Doors & Gates

22 Aug

So I just finished up this gate today for the second (or third?) time.

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In the midst of a barn cleanup, I tore the gate off it’s rusted-solid hinges back when we first moved in.

Then another gate was hastily erected when we needed a bigger space to brood chicks.

Last week, the temporary gate came down with the whole brooder setup. The area behind the gate is being re-purposed to be the feeding area for the hogs. No flimsy gate would survive much interaction with a curious pig.

The old gate was salvaged, the nails beaten out, the hardware removed and rebuilt with 3″ screws. It now swings on three 8″ hinges with a slide bolt to latch it shut. The gate is tall enough to keep out chickens, tight enough to hold a pig, and with all the 2×6’s it’s made from, strong enough to handle cattle.

As the saying goes “build ’em bull-tough and hog-tight.”

But it’s not just toughness, because a few days after finishing the gate up, I realized that the gate swung the wrong direction.

I spent part of the day yesterday fixing the error.

Totally worth it.

Over the course of the past few months, I’ve probably spent 8-10 hours on this single gate. It may sound like a lot, but if hung in the right place and hung correctly, the gate should be in place for the next 50 years or so. That means that the for the rest of my working life, I shouldn’t have to worry about this gate. No worries if it’ll be taken down by a pig or cow, no aggravation from securing gates with wires or chains.

Gates and doors that don’t work easily are a pet peeve of mine. Unfortunately, bad gates and doors abound on this farm. I’m up to 16 doors & gates repaired or replaced this year. That’s 16 gates and doors that I don’t have to worry about keeping stock in or critters out.

I save a few seconds and some aggravation every time I use one, which means that I get my chores done more quickly and am more likely to go visit the animals throughout the day. More interaction, more chances to observe, more chances to spot the sick animals or broken equipment before a situation develops.

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Only 35 more doors & gates to go.

 

One Response to “Doors & Gates”

  1. Judy Strodtman August 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

    Good thinking Andrew, I also will use something a whole lot more if it works correctly! Keep up the good work.

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