Weekend 2 – Palletgate 4

Drilling Holes in Palletgate - that'll teach it!

Drilling Holes in Palletgate – that’ll teach it!

With still-aching limbs, and an extra hour in bed as we moved to GMT (proper time), I trepidly approached my other task of the weekend – the repair of (cue halloweeny-type scary music) PALLETGATE.

Ex-hurricane Gorblimey didn’t only vent its anger on the willow hedge. It also encouraged certain nails in Palletgate’s construction to make various bids for freedom, leaving the gate looking decidedly weak.

Fortunately, I had already assessed the situation and, realising that I couldn’t simply ignore it and hope it would fix itself*, I had been and purchased roofing bolts and plates (the flat metal kind rather than the good ones you eat yummy stuff off). Although the bolts and plates had come from our nearest town (Lampeter, the first town in the UK with a loyalty card scheme) I actually had to buy more bolts from my local big chain-seller of such things in Reading when I realised that the Lampeter bolts were too short (bought based on the scientific strength of “well, they look about right”).

Good job we kept the old gate!

Good job we kept the old gate!


Spot the slight problem

Spot the slight problem

Trying to remove a screw that's gone to pieces

Trying to remove a screw that’s gone to pieces








Actually, the whole operation went pretty smoothly except for the one wrinkle that you have to have (otherwise it wouldn’t be Sunday morning DIY – or any morning for that matter): one of the screws holding on one of the hinges snapped in two in the screw hole. There then followed 20 minutes of trying to remove enough wood to allow the remains of the screw to be unscrewed but not so much that the hole would be too big to fit a new screw. I couldn’t move the hinge – that would involve drilling more holes in the house and readers of Palletgate will know how keen I am not to do that.

But the DIY gods were clearly on my side (for once – I put it down to guilt on their side), and I managed to remove the remnant whilst leaving the hole usable. What’s more, thesnailofhappiness found a screw left by the plumber when he fitted a new shower the other week, a screw that was perfect for the job.

The Finishing Touches

The Finishing Touches

Mr Snail Contained

Mr Snail Contained










I also added an extra bit to the anti-wobbly device to stop the mesh flapping around: another bit of old pallet was pressed into service for that.

I re-fitted the gate (with a certain sense of relief and a spanner) and, amazingly, the job was done. I don’t think the chickens were too impressed though.

Now I think I have earned my coffee – and it is still Sunday morning!

I thought he'd take MUCH longer than that!

I thought he’d take MUCH longer than that!


* This has worked once. After I replaced the shower about 7 years ago, I replaced the bit the shower head sits on (oh, I don’t know the technical term. The shower bar thingy, you know.) This involved drilling holes through the tiles, which I looked up how to do properly. It worked like a charm- the sort of charm that means the holes you drill are perfect in every way except their location. I bodged it, and only twice did the whole thing fall off the wall. I just didn’t know how to fill the holes and I was too nervous to drill new holes because I’d probably get the locations right but shatter every tile within a half mile radius of our bathroom. So I ignored it and, sure enough, when we had a new shower replaced by a professional, he was a professional at attaching things through tiles too. I suspect I would wait longer than 7 years to have the gate fixed.

Categories: General silliness, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , , | 15 Comments

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15 thoughts on “Weekend 2 – Palletgate 4

  1. Reblogged this on The Snail of Happiness and commented:
    Mr Snail has been writing about the garden again, so once more I can just reblog his post for your entertainment (he was really chuffed with all your visits the other day and even more chuffed that some of you decided to follow his blog too). Enjoy…


  2. Oh the tasks we women save up for our part time handymen . Like you, Mr E is an IT consultant and works away from home. His task thanks to Gorblimey was rebuilding the rose arch. My task to admire the handywork in suitable gushing tones and clear up afterwards! Lovely funny post!


