Monday, April 26, 2010


I took woodshop in middle school.  I spent an entire nine weeks cutting, shaping, and sanding a...pair of salad tongs.  Not sure what the logic was behind the tongs, exactly, but that was the assignment, and by golly, that's what I made.  They were lovely.  In making my tongs, I used lots of large, noisy tools.  I wore eye protection.  With that kind of carpentry experience tucked snugly under my belt, my chicken-housing project should have been little more than a walk in the park, no?  No.  No park-walking here, boys and girls.  Let me share with you an excerpt (verbatim) from today's episode of Power Tools in the Playroom.

Me: (on cell phone, having reached the frayed end of my proverbial rope) Honey, I'm having a tough time with the back wall.  I can't get the kind of leverage I need to sink the screws all the way.
How come?
Me:   Well, it's 6 feet tall, and I just can't get behind the drill like I did on the others.  How would you do it?
I'd frame it up on the floor, I guess...butt it up against the wall.  That way you've got all the leverage you need.

Me:   Uh-huh.  (meaningful pause.)
What's wrong?

Me: Just to clarify...

 Me:   This process should not involve me standing on chairs?
(coughing suspiciously) Um, no.  Not so much.

Me: Because that's how I did the first three.  On a chair.  With a lot of swearing. In Pig Latin.
You're breaking up.  I'll talk to you when I get home.

Yeah.  So the final wall went together like roughly a third of the time it took to assemble each of the others.  Which brings me to another handy little trick-of-the-trade I thought I'd pass along for those of you less-than-savvy carpenters out there:  The Pre-Drilled Hole.  When your husband tells you to pre-drill the holes for your screws, he does not mean that you should drill each hole just before you put in the screw, while standing on a chair and cursing in fluent igPay atinLay.  He means, Clever Clogs, that you should put the amnday board on the sawhorses (NOT  on the arms of the playroom couch) and drill all 7 sets of holes before you do anything else.  And then, while you've still got the drill bit in the drill, go ahead and do the other board the same way.  Then, my little Ty Pennington wannabe, you can switch to the Phillips bit and attach the whole kit and kaboodle at once.  Just sayin'.

So the framing is done, and tomorrow I'll be digging a trench to put the pavers on before we raise the walls.  Meanwhile, those chickies were growing like a time-elapsed National Geographic special from 1978, so the kids and I rigged up a halfway house for them. It's a bit more spacious, and allows the girls to get reacquainted after their long separation in two separate brooders. 


  1. Chickens are ugly!... Just sayin'... But I'm sure the coop is NOT.

  2. You made me laugh!!! That sounds like just the kind of thing I would do. Good luck with the pavers :)

  3. So now I know why you have no time to talk with me...


Thanks for taking the time to makes me feel a little less like I'm talking to myself again.