Framing Frustrations

K’s brother arrived mid-morning on Friday as K and I were working on framing. He started his day by building the first gate. After looking at my rough design, he ended up making a small modification of some corner braces that he screwed the 1”x4” frame to. It also allowed for a sturdy gate. It was a fantastic idea and one I had been concerned about. This is where having not seen the photos allowed him to come up with an idea that still gave the same look, but with a more effective design. I definitely pigeon-holes myself by staring at those pictures for days and zooming in to try to see what they did. I’m still not sure how the guy built his fence, but K’s brothers idea was perfect.

Once he finished with the gate, he started on the panels. At this point, I’m not going to lie, K and I were a little exhausted, frustrated and grumpy with the framing. It was going extremely slow and we seemed to have to keep going back and re-doing parts as we moved along. Kurt’s brother wanted some guidance on what my plan had been for the panels. My original plan had been to use Brad nails and toe-nailed screws to place the back frame so that we could use it to staple the snow-fence to, then use Brad nails to put the front frame into place. Kurt’s brother was concerned about the wood splitting from the Brad nails, and it not being super sturdy. I agreed with him and we chatted about options. After looking at his gate, I made the decision to do the same thing on all the panels. Build a small corner brace so we could screw the frame onto it rather than using Brad nails. It would help ensure there would be no warping and provided a solid base for the snow-fence. I think the Brad nails would have worked and not split the wood (we had used them in smaller wood with no problems) but I do think it wouldn’t have been as solid as using the braces.

K and I got back to framing, and getting more frustrated. Their property was deceiving. It looked like the ground along the back was level, but as we were building the frames, it became clear that it wasn’t. We couldn’t get the panels to line up nicely, unless they weren’t the same size. We were working hard to keep the inside size at 48” so that we had to cut the snow-fence as little as possible. But we would be out by a few inches. It felt like we were fiddling so much and often going back to the work we just finished to take it apart and make adjustments.

Suddenly k’s mom spoke up. She said she didn’t mind if the back section of fence also stepped the way the sides did. Once we started stepping the sections, the framing went a lot faster. In the end, the steps actually look really good and are pretty close to symmetrical for a nice finished look. K’s mom was happy, so we were happy!

There were a few spots that we worked to make sure that the panels were level with each other, such as the two panels in front of the raised beds I built K’s mom earlier this year. They face the road, and the ground is mostly level, so we worked to make sure those two were even. We unfortunately did not get the framing done on Friday, but came pretty darn close.


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