Monday, April 23, 2012

Fixing a Gate

I know this won't be the most thrilling post, but lately I've been getting more of the "boring" stuff done than the cute, crafty/diy stuff.  I have a wooden gate that goes from my front yard to the side yard and it just doesn't open anymore.  It was very hard to open to begin with and just completely got stuck over time.

As you can see in the picture below, the boards completely touch the walkway and even one board was hanging for dear life.  It turns out that several boards were loose, but first on the agenda was to trim those babies down to allow for clearance.

So, I broke out my brand spankin' new Porter Cable multi-tool.  Thanks dad & Liz for the Christmas gift!!!  I had been talking with my dad about these handy-dandy tools and they completely surprised me with it.  I didn't have a specific project in mind, but they are good for so many uses, I knew that I would be able to use it for lots of things in the future.  Finally, I figured out what to use it for!  (By the way, I really like how easy it is to change the tool tips on this brand.  All you have to do is press on a lever, slide the tool tip in, release the lever and it locks in place - easy!).
Ok, I will admit - I'm not really sure if this is the correct tool for this project, but it worked very well for me.  It took some elbow grease, but it worked perfectly. the picture below, I am pushing my hardest on the gate and it would only open this much.  (I don't know why, but my arm looks weird here - it looks like I don't have a wrist, but I do!!)

So, I just started working away - one board at a time.  You can see below, the boards on the right have been trimmed and how much of a difference it makes compared to the boards on the left.  I actually had to do the whole thing twice.  The first round, I didn't trim enough - it would only open just enough for me to squeeze through.  So, I made another round of trimming up the boards and it opens almost all the way now.

I was starting to run out of time, but I think I need to trim up one or two more boards on the right just a teensy bit more and it will open with no problems.  Yeah, it's not perfect, but it's hard to cut through the boards while squatting on the ground and not really being able to see how it's coming along.  There was a lot of laying on my belly going on to really get an idea of how much clearance I was making.  The most important thing is now I can open the gate!! 

I also hammered in the loose boards for now, but I think I will need to go back and use some screws to really keep them in place - this fence is old!  So, now that the gate opens, I have discovered that the fence attached to it (which connects to the neighbor's fence) is loose and leaning forward.  I can see where the nails have come out of the boards, so I'll have to fix that also (I'll most likely have to do this from my neighbor's back yard, but hoping to figure out a way to do it from my back yard.  My neighbor is really old and I don't like to bother her). 

I'm so glad that the hard part of getting the gate to open is done and now I'll have easier access to my side yard.   Another thing checked off my list!

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