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Hi there routing fraternity,

Chapter One
What you see before you is my next adventure into the world of I haven't a clue.

Once upon a day not long ago my wife dragged me by my extremities to carry out an inspection of our drive gates. (See photo) She brought to my attention as you would a puppy litter training. After removing the splinters from my nose, I tried to explain in technical terms that it was a simple fix based on about 14lb of wood filler, and gently easing the bolts back into the filler, followed by a light sanding and finishing with a coat of matching varnish. Job done.

My other half insisted we install new ones. No problem I answered, I will order a new set today. She turned to me and her eyes had me by the throat. Why don’t you make them yourself she said, no problem with your workshop. It will get dirty I countered, and it will take me ages. As soon as the words left my lips my fate was sealed. She just looked me straight in the retina with a glint in her eye and a smile on her face as she uttered the fateful words. Better get on with it then. You know how I like a clean workshop I shouted as she vanished into the heat.

And so, I set about making my first set of drive gates and I expect to make plenty of mistakes along the way.

Chapter Two
Been a while since my wife let me back into the house, almost forgot where my PC was. The house hasn’t changed much since she last sent me to the workshop to start the gates, and I am starting to sweat, not used to the heat. Certainly, toughens you up or finishes you off, not sure what she had in mind.

The reason for this chapter is to let you guys know of a wee trick I applied through lack of funds. It may be someone has already thought of this and already mentioned it but here goes.

Being a plumber by trade designing a set of gates doesn’t come easy as there is very little pipe bending involved but I created crude drawings and set to work. After cutting the various parts of the frame and cutting all my Mortice and Tenon joints I was at the point of gluing up and at that point I realised that I had no clamps long enough and as you will no doubt realise sash clamps of that length in the UK are not cheap. I had decided to dowel the mortice joints for stability and I needed something to hold the joints long enough to drill and dowel. Now I have a trailer and often have to tie items to it and use ratchet straps. Was not sure if it would work but as you can see from the photos worked a treat, and I suppose because it actual straps are about twenty feet long there is no limit to their use. (see photos)

So that’s my tip for today not the straps, it’s when your wife asks for something keep your mouth shut and just order it online.

Chapter Three
Decided not to give a blow by blow account of the build process as you can see from the photos how it went together. One thing I did do which made a great deal difference in the stability of the doors was to fit 4mm ply behind the lining, set into the door rebates. I made sure they were cut square and fitted tight into the recess. As you know the diagonal braces are installed for this purpose, but the ply makes sure the door cannot deflect off square. It also adds strength to the lining.

Lastly, because it rains and snows and rains here in Scotland I fitted every horizontal surface with a tapered bead to prevent any build-up of moisture finding their way into the joints.

Speaking of finding their way, I need to find a way back into the house.

Happy Routing
Colin
Scotland
 

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that is some fine execution...
 

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that is some fine execution...
Colin, you are a lucky man! I wish my ex had banned me to the shop!

Excellent job and a very good point. Sometimes you don't need those "Oh, my God", expensive, 150 inch clamps to get the job done. A little thought and imagination goes a long ways. I think that ratchet straps are excellent alternatives that are often overlooked.

Anyway, great job.
 

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Excellent...nicely done...
 

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@Coleve

Colin - the humour is great, the gate is even better - well done. Now, be careful you don't stray too far outside the gates - you might not ever be let back into the house.
 

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Hi
Thanks for the kind words. Unfortunately most of the photos ended up upside down. I asked the administration to make them right but have not heard from them as yet
 

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Ross
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Great job Colin, that hopefully will keep you out of the you know what for awhile.
 
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Really nice work. They look very solid and substantial and inventive use of straps. I was, however, wondering why a plumber would not use pipe clamps? Thanks for the humor.
 

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A fine tale, well told, and a fine pair of gates too. I am currently using ratchet straps to hold a church pew/settle thing together whilst I complete the joinery.
 

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Very interesting and humor story Colin. And I thought you built them up side down, was surprised to see
you hung them right side up, but you probably built them so there was no up side or down side. Good Job.
 
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