Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Fence go BOOM! New-ish Fence

Subtitled: How I spent two whole weeks working on a 3 day job.....
A couple weeks ago we had some seriously strong winds blow through Alameda.
One of the casualties was several sections of our fence.
insert picture of blown down fence here (if I woulda remembered to take any)

So, my 82 years young neighbor and I set about fixing the fence together....he originally built the fence either 30 or 40 years ago all by himself. I think that for a fence to last 30 years is pretty good, don't you? Of course, back then fences were made out of all-heart old-growth redwood and were substantially more weather/rot resistant.

   insert in progress pictures here (if I had remembered to take any)

After Shots!

Here are the sections that we rebuilt.
It was 4 sections in all.

Here you can see the mix of old and new wood.

This section has just old pieces that we re purposed to make do.

Here's where the old posts failed in the wind storm.
 The arrow points to where the fence post used to be. You can see that its pretty rotted away.

What's odd to me is that the part of the post that was buried in the soil below the fence footing was actually not anywhere near as rotted as the top part that was exposed to air.

To replace the two completely rotted out posts we used a 10" by 2' sonotube to form the pier or footing...not sure what it should be called.

New Post Footings

We decided on using these brackets because they will keep the posts from rotting and they are adjustable. Our neighbor on the other side did the same thing and he really likes them. It was a little weird and different for my partner but he was won over by how its performing on the neighbors fence. These brackets seem so perfect for the job yet Simpson says that they are not intended to be used for fence posts? I really don't understand that. Do any of you?

In addition to the two completely broken posts there were two that still appeared to be in good shape but were a little loose in their footings.

I found these Simpson fence post mender brackets at economy lumber and we gave them a try.

They are pretty beefy steel that you pound down along the post and then attach with their structural screws. These really firmed up the fence posts, especially since we packed the area around it with the extra concrete. These felt just as firm as the new posts-footings.

They don't make em like that anymore.
I've never built or really even thought about building a fence before so I had no idea what the reality is. We first went to Home Despot to see if they magically carried replacement fence parts...nope..actually the selection of redwood at Home Despot was shockingly bad...didn't really have anything that we could use...So, next we went to economy lumber..where, yes, they carried a large selection of rough, all-heart redwood to build the fence with. Wow, that stuff's expensive...but not in the pre-made tongue and groove style that my partner was insisting that we replicate exactly......so we got to do it all 'by hand'.

Routing Craziness.

Here's a shot of the 2nd from the top 2by4 in the fence.

It is routed on the one side to accept the fence board, and on the other for the weird green wavy plastic stuff....The fence board rabbit is 7/8" wide by 1/2" deep...did it in one pass!! Man that created a lot of saw dust. I had to route every single horizontal piece plus both sides of each new 4by4 post.

Because we used rough redwood the bottom 1by12 board was two wide to fit into the existing rabbits on the fence posts...so, out came the Harbor Fright power planer and zing, zing, zing I shaved down the ends of the boards to form a tongue.

Handmade finials

My partner handmade the finials on the fence on his ancient Black&Decker table saw!!
After we finished the fence he actually made two more outta an old 4by6 fence post!

Speaking of old guardless table saws with adull blade and non-parallel fences....

Thank god it was just really a glancing blow....I tell ya there was a couple of scary minutes between doing it, swearing like a sailor, and getting the glove off and getting the wound cleaned out before I could tell it was superficial. I've had worse cuts cooking. 

Next Up, Chez Neumansky Decorated for Christmas???

1 comment:

Jim said...

Nice woodworking, but is that green plastic ever teh ugly. I ripped out a ton of it at my old place in EC and replaced it with clear. Mine was so old that it had become completely opaque.