Monday, February 21, 2011

Genius or Serendipity?

I compensate for my lack of knowledge and skill with stubborness. If I knew how to make a right-angle corner or had the skill to cut a 45-degree corner into a piece of molding no compensation would be needed. The fact that I can not do these kinds of things is why stubborness is vital. I therefore present to you the "No Matter How Many Times I Cut It, It Is Still Too Short" edition of the Shamrock and Thistle BLOG OF INANITY!

 The gates I built for the stalls in our barn are a good example of making the best out of an unattractive situation. The gates were made out of recycled lumber. The burnt boards that make up the body of the gate are from the wood siding on the old house that burnt last year. Without thinking I screwed them to the frame on the inside which made for an odd looking gate. I was bothered by this at first and contemplated rebuilding the thing to make it look right but then decided it would be quicker to add a 1x1 rail across the top and in the indention of the gate create a storage area for short handled tools. Genius or Serendipity? When I give a tour of our barn I generally fail to mention that the design was an accident caused by my inexperience and lack of know-how and let my guest draw his own conclusions as to my genius!

 This chicken house was constructed from wood siding salvaged from the old house. It doesn't look it in the picture, but the entire structure is level. The amazing thing about this is that I have never built anything 'level' in my life. I can only guess that it was because I was trying to build it with a slope towards the back that I actually, accidently finished with a level building all the way up to the roof. I had to add a strip of lumber to the front edge of the structure to make sure the tin would slope enough to allow water to run off the back. Stubborness trumps stupidity eventually.

I threw this gate together pretty quick one day. It has two pieces. The top piece sits on two wood brackets mounted on the inside of the door frame. The cross piece is a segment of landscape timber scrap that I remove and use to "lock" the door everynight when the chickens go inside to roost. The gate was built with the intention of keeping our goats out of the chicken feed. It did the job! What amazed me even more than getting something to work right the first time is that our egg production went up and our feed consumption went down. Why? Because, not only were we keeping the goats out of the feed, but our geese can't seem to solve this puzzle of a gate and aren't eating the feed either. We are getting more eggs now because this gate also deters our egg-sucking dogs from stealing eggs from the nesting boxes.
I am going to claim this as genius though I really didn't plan it to be so effective!

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