Monday, February 28, 2011

The Rabbit Hutch

Today in the News:  Today's Post is about the HHAF (Happy-Half-Acre-Farm).  We're just getting started.  We're picking up our first Angora rabbit this weekend.  The oompas are excited, but have specifically told me that I can't eat the rabbit.  Bummer.  I'll have to practice up on my figure-4 deadfalls.

On an unrelated note, my wife is not my cousin.

Link of the Day:

As I've mentioned before, we're attempting to make the HHA into a mini-farm.  Our first project will be angora rabbits.  We intend on harvesting the fiber from the rabbits, spinning it (you have to mix it with another fiber, such as wool) and possibly selling it or trading it with other fiber-producing farmers.  Here's a quick tour of Main Street in Bunny Town.

 My Uncle Scotty had a drunken rabbit.  His name was Fred.  He liked to watch TV - but that's another story.

We've given ourselves plenty of time to do the appropriate research on the breed and care of the animals.  Our first step was to buy a cage for the wee beasties.  I will say up front that I am confident in a lot of skills that I've gained over the years.  Carpentry is not one of those skills.  When building, I use more theory than fact and it generally backfires on me.  When there is carpentry to be done, I usually hide, fake an illness or bring my hammer and just pound on stuff.  If somebody points out that there is no nail where I'm pounding, I just hit them with the hammer.  Then they (usually) never ask me to come back and help again.

I bought this cage knowing full well that a leg was rotten and broken.  I had a spare 4x4 beam out on my junk pile and figured it would be useful as a replacement.  I thought about how to cut it.  As you can see, it has a U-shape cut out of the beam.

I don't have the tool to make a cut like this.  Best I have is a skilsaw and I don't think that would work.  So I decided to notch the beam like you would a log - the old fashion way.  I dragged the extra 4x4 out from the pile and got to work.

I broke out the new Silky saw and got to work. 

Not only did it make a clean cut.....

It was pretty level, too.

I measured it up against the broken leg.

Pretty close.

I measured out the notches......roughly.

Then started making cuts.

One more.  Here is where the experiment begins:

I drove a chisel down into the first cut and gave it a light whack with my four-pound single jack.


It worked!

Another cut.....

...and BANG!  We've notched it.

I cleaned it up with the chisel.

Not perfect, but better than I expected, for sure.

I did the same on the bottom notch after checking the measurements.  Everything looked as though it was going to work.  I was a little shocked.

I held it up against the frame and tapped it with the single jack until it slid into place.

I'll have to shim it a little, as my cuts aren't perfect, but it is good enough and serves its purpose.  

As I was doing this, I kept thinking about the past.  At a young age, I was told that I was not mechanical in my thinking.  At a young age, I was told how difficult carpentry was.  At a young age, a lot of people told me what I couldn't do.  Don't ever let anyone tell you what you can't do.  Show them what you can do.  If you have an interest in something, try it.  The worst you could do is fail - but you'll learn something in the process.  I love to learn.  I just have to do it on my own terms.

Pax Domini Sit Semper Vobiscum,

Mike, Oscar, Hotel.......out.


  1. Looking at those rabbit houses, I'd say somebody had entirely too much time on their hands.

    Good work on the leg. Patience can often make up for a lack of experience!

  2. Using a chisel is a much better idea that just hitting it with a hammer like I did when I made a new stop/base for the grinder. It works, but it requires a lot more sanding then I expected. Looks good!

  3. @ Gorges - If you'd have seen the joint I bought it at, you'd understand. I could fit 15 houses like mine inside of their's. Nice folks just the same. Didn't appear to be gainfully employed. Interesting.

    @ TWT - I learned by failing that the chisel was the way to go. ;)

  4. Very cool idea! Thanks for posting this.
    Really its amazing information about Rabbit Hutches
    Awesome job !!! well done keep it up.