Saturday, June 13, 2009

More work on the gate

Eric and I went out last night after work to hang the gate better. This time I took my cordless drill, my 1/2" chuck drill, a generator for power and my tools. I know it's a silly exercise in futility but I wanted to see if my cordless drill could really hold up to solid demand or if it was best used as a screwdriver. Well...the gate hinge pin is 5/8". My calculation is that I would need a 1/2" drill bit. To do it properly, I figured a 1/4" pilot hole would be best. I would say that it took about 10 minutes to do the first pilot hole and that was going slow, in a little, backing it out, going in a little, backing it out...I was determined. It just barely got the 1/2" hole done when I called it quits with the cordless. I'm guessing here but I'd say that the first hole took about 20 minutes to finish with the cordless drill. Verdict? Screwdriver. Sure there are some outstanding factors. It didn't have a fresh charge, so that could have been related. However, If you need power and you have a 3500 watt generator, why not use a REAL power tool and not a battery powered one? I was burning daylight and it was almost sundown by the time I got the first hole done. That doesn't count the time it took to screw in a 5/8" hinge pin 5" deep. If you've never screwed a 5/8" hinge pin into a dry cedar post, you have no idea. Trust me, it's tougher than you'd think. Eric was sitting in the bed of the truck for morale support since his knee is still pretty much shot. I told him, "Sorry, Eric. You're going to have to move. I slid the generator out a little, set the choke and in 3 pulls had it purring. I set the bit, lined it up and pulled the trigger and drilled the hole straight in. It took all of 3 seconds. At least the gate is hung and it's straight. The sun was gone and I didn't have a light so it was time to go. I didn't have a camera but I'll take a picture next time and post it here. It's better. I still need to do a proper "H" brace but the whole point here is to make it known that this is private property. I think that message is clear now.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Finally Hung The Front Gate - Sort Of

OK, so last week I went out on Saturday and worked for a few hours, spreading road base. It was the hottest part of the day and wiped me out. Summer is definitely here now and I'm too old to work with the sun beating down on me. I felt like I didn't get much accomplished but Todd said he could tell that I worked on it. Today, I met him out there. He was working on the driveway so I joined him. I didn't bring my wheelbarrow with me so we were tossing it by the shovel full. We finished raking it and it was 'OK'. I'll go out later on with a chain harrow and level it out more, but it doesn't look too bad. 22 cubic yards of road base got us about 100'. I figure another 12 double loads to get the road all the way back to the main part of the building site. Well, after all it's only a quarter of a mile to where we want to build our cabin. So...once we were done with the driveway, the real fun was about to begin. I had a 12' steel tube gate in the back of my Silverado. We got busy and cut fence posts from the cedar trees we cut down a few weeks ago. I held up the gate; so we could see where to dig and we got busy. I figured, "I have a post hole digger. The ground is soft dirt. This should be simple." Boy was I delusional. You tell me, does that ground "look" soft? What was I thinking? The ground was as hard as dirt and clay can ever get. It was like trying to dig through rock. I tried to use my mattock to bust up the dirt but instead, bent it right over as if I was hitting it against steel. I was expecting my 8 year old post hole digger to break but it held up through the abuse I was giving it. About an hour later, I hadn't made much progress other than to wear myself out. Todd hadn't made much progress on the other side of the driveway either. I was ready to quit and go get a gas auger but Todd didn't want to give up, so...I kept digging...stopped for a quick bite of lunch and dug some more...Did I mention that we started on this around 9am? Eventually, I must have gotten my second wind because I finished up both holes and we planted the posts and hung the gate...sort of. I forgot to bring a drill to make holes for the mounting hardware. Ooops! ;) So...we packed it in around 1:00pm, give or take (I stuck around afterwards and raked the driveway a little before leaving), and called it a day. What do you think? Is it starting to look more like it should?