Wooden it be nice…?

One day he will regret setting eyes on me, if he doesn’t already.

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Today’s job

This was MrT’s chore for today. We had a break-in a few days ago and my gates were already battered and rotten so it didn’t take much for them to break completely. Luckily nothing went missing (they were disturbed) but it gave me an excuse to get a new gate sorted.

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Loaded up the car

Since we had bought a log cabin at the end of 2017, we had loads of spare tongue and groove wood. MrT found a use for it here!

His first job was to remove the old gates and save as much of the furniture as possible. We wanted to use these big hinges on the new gates. Recycle and reuse!

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Gate ‘bits’

Next up, unload all of the bits you’ll need, along with lots of things you won’t and stand looking confused for a while.

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Planning stages

The first real step in the actual construction was to build a rectangle from the thicker pieces of wood. It is really important to make sure that the corners are all square at this stage, as otherwise your gate will be squiffy! We used metal heavy duty right angles to hold it together, as the wood was too thick for screws to go through square and we didn’t want to faff about cutting angles in the rain!

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Fag break. 

Then its just a matter of screwing the tongue and groove slats on to the rectangle.

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Screw in the boards, while I clean up the hinges

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Ain’t he a cutie!?

It took three of us to lift the gate into place when the hinges were on.

One good tip is to place the top hinge bracket upside down. This will stop potential bad-guys from just lifting your gate off its hinges! It’s more of a faff but its worth it.

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Brew Break

He also boxed in the bit of wood at the top of my posts which stops them from bowing inwards over time. He is a good egg.

We decided that for extra piece of mind we would add an additional horizontal bar to attach another hinge to. Unfortunately by this point MrT was hungry and grumbly so put it level with the floor instead of gravity…

It might look odd, but never mind, i can;t complain when he has done all of this for me on his day off!

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Just cosmetics left now

I then started on the painting. Because we had used leftover wood, some were red (horrendous!) and some plain, so I had to pick a colour which would cover it.

We used Cuprinol Ducksback in Silver Copse. It took three coats to cover but it got there.

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Hmm that’s not MrT!

After he had eaten and was less Hangry, he put the lock latch on to keep the people out and chickens in. I passed the painting over to him while I supervised and ate chicken sandwiches. We are a good team… sort of!

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Painting

A neighbour bought over some barbed wire he had just put around his gate after the break-in. We decided against it though as its awful stuff for the dogs and wildlife and sods law says the only person it will keep out is me when I forget to pick up my key before locking the padlock!!

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Almost there

Hasn’t this been a great days work!? My dogs will now be safely enclosed while I’m digging away and all the snoopy people can lean over and look but not just wander up and down and terrify the life out of me!

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Job well done i think

In a world without walls and fences – who needs Windows and Gates?

My plot gates were naff. Lets be honest.

They didn’t open, and when they eventually did, bits of glass rained down of your from above. They hid me away from the world and they stopped nice flatcaps and ladies from saying hello to me.

I think they reckon I am as antisocial as MrT looks, and he isn’t exactly a bundle of joy and sparkles!

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Large, heavy, stuck, and collapsing gates – not to mention the broken glass panes

So went went on another internet mission, and came up with some replacements.

Off MrT went to fetch them for me. Poor suffering bloke. Since then he has made matters worse by asking me to get married, god knows why. He must be a sucker for punishment.

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God knows why he is so happy!

Here he is with his new acquisitions. Look at that smile…It’s almost as if he KNEW he was going to leave me to put these up by myself. Oh wait…He did.

Little did I know that this wasn’t a simple replacement job. Oh no, it was a whole digging, lifting, trapping fingers job.

Turns out my gate post was rotten. So off I went on another trip to the DIY shop. Its a good job i have a big car isn’t it?

I had the most embarrassing trip to the DIY shop. If you have ever been to the shop in leggings and a tank top, you will know that all of a sudden there are people there to assist you. Well I didn’t know this (being the sheltered little one I am) so I immediately went into Strong Independant Woman mode. As the shop assistants gathered, I tried to pick up a bag of postcrete. As soon as I stood upright, I keeled over backwards. Big explosion of dust and a crunch later and they are all keeling over too, expect for they were doing it in laughter. I could’ve had the world swallow me up right there. So i let them help me. Two new posts and a few back of postcrete later and I was back at my allotment to hide from the world.

A women may be misinformed, mislead, unclear, misguided, and even downright stupid..but she is never ever wrong.

By this point on a Saturday morning, all the flatcaps had finished their shed-fryups and had surfaced to see what That New Girl was up to today. So around they stood while I used all of my embarrassment adrenaline to rip out a fence post. I was like the hulk that day. Nothing could’ve stopped me.

Mr AcrossTheLane tootled over with a funny shaped spade and ‘let me borrow it’. I thanked him and waited until he left before googling it. Turns out it was a post hole spade, and it helped a bunch! I recommend them to anyone who has a big fencing project on, but I do have to say that I don’t think I would’ve used it since.

Suddenly my phone began buzzing, and Mother Dearest on the other side wanted to come and see my new chickens.
“Brilliant”, I thought, “just in time to hold my posts”.
So up rocks my mum and stepdad, oblivious of what lie ahead for them.

A hour later, my posts were in, and were plumb, and were nowhere near matching in height, but who cares. I can be flippant about these things, I was too tired to carry on digging as I had hit rubble.

So we sat and had a little relax and a brew, chilling out with my chickens.

chicken

Strutting her stuff

After Mum had made off with my eggs, I gave up resisting temptation and hung my gates. I did install a bar across the top of the two posts to make sure that the posts didn’t pull inwards while the concrete was still hardening up nicely. I could wait any longer though as I really didn’t want to leave my plot open and accessible all night as we often get kids hopping over to go ferreting through the shed and none of mine are locked yet!

I probably wouldn’t recommend it to anyone else, because it could’ve gone horribly horribly wrong if the posts hadn’t set fully yet, but do what I say and not as I do.

These gates already had different hinges to the old gate, and I had never done these before. It was pretty easy though, I put the bottom hinge on the post, offered a gate up to it and marked where the second hinge sat, and then screwed it in! Simples!

Soon enough, both gates were hung! They weren’t level and they certainly weren’t perfect, but they were our and they were beautiful.

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They are up!

You can just about see Mr AcrossTheLane’s plot there. Look how infuriatingly perfect it is… grumble. One day, eventually, mine will be that pretty.

In the meantime I might settle with just cutting those hedges though…