In my dim and distant impoverished youth I bought and assembled my fair share of Ikea furniture, and today that skill set came into it’s own. A couple of years ago, I bought a 10 hole conventional nest box set, and it came flat packed, just like the bookcases used to.
My hen house had perfectly functional wooden nest boxes we’d made years ago, but I’d bought these metal ones with a view to switching when we switched flocks. The wooden ones are fine, but can be difficult to clean out. My brother has the metal nest boxes, and he’d shown me how you can pop the bottom out of a single nest to clean it if need be. I was pretty impressed with the idea of being able to raise the perching bar to close the boxes off at night, too – my brother doesn’t bother, but Salatin and many others do. Broodies and other birds often want to nest or roost in the boxes at night, requiring more clean outs, and I’m getting tired of that. With this new flock getting used to the patched up hen house, it was time to get the nest boxes put together.
See the instruction sheet? The writing on that top half of the sheet is all the writing there was. The part that’s folded over is a very hard to decipher diagramme of where the two different types of screws are supposed to go. The top half of the text you see in the picture is just the contents list. The little paragraph after that is the sum total of actual instruction.
This wasn’t exactly like putting together a bookcase, however, because the contents included 73 pop rivets. I had to go and check these out on Google. Every single hit said you needed a riveting gun to use them. So then I had to go to YouTube to see how the tool was used. And then, because riveting guns are bigger and more expensive than Allen keys, and therefore not included with every flat pack of nest boxes, I had to find one that I could use.
Ten minutes later I was walking briskly down to Hay Guy’s workshop, where he was glooming over a hydraulic something or other from his excavator that has stripped threads, which even I could tell was a Bad Thing. However, he demonstrated how to use the riveting gun and chatted for a minute before I headed back up the road to my project.
Two hours later, I was able to return the riveting gun, my nest boxes fully assembled and looking like the real deal. Of course, the birds don’t need them yet, but now I’ve got them ready to go at a moment’s notice.
In addition to swanky new nest boxes, I’ve acquired a new skill, should the need to use pop rivets every arise again. And yes, HFS, this project wasn’t difficult to do after all. You were right.