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?"
:::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..."