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Flying through a project

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Woodworking projects range from complex multi-week endeavors to one-afternoon larks, and a lot in between. My most recent project was probably the simplest I've ever done.

We woodworkers crow a lot about how we'd rather build something than buy it, and this was one of those. I needed a replacement perch for Bud, my parrotlet (Google it). Sure the local pet store was hawking them in packages of three, but the price was a bit hard to swallow. Besides, they're wood, so I'd have to be cuckoo not to make one myself. That's a cardinal rule for me.

I'd never attempted to make bird perch before, but figured it'd be a swift project to complete. Good thing, as my wife has been grousing for me to do some much-needed yardwork. I'll admit I'm a bit chicken when it comes to ignoring her requests, but couldn't really argue with her – I like a nice-looking lawn, even if I don't mow as ridiculously often as that loon across the street. Still, I had time to duck into the shop before getting the mower out.

All I needed was a 5/8" dowel. Naturally, I didn't have a one. In my scrap barrel, though, were some rails I never used from an old project because I'd messed up a dovetail on one end, plus it had some unsightly snipe. I hadn't intended to do this much work, but I cut the scrap to a square workpiece and tossed it on the lathe and turned it to a uniform 5/8" diameter.

After that, it was just a matter of cutting it to length, then adding a slot to each end to snap it onto the cage bars. Naturally, when I went to mount it in the cage, it was two short. What a turkey. I even tried to goose the cage a bit to make the bars a bit closer to fit the new perch, but no luck. Without a flicker of hope of getting to the lawn now, it was back to the shop and start all over.

In the end, this peewee project took two tries, a couple hours of work, and more than a little frustration. Still, it was time spent in the shop, another chance to build instead of buy, and Bud has become the latest member of my family to be gifted with something I made myself.

So all in all, I have no egrets.

Till next time,


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