Bespoke fence.


Colin

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Hi,

Just for interest here is a bespoke fence I made around 16 years ago immediately after installing the new sloping pathway removing nine steps giving excellent access to the bungalow rear.

Due to the steep slope standard fencing panels were not an option due to the angles involved. 29 years ago Bron and I replaced the bungalow roof and I remembered we used treated tiling battens which at the time were very cheap indeed. I wondered if I could design and make a fence using more of these tiling battens and ordered a number of packs costing only £30 the lot; galvanized ring shank nails would be used throughout the construction. The fence is 42' long so seven panels worked out perfectly. 3" x 3" fence posts were installed ensuring perfect accuracy as to spacing and vertical. I laid a batten on the path and used a woodworking sliding bevel to determine the correct vertical angle. The horizontals were all cut to the same length but the verticals were left overlong; these were securely nailed using the sliding bevel as a guide and taking a lot of care not to get this wrong; the top curved rails could then be added and once secured a jigsaw trimmed the verticals to length.

I designed the panels for easy removal to enable treating the panels with preservative as required; this meant the entire panels could be treated in comfort and the whole panel could be treated by turning each over.

The end verticals were drilled at 6.5" to give clearance for the Turboscrews;

https://www.screwfix.com/p/turbocoach-coach-screws-yellow-zinc-plated-6-x-70mm-100-pack/22717#_=p

These screws are brilliant; still available and cheap. Four screws per panel.

A stringline was tightly stretched giving the height of the posts which in turn were trimmed to length; oak capping pieces were cut and the waste post ends were turned on the lathe giving the acorn finials to finish the job. A wooden Mopstick handrail was added for safety the very heavy duty steel handrail brackets made by me again at the correct angle; I used a jig during welding the brackets. The whole fence was remarkably cheap to construct and suits the location very well indeed. A bespoke fence doesn't always have to cost a fortune. (y)

Kind regards, Colin.

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Colin

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Hi,

Thanks alp and marlingardener. :)

I enjoy designing and making things whilst saving a lot of money. A fence like this would have been expensive to get someone in to make and install it but all it cost me was materials which were quite cheap. I also laid the flagged pathway and built the low retaining wall. I've been told a number of times "it's alright for you" by neighbours and friends (?) because I'm so handy and have acquired the skills to do these projects whilst they just want to sit back and pay others to do their work; I find it rather strange that many of our neighbours work out in the gym or go running for miles every day but they get someone in to tidy their gardens? Our immediate neighbour a lovely lady last year paid almost £1,000 to have her gardens weeded whilst she was playing golf; a few weeks later the weeds were back. We are all different and do as we choose but I have poverty to look back on and I value money; OK I'm a tight Yorkshireman. ;)

Kind regards, Colin.
 

alp

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OK I'm a tight Yorkshireman. ;)
You're a tight Yorkshireman, but you are a bright one too. Not everyone can drive a nail into the a batten straight, you know. I know this depression-prone woman who cried that she wanted a divorce, I knew I sounded cruel, I told her not to as she couldn't send a nail straight to the wall or handle bank accounts or boiler temperature, on top of that, she has this illness. She listened to me and even now she stays married and is happier. We are all so different .. and have different inclinations and hobbies. For you, it's making things. For your neighbour, it's golfing.. I wish I could weed for this woman. My neighbour employs this woman £10 an hour to weed his grass and mow his lawn. He complained that she was too slow. There is no incentive to go quicker, is there? She would sit at the same spot for 3 hours. I told him to use a some plastic sheets and chuck some mulch/stones on top. In the end, I used my own plastic sheets for him and it's a job for £40. I don't have a good opinion of him as he offered me £200 to paint the outside of his 3-bedroom house whilst he pays her £10 an hour weeding no matter how long it takes. I reckon this Welsh has a bit of Yorkshire blood when he wants me to work for him. Never again!
 

