Posts Tagged With: Palletgate

ScrapHappy July 2021: Palletgate V2.0 Update

Everything Put Together Falls Apart (well, it does when I'm involved)

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.

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

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...

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...

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

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

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

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's Gatier than you Think

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!


KateGun, EvaSue, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy,  Tracy, JanMoira, SandraChrisAlys,
ClaireJeanJon, DawnJuleGwen,
Sunny, Kjerstin, Sue LVera, Edith
NanetteAnn, Dawn 2, Carol, Preeti,
Amo and Alissa


Categories: recycling, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 25 Comments

ScrapHappy March 2020: Palletgate V2.0


Ah, PalletGate. Somewhat battered but still hanging on…

A hundred years ago (OK, six), PalletGate rose from the primordial soup (OK, an old pallet or two) and has stood guard, like a Colossus (OK, a colossal eyesore), over the space between paradise and Hades (OK, the area we keep the chickens in and the other bit where we don’t). That momentous occasion (OK, no wait, it WAS) is recorded here.


Weather and not-very-good quality wood means the pallet is beginning to fall apart

The seemingly endless storms we are now having, with high winds and lots of rainfall, mean that the wood is rotting and Palletgate is beginning, much like the writer, to fall apart. Fortunately, I still have a few pallets from a neighbour, who moved out and no longer needed them, and a new bottle of single malt to help me through the construction process (as and when that actually happens).



The plan is this: using the reasonably nice pallets from the pile, treat one (or maybe two) with the same external primer and paint used for PalletCart then build a whole new gate. I am tempted to use two pallets to give a good height so that the mesh (which I will re-use from the existing gate) will be more stable in the high winds that we seem to having more frequently now. I am also going to use those gate hinges that you hang gates on rather than the current ones (I will try to source second-hand ones).

Watch this space for developments! Actually, just come back occasionally, it is partly going to depend on decent weather which seems to be in short supply at the moment…


These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Lots of other happy scrappers contribute too, so check them out: KateGun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, JanKaren,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean, Johanna,
Joanne, Jon (me), HayleyDawn, Gwen, Connie and Bekki

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 11 Comments

ScrapHappy April 2019: Better late than never (possibly)


The patient (1)

Sorry for the lateness of this ScrapHappy post but life has been wonderfully distracting. Patient 1 is the waterbutt stand I built a long time ago out of new wood but have then “improved” with distinctly old wood ever since. It has only ever collapsed twice, the first time when the pre-made deck on which the waterbutt sits, failed, sending a full butt of water (200 litres, no less) all over the path. That time, pallets provided the material for the fix.

The second collapse wasn’t quite as total, and there was no water loss. I would like to say that this happened last week and I was on the case in a flash – sadly, it actually happened three months plus ago and I have been on the sofa watching Dr Who and eating chocolate for most of the intervening time. That is very much how I roll. Mmm… chocolate rolls…

I digress (plus I’m getting chocolate roll in the keyboard). It turned out that woodlice had eaten some of one of the deck supports (clearly that is their equivalent of chocolate). Not having another chunky piece of wood, I found an offcut (that I have no idea what it is an offcut from, but I cut it off because the cut is as straight as a die in a Universe where a die is the wobbliest thing ever).



That screw should be horizontal, and the bit that goes through the upright is. Oh dear.


The culprit. It appears to be a trilobite.


Support your local crosspiece







Excitingly (for me only), I was able to use my clamp. I bought a couple ages ago but have never had the opportunity to actually use them in anger, so to speak.

Some long screws and a minimal amount of swearing later, and the job was done.


Waterbutt standing proud

As all my tools were now outside in the Good Friday sunshine, I decided to do a quick repair on that old favourite, PalletGate. One of the nifty things that hold the slidey bit in had shrunk, or moved, or something and wasn’t doing the job anymore.


Patient 2: Oh, slidey keepy-in thing, you had one job…

I used a piece of pallet instead of this bit of our willow (which has gone to the Kelly Kettle to be turned into boiling water for tea). Again, only minimal swearing was required to fix it up.


It’s neither big nor clever, but it does work. For now.

Now, I can return to the sofa. There’s some important chocolate to be eaten and the Doctor is having trouble with Cybermen. Again.


These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based Scraphappy in when no one was looking!

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 4 Comments

ScrapHappy February 2019: A couple of repairs

This month’s ScrapHappy sees the return of that favourite* DIY project, Palletgate, and the feeding of birds using a piece of scrap found in the road.

Well, that doesn't look right...

Well, that doesn’t look right…

Palletgate is getting on a bit in Mr Snail DIY terms. Anything I create that lasts more than a week is considered ‘permanent’ and merits an entry in Wikipedia. Anything lasting a month is considered ‘a miracle’ and merits an e-mail to the Pope. Palletgate has been functional since 2014, making it, well, a complete fluke, and the only gate to have a restraining order issued on it by the Vatican.

It does receive somewhat of a battering from the Welsh weather, and it stands up pretty well I think, requiring only the occasional running repair. This time, it was the turn of the mechanism-that-keeps-the-latchy-thing-in-place to need a bit of TLC. The top runner, made from our willow hedge, had come loose and split. The block it was attached to (made from pallet) had also split a bit.

A new piece of willow and simply turning the block around has done the trick, at least for now:


As good as not-really-new-at-all

The other thing needing repair as a result of being hammered by the gale-force winds was one of the bird seed holders. Our bird feeder is based on our old re-purposed rotary clothes drier, so is already a resident of the ScrapHappy Universe.

The top of one of the seed holders was somewhat crushed when the whole feeding station was blown over. I replaced the broken ring with a cable tie I found in the road a couple of months ago (I have no idea why, but there were half a dozen used cable ties lying on the ground. I picked them up and undid them, ready for just such an occasion as this). The result is actually a better way of hanging the seed holder on the feeder, and hopefully happy birds!


Oh dear…


Inside – the cable tie is too big to slide through the hole








Hanging around with its mates



* Or loathsome. You decide.

These ScrapHappy posts are curated by Kate, who provides links to other (mostly sewing) ScrapHappy bloggers at Tall Tales from Chiconia on the fifteenth of every month. I have sneaked a non-fabric-based ScrapHappy in when no one was looking!

Categories: recycling, repair, ScrapHappy, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , | 8 Comments

The Bum of the Flightle Bee

Spot the Bee

Spot the Bee

On Saturday last, PalletGate needed some of the regular TLC that characterises it’s very nature*, so what better time to ignore it and take photographs of a bee instead?

This is what happens when you leave your brassicas to flower (and who wouldn’t?) – not quite a riot of yellow flowers, but certainly a disturbance of the peace**.

Coming into land

Coming into land



Rubbish at hide-and-seek

Rubbish at hide-and-seek

Actually, I filmed this lovely anthophilioid and took some screen shots, not realising quite how colourful it was. It moved me to a form of poetry – that form being “Not Very Good” poetry:

Rudolph has his red nose,

a gardener, their green thumb.

Texas has a yellow rose,

this bee, an orange bum…

As PalletGate remained unattended to, I pondered who it was that said procrastination was a waste of time. Then I realised – the Oxford English Dictionary, that’s who.


* I.e. having been built by an amateur DIYer for whom the proverb “When the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem is a nail” was clearly written for.

** If only there had been legumes in the shot, then it would have been a disturbance of the peas.

Categories: gardening, General silliness, Sustainable Stuff | Tags: , , , | 8 Comments

Create a free website or blog at