You all remember PalletGate, don’t you?
Ah, PalletGate, the great (DIY) scandal of our time, I have neglected you lately largely because, against all the expectations of the general populace, you haven’t actually broken. I know, I know, this is an amazing thing, as unbelievable as Donald Trump saying “Well, perhaps I AM a little bigoted” but even a succession of oddly-named storms has failed to reduce PalletGate to its constituent parts.
The storms did, however, reveal a slight design flaw. The complex, integral latching system to stop the gate opening when unattended – that sticky-out bit of wood on the right halfway up – was not quite long enough at times because of a different design flaw in the post against which it was intended to rest. That post is the corner upright of our fruit cage (a DIY structure built before the age of my blog, thus saving the world eighty-three posts on the relative merits of the different ways of positioning fruit cages) and, after so much heavy rain over the last few years, it is a post that all but dances in the wind – a kind of drunken-Dad-at-a-wedding dance, in fact much as I would dance if absolutely forced to. So, when the wind blows, the post moves, the complex latchy sticky-out thing no longer pushes against anything solid et voilá – hens in the bit of the garden they shouldn’t be in at the moment.
What the complex latchy sticky-out thing needs to be is a SLIDEY complex latchy sticky-out thing, so:
****Naff DIY to the rescue!****
We had resorted to using string to hold the gate closed in the high winds – effective but irritating to undo in the rain
The idea was to attach two blocks to retain the sliding latchy sticky-out bit, then put two bits of wood overhanging slightly top and bottom to hold the SLS thing in place, then add a reclaimed plastic handle and an end stop before mopping up the blood and the broken dreams and heading inside for a cup of tea and a lie down. All the wood was to come from a piece left by the builders and bits of old pallet leftover from the last massacre, er, DIY project.
Two retaining blocks made from a bit of wood the Limery builders left
Suitably drilled and placed, the next bits were the overhanging but:
Disaster! Every time I drilled a small hole, the piece of wood broke in two.
Things like this put the “Why?” in “DIY”. Looking around, I found a lovely piece of willow log, waiting to be chopped for the Kelly Kettle. Yay! I used that instead. It felt like an “organic” thing to do.
Willow Log to the rescue! Overhanging and not splitting in two, everything that was needed from these bits.
And finally… I took the original sticky-out thing and attached a plastic handle that came attached to a box with, I think either a laptop or a cheese-making kit in it (and it would make sense that I have gotten those two things confused ever since). Fixing another piece of willow as an end-stop gave:
Swanky New-fangled Slidey Latchy Sticky-out thing in all its Glory
There it is. PalletGate is now PalletGate Plus. As the bard himself (probably) wrote: “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Actually, that sounds quite unpleasant, so don’t bother.” Notice that I am so confident that this mechanism will last, that I have left the string where it is.
Even PalletGate can dream