inches apart from one another, which means that each wall will have 4 vertical studs nailed into the top and bottom plate.

    • 3

      Make 2 wall sections that are 12 inches wide. Make these panels the same height as the 42-inch wide panels. These panels will be used to form a wall that includes a doorway.

    • 4

      Nail or screw one sheet of the pre-primed OSB siding to each of the prefab walls. Cut the siding so that it is the same size as the wall, 96 inches by 42 inches for the three large panels, and 96 inches by 12 inches on the small panels.

    • 5

      Cut a piece of pre-primed OSB siding from the last whole piece of siding. Make it 45 1/2 inches by 49 1/2 inches. Cut 2-by-2s that will form a perimeter, or lip on this piece. Screw 2-by-2s to the perimeter of this piece, so that the 2-by-2s are attached to the bottom, unprimed side of the board. When complete, the entire edge has a 2-by-2 lip. This piece will become the roof of the ice shanty.

    Assembling the Ice Shanty

    • 6

      Transport the pieces of the shanty to the ice fishing location. Check with local authorities to make sure the ice is thick enough to support fishing and your equipment before driving out onto the ice.

    • 7

      Screw the three 42-inch panels together to form a "C" shape using the 2 1/2 inch galvanized screws. Add the 12 inch wide panels to create a partial fourth side of the shanty. Position the shanty so that the open side of the building faces away from the wind.

    • 8

      Screw the square roof piece on top of the shanty. The lip around the edge of the roof panel will fit over the outside of the small building like a top on a shoe box. The roof can be screwed to the building through the 2-by-2 lip into the top plates of the walls.

    • 9

      Staple the poly tarp over the opening on the open side of the shanty. Staple the tarp along two sides and partially down the third. The tarp will keep out the wind, and create a closed environment which can be heated when occupied by the fisherman.

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