This weekend we wanted to finish framing out the run for the coop. We are going to add three sections that are eight feet in width.
The second weekend materials list:
- 5 – 2″ x 4″ x 10′ … @ $4/each …. $20.00
- 18 – 2″ x 4″ x 8′ … @ $3/each … $54.00
- 7 – sets of hinges … @ $2.50/each … $17.50
- TOTAL $91.50
Again, I had to make two trips to get the lumber as I cannot haul both eight and ten foot lumber at the same time. We do not need everything this weekend, but since the ten foot lumber is a pain to haul, I got two extra and will use then in the coming weeks. All that is needed this weekend is three. Same with the hinges. All that is needed this weekend is three.. but I decided to get the extras as will need them for doors later on. This was an expensive week for materials, but I have been selling eggs and so the girls paid for this weeks materials.
I am purchasing the materials for this coop to get the cost if one does have to purchase everything to get it made. But I have obtained a lot of materials for free watching Craigslist. I look for 2 x 4 lumber and fence boards. If I had a truck or a trailer I would get some old fence panels as I find the fence boards are useful in the various projects I come up with outside. With an SUV I have to get boards off the fence runners or scrap lumber people are need to get rid of. I always keep my eye out even if no project is in the works as I know in time I will use it.
Because of the crazy stories I hear about Craigslist I always call my mother and give her the address I am headed to. I also either put her on speaker and into my back pocket where she can listen, or we have her call me about 10 minutes after I arrive there. Should I not answer she will try again then call the police if I don’t answer. After a quick chat we hang up and she will call again in another 10 to 15 minutes. I call her immediately after I get in my car and lock the doors and start heading for home. As much as I like free I don’t like injured or robbed.. so we take precautions and walk away if anything feels odd.
The first thing I did was lay out all the lumber in the places where I would be assembling them. This photo is a bit further along but you can see where I have laid out the lumber in sections. It makes it a bit easier to work if it is all there and you don’t have to keep running for the lumber. Especially with the heat here in Texas still in the 90’s.. I am trying to work in the shade and do the work in the cooler hours of the day. So having the materials where I will need it saves steps during the construction.
We are going to add the next three sections as we did in the previous building of the coop frame. We are going to hinge together two 2″ x 4″ x 8′ lumber so the hinge will fold back completely on itself. After the hinge is added and screwed into place, fold the two boards together and center them perpendicular to a ten foot 2 x 4. I used two eight foot boards laid out extending from the already constructed section to determine where the ten footer will go. Then, as before, spread the two hinged boards out to meet the ten foot boards ends.
Align the bottom of the ten footer with the inside bottom edge of the eight footer as above and insert only one screw. This will be a pivot and allow you to line up the other end the same way.
Now we need to add an eight foot board at the top near the hinge to act as a prop to get the frame up and in place. Since I do not have the top horizontal boards running so they butt up but rather are staggered, I marked on the board a line where the bottom edge would go if I was butting the horizontal board up to the top of the vertical frame near the hinge. Then I put a screw into each end of an eight foot board until just barely breaking through the back side. I attached one end to the newly constructed frame with the top edge of the eight foot board running along the line I drew and screwed it in slightly.
I have found the easiest way to attach the prop board is to lift the frame up a bit and position the prop board until I can get the two in a place I can join them together. It will not be exact.. but close. When we get it more upright and the other side in place we can adjust this end and put it where it needs to be.
With the frame propped as above I then aligned the eight foot boards to the bottom. I attached the end to the already constructed with a single screw to allow a pivot then rested the other end on the ground. This allows me to determine where the ten foot board needs to line up. These bottom boards will also be staggered. Since I will have a wire apron running two feet out on the ground all the way around, the footer bars off the ground do not bother me at this time. Will let you know what I think when we get further into that part of the construction.
Grabbing the grounded end of the prop and stepping up on my little step stool I brought the board up and put it into place and lightly screwed the board into place. I now needed to do the other top side. Though a second set of hands would be handy here.. I found I could rest one end in the space created by the hinge at the top and then move the other end into place. I anchored the end to the section I had already created first then moved to the other end, removed the board from where I had it propped, and put it into place. I lightly screwed them until I had the board where I wanted it then screwed them in tight and added a second screw to both ends. We then went back to the other side and got it where we wanted it and tightened everything up and added a second screw to each end.
We continued to create the frames and add them to the existing structure. The next section top horizontal would now butt up to the top of the vertical board and the final section would once again be lower. The nice thing I found with the construction method was I could pull the frames and move them a bit to make sure everything was running straight and in line. I am constructing this coop under a Mesquite tree and have to run everything under the over hanging branches. I also wanted to run it parallel to the back property line. Even after the last fame was constructed and in place, it was a pleasant surprised to have the ability to move it some. To make sure everything was running straight I got up on my little ladder and looked down the top. Any frame out of line I got down and tugged into the correct position.
The second weekend saw us finishing up the entire coop and run frame and it took about 3.5 hours. You can see the top line has a staggered look. Since I plan on wrapping chicken wired over the top I do not think I will have any issues with the boards not butting up and running in line. It is still hot here in Texas so having this section take just a few hours was nice. Next weekend we will be adding the floor to the end where we will have our coop. I really could use an extra hand here, but I think I can use some clamps and still get it done.
TIME: 4.75 Hours