Charli Wilson

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since Apr 07, 2013
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cat chicken urban
Derbyshire, UK
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Recent posts by Charli Wilson

Greenhouse is slooooowly being built! I now have most of a timber frame (still need an east-facing wall though)



Had troubles with the timber yard. First they 'ran into traffic' so couldn't deliver (my house is less than a mile from the yard, so that's some impressive traffic). Then they delivered the wrong stuff, twice. But oh well.

Need to buy some more materials- as in the plastic sheeting for the base, and the polycarbonate for the roof- just got to wait for payday!
1 week ago
Once built a garden can be really low maintenance- it is the building taking up time that I struggle with! My garden has similar features to this once (but is twice the size)- and I don't spend anywhere near that much time on it for most of the year (seed starting aside)

I keep 6 chickens and spend about 10 mins a day sorting out food and letting them in/out. Then another 20 mins once a fortnight to clean out the coop. I buy food/bedding once a year and it takes about 20 mins. So  i'm only averaging 12 minutes a day. I do spend longer than this just watching them.. but that isn't mandatory.

Ponds can be mega amounts of work (think ornamental koi ponds) or minimal (my small wildlife ponds- I drag foliage out of it once a year and it takes about half an hour)
1 week ago
I don't have quite a smany eggs as you as I only have 6 laying hens! But I like my egg helter-skelter (https://www.amazon.co.uk/AllRight-Chrome-Storage-Helter-Skelter/dp/B01BIPM7WE)- though mine is taller than this example. You have way more eggs, but would a larger diy model suit?
Oldest eggs are always at the bottom! I sell a few half dozen eggs a week- so just take them from the bottom to fill the egg cartons as they are sold. Any in cartons are always stacked with the oldest at the bottom- so when we sell- sell the bottom carton first.

My helter skelter is nowhere near sized right for my eggs- mine are all far too large and you have to manually move them down the rails.

3 weeks ago
Thanks for your comments! I shall go ahead and build my roof in those dimensions I think, if it doesn't seem hefty enough once built it would be easy enough to add another rather in (so they would be 1m apart)- I won't order the polycarbonate until the frame was up.

I'm hoping with the SCHS there would be less condensation... but I couldn't find a way of not using timber. I did look at the recycled plastic lumber, but most of it appears to be none-structural so I assumed I couldn't use it for rafters. And I couldn't find a self-supporting aluminium frame that would work with a peak and polycarbonate (could find them for glass roofs for conservatories, but not for polycarbonate).

As I was going to put big raised beds inside my greenhouse (0.5m tall)- I was looking at using the recycled plastic sheet material as protection between my insulation and the soil (to stop me putting a spade through the insulation)- but it is really hard to get hold of! I can order in full pallets but I don't want 50 sheets for over £1K!
1 month ago
Yes Brian that should be inches- bizarrely here the wood is actually metric but everyone refers to the nearest inch sizes! So 4x2 would be 4 inches by 2 inches, or actually 100mm by 50mm.
1 month ago
Mushrooms were doing well- the bags of oysters survived winter and started growing again this year with no effort on my part... but we've had really strange weather here- no rain for weeks on end, and I ran out of rain water. I did try watering with tap water- but the oysters didn't like it and still dried out. I'm convinced I can start them up again though- using bags of chicken bedding woodchip, or perhaps shredded raspberry canes (the only types of wood chip I'm likely to get hold of).

The wine caps didn't do anything- there was mycelium in the wood chip but no fruiting mushrooms, I think maybe my wood chip layer just wasn't thick enough. And I have no wood chip to pile on top to try again.

None of my mushroom logs have done much (I get the occasional shitake from the purchased log), I did keep soaking them to keep them moist enough- but the lack of rain and high temperatures here have dried everything out.
1 month ago
The greenhouse build finally continues! Its only taken me two years...


Back wall will be a wooden frame, with osb- then insulation and wooden cladding on the outside.

the front wall (south facing) will be reused double glazed window units, with the west wall (up against the fence) a solid one, and the east wall mostly door! Roof to be polycarbonate 16mm triple wall, resting on a timber frame. Which is where I have some building-questions...

How do you find out what thickness of timber to make the roof from? There are span tables, but I can’t seem to work them out! They seem to assume heavy roof tiles (as are standard here), not light polycarbonate sheets. I want to use as little timber as possible so I don’t block light, but I also don’t want the roof to collapse!

A beautiful picture- with some labeling to ensure I have terminology right:



I'd like to use a 6x2 piece of timber for the ridge beam, and 4x2 for the rafters- putting the rafters 1.2m apart. But I've no idea if this is safe! Other than putting it together and seeing how creaky it feels, any advice?

The roof projections are 1.8m (28 degrees) for the south facing saide, 0.8m (and 34 degrees) for the north facing side- so it isn’t a huge roof. The greenhouse itself is 2m wide, 4.8m long. I am in the UK- it rarely snows (and then only a few cms), and I’m in a sheltered position (no huge winds or heavy storms).
1 month ago
I usually just put two bits of squarish-wood up to each other and bang some screws into it.. that is my idea of a joint! However I would like to learn to do joinery 'properly' and build slightly more adventurous things- in that I'd like a timber greenhouse, and a small (8ft by 16ft) woodshed/barn-esque structure. I am interested in heritage building and 'proper timber framing'- however I'd like to use power tools to speed things up (I'm time poor but have a large quantity of tools), and probably cheaper wood (an oak framed woodshed is a bit out of my budget).

Can anyone recommend any books? Video channels? Or other methods of learning? How would you go about learning joinery?

I welcome more general answers in this thread to aid other people in the future- but some specifics for me
- I don't have any woodland, any wood would have to be purchased, so cost could be an issue
- I work full time, I would need to learn a as hobby rather than a 'real' job- becoming an apprentice would be infeasible given my 40 hour work week!
1 month ago
It all depends on the exact wording, but can you get away with a trellis with plants growing on, or a hedge/line of trees/other plantings instead?
2 months ago
Pretty much anything! I manage to grow lemons in Derbyshire so whilst you may struggle with bananas, most things are possible!
2 months ago