Frustrated with my DIY skills

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by Weasleymum, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Weasleymum

    Weasleymum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2008
    I'm great with design, not so much with the building. I hate using the power saw. It's not a complicated design, but it's so much easier to just sketch the schematic than to get all sawdusty, covered in scratches and try to figure out why the whole thing is still wobbly. My husband is taking over my project, which I didn't want to happen at first (b/c he's got so much else to do and this was my pet project) but now I don't see myself as being able to finish it without his help anyways.

    This is not my first woodworking project, but it is the biggest and the most, um, ... practical. If my computer desk didn't work well, no biggie, but this has to keep my chickies alive, safe and comfortable, so it has to be *right*.

    Anybody else have a pretty steep learning curve with the building process? Or tried to tackle a coop project that seemed much easier on paper than in reality? I just can't wait for this to be *done*.
  2. needmorechickens!

    needmorechickens! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 2, 2008
    West TN
    Oh definitely have the same problem! I can design all day long, but building it requires my DH's help. I have built their ramp to climb up to the roost on my own, and have built some cages to hold my new chicks inside the run.
    It will get better. Just watch what he does and when you get ready to build your next coop ([​IMG]) and the next... [​IMG]
    then you might be able to handle it.
  3. AllChookUp

    AllChookUp Will Shut Up for Chocolate

    May 7, 2008
    Frozen Lake, MN
    Actually, I love doing the "custom"-type work of building coops and brooders to fit the area I have available. It may not look GREAT when I'm done, but it's functional.

    I'll echo that you should just keep at it and you'll improve. Don't get frustrated, learn from your mistakes, use the right tools for the job, and it'll get easier.

    Plus you have a great resource here in the BYC.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  4. sunnydee

    sunnydee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2008
    My first ever project to build something was my chicken coop/run. The coop was fairly easy as it was an old storage shed. The run however, that is a different story. I have taken it apart 3 times already! UGH.....
  5. ams3651

    ams3651 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2008
    NE PA
    me too, its taken months and gone in stages as they needed. My thumbs hate me and my jig saw goes to the left which I am trying to convince my boyfriend is not the operator. Recently put in a nice roost and got the dividing wall of the shed done to about 5' and sure enough they prefer to roost there. The walls Im "framing" with pallets are wobbly and I cant get screws to go in with the drill. so about one day at a time is all i can handle [​IMG] I wish someone would take over my project, not gonna happen. [​IMG] some days i think it would have been easier from scratch than converting 1/2 my shed. but geting by on found materials is definately making it interesting.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  6. Heather J

    Heather J Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2008
    I found when I did my building last year that I had to drill a hole, then put in the screw for every hole. Luckily I had two drills so I could rotate back and forth, but it was the only way I could get my run to go together. Try getting a drill bit and pre-drilling, it was way less frustrating in the long run because it actually worked. if you aren't sure what size to get, take yor screws into the hardware store and ask someone who works there. you want to hole to be about the size of the center of the screw.

    I've never used a jig saw. It doesn't sound like much fun to me.
  7. AngieChick

    AngieChick Poultry Elitist

    Mine was wobbly as well, then I discovered the wonders of those little metal corner brackets (I think they are called L brackets?). It really helped. Also, once the sides get on it gets stabler. I also was having the crappy stripped screw issue that wouldn't go in the wood all the way. Once I switched to the outdoor types with a star head it solved it (the opening the bit fits into on the head is star shaped). The star head screws require a special drill bit, but usually they come with one in the box.

    Anyway, good luck and keep at it. I recently went through this, it was a long learning process and difficult, but it's done. Good thing I'm stubborn, the coop more than once almost reduced me to tears of utter frustration.
  8. clarktx

    clarktx Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 4, 2008
    NW Houston, TX
    +1 on the drilling of the pilot hole. To know what size hole to make, hold the drill bit and the screw up to the light. With the drill bit in front, you should only be able to see the threads of the screw thats behind. Sometimes, I make it a little more than that if it really has to hold together. Thanks to my Dad for that tip.

    Also, don't forget the beauty of bailing wire. Its cheap and works great for securing things, like putting two pieces of cage wire together to make one piece.

    My nesting box was a bit tough to get square, but, it finally made it - my daughter pushed on it and made it stay square while I put the last two screws in. Practice definitely helps.

    For the coop, I recommend retrofitting something else if you don't have the practice. The play houses are a great idea. I used an old metal warehouse rack - its easy, you just bolt on the sides!!

    Also, when you retrofit, you don't have to worry about cost overruns as much, but, if you want to have 20+ chickens, then its harder to find some random thing lying around that you can refit.

    Hats off to you for giving it a try tho! That says more about you than any success could.
  9. ravenfeathers

    ravenfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2008
    my coop project is my very first carpentry venture... and it shows. ugh, it's horrible. and i'm one of those picky, picky retentive people who can't stand for things not to be straight and flush. it's a bloody nightmare. as someone else said, i just wish someone would jump in and take over the project. it's making me nuts!

    and i also have to drill holes before i put the screws in. and i've only got one drill/screw gun. i'm pretty handy with the stupid chuck now, though.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2008
  10. tomdeggeater

    tomdeggeater Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 20, 2007
    Rocky Hill, CT.
    Several portable drill manufacturers make an adaptor that
    goes in the chuck, and will hold either a drill bit with a hex
    shaft base, or a square, torx, or phillips driver with a hex base.
    It's magnetized, so you can just push in or pull out whatever bit you need to use.
    These are good for driving deck screws with square, torx, or phillips heads.
    You can also wipe the screw threads along a bar of soap or a candle to lube it up for easier driving.

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