Thursday, 19 March 2015

NOCC - a failed attempt

The van 'NOCC' - fail attempt 1

If you remember from an slightly older post I was changing an old van into a chicken coop, well I hit a 'snag'. They say that you learn more in life from failures, but with that said I should be so much smarter by now! :)

So the original idea was:
Using old 1' diameter rural piping (black hoses) we were going to create an arch and lay shade cloth over it, and up the sides run chicken wire attached to the bottom of the shade cloth, so there would be no spaces at all for the little chickens (or guinea fowl right now) to escape. Once we got the shade cloth and got it all up there, the weight of the cloth slowly caused the pipes to bend, once they got to a certain point, there was no stopping it :( Shame, but it is ok, we tried. So now I have two new ideas, and I am in an internal debate about which one to do. I think they will both work, but I am trying to think about all the other projects around the place, I would hate to use something here that I could only use on the next project.

So the two ideas, firstly I could use wood. The support around the van is currently wood, so I was thinking about using more of that. The wood that I am using is from an old shed (2 1/2 car garage) so there is more than enough wood to go around, and it is really nice hard wood. There are star pickets already in place, so I could just attach the wood to the star pickets, make a frame from that and done. Also the wood would be a lot stronger, and would enable us to make easy changes, like adding a hanging water feeder or watering system. 
The other idea is using reclaimed steel poles. These are galvanised steel from an old exterior structure. We are not metal workers, I have nothing to cut something that thick, or to weld on to something like that, but we do have a lot of the 'joiners' that link those kinds of metal poles together (like the supports for a chain link fence). The reason why I have such a big debate in my head, is that those poles would be 100 times stronger, last forever, and never give way, however, with all that said, they might be put to better use on something that needs that kind of structural integrity, not something that just has to hold up shade cloth.

I know what you are thinking "first world problems here!", and you are right, there are people with no wood to spare, and no steel poles just laying around their yard, and this is the reason why I take so long to make a decision, I would hate to waste it when I know there are people out there that could also use it. 
I think that I will use the wood. I have enough reclaimed and saved screws and nails to put it all together, as long as I have wood that is long enough to go the entire length (I could just join, but that always creates a weak point). Also I do feel more confident working with wood, don't get me wrong, I still have no idea what I am doing, but I have a drill and a hand saw - what could go wrong??

So, come Saturday morning, I shall start the process of making a large wooden frame for the new guinea fowl enclosure :) This afternoon (when it gets cooler, it is 30oC (86oF) 45% humidity right now) I will start to move some wood up there, same thing tomorrow after work I will move more and get the area ready, then come Saturday morning, let the drilling, sawing and nailing begin! :) And then hopefully by Sunday morning the guinea fowl are in their new house.

Again to recap, this is what went wrong, the support were not good enough, we used star pickets to support the bottom of the pipes, but the tops where the problem. So we are going to replace the plastic pipes with a wooden frame.

So, until I update you again on this, thank you for laughing at me, and I hope that you all are learning things as I am, and when it comes time for you to do something like this, hopefully you all get it right with minimal problems :)

Enjoy the rest of your day, and be happy with what you are doing in life, generally.