Sunday, September 11, 2011

Wearing the Dad Hat

This weekend we had shop class.  Remember shop? Girls had to take home ec, shop was purely a boy thing, and woe to you if you wanted to take the class for the other gender.

Here at the Collective, we're equal opportunity.

We have, as you already know, chickens. Their coop is converted from a wooden shipping crate. From our studies on how to care for them, I learned that coops need a lot of ventilation so the chickens stay healthy. To make the coop easier to get into and clean, and to provide more air circulation, we took the roof assembly off and added a 10" clerestory-ish window all the way around, screening with hardware cloth. Then we set the roof assembly back on the coop. We also moved the existing roost boards to hopefully eliminate poo in the nest boxes.

We'll have to make some kind of shutter system for really cold weather, but I have a few ideas for that little task. We also are going to add an outboard nest box and put vinyl siding on the coop to improve the appearance.

Birdman was a big help with this project. He helped disconnect the roof from the main part of the coop, and cut some of the boards for the window framing. He helped cut and staple the hardware cloth as well.

Velvet helped with carrying tools, measuring and holding boards as they were being cut. She also helped make sure we didn't squish any chickens when we set the roof assembly on the ground after its removal.

Lightning McQueen was a general fetch and carry person; holding screws and boards, handing me different tools, and asking all sorts of questions.

I had to disconnect the light switch wiring from the box when we took the roof off. It's been a long time since I did any electrical work, so to help make sure I got the switch wired up correctly when we were finished, I took a picture with my phone before I disconnected anything. (Sort of made that part of the job into an Ikea project, ha ha). Then I simply made the wires look like the photo, stuffed them back into the box, put the cover back on, said a brief prayer that I'd done it correctly, had Birdman plug in the cord, flipped the switch on, and booyah, it worked!

I meant, again, to take a picture of what it looks like now that it's finished, but once again the light got away from me and it's too late. I'll get it up eventually, I promise. Meanwhile, here's one from right before we set the roof back in place. And one of the light switch box, in case you ever need to wire a light switch.


  1. Nice job! I do the same thing if I have to take something apart - take a picture of it first! It has saved my rear end on more than one occasion!


  2. I have been rebuilding an antique table. How to keep it attached to the base was giving me fits. Metal top, wood base. I gave it two days thought till it came to me. Asked hubby what he thought would be best (just to keep him in the loop, poor thing had a cold). He concurred with me and did the actual work on that since he did that as a job for 5 years. Makes him feel special. Tomorrow I sand and paint and buy screws to put the legs back on. Pictures will be posted. tada And yes, I took shop.