Making a Sign for the Homestead
- Created on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 04:13
- Last Updated on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 04:19
- Published on Wednesday, 03 August 2011 04:13
- Written by seedspreader
- Hits: 6046
Since the written word has existed, there have been signs. Signs have been used for both informative purposes and advertising purposes from early on. The discovery of Pompeii shows that even in the ancient world that signs were used regularly. Sometimes a sign can be as simple as a picture, sometimes it's a long description of words stringing a thought. Sometimes it's a basic combination of both. Like I made a sign for our homestead. Why, you ask? Why do you need a sign? Well, the simple answer is that I don't NEED one. I wanted one. We will be selling eggs, produce and other services (sign making maybe?) and we wanted a way to communicate that. Sure, simple signs are probably just as effective, but I wanted something a bit nicer. The Amish use simple signs and they are effective to some extent. I've never made a sign before, but I had and idea of something I might like. So I decided to go for it.I wanted a sign that captured the essence of our homestead. We live in Bear Lake but picked the Spanglish version "Oso Lago" so it was not just a simple "Bear Lake" sign. (Thus the name of the Blog). I was determined to use simple, cheap and readily available materials. In other words, I had sticker shock at the price of "nice" wood at the stores. Have you seen how much oak, prime pine, or even #1 Poplar costs, let alone if I get all exotic with cedar. So I began to make my sign using pieces of 2x4 that I had ripped while making my Garden Tool Organizer (hmmm... I guess I need pictures and a write up on that now too). The pieces were ripped to about 7/16 thick. I stacked 5 of them on top of each other, used 4 more pieces of ripped 2x4 as uprights and then used finish nails to join them together. This was the base of the sign.
Bob's Super Coop Chicken Tractor
- Created on Thursday, 01 September 2011 23:59
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 02:34
- Published on Thursday, 01 September 2011 23:59
- Written by seedspreader
- Hits: 13642
You may remember the post about our first chicken tractor made for Oso Lago. It served it's purpose well for the bantam's that it was made for, but even then, they were too crowded. We decide to move them to the chicken coop in the back yard that had been a shed, that was a chicken coop before that. The chicken coop, too, served it's purpose, for a time. We put turkey's in with the chickens (some folks/books recommend against this due to the possibility of disease, but we've not had any problems in the past) and the turkey's grew so quickly and were so aggressive for food that they actually crushed and killed some of the chickens.
- Mobile - Need to be able to move it fairly easily.
- Durable - Needs to stand up to the snow belt environment. Treated wood, sheds snow, etc.
- Strong - Needs to be able to stand up to coyotes, evil neighbor's dogs, coons, possums, a CASUAL encounter with a bear, etc.
- Low Maintenance - I want chickens... not repair jobs.
- Little-to-no-cleaning - Again, I want chickens... not clean-up jobs.
- Easy to feed and water.
- Easy to collect eggs.
- Easy to access the hens.
- Ability to catch the hens easily (working door to trap them when I want to)
- Enough room for the hens to get plenty of greens - I can't free-range them without putting them in mortal danger, but they don't need to know the difference.
So with those items in mind I set forth to build Bob's Super Coop Chicken Tractor! (drum roll and fanfare withstanding).
My design is a basic triangle design. It's a fairly common design as far as chicken tractors go, but in order to fulfill item #8 on my list of Easy access to the hens, I wanted to be able to walk into it. I'm 6' 5" so I wanted it at least 6 foot tall. I also wanted at least 4 sq. ft. of grass per chicken, so I went with a bigger 6' x 8' ft. base. Now, if you'll notice, my list doesn't say anything about "light weight". I did keep weight in the back of my mind, but I knew this was going to be heavier than many of the chicken tractors that people build... especially those pvc things. Those things wouldn't stand up to 4 foot of snow, so they weren't important on my list. So with my 10 Important Items, I put together a parts list, which honestly needed amended several times during the build. I will post it in a minute, but I have to take a second to talk about the build. I'd like to say I knocked this thing out in a day, but I didn't. Could I have? Probably, if I had everything I needed right here, when I needed it... AND... if I spent the straight time working on it. But I didn't on either account. When I am working on a project, I like to marinate in it a bit. I try to think of better ways to build it, design it and implement it, so I would build a little, think a little, hammer here and there, change up the plan a little. Think of something else I needed to do and the order I needed to do it in. So it was about 3 weekends later. I remember the first weekend that I started building I was planning on accomplishing more, but I got a last minute trip to Montreal requested of me by my job. When I left that Sunday afternoon there was just the base and the six uprights with the ridge pole up... it looked and felt a bit flimsy.
As promised earlier, I put together a parts list that I will post here ( please note, that I didn't use all the nails and hardware that I bought, but I take a long-term approach to those. I never regret HAVING a nail here, but I have regretted not having that screw or nail when I needed it):
- 5 lb box of roofing nails.
- 5 lbs of 5/16 washers
- 18 treated 2 x 4 x 8's
- 2 sheets of 3/8" CDX (<-- x for exterior grade) plywood.
- 1 lb 3" drywall screws
- 2 small pulleys
- 10' lawn mower cord (bought off the roll at the hardware store)
- 3 eye screws
- 4 hinges (technically salvaged, but I do have new ones available that I bought on clearance for $1.00 per set of 2 from WalMart a couple years back.
- 30' of 36" hardware cloth (bought off the roll at the hardware store)
- 16' of 48" hardware cloth (bought off the roll at the hardware store)
- 4 lag bolts (for the wheels)
- 2 - 6" wheels (erroneously marked 9" on my drawn up list)
- 2 - 4" wheels (erroneously marked 6" on my drawn up list)
- 1 square of #2 cedar shake shingles (not installed yet)
- 1 - 8' x 8' blue tarp
- 1 lb 1-1/2" drywall screws.
- (still searching for) 2 lbs of 1.5" ring shank nails for the cedar shake shingles
- 1 - 5/4" x 6 x 8 decking board used for the gang plank.
My video.The build is pretty simple and I'll illustrate it with pictures and comments.
Six 2x4's and Some Old Roofing = Goat Shed
- Created on Saturday, 27 August 2011 04:21
- Last Updated on Tuesday, 06 September 2011 02:35
- Published on Saturday, 27 August 2011 04:21
- Written by seedspreader
- Hits: 21115
Use what you have, keep what is usable. Good words for a homesteader to live by. The goats arrived last weekend. Their pen was set up, but I hadn't been able to build their shelter. I wasn't too worried because they had HEAVY brush to dodge rain. Of course, the second night they were home, while we were coming home from the fair we got nailed with HEAVY Hail when we were about one mile from home. Both Amy and my first thoughts went to the goats. We were worried about them. If we hadn't of been worried about them, we probably would have pulled over and waited it out to be safe, but we drove through it... fast. As we pulled up the Hill to the driveway at Oso Lago, we noticed that there wasn't any hail up here on the Hill... Wow! Praise God!, but it was raining heavily so we rushed back to the pen. We grabbed a tarp from the garage.