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|Although there are
many rabbit hutches available from pet stores and garden centres, many
are of poor construction or use flimsy materials. This one is strong
enough for me to stand on it to cut the hedge. Measurements given in the
drawings should be used as a guide and adjusted as construction proceeds
to accommodate any inaccuracies that may occur in building or variations
in material sizes. Some parts are best cut over size then cut to suit as
the hutch is assembled.
Start with the floor. The floor boards are best left longer so they can be
cut to suit the legs, also cut the corners out when the floor is complete.
Screw these to the cross pieces and the centre piece.
Next cut the legs to length and cut the slots for the back and sides using a router or universal plane ensuring the boards are a good fit (remember the front RH leg has a only one slot). Mark the cut-outs on each corner to suit the legs aligning the rear board with the inside edge of the slots. The front board should cover the slot in the leg at the front. Cut these out then mark the inside edge of the side slots on the floor and cut the ends of the floor in line with the slots as shown right.
| The legs can now
be screwed to the floor assembly ensuring they are square to the floor and
parallel to each other. Cut the top rails to size and screw these to the
top of the legs. The tops of the legs can now be trimmed to match the side
rails. Next cut the front upright and cut the slot so that it aligns
with the slot in the left hand leg when fitted.
Measure the side an rear inside the slots and cut the side and rear panels to size. These can then be slid into the slots ensuring they are not too tight to avoid the legs splitting if moisture causes them to swell.
The side and rear panels can be made of tongue & groove boards or use plain board and rebate the top and bottom on opposite sides so the overlap to provide some weather proofing.
|Next the divider for the sleeping quarters. This can be made from a single piece of ply (left) or from several pieces of board (right). This can be fixed to a strip of wood at the back and to the front upright or inserted into a slotted batten at the back and a slot cut into the front upright.|
| The removable front and door are next.
For the front, cut the side pieces to size and rebate these to be a slide fit in the grooves of the leg and front upright. Cut the top and bottom pieces can be cut to length. Now the difficult bit, cut the mortise and tenon corners and screw or dowel these together ensuring the frame is square and true. These can be glued as well if wished. Should mortise and tenon joints be beyond your woodworking skills the corners can be made with half-lap joints but will not be as strong. Cut the wire mesh to size and attach to the inside face with suitably sized staples.
For the door cut the top, bottom and side rails to size then cut groves in one edge to take the inner panels. Cut the mortise and tenon or half-lap corners as before and cut the panel pieces to fit the frame. Assemble the door, screwing or dowelling the corners and gluing if wished. Check the fit in the hutch and fix to the right hand leg with two hinges.
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