Monday, February 11, 2013

Home Improvements

WELL...I finally got started on replacing the gate across our driveway.

It looks like a "kit" of some kind, with the pipework supplied by Sears, and possibly the wood, too.

It's got 6 posts properly leveled and anchored in concrete, with two frames that swing, and some tongue-and-groove pickets attached to the frames.

The problem is the wood is all rotted out and falling apart.

When I cleaned out the rock garden along one side of the driveway, I patched and re-screwed most of the wood back on to the cross pieces, but when the cross pieces are rotten, well....there's just not much for the deck screws I used to grab onto!

So, after making several pages of notes and drawings, I figured out what sizes of boards I'd need to make the backing, and we picked out some nice cedar fence panels to use for the new fronts.

I went and got all of the "backing" wood today, along with a couple of boxes of galvanized carriage bolts, flat and split washers, and nuts. The original hardware was cheap-o zinc-plated 1/4-20, and I upgraded to 5/16-18, so it should be a little stronger.

I'm also going to change how it's built. The cross pieces were bolted to the pipe frames with the 1/4-20 hardware, and then the front picket sections were nailed to the wood cross pieces. I'm going to run the new, bigger bolts through both the picket sections AND the cross pieces, so ALL of the wood is securely bolted to the frames.

And in those areas between the pipe frames, I'm going to bolt the picket panels to the cross pieces rather than rely on the small nails they used.

The whole thing should be much stronger, and being made of cedar, WELL soaked with Behr Premium waterproofing and sealing compound, should last a good bit longer than the original gate.

The way the gate is now, I have a feeling if you got our dogs mad enough, they could bust through it, NOT something we'd want to happen!

Tuesday will be spent measuring and cutting the backing cross pieces and treating them, and Wednesday I'll do the same for the cedar fence panels I'll mount to the frames.

If everything is dry enough on Thursday, I'll mount to two fixed panels, and then do the swinging parts on Friday.

1 comment:

  1. That sounds like a fun project; I've always enjoyed working with my hands, and haven't done as much as I'd like, lately.

    If the commute weren't such a killer, I'd offer to help. :)


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