Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What was I thinking?

I'm on day three of the garden gate construction. It has been much harder than I thought it would be. I spent the first two half-days working on sawing out the main corner notches. After completing just the first notch, I was questioning that there must be an easier way! But then by the third or fourth piece, it was going much easier and my cutting improved. Here is a picture of two very different corners, which shows how much better I became at sawing.

I could only do a couple corners at a time and then I'd have to rest my arm. So the concept of this corner is to flip one of these boards over and lock the two notches together at a right angle to make a tight fitting join. That's the term I fumbled around with and didn't know the name of before. Still don't. Anyway, 16 cuts like this one (each one took about 10-15 passes with a triple bladed saw) and I had the basic gate perimeter rectangles done.

Then I started laying in the middle supports. I was originally going to cut them to fit in between the 2x4's and jam them in, holding them with screws from the outside. But I was doing such a thorough job with this other 'new' method I had just learned, so I opted for continuing to work in the same laborious way. And the more pieces I added to the middle, expecting to cut corners at some point and switch to the easier way of attaching them, I continued notching my way along.

It sprinkled rain on and off, interrupting my work sporadically. Then after I finished one whole gate, it cut loose with a heftier rain so I had to scramble to get my stuff inside. These are big! I will need Hubbs' help with positioning them in place to attach the hinges. But that's another day.

To add a little asymetric interest, I staggered a couple of the vertical boards. I will do the opposite stagger on the second gate to mirror this one. I didn't want too many irregularities in the basic orderly design, but I did consider all kinds of options, drawing them out on paper first. In the end, I only went for this subtle 'misalignment'. Just like with the entry borders I constructed the other day, I don't feel like the scale of this gate is apparent. When I stand next to it, I am a foot shorter!

I worked steadily all day and I have a feeling I'll be very sore tomorrow. I was working on the deck, squatting down for most of the work. But thankfully, my back has been feeling very good lately, so I think my chiropractor's last adjustment was a good one! Tomorrow I intend to finish the second gate and stain and install them on the weekend. I hope my next post finishes off with the entire thing completed! Cheers!

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