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Thread: A Bunny Build Blog!

  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by keletkezes View Post

    Staples: what did you use? I tried out the nail/staple gun my mum bought me and that was really effective on the chickenwire we've put across the gap in the gate, but I dunno how well it'll cope with the better wood on the run...
    I use these on heavy weldmesh if my staple gun can’t hold it in place:

    https://www.wickes.co.uk/Wickes-30mm...FUmr7QodSL0PIg

  2. #22
    Warren Scout
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    Quote Originally Posted by orangediva View Post
    You are doing brilliantly, very familiar with the dodging showers thing - my son was going to lay a slab path to one of my runs for me today but it was an absolute swamp out there so we’ve had to leave it.

    As you’ve very kindly agreed to it, your diary entry is going to be my first guest blog post, hope that’s still ok
    Yes of course, that's fine! I'm so glad you think it's worthwhile posting!

    PHEW, what a few days it's been! Bare with me, this will be a long one.


    Monday:

    I set myself the task of fixing up the second run, which William uses. It's slightly older, and he's a chewer! William is also not as patient as his brother, and complained bitterly about being put in the puppy pen. He's also in the middle of a moult, and looks pretty moth-eaten!



    William's run is 15cm shorter than Jack's - I want to increase the height to make it easier to link the two runs for when (if) the 3 boys bond. To achieve this, I thought I'd build 4 simple, meshed frames, which would attach to the bottom of the run to boost the height. I measured up, went to Homebase, felt very smug buying timber and a saw, and felt pleased that I could Get On With It.

    I learnt a few things.

    1. Hacksaws are much harder to use than you think
    2. Don't rest the wood you're cutting on your first, newly painted run, unless you want to ruin your careful paintwork
    3. Seriously, hacksaws are HARD, skip this nightmare and buy the jigsaw that you'll need in a few days time anyway
    4. For some unfathomable reason, I wasn't able to make a single, clean pilot hole in any of the pieces to join them together
    5. Drills catch fire easily

    At this point I started to panic a little - I'd spent money on buying wood and mesh and screws and that blooming hacksaw, and now I couldn't get the things together. I debated chucking the lot in the bin and just buying a new run that was identical to Jack's. However - BUDGET. In the end, my trusty staple gun came out again. Fully expecting it to work as well as a wet paper towel, the lengths actually stayed together?? And are solid?? I was surprised too. It's not high-tech, and it's certainly not 'proper', but it seems to have worked, and I'm not going to question it!

    The result - 4 crude, but pretty coloured, frames, ready to be meshed.



    I also scrubbed the run down (same method as in my last post), and started painting. However, the frame-fandango took so long, I only got the lid done.



    Tidying up, feeling better about my bodge-job, I set the frames on top of the run, to see what it'll look like...and they're the wrong size. HORROR. They're twice the height they were supposed to be. I DID measure, but couldn't be bothered to walk over to my phone and check the calculation (a super simple subtraction), and I got it wrong Again, debated binning everything, but couldn't face having to saw any more wood. So I'm keeping the frames for now, and I'll make it work somehow!

    The galvanised mesh panels that I used to mend Jack's run were pricing out too expensive for the panels, so instead I'm using a mesh roll.



    It's finer than I'd like, so I'm doubling it up for extra protection. Turns out, the roll is perfectly double the width of my too-tall frames! Happy accident after all! Again, it's secured using my trusty staple gun.




    Capable's top tips:
    • 'Measure twice, cut once'. It's the most boring bit of DIY advice, but unfortunately it's true
    • No matter what it is, if it's your very first time doing it, it wont be perfect. It takes time, and practice to learn things. Be patient with yourself.
    • Stay hydrated
    • Don't use an overly massive drill bit - this is how drills go on fire
    • Remember to download your neighbour-friendly playlist, or else Spotify will use all your data
    • If you forget, then embrace the quiet. Listen to the birds.
    • Buy a staple gun, seriously

  3. #23
    Wise Old Thumper tulsi's Avatar
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    Some great advice here. What staple gun would you advise?

    I am well impressed so far.

  4. #24

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    Wow your well underway now.

  5. #25
    Forum Buddy Zoobec's Avatar
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    I’m loving this thread and your great sense of humour

    It’s going to look great

    Binky free at the bridge Boots, you will never be forgotten xxxx
    IF YOU NEED HELP WITH ANYTHING PLEASE SEND ME A PM OR ANY OF THE OTHER FORUM BUDDIES

  6. #26
    Warren Scout HouseOfRabbit's Avatar
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    Reading this with interest. Been doing some design ideas myself for a new kennel setup so this is helpful.

    One idea I did think of was about the restraining mesh door on the playhouse. With the limited amount of room I was wondering if putting it on a guide runner system somewhat like a vertical drawer would be a good idea? Would allow for removal when cleaning or allowing bunnies out of that door and wouldn't have the issue of which way to set the hinges.

    An alternative I'm playing with atm is a two door mesh "airlock" with the kennel/playhouse door being the inner door allowing it to be left open in very hot weather. It's something my Grandad did for his aviary so that one door was always closed when going in/out to prevent escapees.

  7. #27
    Warren Scout
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    Tulsi - I don't think I'm in much of a position to 'advise' about much, since all my work is 'suck it and see' The staple gun I have cost about a fiver from B&M, the brand is Rolson. It's only a weeny thing, not like the big buggers that cost £20+ in Homebase, but it's done every job I've asked of it.

