Building My First Gate
I carried all the materials and tools down there and built the gate in situ. It was to protect a small piece of highly prized wet land from the wild boar.
It was the final part of fencing off the area. It went really well. I measured up between the gate posts, laid out the poles and cut, drilled and screwed them all together with ease.
I carried it up the hill to a neighbour, who was also putting up fencing, for advice on which way round the diagonal support should go. He said it didn’t matter. He seemed to think my gate was fine.
I fitted the diagonal, installed the gate and played around with it a bit, opening and closing it and hooking its handle over the post and was amazed at how smoothly it worked and how, although it was much narrower at the bottom (and I don’t really know how that had happened), it had been a very pleasing and successful venture.
As I packed up to go, the day now hotting up and lunch time approaching, the neighbour came down for a final look and shook his head.
“No, no, no, you don’t want to do it like that!” Was about the gist of it.
Apparently the pigs would get through the gap at the bottom, the horizontals need to be 20cm apart, washing line for hinges was no good, I should have used nails and not screws and if you’re going to build a gate you might as well do it properly.
The next couple of hours was then spent, now far too hot and tired to do a good job, affixing all the remaining off-cuts available in the aforementioned places. And as is the way when you go back to fiddle with a ‘finished’ piece, it all went horribly wrong. I ran out of long screws, got the drill bit stuck in the wood and then bent it, mis-cut poles, stabbed myself with the screw driver and basically grovelled and struggled in the dirt in a cloud of bitey flies.
But I did it. I packed up swiftly and staggered off home, parched and famished. At the top of the hill I turned and looked back hoping for a pleasing final overview of my creation. I was shocked at its un-gate-like appearance. It looked like it had been built by a chimp.