Colin

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Hi,

Thanks alp. I reckon your tight Welsh neighbour must have Yorkshire roots. Typical isn't it that so many who are paying someone to do a job complains whilst they are too idle to do the job themself. £10 per hour for doing something useful is fair pay compared to those kicking a ball around. It's unlikely you would have ever got the £200 out of him if you had painted the exterior of his house; no doubt the £200 included all materials. Last year it cost us over £400 in paint alone to paint our bungalow exterior; our previous neighbours paid a guy to paint their bungalow exterior which he did one Saturday morning; I've never seen anything like it; wooden glazing beading curling up had a single coat of paint slapped on; the beads were so bad I'm surprised the glass didn't fall out if a door slammed;it was a truly horrendous paint job; absolutely no prep work and to do the entire job in four hours says it all; when they moved their uncared for bungalow was valued at £286,000 but the new owner got the bungalow for £225,000 after it had been on the market for four years, a bit of regular maintenance was all that was needed over the years but they let the place go; it was far more important to them to play golf and have six weeks holidays in Australia; our new neighbour has spent about £40,000 and the bungalow now is brilliant so our previous neighbours lost out big style whilst our new neighbour is over the moon to get such a bungalow for such a low price even including what she paid out on the renovations; good on her and she's a lovely neighbour; my toes used to curl listening to the previous neighbours talking to other golfing chums who lived across the street; darling this and darling that; just a lot of snobs; we all end up in the same place.

I used to do lots of free jobs for neighbours and friends but came to realize it's mostly a waste of my time because I was being taken for granted due to being a soft touch; one such friend asked me one day to "just have a look" at an antique clock he owned which he wanted to restore; he was excellent on the mechanicals but absolutely useless with cabinetwork; being such a mug and thinking I was helping a friend Bron and I brought the cabinet home leaving him to do the "works" which I give him credit for.

Bron and I drove to Craft Supplies in Derbyshire where we bought new wood veneer; back home I spent a week completely restoring the very rough clock cabinet giving it all new veneer then staining and french polishing it; I did the main cabinet first then not wishing to damage it drove over to return it; three quarters of an hour outbound in gridlock to reach his house; I had just spent a week or so on this job and bought all materials it being a favour for a friend but his wife turned on me saying tea is nearly ready wanting rid of me; three quarters of an hour inbound again due to gridlock; I now had the very rare glazed door to restore which I did and returned it; I didn't want a penny for the job but just an appreciative thank you? I did ask if he would kindly send me pictures of the clock once the works had been installed and the clock was finished; I received one very poor quality picture of the clock hanging on his wall whilst he added at least a dozen clearly focussed pictures of his work on the mechanics; Bron and I didn't fall out but we no longer bother with this couple. I never begrudge favours I do because otherwise I would never do them; I'm not money driven just enjoying such projects as a challenge because I'm entirely self taught. This is just one of many such projects I've done free of charge over the years. We'll still help close friends but I now politely let people down gently when requested to do jobs; I still receive requests from forum members for help but enough is enough. Below are a few pictures of the clock cabinet which I hope are of interest.

I've rambled on enough.

Kind regards, Colin.

Broken top joint..jpg
Mikes clock case restoration. (6).jpg
Side panel veneer removed..jpg
New front panel jointed and ready for veneer. (2).jpg
New veneer fitted..jpg
Hand rubbed finish..jpg
French polishing under way. (5).jpg
Door finishing..jpg
Door close up of rubbed finish..jpg
 
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alp

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darling this and darling that; just a lot of snobs; we all end up in the same place.
LOL! Haha! Same sentiment here!

Very nice! The polish brought out the beauty of the wood. I used to be very generous and that's why the Russian woman wanted me to gift her my flowers again. No way. Next time I will tell her that watering them costs me money and it's painful for this cripple to lug water back and forth so that passers-by like her can enjoy my flowers.
 
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Oh Colin, I can so sympathize with you! For many years I restored antique furniture when we lived in upstate NY. I loved the work, and probably didn't charge enough.
Friends would bring me something to be restored, cleaned, or repaired, and were shocked when I gave them an estimate of the cost. "We're friends, and you want to charge me?" When I pointed out that we were friends with a plumber, but didn't expect him to work for free, they got huffy. Some folks will impose when they can.
I love sharing vegetables and flowers from the garden, fresh home-baked bread, and plant starts, but it is a gift that no one expects or feels entitled to receive.
 

mg guy

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Hi,

Just for interest here is a bespoke fence I made around 16 years ago immediately after installing the new sloping pathway removing nine steps giving excellent access to the bungalow rear.

