Friday, April 24, 2009

And the fencing continues

Funny, it took me less time to build the fence then to blog about it... It's been a busy week ;) So - last Sat was gorgeous, so I planned to get as much fencing done as I could. Those grapes really wanted to be planted! And after putting up one side of the fence last week, I knew what I was doing (sort of...) and figured I could just power through it.

After a bit of a struggle moving the relatively full composter, I was off and running. Dug the holes (burying a mouse carcass as part of that, ew) - took a food break. Cut the 4x4's and nailed in the first lattice sheet - took a food break. Cut the lattice for the filler portion - took a - you get the idea ;) I now know why construction workers always seem to be on break and eating! I got one side of the fence totally done, and then it was time to figure out how to raise the fence off the ground. Last week I had 3 friends to help, but this week only Erin was around. Luckily, we're pretty used to figuring out how to do things by ourselves - and Erin was feeling pretty smart. We raised one side of the fence, then Erin held it while I went from post to post in the middle, raising them and propping them on a sawhorse, chair and a shovel to keep them up. Then we inched them higher, moving the everything again to hold them up. Finally we had it high enough that it dropped into the holes, and Erin held it while I packed the holes in. Done!

The back wall was slightly trickier as we couldn't build it in pieces and drop it in as we did on the side. After digging out a rather large piece of slate/flagstone, I sunk the middle pole, and Erin held the lattice while I got the edges attached. All this with a rapt audience of 2 little boys from the house behind us - I am pretty excited not to have them staring at me everytime I'm in the yard now!

I shifted the composter to the back corner, moved the lilacs to a sunnier part of the yard - and collapsed into a chair with a beer. And it was good ;)

On Sun we did get the grapes in the ground - whew! Now just the top part of the right fence to go, and the part the goes along the concrete. Not so much looking forward to drilling the holes for the brackets...

I'm not sure I really like the way the lattice bows and separates where the pieces fit together.
Should I try something to attach the pieces together better? What do you all think? (And yeah Dad, I figured out how to cut it - but cutting an 8' length when you are rather short not so easy... Esp when there are staples in the wood...).

So from here:
From Fence day 2

To here:
From Fence day 2

Slideshow (yeah, I know I'm bad at taking pics while working):

Monday, April 13, 2009

Yay for immediate gratification!

I know you all thought I was just slacking, but really I was just planning. (Ok, and slightly slacking). But with the arrival of my birthday present of grape plants (thanks Dad), it was time to kick the backyard fence plan into high gear, so those grape plants can be planted! Luckily, as part of the "planning" period, I had already measured the backyard. So I whipped up a quick plan, and headed off to Lowe's on Sun to gather supplies.

As per usual, several lessons were learned. 1. If planning on renting a truck on Easter, it might behoove you to actually verify the rental place is open. 2. When buying enough lumber to make a fence, additional helpers to carry the lumber might also be a good idea (thank heavens no burpees were required yesterday!). 3. No, you definitely didn't do the math right. But what is a project unless you have to return to Lowe's at some point for more supplies?

But no matter, the materials were secured, and two good friends appeared, bringing both muscles and much more brain power than I had left. And look - we went from nothing to 3/4 of a fence, in really only a couple hours of actual working time! H did a great job digging 20" holes while I cut the posts, and all 3 of us attached the lattice (2 legs not required to use a hammer...). The addition of a third friend allowed us to actually get the fence upright and set. Super exciting! Yes, it's slightly crooked in spots, and certainly not flawless, but really - so am I, so it's just a reflection of my personality, really ;) And it looks SO much better than what was there before!

From Fence day 1
From Fence day 1

And now time for a little advice from those who are slightly more experienced (Dad? Dave?); I need to cut the lattice lengthwise to fill the top gaps. But it doesn't sit flat on the sawhorses, it's not sturdy enough, it bows and kind of flops around. So what's the best way to cut it? Thoughts?

Looks like Saturday will be sunny and nice - anyone up for phase 2 on fence work?