Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Working on my garbage can/outhouse building

Cows scratching on my nice fence!
Future garbage can holder frame
The other day I was drinking coffee in the kitchen and looking out the window when I spotted these culprits abusing my fence!  I just finished that fence last year and the cows use it as a scratching post.  If you look real close you can see a couple of rocks from the rock jack that have been knocked to the ground.  I need to string a strand of electrical wire but to do that I have to run an overhead cable from the chicken coop to the fence and then string the wire and install two gate crossings.  Needless to say that is not happening this year.
Location of future garbage can/outhouse building


I have been talking to Annmarie about building a container for our trash can.  I was going to put it across the driveway but she wanted it here, so here it is, the future home of our garbage can holder.  I am going to make it look like an outhouse.  I actually drew out some plans so I would know how much lumber to buy (I never draw plans).  I went in and picked it up today.  I only had to buy the frame pieces as I had purchased an entire bundle of 1x10 x8foot last year at a local fundraiser auction.  Those are all stacked out in the old chicken building.  I have them neatly stored for future use.  All though this really isn't future use since I am going to use them, but I didn't know that last year.  Clear as mud. 

I was wearing a hat (safety device for the hair impaired) when I smashed my head into the end of one of the 4x4 sticking out of the pickup bed.  It hurt and I expressed my extreme displeasure vocally to the 4x4 but I don't think it really cared.  I was going to make a six foot by four foot enclosure.  I measured the trash can after making my lumber purchase (remember those plans I drew up earlier?) and realized that an outhouse probably did not need to be that big (trash can was only about 30 inches across each way).  So I altered the plans and made a four foot by four foot enclosure.  The bright side of this is I only had to dig four holes instead of six and ended up with two extra pressure treated 4x4.  I can always use those to fix the broken trellis next to the house.  After digging the holes (I used the Pythagorean theorem at the lumber yard to calculate the hypotenuse so I could just measure the holes and not lay out a string frame.  I had to borrow a calculator with a square root function at the store as I am not very good at getting to the inch in my head.   He offered to go get me his engineering calculator but one of cheap ones at the counter had a square root function.  I was throwing him off, I told him that all those kids that despise math have a thing or two to learn, because we use it every day) I realized that I could set one pole by myself but how was I going to set the rest of the poles and keep everything square and exactly four feet apart?  I needed some assistance.  The child was enlisted as post holder and squarer (remember she is on light duty so I had to do all the extra digging as my holes needed a little adjustment).  It was much easier with some help (thank you Sarah!).  We got the posts in and a couple of supports up to hold it all together.  My battery was running low and Sarah was starting to ask me why I was shaking while holding the drill over my head and trying to screw in the screws (I ignored the child and complained to the wife later that Spring sucks because I don't do any hard manual labor in the Winter so I have to go on this crash exercise program every year) so I knew it was time to quit for the day.  I will get the roof supports in tomorrow and hopefully be ready to side it, who knows I may even put on the plywood roof.  Nah, no roof yet, I want to be able to put the roof up and get the tin on right away and there is not enough time tomorrow for that.  Besides if I get the rest of the framework finished I can move the trash can inside the frame and it won't blow over anymore.  With no siding on it this will get the trash men used to our new location and they won't ignore it (out of sight, out of mind) later.  That is a good plan.  I do have to one thing that must be completed tomorrow before I can go outside, here is to hoping the weather and this thing cooperate.  

Here is a view from the front.  I did end up deciding to make the entire front the door.  This saves me a couple of steps.  The front lower support will be removed after I get all the other supports in place.  The other view is from the house looking out toward the driveway.  I am going to cut a crescent moon into the front door and am still deciding what to cut in to the left and right sides.  I need the air to circulate and it will look nice.  I was thinking about a Jerusalem cross near the top on each end.    Who knows.