Life at the end of the road

October 22, 2013

Hen shed part 1 :-)

Filed under: daily doings, life off grid, shed/house — lifeattheendoftheroad @ 7:54 pm

Aching all over despite soaking in a deep hot bath until I looked like a prune, It’s not been a bad day weather wise  the few showers were short and I got much done.

At least I did once I’d taken the Dude down to the ferry, mind you it was pitch black when we set off at 7:00. We’d left early in the hope of bagging a rabbit on the way to school, for they have at last started to appear again in numbers. However it was not to be despite seeing four before the Arnish cattle grid.



It seemed to be a much scabbier day down at the ferry terminal than up north, damp after heavy rain through the night but hardly a breath of wind and fine enough not to wear a jacket.



This fine stag just sauntered over the hill near the car park with four hinds in tow just as I arrived home around 8:30 to start work on the new hen hoose. I say hen house but it’s actually a 30’ x 8’ mounting for a 4kw solar PV array that will have a hen shed underneath it Smile Any sane person would have built a frame out of scaffolding or even bought a proper one but not me, no I turn a simple job of knocking up an A frame into a major construction project. Not only that but I try and do it for nothing, or at least not very much, for a start the 6” x 4” uprights I made from 10’ lengths of 12” x 4” larch planks washed up on the beach.


I rescued about a dozen of these that had washed off the old iron ore pier in a storm about 5 years ago, some I turned into bridges and a bench but five of them have been awaiting use stored on end under a tree.


My circular saw only has a 3.25” cut so I made do with the chainsaw, screwing a batten to the timbers as a guide.



Some of lovely red larch was a little rotten around where the steel bolts went through it but nothing that would affect its strength, it was severely OTT for size anyway.



Picking the five best for the ‘high side’ I set off to the new house site to start erecting them.



On the whole it was pretty straight forward with only one problem hole out of the five, the main headache being the water that insisted on filling them just as fast as I dug.


The hardest part is actually getting them all square and in the right place


but I was pretty chuffed with the result. Once I get all ten in, finally squared and levelled off then I’ll fill the holes with concrete.


Once I was happy with my recycled pier timbers I set about parting large bits of Raasay House, or at least bits of it that belong to the defunct ROK construction.  The many many tons of new timbers had to be replaced by Mansell, who kindly gave them to anyone willing to remove them.

010212 005  010212 003 

Needless to say there was more than one shed went up on Raasay that year Smile Me I had two full trailer loads of six by two and even after building Harry’s shed I’ve still got a pile. The hardest job is splitting it and removing the nails but patience, a hardwood wedge and heavy hide hammer work miracles.

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That was it really and more of the same tomorrow I’m afraid Smile



  1. your wife’s garden looks great, has she had a lot of help from her mother

    Comment by cazinatutu — October 22, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

  2. You have apples! !! Not one in the Republic this year… With the late spring we sadly lacked the pollinators

    Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — October 22, 2013 @ 9:07 pm

    • Shame about the apples Steve, we had a good crop but on the whole the summer was excellent too.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2013 @ 6:27 am

      • Good luck with the build

        Comment by The Peoples Republic of Northumbria — October 24, 2013 @ 6:37 am

  3. Paul.
    How many photographs do you have & do you back them up?

    Comment by Polite Scouser — October 23, 2013 @ 12:01 pm

    • How many photographs do you have & do you back them up?
      Not very many actually Walter, I’m quite brutal and delete most of them, even the ones I’ve kept aren’t backed up. There’s no point saving stuff if you can’t find it and most of the good ones are on the blog anyway.

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 24, 2013 @ 6:30 am

  4. Hi Paul,
    Have been following your great blog on the challenges of combining remote crofting with full time working for some time – it’s always interesting and compelling reading. Congratulations and many thanks. We have been fortunate to sail in the fabulous Western Isles over many years and often pass Raasay and Rona. Must visit Raasay next year. Best wishes, Nick

    Comment by NickW — October 24, 2013 @ 7:54 am

    • Glad you’re still following Nick, and yes you must visit and take a run on our new ferry 🙂

      Comment by lifeattheendoftheroad — October 28, 2013 @ 6:12 pm

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