Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Not Wobbly Corners

Our fence building adventures have progressed to the point of putting in the corner braces. Oooo... corner braces... right?  

It's funny how I pay attention to fences in ways I've never done before.  I've been looking closely at all the fences I drive past on my daily commute.  Now that I know an eight inch pressure treated wooden post costs seventeen dollars, and a four inch wooden post costs nearly ten dollars, I appreciate a fence in a new way.  The black wood fences that the big horse farms have all around town surrounding their fancy barns and horses are worth a bundle!  Fences made with home cut cedar logs are owned by smart farmers.  Fencing is an investment, for sure.  I wish we had more cedar trees.

Putting our corner braces together meant that we got to drill holes with a really long drill bit, use a clamp to hold the brace pieces in place, and then attach it all together with long metal brace pins.  

The brace pins are just like metal dowels, and get hammered into the holes that were drilled.  Pretty smart.    We decided it was smart of the fence supply company to post instructional videos that show a man and a woman building a fence together with simple tools.   We can do this!

Now that our vertical posts have been tamped in place, we can measure the distance between the corner post and the brace post on each side, and then cut a pole to fit between.  I timed Brandon, and he can cut a post down to size in less than a minute with his handsaw.  

To get the brace stared, Brandon drills a hole in the brace, right in the center.  

Then the pin is placed in a hole on the vertical post.  Getting the horizontal brace post to fit over the pin that's sticking out is easier with two people.  Once it's attached on one side, then the clamp can prop it up on the other side until a hole is drilled all the way through the vertical post and into the horizontal one.  Another pin is hammered in the hole, and wha-la, a corner brace is born!

Why does having wooden corners on our fence make me feel so fancy?  Like we're wealthy ranchers, instead of scrappy homesteaders.  I think once they start leaning and wobbling all over the place, it will feel more like home.

Of coarse, the whole point of investing so much into these corners is that the fence doesn't lean and get all wobbly.  That's the theory anyway.  We'll see.  

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