Monday, August 20, 2012

Fence Update

You would think that, after racing for 2-1/2 hours on Saturday and traveling halfway across New England, I would make Sunday a day of complete rest. That would have been a smart idea, but the endless task list beckoned. Up next: more work on the fence.

It started off with a simple goal: get the fifth and final post into place. I had been holding back on this one, because I knew it was in the vicinity of a natural gas line. About a month after the old fence flopped over, National Grid decided that it would be a good time to update some of the natural gas lines in the neighborhood, and move everyone's gas meter to the outside of the building. No problem with that, but I didn't know exactly where it was. After a call, the DigSafe people came out and marked, and I thankfully had a bit more room than I'd thought at first. Still, between the gas line and the foundation, there wasn't a whole lot of space for digging.
And as it turned out, I had less and less space as I went down. Below grade the foundation is made of a very large and rough-hewn granite blocks (yay New Hampshire!). It appears that the blocks inch their way outwards the further down you go. So after digging down a foot, I would hit the edge of a block, then have to shift a little further from the house and closer to the gas line.
Eventually I did get down deep enough to set the post properly. I was on a roll by then, having caught my fourth or fifth wind, and decided that it was be positively easy to start hanging the fence sections.
It took a little doing to manhandle them into place, wedge them to the right height, level them left-to-right, then predrill the holes and set the screws. It's probably a job better suited to a crew of two or three. It got faster as I went along.
I call that a pretty good result.
It's not a perfectly straight line, but I'll call it pretty good for a first attempt.
The scalloping is a decent look. But there are still those unsightly metal posts to cover up.
Another board does a pretty good job of covering them over, except when viewed from an angle. Six-inch boards would have done better, but would have looked pretty chunky for this low decorative fence.
The fence section closest to the house ended up being too long. Or, put differently, the post ended up too far from the house. So I hacked off a bit of it and cantilevered that extra section off the side. Not the sturdiest, but should hold up. At the very least, it'll keep Jasper from wandering.
I had to improvise how to tie the old fence into the new post. Here's my solution rigged together with a 2x4 and some screws. I'm hoping that this will only be necessary for a year or two, by which point I'll have the rest of the fence replaced. Considering how tired my arms and hands are today, it may well be longer!
More of the tie-in to the old fence.
Here is some of the treatment around the gate post. After five hours of work, I'd decided I had definitely had enough, and so left hanging the gate for another day.

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