Hermit House Woodworking Projects, 2016 #1: HHWW: Wheatgrass Trellis

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Blog entry by Ted Ewen posted 02-19-2016 08:22 PM 1378 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Hermit House Woodworking Projects, 2016 series Part 2: HHWW: Bosch Chicken Coop »

A while back I saw this video about growing wheat grass fodder.

View on YouTube

It took my fancy as we need additional fodder for the chickens.

I worked up a design in SketchUp a couple of months ago:

With the plastic garden trays in:

I decided to half lap the whole thing. It’s a very basic joint, and seemed a good place to start. I planned to screw it together so I could break it down if needed later on. As if to make up for the simplicity of the joints, I decided I wanted to make the lips the tray rest on part of the cross members. I could have just used strips, but hey.

The final cross-members look like this, and were cut on the tablesaw using MicroJig Grippers. (They surely do rock, those Grippers!):

This project is one-half utility, one-half woodworking exercise. I’ve never done designed a thing from scratch like this, never cut half laps, never nibbled a joint on the tablesaw, never done compound cuts as on the cross members, never laid out a thing and needed it to fit properly…lots of firsts here.

Here’s how it turned out:

I managed to overcut one set of the grooves in the vertical 1 cm too wide and cut a couple of the half laps a little too thin. I didn’t bother with the shorter top members, and I left the bottoms of the verticals whole while half-lapping the cross members. I turned them to the outside to slightly widen the footprint, for stability or something. I also added crossmembers near the middle for needed support.

It’s made from 38×57 battens from the building center. I do not claim it to be anything great but it will do the job and it taught me some things about the way it’s made. It is sturdy, and stable, and as the second thing I’ve ever made, it’s good enough for me to be pleased with.

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

2 comments so far

View retired_guru's profile


838 posts in 2523 days

#1 posted 02-19-2016 08:39 PM

I watched the video. Amazing the things I never knew existed.

You did a great job building the framework. It looks sturdy. What have you decided on for the trays?

And of course, I so annoyed that you did so well with Sketchup. I still haven’t done anything with my paid for lesson book. Kudos, Ted. :)

-- -- Paul: jack of all dreams, a master none.

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 2230 days

#2 posted 02-19-2016 08:49 PM

Thanks, Paul :D We have a number of plastic garden trays kicking around. Designed this to fit them. I will need to do some drilling on them so it’s a flow through system rather than spill everywhere system. Some paint, a pump and some tubing and we are golden. Oh, and the lights. And water. Ok, I have a way to go yet….

I’m really loving SketchUp. I’ve had an on again off again relationship with AutoCad since the mid 80’s, but I find SU so much more intuitive for 3D. I miss some of the AutoCad functionality though. Mostly the simple stuff. I find i use about 6 commands in SketchUp – it’s not as complex as we may want to make it :P

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

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