Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Photobucket Access

I have mixed up the password and ID on some of the plans.

Here is how to access the photos. Go to and enter the following

User IDis : isthmushanyman

Password is: playhouse

I apologize for the error.


Tuesday, June 10, 2008

How Many Boards to Buy?

Some of you have written to ask me to calculate the number of boards you need to purchase from the lumber yard. I have included in the plans the lengths of the boards, but did not give you a shopping list per se. Here I will list the lengths of boards and the number to purchase.

First, consider finding used decking materials that can be recycled. The coop is designed to allow older looking deck boards to be used for the frame without detracting significantly from the sharp appearance. A post on might net you some used lumber and a substantial savings on your coop materials.

Whether new or used, you will need the following deckboards to build the 4 x 8 coop.

The 5/4" that I use to name the deckboards refers to the rough dimension of the lumber before it is planed smooth. After planing, the boards will measure 1" thick, not the 5/4" for which they are named.

4 deckboards measuring 1" x 5 1/2" x 10' in length

13 deckboards measuring 1" x 5 1/2" x 8' in length

Please consider these numbers as estimates. The actual quantity depends on your building choices. This will give you an idea for your first trip to the lumber yard.

If you find that the 12 footer are nicer and straighter than the 8 footers as often is the case, then you will need to purchase only 10 of the 12 footers instead of 13 of the 8 footers.

I hope this helps. Please give me some feedback once you build your coop.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Tools Needed to Build the Playhouse Coop

There are some basic tools that you will need to complete this carpentry project. While all of the cut can be done with hand tools, a few power tools will make the job much easier and more satisfying.

As for power tools, I recommend the following: A circular saw ,a jig saw and a cordless drill/driver and a table saw. The table saw will make the rips (cutting a board lengthwise) easier. While a circular saw can perform this, the time and end results will not be the same.

As for hand tools, the basic tool chest will suffice. Additionally, a good pair of tin snips will be needed and a rivet tool will add a nice finished look to the metal roof.

The four sides of the coop are best built on a flat surface. Saw horses will decrease the amount of bending over needed. A good square and level will also help.

Make sure that you know how to properly operate all the tools before beginning. If you are not comfortable with the tool, please consider asking a friend or neighbor for help. You might be surprised at how much neighbors enjoy showing off our carpentry skills by helping you out.

Do think through all the different phases of the building process before beginning to cut your first board. Much time and frustration can be spared by giving careful thought to the entire process.

Best of building success!