Sunday, November 15, 2009

Mr. Bun's Rabbit House

Mr. Bun's House - concept drawing

Today I finished something that has been on the project list since before I started the cold frames—a "playhouse" for Mr. Bun, a friend's rabbit.

Mr. Bun's House - Parts and measurements

The plan, based on the rabbit playhouse that Mr. Bun has outgrown, was fairly easy to build with two exceptions: the circular window and rounded top doorway. These were the perfect opportunity to try a simple circle cutting jig I'd seen in Fine Woodworking, which screws to the center of the circle and uses a guide bushing that rides in holes drilled at the correct distance—1/2 the diameter of the circle or arc.

This worked well, but I did learn a disadvantage to using this simple setup instead of a more complicated jig that incorporates a router base: if you are not careful to keep downward pressure the router can ride up out of the jig and eat a chunk out of the jig and your work piece fairly quickly. Look closely to the right of the door on the photo below and you will see what appears to be a slight ding—this was the result of learning this the hard way. Fortunately the damage is slight and Mr. Bun should never notice.

The other challenge with the routed circles was that the router bit was too short to cut through the entire thickness of the plywood. I hadn't realized this before starting and so planned for clearance above the bench. I used double stick tape to attach two scraps of plywood to the rabbets on the back of the front piece. These scraps screwed to the workbench to hold the piece stationary and above the bench. Since the router didn't cut through from the top, in the end I drilled the guide hole for the jig screw through the plywood and flipped the piece over to cut the rest of the way through from the other side.

Rabbet Joints on the corners

Of course, when building a rabbit playhouse, one must incorporate rabbet joints wherever possible—one on each corner, and one all the way around the top. These appear to have worked well as both a gluing surface and squaring reference.

Mr. Bun's House - completed

Several years ago a graphic designer friend of mine agreed to design a hallmark for me. I've been stamping my work with it and learning how to make the best impression. I'm still experimenting, but the big innovation this time through is the use of a dead-blow mallet, which eliminated the bounce I've been experiencing. I recently started inking the stamp before pounding it, but the ink I'm using is too thin—it looks crisp to start, but starts to seep into the surrounding grain before it dries. I think I need to find a thicker ink, or stop inking the imprints.

Hallmark on the inside of Mr. Bun's roof



Blogger Seth said...

Great blog. Hey, FYI, your RSS feed is broken. I'd love to subscribe.


December 1, 2009 12:57:00 AM EST  
Blogger rookster said...

Thanks Seth. I will try to fix the feed by the end of the week: I took a look at my settings but I'm not sure what is wrong with it yet.

December 1, 2009 6:25:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Woodworking Tool Reviews said...

That's a cool little house, and pretty darn simple. Very nice.

December 11, 2009 3:42:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Woodworking Plans said...

Hi rookster, this post give me idea to build the bunny house for my daughter. Anyway this site is good.


December 22, 2009 4:16:00 AM EST  
Blogger Odd Rune said...

Try harder on the RSS please :)

January 16, 2010 4:29:00 PM EST  
Blogger rookster said...


Blogger does not offer a way to create an RSS feed when you host your own content. I think this means I have to move the blog to WordPress or another format that will allow me to create the feed. Research in process, but sadly a bigger project than I have time for right now :(

January 16, 2010 4:39:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Aluminum Extrusions said...

Pretty sweet bunny house. Looks like a quality product that is not too crazy to make. Does the bunny like it? I hate when I spend time making something and our animals go and lay on the floor next to the house.

January 17, 2010 10:51:00 PM EST  
Blogger rookster said...

The bunny I made it for does like it (almost every time I visit, he is in the house). Don't know if your bunny will like it, though.

January 18, 2010 11:35:00 AM EST  
Anonymous Damien said...

The signature has a nice touch, it remembers me that of Charlemagne (KaRoLus MagnuS)

February 8, 2010 4:05:00 PM EST  
Anonymous Aluminum Extrusions said...

Thanks for the feedback,Our bunny likes the house we put together for him. Any new projects coming our way?

February 18, 2010 9:40:00 AM EST  
Blogger rookster said...


Glad the bunny is enjoying the house. I do have plans for a few new project postings: assembling cold frame lights (windows), and making oval shaker boxes.

The big problem coming up: Blogger will soon stop supporting my publishing to my own server (middle of March). I need to find an alternative method for running this blog, and it may take me sometime to do the conversion.


The good news is: I hope to fix the issue of an RSS feed at the same time.

February 18, 2010 10:03:00 AM EST  

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