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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there,

I am trying to build a house for some chickens but have no experience of carpentry besides putting stuff like a garden or some shelves up. These things required no specific carpentry skills, I thought a chicken coop would be easy. And it mostly seems to be.

Except for the actual joinery! I have no idea how to attach the four legs to the cross beams that will form the main box structure and support the floor. I looked up joinery methods and it seems mortise and tenon joints are used to attach things at right-angle like this. This is something I have not done before but am happy to try.

But there needs to be two cross beams joined to the upright members. One to form the front of the structure one for the side. These will need to be at the same height, so two tenon joints would interfere with each other and not work right?

Using screws would be the easiest method for me, as I have no specific carpentry skills and little equipment. But what would be an effective way to use screws to join each cross member to the each upright leg?

I am attempting to build something like this:

http://www.justcages.co.uk/products/steve-fisher-woodwork-fishlake-chicken-house#

(without the attached cage)

Everything seems logical and easy except for the actual joinery of the main structure.

I can list the timber I have, but dimensions will be in the odd mix of imperial & metric that we British use.
 

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I would use carriage bolts or lag screws go to home depot or your local hardware store and tell them what you want to do and they will help you with it. Joe
 

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Structures like that don't require complex joinery methods, IMO. As stated, bolts/washers/nuts will work, as well as screws. For example, if your uprights are 4x4's, cross members (2x4's) could attach to the exterior, two or more at each point of attachment. Whatever hardware you choose, select weather resistant products.






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Discussion Starter #4
Unfortunately our hardware stores in the UK are staffed by the same sort of pimply faced teenagers that you might expect to find in McDonald's.

They will not be much help!

I looked up the lag screw joining method, looks simple enough like something I can do. But Im just wondering whether it will really be strong enough? As the large cross members I have to attach horizontally will then not be directly joined to the vertical members at all. But via a diagonal brace with only one lag screw per corner.

Is this enough?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
WELCOME TO THE FORUM

Structures like that don't require complex joinery methods, IMO. As stated, bolts/washers/nuts will work, as well as screws. For example, if your uprights are 4x4's, cross members (2x4's) could attach to the exterior, two or more at each point of attachment. Whatever hardware you choose, select weather resistant products.






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My uprights are 3x2"

The horizontals are 2x2"

I also have lots of 2x1" that could be incorporated somewhere.
 

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I would use uprights 4x4 ,horizontials at least 2x4's, plywood floor. Two lag screws in each corner should be good.I don't think chickens weight that much.lol Joe :laughing:
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
When you guys talk of using lag screws do you mean that the screw goes through a diagonal brace similar to how a table might be made?



Also, I think you guys have a much bigger scale in your minds than this is going to be. Just 3 chickens!

I think 2x3's for the uprights and 2x2's for the horizontals will surely be plenty strong enough if I figure out the right way to join them.
 

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When you guys talk of using lag screws do you mean that the screw goes through a diagonal brace similar to how a table might be made?



Also, I think you guys have a much bigger scale in your minds than this is going to be. Just 3 chickens!

I think 2x3's for the uprights and 2x2's for the horizontals will surely be plenty strong enough if I figure out the right way to join them.

We're talking about a structure that sits outside and is subject to various weather elements, such as wind shear. Having 4x4's as verticals, the 2x4's would attach to the outside of the 4x4, and lag screws (ones with wood type threads) could be used, or through bolts with washers and nuts.

If you determine that your selection of structural materials is sufficient, I can only offer an opinion. You asked.






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Discussion Starter #10
If you determine that your selection of structural materials is sufficient, I can only offer an opinion. You asked.

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Thankyou, sorry if I sounded like I was rejecting your advice. I just thought your recommendations for materials may have been based on the idea that this was going to be much larger than it is.

The whole structure will be less than 4 feet while and 2 feet deep. 3 chickens thats it. Ive looked up factory made coops for up to 6 birds. And they have been a similar size.

Do you have a image that shows the lag screw or bolt joining method that you are suggesting?

Very grateful, thankyou.
 

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Bear here is a machined bolt this is how you use the bolts to connect two pieces of wood.you would have to get the right size bolt for the job. they have all kind of sizes. Just drill through the two pieces of wood and insert bolt. sorry for the mistake on the name of the bolt . Joe
 

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I had some rabbit cages and my floors were galvanized mesh wire so I didn't have to clean the cage all the time. My cages were built out of 2X4s as that is all I needed and they were about the size you are wanting. I nailed mine all together then used deck screws as the cages will most likely come apart if not screwed.
 

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Bear here is a carriage bolt this is how you use the bolts to connect two pieces of wood.you would have to get the right size bolt for the job. they have all kind of sizes. Just drill through the two pieces of wood and insert bolt. Joe
Joe, nice photos and well meaning advice, except that is not a carriage bolt that you show, its a hex head machine bolt.
These are carriage bolts, and have a rounded smooth head with a square section underneath so that when drawn into the wood it "locks" and can't rotate. You use a wrench from only one side. ;) bill

Carriage Bolt
 

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How many chickens are going to occupy this hen house?

Why are you making it so far off the ground?

From what I am reading on here it sounds overbuilt unless it is for a large number of chickens.

George
 

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Bear's post no 8.....3 chickens

..."Also, I think you guys have a much bigger scale in your minds than this is going to be. Just 3 chickens!" ;) bill
 
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Discussion Starter #18
How many chickens are going to occupy this hen house?

Why are you making it so far off the ground?

From what I am reading on here it sounds overbuilt unless it is for a large number of chickens.

George
Im making it about 16 inches off the ground to allow a little space for the chickens to shelter underneath if it is too sunny in summer. Plus it will stop rats gnawing at the sides of the coop. Which is very likely to happen as I live in a built up area not far from restaurants and such.

I dont know if those pictures of how to bolt wood together are supposed to be poking fun. Of course I knew thats what you do with them.

What I was stuck with is how bolt the horizontals to the uprights, when the horizontals need to be at the same heigh to support the floor of the coop.

Ill do some drawings to explain what I mean.
 

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What I was stuck with is how bolt the horizontals to the uprights, when the horizontals need to be at the same heigh to support the floor of the coop.

Ill do some drawings to explain what I mean.

When you start with a 4x4 as a vertical, and you screw or bolt 2x4's on the outside of the 4x4, you have plenty of room for the fasteners.






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Sorry Bear I was not poking fun at you with the pics just misunderstood your question. I taught you wanted to connect a horizonal board to a post of somekind using a bolt. Or you could use screws that don't go all the way through the wood post and put the floor on top of the horizonal wood. Joe
 
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