Garden Gate- Operation:Save the Chickens!

Mark has a dream. A dream that some day our chickens can again forage our garden in safety. We have lost many in years past to not only neighboring dogs but (head hung in shame) our own. 
This gate is the beginning of that dream. 

While in Savannah's  Boanventure Cemetery I took a ton of pictures. These oak leaves stood out to me as most plant-like things do and I logged away the idea for future use. When Mark suggested making a gate for the vegi garden entry I jumped at the chance to not only use this design but to try out my new-to-me burning tool. 

 I first sketched it on then slowly...very slowly drew the outlines. Since this is a second hand tool it may be that a newer one would heat up and maintain temperature much quicker. The whole thing took me less then an hour and when I was finished mark spray lacquered and hung it! For me it was nothing short of instant gratification but for Mark it was a much longer process.

He took this picture not only to show off his colorful collection of clamps but to also show a bit of his process.

My brief interview with Mark:
Mark: I needed some heavy old growth cedar the purple stuff with lots of tanin very hard to find even if you could afford it. Jerry's a local building supply gets over thickness cedar out of Canada for use in garden boxes. If correctly sorted it yields some very nice boards.
Elizabeth: What does it mean by correctly sorted boards?
M: It means you can find some nice boards in there
E: Oh
M: Most quality boards are high graded in the mill occasionally you can find boards with small defect and with proper cutting you can loose virtually all defects. This was the case with this gate. 1 1/2" just wouldn't get the feel I wanted.
I grooved the sides and tenoned the top and bottom. I used exterior glue with the tight fitting connection. It should last, The pickets in the center were also tongue and groove. The arch was tricky and took some time. I'm pretty happy with it.
My friend Don years ago gave me some giant brass screws I've been struggling to find a home for. They worked beautifully to hold the curved top. As you can see by the picture the board didn't want to do it. I took some clamps and some more glue.
E: How long did it take you
M: About 4 hours...give or take.
E: What's your next wood project
M: I'm working on your printer cover. I've glued some CVG fir. I need to put it together and lacquer it.
E: Squeal!
(by printer cover he means a teared storage system for my printers and scanner I'll show you as soon as I see it for myself)

On to our next project!

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