Hardware question

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by domromer, Aug 5, 2007.

  1. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    I'm going to build a new tractor for my girls tomorrow. The last one I built is getting too small.

    I ran into some problems when I built the first one, namely the wood cracked a lot. I'm not sure whether this was because the wood was very old or the screws were too big.

    So in your collective experience.

    1. Can 1x2 be used in place of 2x4? In a bid to save weight.

    2. What size screws should be used with 1x2? Last time I had all sorts of different screws that I found and I'm not sure if they were the reason the wood cracked.
     
  2. greginshasta

    greginshasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mount Shasta, CA
    Ah hah! Now you are asking stuff I can help with.

    Do you have a screw gun? Like a cordless drill with a screw bit? I do ALL of my construction any more with those.

    If you do, the hardware store will have galvanized construction screws in a variety of lengths. They will be phillips head as opposed to using a flat screwdriver, and possibly "combo head".

    Here is a combo screw http://tinyurl.com/2a27a7 What is really cool about these is that if you have a screw gun and use a square screw bit, it really bites well and you can drive them consistently without stripping the head.

    I really like using those for construction because when you change your mind or make as many errors as I do, if you didn't hose the screw going in - you can usually twist it back out.

    As for 1x2, it depends upon whether it is hardwood or softwood. If you find the wood is cracking, drill a pilot hole - with or without sountersinking the screw head. A bit like this http://tinyurl.com/3c3ddq allows you to drill a hole that will receive your screw and allow good connection to the wood surfaces. And using that bit in this countersink http://tinyurl.com/3xrcn5 really provides professional results by allowing the screw head to drop down to the lumber surface.

    Hope this helps!
     
  3. barg

    barg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    1x2 might be a bit flimsy to hold the weight of the hardware cloth, 2x2 is what I used to make mine.
    You might get away with 1x2 if you did it right though.
    Maybe a combo of 1x2's and 2x2's...
    2x2's in the 4 corners as support and then 1x2's as the cross beams.

    In my case it was necessary to get 2x2's ripped from 2x4's because the 2x2's they sell at homedepot and Lowes are from lower grade wood and, well, suck!

    As for the screws, I must ask, did you pre drill holes before you screwed it together? If not, that may have been the problem.
    You need to pre drill the holes or the wood is going to split.

    GL [​IMG]

    Added: greginshasta beat me to the submit button [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2007
  4. Firefyter-Emt

    Firefyter-Emt Chillin' With My Peeps

    If you have access to, or know some one who has a decent table saw, buy 2x10's and rip them to 2x2 if that is what you want to use. The 2x10's will be cut from a better part of the tree and much less likley to warp and split. Also make sure you pre drill the holes and even use some soap to lube the screws to help you along.
     
  5. greginshasta

    greginshasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With regard to the 1x2 material, depending upon the tractor design, it's still possible this is desirable material to be used. For example, 1x2 could be used as ( think it would be called a batten?) the outer covering over 2x2 or 2x? to secure hardware cloth. THe idea being that the framework is the thicker lumber, then you lay on the harware cloth, layer 1x2 over that and screw it down to the frame.
     
  6. barg

    barg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Yup, thats how mine is made too. I did use 1x2 as the "molding" over the chicken wire on the outside.
     
  7. greginshasta

    greginshasta Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Barg - I just love your coop. It's way gorgeous.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  8. barg

    barg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2007
    Quick question:
    Are you building the tractor as their main coop or in addition to their main coop?
    It may make no difference but, if it is their main coop you might have to take more security precausions that may alter your design a little.

    If your interested, You can kinda see my tactor on this page of the Esther Winnie thread. Despite what it says, it has undergone some changes but the basic frame is there to look at.

    Quote:Thanks, I quoted you into my coop thread.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Wisconsin
    Yup, pilot holes should do the trick. Our tractor is made with 2x2s and covered with 1/2" hardware cloth. The frame is put together with screws and the hardware cloth is screwed onto the frame, with washers on the screws, instead of using molding.
     
  10. domromer

    domromer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2007
    Flagstaff,AZ
    So it seems I would be better off using 2x2s. I'm going to pre-drill first. My girls would only be in the tractor during the day, at night I bring them into a second coop. That being said. Should I still use hardware cloth on the tractor? Or can I use chciken wire with the small holes. We live in the suburbs with a well fenced yard. I think my main predators would be cats and hawks. Although I have not had any trouble with these yet. It probably helps that all my neigbors have dogs and I have two of my own that are seperated from the hens. I imagine most racoons don't like all those dog smells.!
     

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