On Saturday and Sunday I had a good several hours of shop time – my first decent shop time in a couple weeks. But instead of getting back to work on my wife’s box (finish, dang it!), I had to take care of some other business: rats.

The back wall of our house faces an alley which is about the size of a single lane. Being an alley, it’s got lots of trash (mostly in cans, but…). Rats come to eat the trash, and then cats come to eat the rats. When the cats come to eat the rats, the rats run for cover. Apparently, our house is in the Lonely Planet (Rat’s Edition) as a good place to be safe from cats – and to poop. The rats don’t eat anything in our house, and they don’t destroy our house at all. They just come in, poop, and leave (when it’s safe). And who could blame them? Check out the back door of my shop, complete with inviting rat hole:

Shop - from Outside

That rat hole is actually a drain hole. The drain hole is handy for when you’re dumping buckets of water on the inside and mopping and stuff. It’s less than handy when you want rats to stay the heck out of your house. But it’s not just the drain holes. Here is the same door from the inside, with the door closed:

Shop Wall - Interior

Does that door look like it’s going to keep rats out? No way. So what I did this past weekend was to cut a strip of plywood to screw onto the bottom of the door, essentially extending the door to the floor (minus a centimeter). I also cut a little square of plywood which I spraypainted white and epoxied onto the outside of the hole (again, allowing a centimeter for actual water drainage).

Then, to feel like I was actually still a woodworker, I did most of the cuts for a simple plywood chisel box. That’s a plywood box for chisels, not a box for plywood chisels. Heh. It’s mostly done; all that remains is to shape the interior blocks that will support and hold the chisels, and then to glue and nail the thing together. Nothing fancy – just something that is secure and uses the absolute least amount of wood possible (since these things occasionally travel and need to be light). I’ll post pics when it’s done.