So Much to Do!

And so little nice weather and daylight to do it in!

As discussed in this post, having to give Juniper eye medication 4 – 6 times a day has made the need for some sort of make-shift barn more urgent, as has Leeloo and Juniper’s sudden desire to actually eat hay.

Up to this point there was enough grass in their track system (I know the official paddock paradise track system book says there should be no grass in your track, but clearly, we are far from the ideal scenario here) that up until recently when I put out hay, they weren’t very interested in it. Granted I wasn’t putting the good hay out and the roughage hay that I was putting out was the questionable stuff that I knew had gotten a little rained on, so their lack of interest was understandable. However, between eating the grass down over the past three weeks and me finally getting into the hay that had not gotten wet, both Leeloo and Juniper are now genuinely excited about eating hay. This has made the need to get more hay before winter a little more important; yes, I can always find some in winter, but I’d rather deal with it now.

This means we’re finally prioritizing building that third shelter, you know, the one my friend and I were going to build by the end of May (ha!).

I created plans that are loosely based off of the shelters we currently have but also slightly inspired by sturdier overall construction.

We were originally going to create the boards and beams we needed using the white oak cut-offs purchased for my hay boxes by gluing and screwing them together. Last weekend we officially got started and managed to make one of the ten 6”x6”x12’ “foundation beams” we needed to make. Once we added in the cost for glue and screws it turned out to be almost the same price as just purchasing some of the boards and beams. Not the big giant beams, which would cost a small fortune, but we can get buy 2” x 6” x 8’ boards for almost the same price as we could create them out of cut-offs so we decided to just buy the bigger boards to make this process go faster, and use less glue and screws.

The boards arrived late on Thursday so attempting to build this thing will be occupying our time for the next few weeks. The goal is to have it done before our next farrier appointment in two weeks. Please note, we know almost nothing about building and woodworking and if you do those plans above and this list will probably make you mad or sad or both. If you are willing to work for free you can always come over and set us straight, otherwise you’ll just have to watch this train wreck slowly unfold.

(Unrealistic) Goals for the next two weeks:

  • Create the “foundation beams” and a few longer boards out of the 2”x6”x8’ boards
  • Build the 4’x8’ “wall cells” we’ll use to build the walls
  • Set the “foundation beams” out in their proper spot and figure out how to level them (that part is still kind of fuzzy in my mind)
  • Erect the “wall cells” on the “foundation beams”
  • Create rafter beams out of lumber (that still needs to be purchased)
  • Install the rafter beams
  • Install the purlins (that term I do know is correct!)
  • Install the roof (materials source is still TBD, I should probably get on that)
  • Install our temporary siding since long term this will be a bug/summer shelter with only a roof and supports, no actual sides

What are the chances we can pull this off in two weeks and it won’t collapse in on itself the first time we have a stiff breeze?

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