Due to the steep slope standard fencing panels were not an option due to the angles involved. 29 years ago Bron and I replaced the bungalow roof and I remembered we used treated tiling battens which at the time were very cheap indeed. I wondered if I could design and make a fence using more of these tiling battens and ordered a number of packs costing only £30 the lot; galvanized ring shank nails would be used throughout the construction. The fence is 42' long so seven panels worked out perfectly. 3" x 3" fence posts were installed ensuring perfect accuracy as to spacing and vertical. I laid a batten on the path and used a woodworking sliding bevel to determine the correct vertical angle. The horizontals were all cut to the same length but the verticals were left overlong; these were securely nailed using the sliding bevel as a guide and taking a lot of care not to get this wrong; the top curved rails could then be added and once secured a jigsaw trimmed the verticals to length.

I designed the panels for easy removal to enable treating the panels with preservative as required; this meant the entire panels could be treated in comfort and the whole panel could be treated by turning each over.

The end verticals were drilled at 6.5" to give clearance for the Turboscrews;

https://www.screwfix.com/p/turbocoach-coach-screws-yellow-zinc-plated-6-x-70mm-100-pack/22717#_=p

These screws are brilliant; still available and cheap. Four screws per panel.

A stringline was tightly stretched giving the height of the posts which in turn were trimmed to length; oak capping pieces were cut and the waste post ends were turned on the lathe giving the acorn finials to finish the job. A wooden Mopstick handrail was added for safety the very heavy duty steel handrail brackets made by me again at the correct angle; I used a jig during welding the brackets. The whole fence was remarkably cheap to construct and suits the location very well indeed. A bespoke fence doesn't always have to cost a fortune. (y)

Kind regards, Colin.

View attachment 28542 View attachment 28543 View attachment 28544
Colin, that run of fence is quite a work of art and blends splendidly with all the natural stone.
Beautiful sculpture-like fence should always look like it was always there-and that does indeed!
 

alp

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@mg guy You put it so well. The stone work is lovely and so is the fence.
 

Colin

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Hi,

LOL! Haha! Same sentiment here!

Very nice! The polish brought out the beauty of the wood. I used to be very generous and that's why the Russian woman wanted me to gift her my flowers again. No way. Next time I will tell her that watering them costs me money and it's painful for this cripple to lug water back and forth so that passers-by like her can enjoy my flowers.
My opinion of you alp is that you are a lovely caring warm person so please don't put yourself down by being a "cripple" disabled people have lots to contend with and from my own observations this forum is of huge benefit to you where you can share ideas/information with like minded souls; you are not just a tyre kicker but take an interesting and active role on the forum; keep it up and good on you. :)

It's strange isn't it marlingardener how people react when money is involved; how shocking of you to expect people you know personally to pay for work you do after all you owe such people never ending free favours for life; I'm sure most decent people never object to doing the occasional free favour but unfortunately most people these days are downright selfish and utterly greedy. Bron and I have over the last five years been sorting our friends (?) out dumping the freeloaders but doing so as not to offend in any way; we are better off on our own than associating with those who only want us for what we can do for them; we now have very few friends but the friends we do have we fully trust and more importantly like so we can fully relax in their company. Even a simple favour takes time; our solicitor five years ago was charging £200 per hour to get our wills wrong; according to our wills as drawn up by him I'm not married to Bron but married to a woman of a different name after I did all the work for him in typing a draft out. Still he's been to university whereas I haven't.

Many thanks mg guy and alp for your kind comments. I find few people these days incapable of thinking for themselves; the hardest part of designing and making the fence plus pathway etc was to come up with the idea; all the bungalows along our side of the street have steps up to them but many have had new steps and paths installed; Bron and I didn't like our steps so I did something about it; immediately I had spent months grafting neighbours then asked if I would install a new sloping pathway and fence for them; IN THEIR DREAMS. I grafted in appalling weather conditions digging out tons of wet clay by hand bagging it up; the 3' x 2 paving slabs were very heavy and whilst bedding them on mortar they wanted to disappear down the valley due to the slope. Such a fence as this has to be bespoke in order for it to fit the sloping site; the standard approach is a stepped fence but as I say a bit of thought makes a lot of difference; I always upgrade whenever possible in anything I do or make. I enjoy new projects and new challenges and aren't scared to leave my comfort zone; I like sharing my stories in the hope they encourage others to have a go; I'm not an expert in anything and never want to be because trying new things is so rewarding especially when they exceed expectations once completed.

