What are you doing to keep busy while confined at home, during these trying times? Less than a month ago, I shared a post about projects I was working on while waiting for spring. The stay-at-home situation, plus the continued cold and rainy weather has given me time to keep plugging away on projects.
I had already planned these projects, so fortunately, the materials were previously purchased. I decided about six weeks ago, that I needed to replace the fence and gate on the side of my house. The fence on that side of the yard is an old chain link fence that is askew from old tree roots that have moved the posts from underground. The gate no longer lines up or latches correctly.
Last year I spray painted the chain link black in an attempt to give it a sense of “class”. Then I purchased an inexpensive black metal arbor in an attempt to keep the deer from jumping the gate. I even hung a small chandelier from the arbor to deter the deer. It didn’t work.
I finally hung a gridded piece of metal fencing from the arbor to keep the deer from jumping the gate. Overgrown forsythia bushes on each side of the gate, keep the deer from coming over the fence sections.
This side of the yard was the weak link that was allowing wildlife to access the backyard. But the last straw was when a skunk decided to visit the yard, and move in under my shed. At the time, the pieces of wood weren’t wedged in around the gate, leaving large enough gaps for any animal to crawl through. He/she lived under the shed for about a week, and left a stench that still persists today. I try to air out the shed and greenhouse every day, in hope that by summer time the stink will be gone.
This is when I decided to replace the chain link with a white picket fence to match the other fences in my yard. The middle of my living room floor became my work place where I planned, laid out, and constructed the fence sections.
Careful measuring is of the utmost importance. If things are not “square” from the onset, the whole section comes out crooked. A very small fraction of an inch doesn’t seem like a big deal when you start, but can end up being an inch or more by the end of the section. Believe me, I know. It isn’t fun to have to pull the whole section apart.
For that reason, I never hammer the nails all the way in until I have completed the whole section and know it is square.
Because the treated wood was still wet, once I finished the sections, I leaned them against the fireplace so the inside heat would dry the wood out. While leaning there, I thought I might as well decorate them with a basket of faux forsythia.
After drying the wood for a few weeks, it was time to start the “not-so-fun” job of painting, two coats of paint, one side at a time.
Meanwhile, with the sections drying again by the fireplace, I started painting the wood for the gate.
I’m making the gate out of leftover wood from the 6-foot privacy fence that was installed last fall. The wood is rather rough, but it was free, and that saves money. I won’t be able to finish the gate until the posts for the fence are installed, and I know the size of the opening. And I won’t be able to make the posts until the weather warms, which could be a few more weeks.
But in the end, hopefully soon the weather will be nicer, and within a month, the finished fence and gate will look like the others.
When not painting, I’m either (most thankfully) working from home, or sorting through the attic. Hopefully, you are finding things to catch up on, and spending time with family. Please stay safe.