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 🙂

Day 7 of the vacation. Moving a little slow.

Well, today was a little short, had to take Lynn to the Dr. to get his blood thinner checked. Of course, we had to stop by my work to weigh-in, as we are both on that diet thing. Visited with my co-workers who I just love, and talked about me taking another week off. Thought it sounded like a good idea, now if the boss approves it I will get to torture Lynn for another week.

While we were in town, we did a little shopping at the Home Depot and loaded up on the list of supplies we needed to keep going.  One new item was a wire brush.  I saw a u-tube video on how to clean out paint brushes.  It was pretty slick.  You need a wire brush and you basically comb the paint brush with the wire brush, under warm or cold water.  Man, what a time saver that is.  I have been buying cheap brushes so I don’t feel so bad about throwing them away.

Okay now for the progress.  Today Lynn went up in the lift and put some trim around the stain glass window.  First he needed to put 1/2″ plywood up and then a piece of the Hardie Board trim.  That places it out far enough that the siding butts up against it and doesn’t stick out.  I did take a photo of just what we got done today.  It went slow as I was not very proficient with the siding tool.  As a matter of fact, I switched to a chop saw because I was wasting too much trim practicing.  I guess that is something I just can’t get the hang off in this short amount of time.  I did some running up and down the stairs handing things out the window to Lynn in the lift.  Oh, and that diet thing with Lynn, what was I thinking??  He was living up to his nick name:  Ole’ Snap & Snarl.  Boy was he cranky.  So at one point I decided he didn’t need me and I went to the far side of the garage (to get away) and decided to paint a door, that he pointed out needed painting.  I managed to get it scrapped, caulked and primed.  He is a real work incentive.

When we got back from town, I went to work on the post we took out yesterday.  I removed all the screws with a power drill.  Oh, I didn’t tell you.  We did something I know Norm Abrams would not approve of.  We tried to bring the splitting posts together with screws, counter sunk of course.  Didn’t work.  Nothing worked, except taking them apart and fixing them right.  At least that is what I say now.  Ask me this time next year and I will let you know how they have fared over the winter.

Back to the post.  Well I removed the screws and then tried to pull the 4 sides apart.  Nothing is easy.  So I used my versatile putty knife to try to force apart the sticking sides.  It worked but in the process I bent my putty knife.  I loved that putty knife.  Papa said he will buy me another one tomorrow.  This is me frowning. 😦    I truly loved that little tool.

Tomorrow is grocery day, so we won’t be working in the morning.  Then by the time we get home, Lynn is too tuckered out to do anything, so that means I get to play on the lift when we get home.  Yipee.  Maybe I can get him to move it to the Shop and I will start painting on it.  I need to get the “up high” work done before we have to take the lift back.

Or I may just call it a rest day, and head into town for the Walla Walla Quilt Show.  Leaving Lynn home to recharge for Sunday.  I think that is what I am going to do.  Making and executive decision, Quilting Show it is.  Save the painting until Sunday.  Now for some photos, that finally downloaded.

Annie, Posting,  Painting, and Chop Saw Operator

Window In

Another one of the window

Sliding Garage Door – Mower entrance

Primed and ready for the final coat.

Post in pieces

My beloved putty knife.