Over The Garden Gate

Reader Contribution by Bruce Mcelmurray
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 Replacing a new gate is a breeze when you have pre milled wood on hand.  Last summer I milled out some trees with the intention of obtaining good solid – straight wood for building a new gate plus other projects.  Our current gate has been doing  heavy duty as our main gate for back yard access now for 14 years and it is starting to show its age.  I would guess that we use that old gate a dozen or more times a day and that equals a lot of use.  Having enough dead pine and fir trees on our lot to mill into lumber would be sufficient enough lumber to build a small village. There is no shortage of resources to mill all the lumber we could ever require.  So by planning ahead last summer we cut lumber for several projects including a new gate.  

One benefit of milled lumber is you don’t have to go to a lumber yard and sort through a pile of lumber to get a straight board without warp or wind.  When you mill your own wood you have nice straight true to dimension lumber.  It is also not nominal dimension but true to size.  If you don’t have a wood mill to make your own lumber but do have trees; if you want quality lumber I suggest you call a sawyer and have them mill some lumber for you.   

The new gate has half lap joints at each corner and a cross member for additional support, the new gate is plenty solid and should last for many years.  The beauty of the new gate is it did not cost us one penny.  I used the existing hardware and the lumber was free having been milled  with our Lucas wood mill. We had fencing and stain on hand so the price was right.  I measured the opening and then made the gate to fit.  It fit perfectly when installed and is taller than the old gate to keep us and our dogs safe from predators that might be inclined to climb or try to jump the gate.  

The gate parts were cut, assembled and stained indoors. The weather was very cooperative for our area, this time of year,  barely a breeze stirring the air and the temperatures were  unseasonably warm at 48 degrees.  It was the perfect day to tackle a small chore like installing a new garden gate.  You can see  from the photo the snow is still on the ground but we had a sudden break in the snow routine storms and it was a perfect day to tackle a small chore like this.  

Normally this time of year we are out shoveling snow or trying to stay warm, but this unexpected break in the weather is a welcome bonus.  It is a good day to sit out in a lawn chair on our deck and just enjoy the sudden favorable change of weather and take advantage of what comes our way.  Two days ago the wind was blowing 80 MPH and it was barely up to freezing temperatures.  Tomorrow it could be windy and cold again so today we seized on the nice break of weather to  install a newly  made gate, and enjoy sitting on the deck in a lawn chair.  Now where was it I put those folding  lawn chairs 5 months ago?

For more on Bruce and Carol McElmurray and their lifestyle go to http://www.brucecarolcabin.blogspot.com