Building potato planters

Today I built the potato planters. My first project with the new table saw and nailer; they certainly made the job easier.

I made three planters, for three different varieties of potatoes. I basically stuck to my design, except I decided the interior pole wasn’t needed, since the boards stay in place quite well without, more so with dirt inside the box.

The loose filler boards were cut a bit longer than the sides, to make them easier to grab and remove when harvesting potatoes. I kinda like the interlocking look, too. The boards will be slotted in as the plants grow.

Now we just need to get some dirt!

Materials exposed & organized

Today I re-stacked the materials delivered yesterday, so I can reach the various bits in the order I need them.

Footings, roofing, Lexan for windows, etc in the foreground, and the big 8x lumber pile in the background:

Lumber, plywood & OSB:

Everything:

Flooring joists in the foreground, and floor plywood exposed in the background:

Studs etc:

Trim and 1x4s:

Fence posts, siding, furring for potato planters:

Potato planter design

Sometimes I’m not too fussed with tidy lines  when drawing in the Linea app. Here, I’m using it to help visualize the frame for a potato planter box. The four sides will have removable boards added as the plants grow.

Making three of these will be my practice project to get used to the new table saw and nailer, before I start work on the new chicken coop.

Chicken coop materials

As mentioned, I’ve been working on designing a second chicken coop. See an earlier post for some plans, though they’ve been tweaked a bit since then.

Once I got the plans fairly locked down, the next step was to work on a spreadsheet that lists all of the materials needed to build it:

This is broken up by a bunch of things to be delivered by Home Depot (including lumber, siding, roofing, etc); things to pick up in-store; and things that won’t be needed till later.  Within each of those, there are columns for the parts of the coop (floor, each wall, roof, run, etc), the location in-store to make finding them easier, and other details.

Yesterday I pulled the trigger on the project: I went to Home Depot to buy the in-store stuff, which was primarily a table saw, but also some minor tools like squares and such, and also to look over the items on my order list, to make sure I made the right choices.

Then the big step — placing the order for all the material to be delivered. (An excellent deal, by the way: hundreds of items for one very reasonable fixed delivery charge.)

All that will arrive on Wednesday, so I’ll be able to start building after then, weather permitting. I will use a large canopy to keep the construction dry, so I could do at least some of it under that, but it’ll be more pleasant to work when it isn’t raining.

I plan to document the process on this blog, so stay tuned! Here’s hoping I haven’t made a huge mistake. 😬

Second chicken coop plans

We will be getting about a dozen baby chicks in May, to expand our chicken flock (which started at ten a couple of years ago, but is now down to seven). So we wanted a second chicken coop, so we can keep the new chicks separate from the old chickens until they’re old enough to be together.

Over the past couple of months I have been designing a new chicken coop. The design started off fairly small, but after ordering the chicks I realized I needed a bigger coop (chicken math is a science). Over time the design has been refined, and yes made a bit more complex, but I’ve tried to keep it fairly simple, so it’s within my basic construction skills. I’ve also been reading a lot, and watching videos, about standard construction techniques.

The current plan is that the new coop will eventually become the main one, since it will be a bit bigger and will have nicer features, and the old coop will be used (maybe next year) for bantams.

Anyway, I’m sure I’ll continue to tweak my design, but I’ve pretty much finalized it now. Here is what I’ve come up with.

Still getting set up

I’m still getting this blog set up. I’m not sure what content I’ll post here; ultimately I want to document things like building a new chicken coop, and post photos and videos of our chickens, and getting into beekeeping, and the various other activities around the homestead.

Today I tweeted some screenshots of the Linea app, showing my latest chicken coop sketches.

Here are the images from the tweet:

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