Saturday, April 7, 2012

Main Entry Gate

“The fence that makes good neighbors needs a gate to make good friends”

I started working on the main entry gate today. The immediate goal is to create a more formal entry way into the garden area through the walkway between the house and the garage.

Initially, I was planning on centering the gate at the halfway point. However, the buried electrical supply for the house ended running right where I needed to place the main support for the gate (house side). I knew this cable would be close by, but I didn't think it would be exactly where I dug the first post hole. As a result, I had to move the post forward, closer to the driveway/street end of the walkway. You can see the initial hole (filled in again) behind the two holes in the picture below (at top).

At first I was unhappy, but then I realized it didn't look so bad. In fact, it will be centered between the first and second trellis on the garage and the window and kitchen vent on the house side (see picture below).

I also dug the post hole for the supporting posts I intend to attach to the main frame as support (similar to the design used on the back gate last year; at left in picture below).

It took me most of the day to prep the site, and dig the post holes (4 total). I then prepared cement and poured the two columns that will be used to support the main posts. I then attached the brackets.

Setting this up with level lines took a lot of time. There has always been an uneven dip in the walkway, the result of insufficient crushed gravel back during the initial construction of the garage. Getting the posts straight and level was difficult, and the brackets might be off a bit, I won't have a good idea until I install the posts.

For now it looks fine - not bad for an amatur. It will take a few days before the cement is strong enough to hold the posts. In the meantime I will start to pre-stain the cedar posts and boards. By the time I finish, the supports should be ready to allow me to start assembly. I also have to consider what type of gate door to build - I want the style I use to match the back gate as well (still no doors), so I have to investigate what style and techniques will work best - a topic for a future blog post.

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