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The Bench Blog

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A Woodworking and Hand Tool Restoration Blog
Updated: 1 hour 58 min ago

The Rabbit Hutch – Part 6

Wed, 07/19/2017 - 1:00am

The rabbit hutch project is finally looking like a rabbit hutch.  I got a lot done in the last post, but now I need to make the two poop drawers that will sit beneath the wire mesh floors.

You can see the earlier posts in this series here:

In the last post, I painted the hutch, installed the floor frames, fitted and installed the back panels, installed the doors, and made a piece to fill the gap at the top of the front.  Wow, that’s a lot for one post.  Time to make the poop drawers.  Again, I’m skipping photos of me milling wood.

Oak, milled to make the bottom drawer.

Oak, milled to make the bottom drawer.

Laying out tails for the oak drawer.

Laying out tails for the oak drawer.

Cutting the tails.

Cutting the tails.

Chopping out the waste.

Chopping out the waste.

Time to cut the pins.

Time to cut the pins.

Glue up time.

Glue up time.

I found that there was a slight inward bow in the long sides of the draw frame.  I cut a piece of scrap to temporarily keep these pushed out straight while I nailed the bottom on.

The drawer frame ready for the bottom to be nailed on.

The drawer frame ready for the bottom to be nailed on.

For the bottom I decided to use a ¼ plywood that is faced one side with paper.  I think that it is designed to be used as an underlayment for tile.  To attach the bottom, I used Titebond III and nails.

Ring shank nails to attach the bottom.

Ring shank nails to attach the bottom.

Rounding over the edges.

Rounding over the edges.

Flush trimming the drawer bottom.

Flush trimming the drawer bottom.

Flush trimmed, rounded over, and sanded.

Flush trimmed, rounded over, and sanded.

With the bottom drawer made, I gave the outside a couple of coats of paint. Not the inside, that’s getting different treatment.

I applied a couple of coats of paint.

I applied a couple of coats of paint.

So that  the drawer doesn’t slide directly on its plywood bottom, I added an oak runner or wear strip to the bottom edges.

¼" Oak wear strips added to the bottom of the drawers.

¼” Oak wear strips added to the bottom of the drawers.

I applied a heavy coat of paraffin wax to the wear strip.

I applied a heavy coat of paraffin wax to the wear strip.

The bottom drawer was fairly simple.  The upper drawer is a little more complicated as it needs to have a notch cut out of the back to account for the ramp that links the upper and lower levels of the hutch.

I milled up a bunch of oak stock and cut all the pieces to length to make the drawers.

I milled up a bunch of oak stock and cut all the pieces to length to make the drawers.

I’ll skip all the photos of the dovetailing this time as it is exactly the same as the first drawer.  In the bellow (after) photo, you can see the joints all finished.  This one took a little longer because of the notch.  As you can see, it has eight dovetail joints instead of four.

After much sawing and chiseling, I had this frame assembled.

After much sawing and chiseling, I had this frame assembled.

I cut an appropriately sized piece of ¼-inch ply for the bottom of the drawer. This was glued and nailed in place.

I cut an appropriately sized piece of ¼-inch ply for the bottom of the drawer. This was glued and nailed in place.

I did the same flush-cut and round-over with the trim router before painting.

After softening all of the edges with a ⅛-inch round over bit, I painted the drawer.

After softening all of the edges with a ⅛-inch round over bit, I painted the drawer.

My next-door neighbor had some left over countertop laminate that he gave me.  This will make a great waterproof liner for the drawers.

Glueing laminate to the inside of the upper poop drawer.

Glueing laminate to the inside of the upper poop drawer.

I didn't get all of the parts to align perfectly, but a good application of silicone caulking will take care of that later.

I didn’t get all of the parts to align perfectly, but a good application of silicone caulking will take care of that later.

After the glue had cured, I trimmed the edges flush with the laminate trim router and a block plane.

I made a quick jig for installing drawer pulls.

I made a quick jig for installing drawer pulls.

