Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Egg Machine

Spring is near and it always brings new challenges. I have adopted 7 hens from my neighbor who just moved down to Mississippi. Naturally being a furniture maker I built my own chicken coop or "chicken tractor" as I have heard it called. I wanted something portable to move around the yard and keep the chickens in fresh grass. If all goes as planned I should get about 3 dozen eggs per week. 
 It has 3 egg laying boxes. The pine shavings are from windsor chair seats. I use to throw these shavings away but what a perfect use. I built this thing like a tank to protect my girls. We have lots of coyotes around here. I saw three in the backyard last week.
 Today I added the chickens to the coop and they seemed to like the new environment. My other neighbors raise chickens and have helped me through this project. My first egg was laid in the grass. Oh well, you can lead a horse to water.......
 On the back I have my tools to clean out the roost area. Later this spring I'll get some fencing so these hens can run free during the day.
 Back to the settee which has been delayed from the chicken coop. I carved out the crest rail. I scrape the volutes with a piece of bandsaw blade ground to a profile to fit. Very effective tool which can be adapted to any shape.
 After the carving complete I installed the crest and spent the afternoon doing the final clean-up for painting.
 Here it is this afternoon ready for paint. I carve the crest out of walnut which is easy to carve and shape.
 Here is my setup to paint. Usually with chairs I flip them up side down to paint but this is not so easy here so I will paint it in this position for every coat. Tomorrow I will start this process. Black over red.
 My new book arrived in the mail this week. Very informative book on wood properties from Christian Becksvoort called "With the Grain". I love the quality of the books that come from "Lost Art Press". A must have book for any woodworking library.
 Last week I had to make a trip to my log yard in Scottsville, Kentucky for a white oak log. I had my camera along and took these shots.
 The white oak selection was slim. They had just sold a bunch and these were left over. I got the one in the middle. I ended up with two logs before leaving.
 It was hard to leave without this gorgeous cherry log. Maybe next time.
 Here is one of the white oaks I ended up with. Waiting to be split you never know what's inside. I will know soon.


  1. Thanks for the great tip on using a bandsaw blade to scrape the volutes. I really like the way you have left just a hint of gouge marks on the surface. Beautiful. -Jamie

  2. Settee is stunning Greg and the White Oak is like a gun barrel ! Nice central heart too. Cheers

  3. Thanks Jamie, I learned the scraper trick from Alan Breed many years ago.

    Glen, yes that oak must have grown on some level terrain. I'll trade you for that pine I saw on your blog.

    1. Ha ha. I'd have to think seriously about that one Greg, but I'd swap you all the Pine in Oz to have native White or Red Oak like you guys have! Thanks for the link too on your blog. Cheers