email: cavebear2118 AT verizon DOT com

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

And Yet More Garden Enclosure

OK, I've been making progress on the enclosure.  I built the frame around the screen door.  I wanted to make tenon joints because that means twice the glue surface.  But the the tenoning gadget has to have the boards straight up from the table saw, and there isn't 8' above the table saw to the ceiling.  So I went with half-lap joints.  With glue/screws/corner braces, that ought to last as long as the preservative-treated wood itself.  Which is about 25 years.  And in 25 years, I'll be 90 and probably won't care.

So I did the half-lap joints...

Don't worry, the joints fit better than it looks.  The pictures were taken before the glue/screw.

So the idea was to have 2x4 boards attached to the door, and then attach the 2x4s to 4x4" posts set in the ground.  A couple days work, and the exact placement depended slightly on matching the chicken wire.

But I was getting anxious to plant my tomatos.  I couldn't do it before I had the chicken wire overhanging the garden frame.  The chicken wire was going to drag along the raised beds as I installed it and that would rip up any tomato seedlings.  What to do, what to do?
And building the door itself would take days.  So I was looking at a delay of planting the tomatoes (and some other stuff) almost 3 weeks after the proper planting time after all this work was done. 

Ah blessed non-sleep!  I sometimes do my best thinking lying in bed trying to go to sleep.  And yesterday was no exception.  As I lay there, turning over the problem in my mind, a solution struck me.  I could lay the chicken wire over the frames of the closest 2 beds without doing the final tight attachment work!  As long as it was generally up on the frames, I was home free to plant in the 2 left beds...


I did that today.  The chicken wire is hard stuff to handle.  It comes wrapped tightly coiled.
The coil has a memory.  It has to be unwound, turned over, and rewound the opposite way for an hour or so before it lays flat.  THAT is an adventure in itself!  I start by unrolling a foot and putting a cinder block on it to hold it in place.  Then unroll the 50" length.  It gets harder to unroll toward the end, being tighter and smaller roll.

At the end, you are fighting tight wire in a 2" roll.  But placing a board on the unrolled part prevents rerolling.  And the last foot is straightened by hand.

Chicken wire usually has sharp wire edges.  Fortunately, this stuff I bought (Jackson Wire, and it is a personal unpaid recommendation)
is black vinyl-coated galvanized wire with (mostly) no sharp edges!  It is unusually easy-to-handle chicken wire!

So I spread the first roll out the 50' length in the direction it wanted to roll up.  Then I turned it over and re-rolled it up the opposite way.

After an hour, the wire memory was neutral!  It laid FLAT!

I was able to drag the 4' wide 50' length over the top of the frame.  Not easily.  I had to do it 10' at a time.  It worked.  Not like sliding a tablecloth over a table, but sure well enough.

So I did that that and with the wire overhanging, was able to plant tomato seedlings safely just as the rain started at 6pm.  And into the house I went to make myself a fine steak dinner with asparagus in cheese sauce, a tossed salad, and home-fried potatoes...

Next time:  The draping-the-chicken-wire-over-the-PVC frame-process...

1 comment:

Megan said...

Excellent problem solving, Mark. It would be disappointing to miss out on home-grown tomatoes!

Sydney, Australia