I Made a Gate!!

The weekend started out slow as I really didn’t want to work on the porch yesterday after grocery shopping and going to Home Depot for 2×4’s, and to two different pharmacies for pills for Lynn.  But I managed to move the big ladder and put up a post and one railing which actually took me all afternoon.  So I planned to get up early Sunday and try to make a gate, now that I knew the size of the opening.  I had Lynn give me detailed instructions last night on how to figure the angles.  He is still under the weather, but hopefully Wednesday he will be better.

Sunday – Today – I got up, ate a little breakfast, put on some warm clothes and ventured out to the porch.  I worked this all out in my head last night.  You know I don’t use skill saws and Lynn is not able to help, so I decided that I could use the chop saw to get what I needed done.  I’m not afraid of a chop saw or radial arm saw, just the skill saw.  Also, I will needed to use the band saw on some of the long angles.

First I laid out the rails and stiles to make a square, and I needed to check it for “square.”  Norm Abrams taught me that.  I watch the Yankee Workshop!!  So the first picture is of me making it square 🙂

Checking for Square.  59" on each angle.  Not too bad.
Checking for Square. 59″ on each angle. Not too bad.

In doing this, Lynn wanted me to use some wood screws with the slotted heads.  That’s not what I wanted to use, but I deferred to his decision, at least for some of the project.  It took trying to drill pilot holes first and I tried 3 different sizes of bits before I found the right one.  I still don’t think I got it big enough because I had to really work the driver and put my weight behind it.  Hehe.

This is the thing, the chop saw was in the house that we are building and I had to make several (lots really) trips to get the boards the right size.  Measure once and cut a bazillion times.  It is about 200 ft.  so I got lots of exercise.

Drills and drills are not created equal.  I bought Lynn this 90 degree drill or Christmas one year and I love the way it feels in my hands as it “fits” my delicate palms.  But it is not a variable speed and does not like the bigger drill bits.  So I had to bring out the heavy duty variable speed drill/driver.  That baby worked, but it meant changing out the bits all the time from drill to driver.  Nothing is ever easy.  Ugh!

Drill not strong enough, have to get the heavy one with more torque, and variable speed.  Ugh.
Drill not strong enough, have to get the heavy one with more torque, and variable speed. Ugh.

Still hating these heavy slotted wood screws, but making do for now.  But I will be changing to the deck screws which are easier to handle and I won’t need to drill a pilot whole.  More better 🙂

Now for the angles.  I picked out the pattern from some gates that Lynn made for the horse paddocks but I needed to adapt it for a porch gate.  Put the diamond pattern in next, and that is where the angles came in.  That is where the chop saw came in.  The angle that worked for me was 35 degrees.  Love the chop saw, but I need a new sharper blade, but that isn’t my job. At the moment anyway.  So here is the Skil chop saw, I think I bought that one Christmas, for Lynn, but can’t remember when.  I know he has another saw that is still in the box.  That man and his toys.

Chop saw.
Chop saw.

Again I made a multitude of trips to the house to cut and re-cut the boards and get the angles just right.

Then, was the time to fill in the holes with yet another angled board, had to use a handy dandy little angle thingy to figure it out.  Forgot to take a picture of that.  By this time Lynn made it out to the back porch to see what was going on and lend some of his wisdom to the project and show me how to use that angle thingy.  Don’t ask me what angle, because I haven’t a clue, it just fits.  Now this is where the band saw came in.  I had never used a band saw before, but no time like the present to learn.  I just had to find the on and off switch and put the wood through really slowly as I am not real good at following a straight line.  But I did it.  Made 1 board to fit and then cut 3 more just like it.  I can rock that band saw!!

Sears Band Saw, Lynn bought in the 60's.  Still going strong.
Sears Band Saw, Lynn bought in the 60’s. Still going strong.

Now for the reveal.  Of course, I couldn’t wait to hang it.  I really should have primed it and painted it first, but I have been wanting this done for 5 or 6 months.  I hated that big board up there keeping Kinzie from guarding her fiefdom.  Now she can see every cat that saunters by.

Gate from the inside
Gate from the inside

This is from the porch side.  This is the birds-eye-view Kinzie will be guarding.

Gate from the outside.
Gate from the outside.

This is the one from the outside.  I know, I should have waited until after it was painted, but a little blue tape will mask it off and all is good.  How do you like the heavy hinges and latch?  I put those on too.  Now I just have to caulk all the mistakes and prime and paint it.  2 more side balustrades and that part of the porch is done.

