Somehow we banged up the trailer couple so it wouldn't latch nicely.
Unfortunately, it was welded rather than bolted to the trailer tongue. So I cut it off with a cut-off wheel on my angle grinder (being careful to remove more material from the couple than the tongue).
It was rusty underneath, so i cleaned it up with a wire wheel
and painted it.
The hardest part was drilling 0.5" holes for bolts. Somehow a cheap bit from a Harbor Freight set of 30 bits worked better than a $17 bit specifically for hard steel. I think the whole HF set cost less than that one bit. I kept it pretty oily while drilling for both.
I bolted it on with grade 8 (good stuff) bolts and lock nuts.
A lady from church knew another woman whose house was infested with bees. A neighbor, my son, and I went to extract them. It went well.
Removing a panel in the ceiling of a crawl space exposed a big, beautiful wild nest:
Pretty neat to see the natural fins they create:
Some parts were abandoned and empty, other areas (like toward the bottom of this picture) were quite populous:
We broke/chiseled the comb out of the cavity, and I brought it home:
And melted it down. I tried a double boiler:
But it took so long that i stuck it all in the grill over indirect heat. Unfortunately part of it caught on fire and it was a big/long fire.
In preparation for keeping ducks, we built a coop out of wood reclaimed from the previous owner's skateboarding half-pipe.
It's about 8'x12', with about a 6' ceiling (and the roof pitched higher). I added a little platform and ramp to sluice waste water (ducks are super messy) out of the coop.
We saved a ton by using the reclaimed wood and screws, but I still spent probably $200 on shingles, extra hardware, some electrical parts. It was a good project with help from friends and sons.
We started the disassembly over christmas break 2016, and finished the coop in late Jan '17. The ducks moved in in approximately May (we'd kept them in the garage for warmth since we got them as day old hatchlings).
Today 17 ducks live in it (follow their exploits here: https://twitter.com/remquacks ) and we get 4-6 eggs/day from the 6 that are mature layers. Later in November the other 11(I got a second batch) should come online and we'll have more eggs than we can ha…