Progress on Duckingham Palace, bit by bit. Stain edition

Things are progressing, slowly but surely.  We have been running into the perfect storm of illness (I have had no fewer than 3 very intense cold/flus this year), weather, and time commitments.  It seems like whenever we have some time off, it’s pouring rain, and whenever it’s nice outside, we are either working, or have other engagements.  C’est La Vie.  Things have progressed fairly slowly up until now.  At this point, we need to get a friend to take us to Home Depot to get a few more pieces of lumber (plans changed partway through the construction of the pen and we are going to end up needing more lumber than we currently have), plus some clear polycarbonate roofing material for the covered portion.

The pond portion is something that I have had a great deal of anxiety about.  We got the backing plates glued to the liner successfully(woohoo!!), and even got the big hole for the drain drilled out, we just had to drill the 4 auxiliary holes necessary for clamping the drain on, then install the drain and glue the crap out of it.  But drilling things scared me, and I kept putting it off.  Sunday morning, we finally bit the bullet and committed to just getting it DONE (and out of the living room).  So we did.  And it seemed to work just fine (knock on wood).  The adhesive that we used is a pretty intense marine grade adhesive-sealant that I have been recommended separately by 2 different people.  The only down side is that it takes a full week to cure, and more than 48 hours before it even stops being tacky.  I know this because I stuck my finger in it last night and then smeared the glue everywhere.  Gross.

shower drain installed on preformed pond liner

shower drain installed on preformed pond liner

The tube said that as soon as the tube is punctured, it begins curing, regardless of whether the tube has been resealed, so we decided to just use the entire tube.  Most of it is inside the bottom of the drain area.  It’s cupped, so we just filled it up with goo, then went around the outside with it, and anywhere else we thought there may be any potential for it to leak.  There’s a cardboard box under the pond liner on the inside to catch any potential drips that may sneak past things.

And knowing how tough it is to get motivated to work on these projects, I bribed a couple friends with burgers and beer if they would give us a hand, on the nicest day we’ve had so far this year.  We needed to get a few “rafters” up to support the roof, and get that bad boy stained!  Staining anything outdoors in spring in Washington is a problematic proposition.  It needs to be nice for a few days prior to the “staining day” to help dry out the wood and make it receptive to stain.  Then it needs to be nice on the day you stain, and the following day, to allow the stain time to dry.  Timing this to a weekend is particularly tough(it pretty much rains all weekend every weekend, even if we have 5 solid days of sun during the week), but we lucked out this time and had the perfect sunny-day timetable.  So they installed the rafter pieces while I went over the doghouse with some leftover deck stain(a light cedar color), and then we all set about getting the entire structure stained.

stained doghouse

stained duck pen structure

Well… Almost all of it.  We tried to cut the top of the posts off with the sawzall, but the switch broke like 3 seconds into the first post.  So we need to fix the sawzall.  Anyway, that’s why those aren’t stained.  They’re getting cut off.

After the staining was done, it was time for burgers, and beer, and Boris begging for food.

dog licking his nose

The next portions of the project include:
*Hooking up pluming and burying the pond (it’ll be early next week at the soonest – the glue needs to set)
*Putting up and staining remaining 1 “roof” beam to support the wire fencing over the top of the pen
*Installing polycarbonate roofing
*Installing “roof” portion of the wire fencing
*Installing wall sections of the wire fencing
*Staining and then putting up horizontal supports for wire fencing
*Grading entire pen, and burying the underground portion of wire fencing
*Building, staining, affixing wire fencing to, and installing doors
*Grading the entry-area to the pen, burying fencing under the doors, then laying down pavers on top of the buried fencing.
*Levelling out the “slab” area for the duckhouse, and putting that in
*Going to the feed store for food, oyster shells, and straw
*Setting up feeder, waterer, etc
*Filling and testing the pond
*Getting some dang ducks!

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