Left Handed Monkey Wrenches

Years ago, a friend and I sent a third friend to get a left handed monkey wrench.  Every time he returned to tell us that somebody told him there’s no such thing and that it’s just a regular pipe wrench, we accused him of not trusting us, of calling us liars, and thinking we didn’t know what we were doing, and sent him back on his quest.  After a half hour or so, he figured out what was going on.  He’s never spoken to us since…

I first learned about Murphy from my guitar teacher who had a poster of his laws on the wall in her office.  As a young kid things like If anything can go wrong it will go wrong at the worst possible moment seemed funny.  His laws were a good distraction while being lectured about not practicing enough or not paying attention to my lessons.  Years later, as a pseudo-adult, those laws carry a little more weight.

Today, 10 years later, Murphy threw a left handed monkey wrench into butchering day. Continue reading Left Handed Monkey Wrenches



I finished the plucker and scalder tonight.  No pictures because it was quite dark when I finished.  I ended up spending two hours waiting to get the Jeep inspected before we could go to Lowe’s to get the rest of the stuff I needed.  The contraptions are assembled and ready to go aside from the day-of setup that we’ll have to do in the morning.

Bethany is tasked with taking a lot of pictures.  We’ll also shoot some video of the plucker in action.

Check back Saturday and Sunday.  We should have more posted by then.

Ohh Man!

This morning when we hit the traffic jam in Northern VA, we pulled up behind a car with one of the greatest license plates, ever.  “OHH MAN”.  Very appropriate.

We finished early today so I was able to almost finish another job that I’ve been putting off for a couple weeks.  Just a couple little detail things to take care of then I’ll be done.  And I can get paid…

When I finally got home the second time today, I worked on the chicken plucker.  I know I’ve been promising for weeks that I’m about to finish it.  Turns out the metal drum is a lot tougher to drill than I expected and I could only drill a few holes before the drill would start to overheat.  I finally finished drilling, cleaned out the burrs, and pulled all the fingers.  I cut the agitator shaft, modified the motor mount to clear the backside of the plucker fingers, made a spacer block to raise the plucker plate half an inch, and test fitted everything.  It looks like it will work well.  It’d better, because we’re now scheduled to kill about 70 chickens three days from now.

I didn’t have time to take pictures today, but when I do the final assembly tomorrow or Friday I’ll get pictures and try to get a post up by Friday night.  We’ll take a lot of pictures of the whole butchering process, including making dog food, and make a series of posts covering those processes.