Got to go but I'll post a few pictures of something very unusual I made as a favour for a guy over in Ireland.

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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Colin

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Hi,

A while ago an Irishman posted on a DIY forum asking for someone to make him a punch for use in his chainmaille projects; on face value it looked like such a simple task for anyone who owned a metal lathe but the tip had to be to very precise measurements and the actual tip point would be tiny?

Unfortunately this guy was housebound suffering from an illness where he was scared to leave his house; this illness came on suddenly whereas previously he had not only been very outgoing he had been shot at and all manner of other things so I felt sorry for his predicament and requested he kindly post to me a number of chainmaille links for me to inspect in the hope I could help him.

I enjoy unusual challenges and when the links quickly arrived I was surprised by how small they were and especially just how tiny the punch tip needed to be.

I spent a couple of weeks on this project adding the story as work in progress onto the forum to show how I would go about producing a suitable punch. I don't like doing anything easy because there isn't any interesting challenge so I thought why not design a machine this being a mechanical punch?

I looked around my steel stock and steel offcuts and although I had a rough design in my head I made the punch little by little by what was available. The actual punch I made from HSS (high speed steel) hand grinding to the precise measurement required this taking a great deal of eye and hand coordination which I was trained for as an apprentice and the skills remain with me. I even turned the wooden handle from an offcut of oak.

I supplied spare HSS tips plus some spares and a bit of tooling then just for fun made two punches as to his initial request these to be used with an hammer. The mechanical punch though ensured repeatability to very fine tolerances and I also built into the design points to adjust. The whole punch was made of robust construction that should last a lifetime if the moving parts are looked after with lubrication.

I punched a few practice slots in a piece of sheet galvanized steel.

I did the whole project and posted the items to a very delighted Noel entirely free of charge with my best wishes.

There is no other punch like this in the world it being unique and I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge I set for myself; I've done lots of such things over the years but these days keep my head below the parapet because I'm far too busy with jobs around home and gardens.

I've also included a picture of a diamond high speed hone I designed and made utilizing a cheap router; this sharpens my carbide tipped tooling that normal grind stones won't touch. I love designing and making things entirely from scratch.

I dream of getting back into the workshop though to play with all my toys; here are a few pictures just for interest.

Kind regards, Colin.

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alp

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I wish my late father in law were here to share your stories. He loved working with his hands and kept saying that his son and my son should do the same. Well, due to lack of money, my son has to learn to do plastering tomorrow and he had tried his hand at laying tiles.. I am teaching name plant names and let him do the lawn. There is no harm in exposing him to various things.. better than him spending his time on Instagram!
 

Colin

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Hi,

Thanks alp; as the older generation is dying it's taking all the old skills with it; eventually the UK will become dependent on other countries for hand outs and charity; most of our heavy industry has gone and if there is ever a WW3 we can defend ourselves throwing McDonalds at the enemy. The only local growth industry is fast food outlets and mini supermarkets. Great Britain used to be a proud manufacturing country respected the world over; the industrial revolution started here but we are now importing from China; Japan and India goods we were famous for many still with the old English manufacturers names/labels attached?

Good on you; get your son cracking using his hands and his head; I hadn't a clue what Instagram was until I've just checked;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instagram

I joined Facebook a couple of years ago wondering what all the fuss was about but I no longer bother with it; I've got more interesting things to do like ripping out lots of English Ivy or felling trees.

If your son didn't like tiling alp then I think it highly unlikely he'll take to plastering which is a very messy and tiring job but fingers crossed and I wish him well at least he's having a go. :)

Kind regards, Colin.
 
