Friday, December 18, 2009

Rat Haus

I've been spending my time working on some traditional Greenland Style kayak paddles for friends in the shop. When finished, they look like this: ("Here's one I made earlier." - Think cooking shows.)

However, I've been distracted from this task. My daughter has made a request to create a new "house" for the gerbils (hereafter known as "the bilge rats" or simply "the rats") that she and her brother take care of. Mind you, I'm much more of a predator than prey kinda guy, but the bilge rats are OK.

In the past 4 months of having them, they've managed to mostly chew up a commercial "rat house". So, the DD has made a request for a new rat house, to be two stories with a balcony (not kidding, here) I took in some scrap poplar that I had laying around, resawed and planed the stock to about 5/16". Normally, this wouldn't attract much attention as people would think it was for drawer bottoms. I then started mucking about designing a house to the design brief that I had been given by DD. This began to attract some interest. You have to understand that I did this in a shop with other woodworkers around who were making fine furniture with hand cut dovetails and the like. It started out with the following exchange:

"What are you making?"

"Rat houses."

:::incredulous::: "Come again?"

"I said, 'Rat houses'."

"You're s*****g me, right?"

"Nope. I'm making rat houses."

Things got merciless from there...

("You got a permit for that?" "Gonna be shingle or board-and-batten" "The subs must be pretty small to run the plumbing and wiring." "Is that post-modern?" etc...)

Santa's workshop still has a bit of gluing up to do on the second house, but here are some pictures of the bilge rats and their new chateau....

One Quick-n-Dirty poplar rat house from Santa's Workshop...

Future tenants thinkin', "My, that new house looks tasty..."



Bob Easton said...

Great looking Greenland paddle! Fun to make aren't they? Simple, relatively quick, relaxing.

I'll leave the rat haus making to you.

abduk said...

I echo Bob's comments!

Anonymous said...

Don't let them varmits near my canoe!!


Canoez said...

ROFL! Fitz. We've got them contained. Rat a la glass, doncha know... I'm more worried about the rodents in the attic getting at the BN Morris hanging in the garage!