- This project was to build a small-pet hutch and explored:
- how to compare material prices
- optimising the use of stock material
- dealing with irregularities in stock dimensions
- Made-to-measure versus cut-to-spec working
Our eldest cat Kickass (sometimes Kicky, sometimes Kix – depending on how adorable he's being) does like to be out in all weathers; sometimes sheltering under the hedge in order to be on look-out, or else huddled under the neighbour's shed. Having just finished making a luxurious 8 cubic meter pleasure palace for the ferrets we thought that Kix should have a little shelter of his own. We could have bought something new (=mass produced and somewhat ugly) for around £40, but since I'm spending a year with wood I naturally decided to make something myself at around that budget. Here it is completed – it's too early to say if Kix will adopt it or else will be annoyed that this thing has suddenly appeared in his favourite corner of the garden:
As you'll know if you're reading through all of my woodworking articles the cost of the timber is a constant problem. It seems like it is impossible to hand-make anything at all for less than the cost of buying something new. It's very frustrating, making something by hand should not only be 'better' but should be bloody cheaper too. But it never is. Anyway, I'm not ranting on that topic again – suffice it to say my budget meant that I wanted to use the cheapest wood possible.
Wood of course is sold 'per length' or 'per board' – so comparisons in cost aren't immediately apparent. Eg. Battens are available at 48x25mm costing 60p per meter or we can use 25mm ply for a wall panel of the same thickness. 25mm ply comes in 2.44 x 1.22m boards at a cost of £76 per board. If I want to make a 25mm thick wall panel measuring 50x50cm , which is the cheaper wood to use?
I would need 10.4 half meter strips of the 48mm battens, which would be £3.12; or about 1/12th of a...[Read On]