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Collect a Critter

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Critter Keeper

Build a temporary home for the backyard wildlife kids discover. Children can even help assemble this easy, inexpensive project.

Table saw or circular saw
Jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade
Staple gun and 3/8" or 1/2" staples
Drill and bit set
Wood glue
120-grit sandpaper
8" fiberglass vent screening
1"x8"x4' poplar board
Round electrical box cover, white
2" (6d) finish nails
2 #8x1-5/8" screw eyes
2' of 3/8" or 1/2" rope (Have a Lowe's associate cut this from a bulk roll.)
Drop Cloth Tent Project

1. From the 1"x8" board (actually 3/4" x 7-1/4"), cut two end pieces 8" long and a base 7" long. Measure and mark the center of the front. Then draw a 3"-diameter circle.

2. Drill a 3/8" hole on the inside (the waste side) of the circle near the line. Using a jigsaw with a fine-tooth blade, cut the 3" opening and sand the edges smooth.

3. Place the ceiling box cover over the opening with the mounting holes centered on the width of the board. Mark the location of the mounting hole above the opening and drill a pilot hole there. Then glue and nail the front and back to the base and let dry.

4. Cut a piece of vent screening about 23" long. Center it over the front, back, and base and staple it in place. Stretch it tight around three sides of the front and back, stapling as you go.

5. Using one screw in the top hole, fasten the box cover over the opening.

6. Drill pilot holes and drive the two screw eyes to the front and back. Pass a rope through the screw eyes, knot the ends, and you're ready for a bug hunt.

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