    HouseOfRabbit - I see what you mean about an internal door on runners. It sounds like a great way of doing it! It also sounds...not exactly OUT of my skillset, because I'm a persistent sod, but far enough removed that I wouldn't like to attempt it without plenty of free time and good weather! When I get that far, I think I'm going to look into a 'double air-lock' type, inner, mesh door, much like the one keletkezes posted a page back.

    The weather is starting to turn today - unfortunate, but expected - 4 consecutive days of sunshine is unheard of in Northern Ireland! I'm eeking out what little dryness is left, but once I'm finally driven back inside I'll likely have time to write up the last few days worth of build action!

  8. #28
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    So much for writing up last night - I was exhausted, and in bed by 9!

    Tuesday 27th

    I'd had a text saying my playhouse would arrive between 10 and 12. Hurrah! Fully expecting it to show up at 11.55, I glumly turned away from the nice, sunny weather, and brought my run frames indoors to mesh them while I waited. I'd put in about 5 staples when this drove past my window at bang on 10am...



    I did have a bit of a panic, wondering exactly how many pieces it was coming in!
    My house is a mid terrace, with no side access on the whole street, and the delivery driver wasn't allowed to bring the pieces through. This was the first time I was glad I didn't buy a bigger one! (Observe my still-unmeshed frames behind the playhouse!)



    I shimmied the bunnies forwards to give myself working room, and laid down my big, heavy duty tarp, with an old bedsheet on top - to protect the wood from getting damp or scratched on the concrete, and to protect the concrete from paint drips. I thought back over my 'mare of refinishing my hutch/runs, and decided I was going to do this playhouse Properly, so that I only have to do it once. It was sooo tempting to just start putting it together, to see what it looked like in the 'flesh', but resist! Basics first!

    I say that...I actually went straight in with the paint first, because I don't learn I started painting the door first (Top Tip: When painting panels, raise them up on flower pots - this will stop you from painting your groundsheet, and enable you to get to all those pesky edges. It also saves your back!)




    I popped on a first coat of Country Cream, and wasn't pleased. Not only did the nail holes spoil my nice paintwork, they also looked like prime candidates for Water Intrusion - not on my watch! Out came the god-awful Tescos all-purpose filler, and armed with a plastic clay sculpting tool (far better than the back of an old teaspoon, fyi), I proceeded to fill in the holes. All the holes. In every panel.




    The 1 redeeming feature of Tescos all-purpose filler, is that it can be painted over when dry, and it dries mercifully quickly. It took me about an hour and a half to fill in every exterior nail hole, and while I didn't go wild with it, it wasn't the most perfectly neat job. If you're feeling particularly virtuous, you can go back and sand the filler smooth. By this point, I was far past virtuousness, and just slapped the paint on top. If anyone is ever churlish enough to point this out, I'm calling it 'charm'.



    At this point, I picked up the instructions, and was aghast to discover that none of the pieces come pre-drilled. One must drill all of one's own pilot holes, or else the thing is not going together. Recalling the previous day's drill fire, I was understandably uncomfortable about this; but took a deep, British breath, stiffened my upper lip, and gave it a bash.

    This is probably what the '2 person' bit of the instructions pertains to, but I found that with enough sweating, and leaning panels against hutches and stacks of paint tins, it really can be accomplished by yourself. There were no drill fires. There have been no more drill fires since. I know, I don't know either.



    At this point, I'd been getting a bit carried away in my excitement, and hadn't been taking my advice re. staying hydrated and taking breaks. I'd been working for about 6 hours, but with rain apparently scheduled, I had to make it watertight before I could stop for the day - this meant getting the roof on. I was actually a bit ( probably naively) miffed that the roof didn't come pre-felted - I considered felting roofs to be rather beyond me.

    If you've never had to deal with it before, I can tell you that roofing felt is evil. It is heavy, it is smelly, it is stiff, it is rough and hard on your hands, the gritty stuff (professional, I know) falls off if you so much as look at it, and it gets EVERYWHERE - yes, I'm talking bras. Being exhausted, and not adequately fed or hydrated, I didn't read the instructions properly and cut the felt the wrong size. Twice. Thank goodness the roll the company provided was enough to roof 3 playhouses! When I finally got the lengths correct and started to tack it down, I started spacing the tacks WAY too close together, so of course I ran out. I ended up eeking out the last few tacks, so at least the whole thing was semi-held in place, figuring I'd buy extra tacks and secure it properly later on. The most important thing was that it was up!



    Capable's Top Tips:
    • Try to keep the cat out of the filler. You wont succeed, but he wont like the wet cloth you have to run for, before it dries on his paws
    • Start building where you intend the finished product to be - you will NOT be able to move it by yourself once it's built
    • In addition: make sure where you're building is solid and lavel - mine wasn't, I had to shove extra shims underneath to steady it. Oops.
    • When you're prepping for watertightness, don't neglect the base. I forgot about this, and am kicking myself. I should've painted or treated the base joists, and plastic wrapped the underside of the base
    • Stay hydrated, for goodness sake

  9. #29

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    Hope you managed to re-hydrate, you are rocking this building lark!

  10. #30

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    Crikey you are doing incredibly well, I’m so enjoying this

    My blog is going public this weekend with parts 1 and 2 of your build diary on - I’m loving part 3 even more.

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