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After the recess was roughly shaped to the contours of the washer, I drilled the hole for the bolt itself. Note: It’s important to do this after you use the hole saw bits, because a hole saw needs wood to “bite,” and would slip around dangerously if you were to drill the bolt hole first.
I repeated this for all six bolts on both sides of the spool, for a total of twelve new holes.
Loosely assemble: At this point I replaced a couple of slats and loosely fit all of the bolts.
What I discovered was:
First, my measurements weren’t perfect, so some of the bolts were a tiny bit misaligned. Not a big deal – that’s why they invented hammers.
Second, the bolts were, in fact, long enough to work even when not sitting in slots. See, in moving the slats to the outside, I was increasing the overall height by about an inch, because I didn’t route out slots for them in their new positions out at the edge. Luckily there’s enough play in the threading and length of the bolts that I didn’t need to route a slot to make it all fit, but that might be worth doing if you have the tools and the inclination.
Careful not to smash my toes or fingers or skull or fine china or small pets, and happy that I wouldn’t have to go back and deepen all of the bolt hole recesses, I dropped the cumbersome assembly down onto its “bottom” for the next steps.
Add the boards: I placed the original “load-bearing” boards in groups near the big bolts. When tightened, the bolts “pinch” the boards for a nice strong joint. A few screws keep the boards in place.
Various (mostly 1″x4″) slats harvested from palettes filled in the remaining gaps.
The door: It had to be big enough to comfortably reach inside the house for cleaning, egg stealing, and such. And I was so impressed with the sturdiness, I ended up removing a bolt and making the door as wide as the span between the two adjacent bolts.
I started by tracing the arc onto some boards…
and sticking them together to make an assembly reminiscent of a rocking horse that rocked rather well and made me kind of want to make a rocking horse. But I didn’t.
I temporarily hung the rocking-horse-looking frame into place, accidentally putting the hinge on the right side when I meant to make the door open the other way.
I took it off and added more slats, so that it started to look like a medieval shield of some kind, and made me kind of want to make a medieval shield. But I didn’t.
In retrospect, I should not have maintained a nice arc; I should have flattened the arc where each slat touches it. That would have made attaching them much easier. You really should do that if you make one of these.
I hung the door, and added a handle and a latch.
Fill and paint: The sides got a quick sanding and an even quicker coat of varnish. I filled the big internal gaps, painted the inside brown and the top green, and carved out a duck-sized entrance.
Since this house will be placed in a large aviary-like enclosure safe from racoons and other predatory beasties, and since ducks don’t just sleep all night like chickens, the duck entrance didn’t need a door. So it didn’t get one.
It did get a ramp, though – made from palette wood, and just sort of parked up against the duck door.
And that’s it! The ducks love it, and so does the occasional cat.
Thanks to mcraghead for this great project!