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alp

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Hi,

Thanks alp; as the older generation is dying it's taking all the old skills with it; eventually the UK will become dependent on other countries for hand outs and charity; most of our heavy industry has gone and if there is ever a WW3 we can defend ourselves throwing McDonalds at the enemy. The only local growth industry is fast food outlets and mini supermarkets. Great Britain used to be a proud manufacturing country respected the world over; the industrial revolution started here but we are now importing from China; Japan and India goods we were famous for many still with the old English manufacturers names/labels attached?

Good on you; get your son cracking using his hands and his head; I hadn't a clue what Instagram was until I've just checked;

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instagram

I joined Facebook a couple of years ago wondering what all the fuss was about but I no longer bother with it; I've got more interesting things to do like ripping out lots of English Ivy or felling trees.

If your son didn't like tiling alp then I think it highly unlikely he'll take to plastering which is a very messy and tiring job but fingers crossed and I wish him well at least he's having a go. :)

Kind regards, Colin.
He has to learn it. Someone is guiding him. He knows that it is a useful skill to master and he will do it.
 

Colin

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Hi,

Good luck to your son alp because plastering is definitely a good trade to learn and plasterers will always have plenty of well paid work.

I do plastering on a need to do basis but I'm self taught so am slow; I've previously installed new ceilings and also a couple of years ago gave our front room a comprehensive makeover as seen below. I don't mind doing plastering but it's such a messy job.

Kind regards, Colin.

Front room_004.JPG
Painted_001.JPG
Painted_002.JPG
Room makeover_010.JPG
 
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mg guy

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Hi,

The only local growth industry is fast food outlets and mini supermarkets. Great Britain used to be a proud manufacturing country respected the world over; the industrial revolution started here but we are now importing from China; Japan and India goods
Colin, you should see Ohio.
We are all of the above compounded by a heroin epidemic.
I still have one of your great brit products in my garage.
My MGB!
(oh, the front room makeover looks regal!)
 
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Colin

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Hi,

Thanks mg guy for your kind comment; much appreciated. (y)

We too over here have a huge drugs problem; when I was much younger America was always the place where murders and all manner of crimes were committed but these days it's just as bad here in the UK; Bron and I live in Huddersfield but we never ever go into the town center; we travel by car and our local council see car drivers as cash machines employing an army of traffic wardens rather than spending the money on decent parking lots but then of course the traffic wardens pay for themselves whilst alienating car drivers from visiting Huddersfield; we should be proud of our own town but we aren't and don't advise anyone to visit the town center. The council have now installed "bus gates";

Bus gates..JPG


The council might just as well build walls across the streets because we won't be visiting; about 25 years ago a shopping mall called "Meadowhall" opened 23 miles distant from us; we can be in Meadowhall with free parking under cover strolling around in comfort quicker than we can park a car in Huddersfield.

Not only is parking dire in Huddersfield who would want to visit Huddersfield Town at night with all the crime; in fact during the day it's no longer safe; I read the local news on the web and councilors are wondering why so many stores are boarded up? Here's a picture of what's happening this weekend;

Huddersfield..JPG



The local news is full of crime every day and even on our own street the police did a drugs bust a while ago; Bron and I shop out of town.

mg guy might explain you having a Brit MG? I used to ride powerful motorcycles and in 1973 traded in my one year old 750cc BMW bike against a nearly new MG Roadster mine in Midnight Blue; it had the chrome bumpers and chrome wire wheels; in its day it was an highly rated sports car but I only kept it a short while; after the performance of the big bikes the MG seemed quite slow. I owned many bikes and cars but I think my favourite old car owned over 40 years ago was my Austin Healey 100/4; Reg number; EEB 88.


Austin healey.JPG


The big Healey was exactly as shown in the picture above; it came with five brand new tyres; full soft top and tonneau cover; the sound from the big bore exhaust used to make the hairs on the back of my neck bristle it sounded glorious; my car was an exact copy as above same colour and in totally immaculate condition at that time it cost me £150 cash; a similar car in immaculate condition now can cost around £80,000. I ran the Healey until I became fed up of stopping at every petrol station to fuel it up; this also applied to my other cars at the time. I was a single guy then working 7 days a week but when I married my lovely Bron I settled down to a huge mortgage and someone wonderful to share my life with. :)

Just rambling on as usual.

Kind regards, Colin.
 

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