Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Base & A-frame on tractor

A lot of progress has been made on the tractor in a few days. I would like more done of course, but with only two hands...

Base on!

Base painted! This colour is Mid Bristol Green, made by Taubmans. I was going to put the snake mesh on at this stage, but realised I'd probably need room for attaching the A-frame. Speaking of which, I had a bugger of a time trying to figure out what angles to cut. But the solution soon presented itself.

First I made a template out of newspaper. The triangle had a one-metre base, to a height of eighty centimeters.

Then I measured the width of the wood I intended to use and cut an equal thickness out of the template.

Just a simple matter of placing it on the wood, marking with a pencil and then cutting to shape!

Align two matching sides to form an A-frame! The third piece hasn't been fitted yet, but once it is, the strength of the triangle becomes apparent.

And here is the future nesting box. I haven't attached it to the run at this stage, as I want to paint them first and install the treads for the floor.

This picture gives a better view of what it will be like inside. The wood I'm using is more of my recycled pallets.

It's hard to believe the wood is still very solid and relatively easy to cut - considering it's been lying around in our yard for well over 18 months!

Here is the long view and for now, you'll just have to imagine two more A-frames on the other side. One is for the nesting box and the other will be for the roost. I'm making this up as I go along, so I'm hoping I don't get stuck!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Kookaburra II

"Kookaburra sits on the old Hills Hoist, think'n this position is simp-ly choice!"

"Laugh, kooka-burra laugh, kooka-burra..."

Gawh-on...I know you want to!

More chook tractor

Back to construction and a bit more recycling. I made handles from the 1x4 pine formwork, which previously helped to lay the garden shed pad. Came in handy the second time around too!

Here is where I marked the handles to be cut.

And the finished handle with off-cut to the right. I used the off-cut as a template for the rest of the ends. I chose to taper the ends so it wouldn't seriously injur a person, should they accidently walk into it. I also think it makes it look better!

This is the finished handles laid against the frame. Remember I'm working backwards and this will all make sense once I reverse the position.

And here's one I prepared earlier. Just kidding! After I attached the handles with bolts, and fixed the support braces I was able to turn it upright. This is just to make more sense of what I'm doing. Yes, it even helps me to see what I'm doing as I go!

And the above view to see what the inside will look like. I still need to construct the lower frame to attach to this lot. They will be made from whole pieces of 2x4's I purchased from the Hardware store. So it's part recycled, part new materials.

Actually, I hunted around for untreated 2x4's to make the bottom frame, but to no avail. I had to get the treated variety which I was hoping to avoid. Tomorrow I will make up the base and fix it to the run. It's coming together a bit better now but I'm still trying to figure out how to construct the A-frame on top. I failed geometry so at the moment I'm a little stuck.

Won't stop me from getting this first bit finished though. I plan to paint it and fix the snake mesh before attaching the A-frame on top. I just don't fancy doing yoga while trying to hammer those u-nails in to secure the netting inside.

Get this lot finished first, then onto the A-frame!


Additional materials: 1x4 rough sawn pine, more brackets, screws nuts, bolts & washers.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Chook tractor

There were a few brick pallets left over from when the house was built. I always intended to recycle them, so I decided to make a chook tractor recently . No chooks as yet, but we're making accomodations nonetheless.

Before I go any further however, I should show you the "Mark I" version of my chook tractor.

While I love the fact it won't rot, get eaten by termites or pushed over in a hurry, being metal it also limits my ability to work with it somewhat. Now I'm not ashamed to admit that metalwork intimidates me, but since the frame came into my possession I decided to see what could be constructed. But the weldmesh holes were too large for snakes, rats and mice to gain access. I wasn't confident this sturdy structure would ultimately protect the chooks.

So then on to chook tractor "Mark II".

As the tractor measures 1.8m in length I needed to find a way to join the smaller lengths of pallet wood. Here's what I came up with. I also managed to cut my finger with the saw doing these tricky notches.

A few bandaids later, this was the successful join. I intend putting a longer piece of wood over this one for the carry handle of the tractor - so it will brace the join nicely. But I haven't gotten that far yet.

After many hours of work I finally made something recognisable! While it looks like the base at the moment, it's actually the next level up, but I'm working backwards. Makes it easier to do some of the joins that way.

Speaking of which, I should be outside doing more of them!


Measurements: 1.8 metres long x 1 metre wide
Materials: 2x4 pallet wood, metal brackets, wood screws, bolts, nuts & washers.
Tools: Power drill, recessor & drill bits, wrench, angle, pencil, tape measure, screwdriver & saw

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Last mega wall

Oh baby! What a week or two. We've commited all our spare time to finishing this last wall. Where do I start?

Here is the first course. No photos prior to this stage as it was back-breaking work!

Finally, the second course on a very long wall. Don't the photos make it look sooo easy?

Third and fourth courses being dug into the slope. Backfilling essential! Pass the suncreen please, it gunna be another long day.

And up she goes to the sixth course and still one more to go!! Oh my back aches...and here's why-

Seven courses high, plus the capping stones. All comes in under the 1 metre mark for Council regulations. Oh yes, and that's the garden shed slab in the background but that's for another post!

Here's a sweeping view of the prospective mini and mega walls together. We're also starting to flatten out the top. The hardscaping has changed the look dramatically, and made the space more user friendly.

Another view of where the shed will be in connection to the upper and lower walls.

An even better shot of the upper and lower walls together. Here the solar lights are positioned on the bottom wall - the shed pad to the left and our mega wall on top. Yes, there is even another tier above that which we're thinking of planting out with natives - rather than retaining. And finally...

Here is a teaser for the future stairs. The steps will be formed by more windsor bricks, only they will be the same colour as the capping stones - with matching paver treads. But that's another DIY project in future. The shed goes up next!