The rabbit hutch project is just about complete, but before I wrap things up there is one last element that I want to add. I decided as part of my design to include an insulated box that the rabbits could go into in the worst of the cold weather. In the wild, they’d be able to go underground to escape the worst of winter’s bite and it doesn’t seem fair to stick them in a wire cage above ground without adding a little extra protection from the elements. I wanted to make a small box that was somewhat insulated and that their body heat will keep the box warm. Sort of a hutch within a hutch.
Before I get any further, if you are so inclined, you can see the earlier posts in this series here:
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 1 (Front frames and doors)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 2 (Sidewalls)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 3 (Carcase assembly)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 4 (Floor frames)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 5 (General Assembly)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 6 (Poop Drawers)
- The Rabbit Hutch – Part 7 (The Roof)
With the roof made, I started on the insulated box. I’ll make a frame from 1-inch square Douglas fir and skin it inside and out with ¼-inch ply.
I milled up some stock, cut it to length, and then cut bridal joints to fit the frames together.
One end will be a solid wall, but the other needs to have an opening for the rabbits to get in and out. Since the opening will always be open, I’m not sure quite how effective the insulation will be, but it can’t hurt.
I added some isolation from left over batting from my chicken coop project. I realized that there wasn’t very many points to attach the floor, so I added some scrap blocks with glue.
After the floor, was the panel for the inside roof.
Followed by the inside back wall.
I’m not sure if the insulation will help, but it is easy to add.
I added the outside roof panel.
With everything assembled, I rounded over all the edges with a trim router then spackled and sanded the whole box.
I decided that since the end would be open all the time, I should add a small divider to the inside of the box.
I didn’t have enough 1″ Doug fir stock to make the doors, but I did have some appropriately sized Cedar in the lumber rack, and used that for some of the pieces.
These doors are also skinned with plywood. On the inside of the door, the plywood is flush with the frame. However, on the outside, the skin overlaps the edge of the frame. This meant of the outside skin had to be quite accurately positioned.
I’m really starting to like the technique of using your bench and holdfasts as a giant clamp. It works great.
Since this is an outdoor project, I used galvanized hinges with brass pins.
That’s about it for the insulated box, but before I install it, I decided to make a barrier for the ramp opening on the upper level. This was quick and simple from a couple of pieces of ply and Doug Fir.
With that done, I can install the insulated box that sits above it. In the below image you might just make out my pencil marks.
As the box sits up above the main floor, the rabbits will need another ramp to get into it. I used the same method as on the earlier ramp.
And that’s all folks! The rabbit hutch is done.
In the next post, I’ll clear and level a spot of ground to install the hutch and show all the final reveal photos.
– Jonathan White