Progress: sun room door and cat kibble shelter

There was quite a crowd of kitties this morning!

There are 12 cats in this picture. Happily, Rolando Moon is still hanging around, busily hissing at any cat that comes near. We haven’t seen Creamsicle in a while, though. I hope he is all right.

The cat butt sticking out of the entry is a hoot. That is Rosencrantz’s baby, and she seems to be the shiest of the bunch.

As you can see by the frozen blocks of ice, artistically embedded with leaves, it’s been getting a bit cold out at night! It did warm up a few degrees above freezing. Not good for paint, but it had to be done.

I can now officially say that replacing the door on the sun room is DONE!! I just came in from outside a little while ago, and the paint was dry enough I could close the door. What’s supposed to be blue is now blue, what’s supposed to be white is now white, and nary the twain shall have contact with each other!

Yaaah!!

No, I didn’t take pictures. I’m am tired of taking pictures of that door! šŸ˜€

The next project is the shelter for the cat food. It will be placed about where the kibble containers currently are. I want to position it so that it will also provide extra shelter for the entrance to the cat house. The heated water bowl can be plugged in, inside, but the bowl has to be outside, since there’s no way I’m going to be lifting that roof every morning to refill their water. šŸ˜‰ The shelter for the food containers will help keep the snow off the water bowl, too.

It took a couple of hours, but I got the end pieces of the frame done.

Working with this wood we salvaged from the barn has been a challenge. Nothing is even, so about the only thing I can measure is length. After that, I basically just made sure all the pieces matched and lined up. Not being able to just take measurements meant I had to get creative in lining up the pilot holes. Just making the pilot holes was an issue! My drill bits that were the right diameter for the pilot holes are just barely long enough to drill through the wood. I went hunting in the basement and the garage and, while I did find longer drill bits, they were all too large.

Thankfully, the bits I did have were long enough that, after drilling the pilot holes in one piece, I could position them on the other piece, “drill” though the pilot holes again, and make a mark on the other piece.

It worked most of the time. With the uneven wood, there were a couple of spots where the bit just wasn’t long enough to leave a mark.

Once I’d marked the pieces, I could drill more pilot holes, then screw them together.

When we used this wood to make the goat catcher, I had 3 inch screws, and only used two per corner. This was meant to be temporary, but I still didn’t expect it to be so wonky, it would end up bending and breaking the screws! So this time, I got 3 1/3 inch screws, and there’s 4 in each corner.

That thing is solid!

I started by attaching the 2 ft cross piece on the bottoms. The first corner was screwed together manually. Even with the pilot holes, it was not easy – and with arthritis in my wrists and fingers, rather painful. Our new drill isn’t a quick release type, and I didn’t want to be switching from drill bit to screwdriver tip, over and over, so I decided to use an old drill that we “inherited” to put in the screws.

That worked much faster!

Once the cross pieces were in, I got out a tape measure and figured out how much of an overhang I wanted on the roof supports. I decided to make the roof supports 3 1/2 feet long.

Lining those up at an angle was a pain in the butt! Once again, it was more about making sure the pieces matched, because there was no way I was going to be able to take usable measurements. I managed to get them lined up and the pilot holes done. By the time I was putting in the last set of screws, though, the drill was starting to complain, so I set them as far as I could before the drill started having a hard time, planning to screw them the rest of the way by hand.

When I took the screw driver tip off the drill, I realized I was seeing smoke coming out of the drill!! I remember that happening when we used it before. This old thing overheats very quickly!

By then, it was getting too cold to keep working outside, so I will continue the rest tomorrow. Once I have the 6 foot horizontal supports in place, we can take some measurements for the floor and wall boards.

The good thing is, we’ll be using the scrap wood in the junk pile. They are a lot thinner. That means I can finally use the table saw, and do all the cutting at once. šŸ™‚ Those will be nailed into place; in cleaning up the basement, we found an old ice cream bucket full of nails that are just the right size for this job.

We can also go hunting in the barn or sheds for something to use as a roof. The roof supports are 3 1/2 feet long, but I hope to be able to have a sheet that’s 4 ft. The roof will be the last thing put in place.

After that, it’ll be done for this year. It’ll need to be painted, but we’ll be using it right away, so that will wait until spring. The one exception might be the roof, depending on what we find to use for that.

I hope to get a lot more done tomorrow, but that will really depend on the weather! At least they’re no longer predicting snow flurries, but who knows what the day will actually bring!

That reminds me. We need to bring the sheets of rigid insulation stored in the garage, back to the house. We’ll have to find a better way to get the sheets for the sun room windows to stay in place, though. At least this winter, we won’t be keeping the doors to outside propped open for the cats to go in and out, now that they have their own heated house! šŸ™‚

Lots to do before winter sets in, that’s for sure! šŸ™‚

The Re-Farmer

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