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 🙂

7 thoughts on “I Made a Gate!!

    1. Thanks for reading my blog. You do what you’ve got to do. Learning a lot and stepping a little out of my comfort zone. Some light at the end of the tunnel as my husband has another Dr.’s appointment on Friday. Hoping things will improve after that. If not we re-group and try a different avenue.

      I like your blog and I think it will make a good book. Unfortunately, I actually had 3 uncles that were for a time homeless on the streets. Though in the South, Georgia and Tennessee, so the weather was a little kinder. One actually got frostbite on his toes and ended up loosing a few. A sad state of affairs. You can’t always help like you would like to, but you are at least giving them a voice. Keep up the good work.

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