On Tuesday morning, a pile of chicken tractor pieces arrived at our house. It was mostly the pieces that we just couldn’t fit in the Fit. I love my car, but it has limitations. It is limited to 8 foot sections of lumber and 10 foot pieces of pvc pipe. Anything bigger than that: 2x4x10s, 2x4x12s, sheet goods, we have to have delivered or get a truck. We were planning to rent a truck and pick up all our supplies on June 26th. And then Covid-19 spiked in Houston. After a week of the numbers getting worse and the baby pullets getting bigger, we decided our best bet was to swallow the $79 dollar delivery fee and have Home Depot bring us our tractor supplies.
Tuesday: I marked all of the boards according to the cut list I made, based on The Book. Once the Fella had finished the work day, we brought the chop saw outside and got to work. By the time 8:00 rolled around, our arbitrary stop and clean up time, we had a pile of wood: cut to length, labeled, and stacked according to part.
Wednesday: I marked all of the lap joints, while the Fella worked. After dinner, he pulled out his new router and tried it out to see if it was a viable tool for making lap joints. Yes, it makes nice lap joints; just not this many lap joints. We had over 30 to do. The router would have taken forever.
Thursday: After the previous day’s experiment with the router, we pulled out our trusty chop saw. It’s a compound sliding miter with a depth stop. We got all of those laps cut in an hour and a half. I started knocking out the little slivers between the cuts.
Friday: We made progress with cleaning the laps joints. My crummy old chisels did a fair job, but we decided to splurge on some new Dewalt chisels.
Saturday: We picked up our chisels and made short work of the remaining lap joints. With 100 degree weather, we went inside until around 6PM and came out and assembled the front, and sides. We also realized that we didn’t have the 2 1/2 inch screws the plans required. Deck screws are one of the things that are difficult to find right now, like pressure canners and cedar pickets. Luckily I could find them online and have them shipped to the house.
Sunday: This was another 100+ day. We assembled as much as we could in the morning. I also decided to spray paint the ground contact side of all the pieces while they were still flat and the bottoms accessible. I also started spray painting the cat litter buckets that will become my nesting boxes.
In true Miranda fashion, it wouldn’t be a project without a spreadsheet and a plan. The Fella teases me because we have a “production meeting” every evening where we discuss progress, the plans for the next day, and spec out changes to the original plans. For example the nesting boxes and window we are adding will be discussed Tuesday night and we will plan our approach.
We want to be nearly completed by Monday because that’s when our next rain shows up in the forecast. It says the rain will be light, but that is all relative in Houston, Texas.