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Technical Applications Design Challenge: Project Garden Gate Mr. Wetzel (Mr. G’s project) Problem: My 4 1/2’ x 15’ garden has and old rusty, broken fence with no gate. Construct a new fence with a gate. Why? Existing fence is rusty old chicken wire. No gate, have to climb over fence to get into garden. Looks terrible. Mrs. G. nags me to fix it. Specifications (requirements) Utilize existing materials saved from other projects. Maximum cost of materials: $0 Complete project within 16 hrs. (2 Saturdays) Must use weather resistant materials. Must be open enough to let in sunlight all day. Width: 15’, depth: 4 1/2’, Height: 3’. (foraging deer not really a problem). Install a functional gate for easy access. Only install fence on 3 sides. Can use wall of house and air conditioner as part of fencing. Exploring Ideas ***Include (staple into your report) freehand sketches using pencil and graph paper with explanations of good and/or bad features. Some projects will require school approved software/simulation for designing. Explain the s/w, how it works, your results. Include all output in your report. • Idea #1 Red Cedar Accent Fencing Pro: looks great!!! Con: Do not have the material, out of budget. Too time consuming to construct. • Idea #2 White vinyl Fencing and gate Pro: Weather resistant, no painting needed. Wide gate to carry out those huge pumpkins! Con: Do not have the material, out of budget. • Idea # 3 buildeasy.com website, easy instructions for do-it-yourselfers like me. Pro: just what I’m looking for. Con: I will have to modify their design to fit the materials I have. Making: I constructed the fencing and gate myself using left over supplies from several other projects. The fence posts were ripped from 2 x 6 pressure treated lumber from my rear deck. The gate and perimeter toe boards were left over from my neighbor’s cedar patio fence. The green plastic fencing was left over from a protective shrubbery fence project. • Remove old wire fence and rotten fence posts. • Stretch a guide line length of garden and 4 1/2’ parallel with house. • Rip 2 x 6 boards on table saw 2” x 2” for posts. Cross cut to length of 4 1/2’. Make 10 posts. • Using hatchet, place end of posts on scrap wood and shape one end to point, for easier hammering into ground. • Begin by setting the two posts for the gate 19” apart (add 1” clearance for 18” wide gate). Hammer in straight with sledge hammer. Constantly stop and check for plumb using a level. Stop when approximately when 12” is in ground. 3 1/2’ should be above ground. • Layout remaining posts evenly spaced…about 3’ apart. Drive into ground same as for gate posts. Making: (continued) • Install 4” x 1” x 8’ cedar toe boards to bottom of fence posts. Pilot drill 1/8” hole, use #8 x 2” galvanized deck screws. 2 screws/ post. Toe boards will keep in garden soil and prevent animals from burrowing under fence. Cedar is a rot resistant wood. • Cut 2 x 2 wood braces on corners and gate to provide support. Install diagonally and use 3” length galvanized wood screws. Always pilot drill. Used electric hand drill and good old Phillips screw driver by hand. • Attach heavy duty green plastic fencing to posts using plastic coated copper wire salvaged from phone company office installation. Copper wire will not rust and is strong if wrapped several times around post. Cut fence material with hand metal shears. • Begin gate construction. Disassemble section of 8’ board-on-board cedar fence to obtain materials. • Use tape measure and tri-square to layout. Cut two 8’ boards in half using cross-cut hand saw to create four 4’ gate boards. Trim two boards with hand saw to have matching chamfered ends. • Measure and cut two 2” x 3” horizontal cross members. Use combo-square and hand saw. Hold in vice on work bench while cutting. Making: (continued) • Using combo square and tape measure, create guide lines on gate boards 12” from top and Cross bottom to position horizontal cross members. Gate board member • Clamp with c-clamp top cross member perpendicular to one gate board with end even with board. Pilot drill and screw board to cross member with two 2” galv wood screws to prevent movement. • Repeat with bottom cross member. • Position another gate board to opposite side of cross member. Clamp, drill, screw and perform work same as first board. • The gate now looks like a rectangular frame. Place the two middle gate boards evenly spaced, about 1 3/8” apart. Clamp, drill and screw together. • Flip the gate upside down, measure and cut a diagonal cross member. To find the needed Diagonal angle, lay the wood into position and trace. You support can also use a sliding t-bevel to find your angle. Gate rear view Clamp, drill and screw together the cross brace. Making: Hinge • Using two old galvanized hinges from a garage door, scribe and cut away supports to permit 90° bend on right side. Clamp in vise, use hacksaw. • Measure and bend left side of hinge to wrap around gate post and provide rigid attachment. Drill new 1/8” hole on left side using drill press. Clamp in vise. • Attach hinges using galv wood screws and washers to prevent screws from popping out of oval hinge holes. Always pilot drill first. • Hasp. Not the most technical device, but it will work temporarily until I find something better laying around in my basement or garage. Create a loop of plastic coated copper phone wire. Bend and drill Cut away here Cheapo hasp washer Testing • The project is a success? If only I can stop those “attack” pumpkins. • The fence and gate have held up well for several years now. • I have kept to my budget, using only existing materials. • Wife and neighbors are pleased. • One nice feature is, I can un-attach the left side fence and swing it out of the way. This permits burying my fig tree to prevent any frost damage. Fig tree Solution • This was a very rewarding project. I was able to complete it within my allocated time frame of two Saturdays. • It was great because it cost nothing to build, and I was able to use up some supplies left over from previous projects. • It must be working because I have not found any evidence of intruding varmints. Now if only it can keep those pumpkins from escaping. • The fence is not really strong enough to hold up the weight of the pumpkin vines. I don’t plan on letting pumpkins grow again. Stick to tomatoes and figs. Improved security (Sketches of improved design should go here) Good Luck!!!!
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