Lynn will handle putting in the light by the door, the ceiling fan and the flood light for the driveway.  Just a couple of weekends more and I will be closing this project down for the year.  When I get some painting done, I will post the before and after pictures.

Thanks for following my blog.

Annie, master of the band saw 🙂

Winter’s Coming – Trying to get it done

Busy weekend.  Trying to get some of the porch work done.  The roof is done.  Yeah, I am a happy girl.  Did some painting on the balusters, posts, 2×4’s and painted the fascia board.  Cleaned up some of the yard.  There just isn’t enough time to get it all done.  Will be taking down the scaffolding and moving it around to the side of the house, so I can work on the fascia boards that need repairing.  I think I will need to take some time off to get it done.

The weather here in the beautiful great northwest is starting to turn.  It has been in the high 30’s at night, but will be in the high 60’s during the day for the rest of this week.  It is just a matter of time before it will be too cold to work outside.  For me, that is.  I am hot house plant, and don’t like the cold.

Yesterday I did a little bit of painting but just couldn’t get my mind into it.  But, this morning I was raring to go.  Although, I did have a couple of detours before noon.  You know those detours are a necessity, but then I am back on task.

First detour, I found a deep whole in the horse pasture that could have resulted in injuring one of our horses.  So it was checking the depths and making sure the whole was filled completely.  Wasn’t sure if it was from water or moles.  It was deep and went in a couple of directions, so that took some pounding down and filling.

Second detour was when I was in the pasture, I saw that our little 6 month old colt was getting a hay belly.  He needed exercising.  My husband is the horsey person.  I love to watch them but don’t have a clue what to do with them.  Well we both had a lesson today.  He is stubborn as a mule and probably knew he had a novice cowgirl.  It was fun though and I got the exercise, trying to get him to move.  Gave him a little love and brushing and all was good and I was ready to go back to doing something I know how to do, painting!

Ann & Cheyenne 10-06-2013
Ann & Cheyenne 10-06-2013

Well, as always I wanted to get more done, but all-in-all, it was a productive weekend.

It gets dark about 1 hour after I get home in the evenings and that time is decreasing daily.  Add that to the fact that I am plumb tuckered out by then also.  So another priority is that we get some porch lights up.  It gets dark out here in the country and I don’t like walking from my car to the porch in the dark.  I’m clumsy enough when I can see, much less when it is dark out.

Now for the porch pictures:

The 2x4's for the railings
The 2×4’s for the railings
The balusters
The balusters
The fascia board is painted green.  Love my porch.
The fascia board is painted green. Love my porch.

Well, that’s all folks 🙂

Annie, the novice cowgirl

The Roof is Going On, Yee-Haw!!!

I haven’t posted on the blog in a few weeks, because I was disheartened with the progress and had my focus on Lynn’s health.  I really felt I was loosing ground, and Lynn’s ego – that he could do it, made for a balancing act for me.  Knowing he was not able and that I just needed to hire someone to finish that part of it was a battle of wills.  If he was in good health, I know that he could do this and much more, but the truth is very hard for him to face at this time.  We have danced around this particular item all spring and summer, until I told him last night that I had hired someone and they would be over at 11:00 a.m. this morning.  Oh, did he balk, but when it came right down to it he relented and was satisfied that he would instruct on how he wanted it done.

I received a call from Lynn about 4 hours later, just amazed that the fascia board was on and the roof was sheeted and the tar paper was on there and ready for the shingles.  He was so excited that so much was done.  The worker had to stop as we didn’t have the shingles yet.  Wahoo, I am a happy girl.

Tomorrow we will go to Home Depot and get the shingles and the step flashing, and he will finish the roof.   Lynn is happy that Kinzie has a dry place to lay.  She loves laying on the back porch in front of the door.  Guarding her people.  If dogs could smile, she was smiling.  And I was doing a happy dance in the back yard.  I will save you the description of that.  Frightening 🙂

This has brought back my enthusiasm for continuing to work on it.  Lynn has the task of doing the wiring and making the gates on the railings.  That may be awhile as he was feeling really bad today.  Had a lot of pain today.  But those are things that I can do.  He seems to be okay with me doing things, with his guidance, of course.

I’m praying for a nice weekend so I can do the clean-up and finish the railings.  I took a few pictures tonight when I got home.  The scaffolding is crooked, so it causes the porch to look off kilter, but I will take better pictures when it is removed.  Use your imagination, it is going to look awesome.

Sheeted & tar papered
Sheeted & tar papered
Kinzie checking our her perch, now she can stay dry
Kinzie checking our her perch, now she can stay dry
From underneath
From underneath

Annie, the happy dancing novice carpenter