Nuts and Rats!

Some nuts and rats (umm, I mean nuts and bolts ha ha ha) today, and an upgrade to my toolshed!

Yesterday our dog Maxie was scratching around my tool shed, which is usually what she does when she smells a rat. We have an empty house adjacent to ours, duplex construction, that is overgrown and rat infested, so sometimes they decide to enter our yard. We couldn’t see it, so we left well enough alone. Maxie didn’t. By morning my stack of wood and floor tiles had been scattered all over the place, some of the wood was chewed up a bit, and a few tiles were broken. She also chewed a big hole in my garden soaker sprinkler. Okay, so that’s my plans for the day thrown out the window!

I started hunting for the rat myself. To start of with I cleaned up the mess Maxie created, and then emptied out my toolshed, unscrewed it from the wall, and moved it out of the way. Behind it is a false wall. The architects of this estate thought it would be a wonderful idea to cover perfectly good concrete walls, though unrendered, with paper thin steel framework and sheeted in something fake wood panels, you know, the white stuff that they used to use asbestos to make. I removed the bottom two panels and cut away the steelwork that supported them leaving the bottom of the wall bear. As I was taking off the second sheet the rat fell down and our sister-in-law’s Jack Russel called TanJai pounced on it quicker than you can say “what happened” and that was the end of the rat. A firm shake by TanJai killed it instantly. Needless to say she was very pleased with herself, and we were VERY pleased with her!

Ok, so what has this to do with woodworking you might be asking? Well, quite a bit actually, but not just yet.

This is the wall after the bottom panels were removed and the steel cut away. I never knew that pipe was there! The fake wall was never closed off at the bottom, so it was easy for anything to get up inside of it. I could have sealed it off, but the panels are slowly breaking up anyway, so eventually we will remove all of that needless trim, render and paint the wall. This, by the way, is where my toolshed stands.

Thanks to the rat I needed to empty almost everything out of the shed, which gave me an excellent opportunity to get around to giving it a proper spring clean, which I’ve been putting off for some time now!

I also took the opportunity to upgrade the shed with new shelves.  That bottom space was just a mess of stack toolboxes and other stuff that was often difficult to sort through and sometimes falling out when I tried. I had been wanting to put shelves in for some time now, but wasn’t sure exactly what arrangement would be best so thought it best to use it for a while first and work it out that way. The new shelves are two of the set of shop shelves I was given last June. I used most of them last June to make a desk for my wife. I had three left, so two of them I cut down to fit the shed (they were too deep). They were a little short, so I added extra wood to the left-hand ends to make them to correct width. I’ve screwed wood supports into the sides of the shed, and middle back. They are not screwed down to make it easy to remove them if needs be.

Here’s my shed back in place. I’ve raised the shed off the floor a bit more using some wood blocks and scraps of plywood. You can see by the picture below that the concrete floor is far from level, so unlike when I put the shed there originally it is almost perfectly level this time. As before I’ve screwed the top of the shed back to the wall behind it so that the shed doesn’t fall forwards under the weight of the doors when they are opened. If you compare the picture below with the older posts you can see that I’ve made much better use of the available space.

So, thanks to a rat my shed has been spring cleaned and updated. Thank you rat!

Oh, and by the way, I also fixed the garden soaker lol!

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