Everything Put Together Falls Apart (well, it does when I’m involved)
You’d forgotten, hadn’t you? Well, that makes two of us. In March 2020, when so much happened and then nothing happened at all for months and months, I wrote a little ScrapHappy post entitled ScrapHappy March 2020: Palletgate V2.0. There was a suggestion that, in the near future, Palletgate would be rebuilt, stronger, tougher and more pallety than ever before. Well…
Welcome to the near future. In it, pallets have given way (not literally, at least not in this project) to something altogether shinier (when polished): aluminium (or aluminum, if you prefer). The problem with Palletgate Version 1 (apart from the obvious one of being built by an idiot hammer-wielding optimist) was that without further treatment of the wood, it was bound to rot as it isn’t good quality. In Wales, well, we have our fair share (and also that of England’s) of rain, so the idea of building a new one just for it to rot (even if I were to finally prime and paint it) seemed a bit silly**.
Then I wondered if I could repurpose the old bits of staging from the long now-replaced-with-the-Limery greenhouse to make a shiny new gate to keep our currently non-existent chickens* away from the raised beds. Made of lightweight non-rusting aluminium, these bits seemed ideal, so I investigated the pile of potential material further. The original leg sections could be bolted together, in ways that wouldn’t make sense if you were making staging but made PERFECT sense if you’re making the frame for a gate. I reckoned I could probably use some of the old struts as supports for the mesh (recycled from Palletgate version 1), and maybe use them for hinge supports too. Time would tell…
All the World’s a stage and all the stage is a new gate. Maybe.
We did indeed appear to have the technology. We COULD rebuild Palletgate. It WOULD cost 64 pence, with change for a small beer.***
Extra bits and pieces
There were also some (potentially) handy extras too. I also used nuts, washers and screws from a set I bought about twenty years ago, one which has already outlived its original case (which was the subject of this ScrapHappy).
You know what? This might just work…
I tested to see if two bits of the staging could form half the gate – they could, so I set about bolting them together, using the pre-existing holes and new bolts, since the originals had all snapped (I know that feeling!) when I removed them.
You know what? This just might work, vertically this time…
Having created the framework, I figured out a way to attach the hinges. The gate is so light that the existing hinges, that had bent a little under the weight of the old pallet, were perfect for this incarnation. Now to attach the mesh, a remnant from PalletGate version 1.
A Complete Mesh
The mesh fitted on easily but needed some support as it was, to use the technical term, “a bit flappy”. This had been a problem with the first gate, with various extra supports being added over its life. I tried to find the focal points of the flappiness and clamp them with some of the original support struts from the staging.
Strutting its stuff – trying to stop the mesh flapping about
I also added one of the tops of the staging to dampen any movement at the top of the mesh.
A piece of staging worktop acting as further mesh support
Finally (oh, how you have longed to see those words in this post), I cut a couple of grooves and constructed a gate latch from other leftover staging bits.
I’m not sure if this will be the final design of latch but it works for now. I do have an idea to improve it, but that is possibly for a later ScrapHappy!
It actually looks like a real gate!
But, what should this new gate be called? StagingGate? AluGate? Well, it is Partly Aluminium, Lightweight and has the usual DIY vibe of LET‘s-see-how-long-this-lasts Gate, so perhaps we can abbreviate this to:
What else could it be called? Palletgate (version 1) is dead. Long live Palletgate (version 2)!
* So much easier to look after than extant chickens and produce almost as many eggs as ours did in the last year of their lives.
** Problem is, I do silly really well.
*** Small, bordering on non-existent at today’s prices.
Many other people contribute to Kate and Gun’s wonderful ScrapHappy every month – check out what they have been up to too!
Kate, Gun, Eva, Sue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Tracy, Jill,
Claire, Jan, Moira, Sandra, Chris, Alys,
Claire, Jean, Jon, Dawn, Jule,
Gwen, Bekki, Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue L,
Vera, Nanette, Ann, Dawn 2, Bear,
Carol, Preeti, Edith, and Debbierose