    • The beauty of doing DIY outside is that nature does quite a bit of the clearing up for you, sometimes before you have finished. But it takes a human to (pretend to) admire the work, and two dogs and four chickens to ignore it completely! Still, it takes our minds off of IT problems!


  3. I’m eagerly combing through your MCPs (major construction projects) in the hope of discovering some useful hints for when we build Chookonia. So far, the plans have gone through two major evolutions, and the current one involves not pallets, but recycled cyclone fencing, dismantling the existing hovel, recycling all the timber and corrugated roofing steel, and huge quantities of cable ties. I’ve turned against pallets since Palletgate. It all sounds too scary… It has to get done before the rains begin next month. No one builds anything in the Wet. Wish me luck.


    • I can’t believe Palletgate sounds scary when you are recycling CYCLONE fencing! Cable ties (particularly the easily re-usable kind) are an unsung heroic invention and I reckon one could build anything using just them. There’s an idea for a fence… good luck with the building. Let us know how it is going!


  4. And while you did the labours of Hercules was Mrs Snail inside beavering away at her chutney?


  5. You’ll be a pro at this by the time the next storm comes through!


  6. Ah the adventures of them that would repair over replace. SO with you! We just had to “repair” our new gate. We made it out of treated pine that was obviously treated the day before and that warped in a highly alarming way in the week it took for the sun to come out and make it’s presence felt. As (long suffering) owners of a dog that is champing at the bit to be released into the surrounding neighbourhood whereby he would lick every human he met, assemble a motley crew of every dog that he met and set about teaching them how to take over the rest of the animal kingdom in one fell swoop. It would end in his shame and no doubt demise, but WHAT an adventure he would have and thus we ever and always have in the back of our heads that as bodgy as we would like to make things, we can’t. We have to make “sturdy things” in order to contain…”the beast”. It’s the right thing to do. The other day we caught the beast sniffing around the rather large warpedly hole that had started to form between the gate post and the gnarled up gate. It was time for action! Stevie-boy took the gate away and came back with a nice new one that he had assembled from lovely 2 year dry wood that a friend who just moved away couldn’t stuff into their shipping container and gifted us with. He had sprayed it a lovely Donna Hay blue/green just so that it wouldn’t match the rest of the fence (as you do when you are a man) and we set about attaching it to the gate post and thus all things are now right with the world. Earl has decided that he is going to rust the gate hinges with some particularly potent urine on a regular basis and thus gain his exit one way or another…sigh…

    I can’t talk about the tiles in the bathroom with Stevie-boy. He starts to twitch and get a manic look in his eyes. I decided, back when we were renovating Serendipity Farm on the cheap (penniless student hippies have to rely on “the cheap” as otherwise things don’t happen…) that I didn’t like the existing tiles in the bathroom. While Stevie-boy was out in the shed doing something manly I started to remove the tiles very gently with a crow bar. I ended up removing 3 of the bathroom walls in a matter of minutes. Stevie-boy returned from the shed to find that the job of re-tiling the walls had turned into “first make your wall…” he has banned me from touching the crow bar ever…EVER again.


  7. If I knew how, I would reply with a big smiley face icon. I have visions of Earl, Gromit-like, armed with a screwdriver and a book entitled “World Domination for Dogs by Alexander the Great (Dane) and Ghengis Cairn Terrier”.
    Bathroom tiles are some kind of torture, invented to keep DIY-ers busy at weekends. As with Stevie-boy their mention makes me twitch and requires a nice Sauvignon to aid recovery thereafter. Naturally, they get mentioned quite a lot.
    There is a bell ringing throughout the track “The Division Bell” by Pink Floyd. If you hold up our crow bar and gently strike it with a mallet, it makes the same sound. Now, I can’t use it as, to me, it is a musical instrument. That’s my excuse and I am sticking to it!


  8. Eh, that looks about right has engineered every home project I have ever completed. Good job.


  9. Pingback: ScrapHappy September: The PalletGate Affair | writinghouse

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