Wulf's Webden

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DIY I Can Handle

Gate with Handle
Gate with Handle

The wonderful thing about building with cheap materials — like the wood from those pallets I have been taking apart this week — is the freedom to develop a design.

Here the task was to create a gate in front of a compost bin so that, when filled up, I make the maximum use of the cubic area by curbing the tendency for a gentle slope to form at the front. I started with five planks to span the gap at the front of the frame and a couple of cut down pieces to hold them together (reused nails, bent round at the back and mainly snapped off). To that, I screwed in a diagonal crossbar, which limits flexing (as one piece tries to expand, shrink or twist, the others hold it in true). I probably only needed a single screw for each plank but, as the wood was quite wet, I decided to use more, spreading the load as it dries and tenses up.

The result was surprisingly hefty. I could have sawed off the extensions at the top but it struck me that I could add another piece and give myself a handle. I think that works quite well. I can fill that side up to the top and, by the time the other bin is approaching full, this side will probably have settled and I can move the gate across. However, I don’t think I would have reached this design without the freedom to build up from cheap materials and experience the nature of each step as it went.

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