Just Like Chicken

I made another egg-holder in construction class today. Search egg-holders on Etsy, and you’ll find a gorgeous array, generally priced about $20. Talk about something from nothing. Crafting a $20 egg-holder from a piece of scrap lumber makes Joseph and his little overcoat seem positively extravagant.

Seriously, can you think of a better return on investment than turning a scrap of lumber into a $20 decorative kitchen accessory? It’s so easy it’s practically criminal. 

That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it? I’m pretty sure that’s what my family was thinking when I brought home my second hand-crafted egg-holding device in as many days.

But if you think transforming a piece of nondescript Southern Yellow Pine into an artisanal egg carton is easy, think again.

First, you must confront the tablesaw. Rip the board on the long sides to get nice crisp edges, but be careful not to let that vicious red coxcomb slice your fingers off.

Now, do you think you’d like slanted sides? Who doesn’t love an A-line? But slanted edges require a couple more trips across the saw, this time with an angled blade, which feels rather like tempting fate.

Now it’s time for measuring. A 1 3/8-inch Forstner bit makes a hole just the right size to cradle the butt of an egg, and a half-inch between holes gives the shells a gracious berth. That means you want to drill the holes 1 7/8 inches on center.

Be sure to leave enough room at the ends of the board so you can make angled cuts to match the slanted sides. You might want to go to the miter saw for that.
Now you’re ready to router and sand. Then finish with butcher block oil.

Voilà. You have a beautiful wooden egg holder to showcase the beautiful eggs from your backyard chickens. (Keep in mind, this is not an ideal device for inventorying store-bought eggs, because those need to be refrigerated, while fresh eggs do not.)

By now, with a shoulder sprained from drilling and nerves numbed from palm-sanding, you might calculate that you’ve put hundreds of dollars worth of labor into something you could have bought for $20 on Etsy.

Then again, you are the kind of person who raises backyard hens, which means you’re prepared to invest time and money into the food and shelter of birds whose eggs would break even at about $7 a piece. You decided long ago it’s best not to do that kind of math.

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