This will ensure that the holes are drilled in the right place.

This will ensure that the holes are drilled in the right place.

I bought these drawer pulls at a clearance sale at the Lee Valley store when I took a trip to Kelowna, BC last year.   I knew they would come in handy at some point.

Not bad for a 12¢ drawer pull.

Not bad for a 12¢ drawer pull.

I caulked all the seams and painted the top edges of the oak.

I caulked all the seams and painted the top edges of the oak.

This should keep any liquid from getting at the wood.

This should keep any liquid from getting at the wood.

The top and bottom drawers were done the same.

The top and bottom drawers were done the same.

Here are the drawers installed in the hutch.

Here are the drawers installed in the hutch.

 

Well, that’s the drawers done.  Now this thing needs a roof.  More on that in the next post.

 

– Jonathan White

The Rabbit Hutch – Part 5

Mon, 07/17/2017 - 1:00am

The rabbit hutch project is finally taking shape.  I usually don’t paint or finish a project until the very end, but this one really calls for painting along the way.  Painting many of the inside parts would be difficult later, but easy if done now.

In the last post, I made the floor frames for both levels of the hutch.   I need to install these, but first I’m going to paint the inside of the hutch while I can still get in there.

Starting the painting process.

Starting the painting process.

I left the top of the drawer runners unpainted and gave them a heavy application of paraffin wax.

I left the top of the drawer runners unpainted and gave them a heavy application of paraffin wax.

I also applied some wax to the side of the hutch where the drawer makes contact.

I also applied some wax to the side of the hutch where the drawer makes contact.

The two floor frames were installed with screws.  I had drilled countersunk pilot holes in the last post, and they made installation must easier now.

I installed the two floor frames.

I installed the two floor frames.

You may remember way back to my first post in this series when I made the doors.  Now it is time to install and paint them.  I also installed galvanized latches.

Installing the doors.

Installing the doors.

I gave a little thought to the inside of the hutch and decided that it would be pretty dark in there once the back and the roof are on.  I decided that I could lighten it up a little, by painting the interior surfaces gloss white.  This will help to reflect what light does come in through the wire mesh doors.

Cutting the plywood for the back of the hutch.

Cutting the plywood for the back of the hutch.

Due to the dimensions, the back had to be made from two sheets of plywood.

Due to the dimensions, the back had to be made from two sheets of plywood.

Testing the fit before painting.

Testing the fit before painting.

I beveled the top edge of the plywood.

I beveled the top edge of the plywood.

After testing the fit off the back, I prepped it for painting.

Filling the worst of the defects on the plywood.

Filling the worst of the defects on the plywood.

White pain on the inside face.

White paint on the inside face.

With the back installed, I moved on to fixing an oversight in my design.  There is a large gap above the front face frame and below the roofline. I decided that I could fill this with a piece of plywood, but needed some backing support to attach it to.  I cut three pieces of douglas fir and beveled the tops to match the pitch of the roof.

I cut and fitted some backer blocks.

I cut and fitted some backer blocks.

These will allow me to attach a plywood piece to fill the gap.

These will allow me to attach a plywood piece to fill the gap.

I cut a plywood piece to fill the opening.

I cut a plywood piece to fill the opening.

I screwed the backer blocks to the hutch and painted them before installing the plywood board.

I painted the backer parts.

I painted the backer parts.

That will keep the wood protected.

That will keep the wood protected.

Painting the plywood.

Painting the plywood.

Installed with some screws.

Installed with some screws.

I countersunk the screws.

I countersunk the screws.

I filled the holes and calked the edges.

I filled the holes and caulked the edges.

After the caulk had cured, I painted.

After the caulk had cured, I painted.

Another part done.

Another part done.

With that, the main body of the hutch is done.  Now I need to build two poop drawers, a roof, a ramp, and a small insulated box that the rabbits can go into to avoid the worst of winter.

In the next post, I’ll tackle the drawers.

 

– Jonathan White