Friday, November 2, 2018

Oh, Lordy It's WINDY!

And I just hope the gate holds together.

The NWS just issued a Severe Thunderstorm Alert for this area, warning of possible winds in excess of 60MPH. We're just on the far Northern edge of the warning, but the folks in Loveland and Greely look like they might get hit with it.

"The Gate" has been a continuous PITA ever since we had it installed. The builder and I have different definitions of what "Heavy Duty" means, and he didn't take it to heart when I told him I wanted it built "commercial strength, like a corral gate", and he got hinges and a latch that weren't up to the task.

One big boo-boo he did was to mount the hardware using the included lag bolts. The buffeting by the wind loosens the lag bolts, allowing more slop in the gates, meaning the wind batters them even harder, loosening the hardware further and faster, right up until the latch blows apart, and the gates start swinging and banging, requiring some emergency repairs.

You have to use through bolts, preferably galvanized, with flat washers under the bolt head and the nut, along with a lock washer under the nut. That's going to get done in the Spring when I replace the gate hardware.

So for now, thanks to Extexanwannabe, I now have a viable solution.

It's called a "Stake Holder", and is basically a big bracket that you put on either side of a door, and when it's "Katie, Bar The Door!" time you slide a 2x4 through it, and the door is rendered in-op.

Or so it goes in the movies.....

I bought four of them today, and now that I've made a sketch of what I want to do, I can measure the thickness of wood on the fence I'll have to drill through, and know how long of through bolts I'll have to buy.

I have to cleverly position these things to take advantage of the structure that holds the pickets, as the pickets have about as much strength as cardboard, and I don't want to start adding "structure" to the gates. I eyeballed it today for a good 20 minutes and then made a sketch, so tomorrow I'll take a bracket and tape out there, measure how thick the wood is I have to go through, add a fudge factor to that, and I'll go buy the bolts, nuts, flats and split locks, and a couple of good 2x4's, in cedar, if they have them.

Then I'll measure, drill, bolt, and slide in the 2x4's and put a "Closed Until Spring" sign on it.

Just hope the gate holds together tonight.....


  1. Then call that contractor, tell him to get his ass over there and bring a notebook.
    I'd be more than a little assertive about him fixing that ASAP because I'd paid him to do it like I asked and here ya are out doing emergency repairs just to keep the thing from self destructing.
    That's what we call a FAIL.

    1. Yeah....well, after the first time it happened, my wife, unbeknownst to me, called the young "handyman" guy we use to "fix it".

      Then the first-class Bozo we hired for our lawn service said he was an 'expert' fence repair guy, so she had him go at it. He put a much better latch on it (still used the damn lags, though), and he added two more of the "drop rods" and metal tubes for the rods to drop into.

      So, getting the original guy back for "warranty work" ain't gonna happen because two other people have mucked with it.

      I just want to get it secure enough that it doesn't blow open at 0-dark-thirty like it did last year.

  2. Did the contractor at least put in 6x6 posts for the gate? If not, either go with 6x6 or 8x8, buried real deep, and properly cross-braced.

    And, yes, through-bolts with big arsed washers or custom made mounting plates on both head and nut sides to take the strain.

    Geez, some people's kids...

    Or, go all 'corral' and use sections of drill pipe for the uprights and have the hardware welded or bolted on.

    Good luck with whatever you do, hopefully the wind won't carry it away.

    1. He used two 4x4's where the gate joins the fence. The posts are set 24"~30" deep, and anchored in concrete.

      It would have been an "A1" job, but he dropped the ball on the hinges (used the included lag bolts)and the latch (really flimsy one, again installed with lags, which ripped out last year), while the rest of the fence is pretty sturdy.

  3. That system wasn't due until tomorrow night.

  4. In Arizona I opted for no gates or fences on the property, but it's a different situation where you are. Barring the gate should keep it closed. You can open it when you are inclined to do that.

    1. I imagine your 'fence line' would be quite long, and cost a bundle.

      All the houses here have fenced yards, and ours is no exception. And all the fences are 30+ years old, not particularly robust construction (Home Depot's best, as it were), and are all falling apart.

  5. Glad you have a workaround... Hope you get it in BEFORE the gate comes apart!

    1. Well, the ironic thing is that over the summer the one gate has sagged enough that when it's closed and latched, it's actually jammed together really tight.

      I'll have to do a post about the fence. It's really been a thorn in my side since we had it rebuilt.


Keep it civil, please....

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