Both hinges on now, next step is putting the screw bolts into the tree itself.
These are what the hinge staples will sit on.
I’m kinda dreading this moment as precision carpentry / joinery isn’t my strong point.
If I get it wrong, all this work will be seriously flawed…
Let me tell you, getting the screw bolts in was not easy. In fact they are impossible to do by hand, unless you have a titanium wrist-hand.
I improvise with an old jack I find in a catche. This helped, but the tyre iron from the Wolverine’s breakdown kit was even better (not shown).
For getting the entire frame lifted onto the lower hinge Mountain Mike helped me.
Here’s the procedure, it may be a bit of quirky way but this how we did it.
1. Lower hinge in, lift up gate frame onto it. Level it up and mark where the upper hinge is to go in.
2. Remove frame from lower hinge and screw in second upper hinge.
At the end of stage one the clunking gate frame was frustratingly awkward to manipulate. Not surprisingly as it’s big hefty logs.
MMM lost his cool and the Mountain Rage briefly flared.
It wasn’t directed at me, but one of the other gate frames. Mike picked up a cinder block we’d been using as a support and hurled it at the
CLONK! It bounced off the chunky wood with barely a mark on it! Now I know the gate frames are made of stern stuff!
After I’d got the second hinge bolt in we hung it up and it was nearly perfect! Mostly balanced and the spruce tree didn’t move a hair!
I used this grease on the hinges, not exactly axle grease but I’m sure this lithium stuff is the real deal.
That was enough gatework for one day, the challenge of the second gateframe awaited us the next morning though.
The concrete footing for the post had had about 4 days to set and I set about screwing in the first bolt hanger.
Being the lower one I’d concentrated so much on being exactly lined up with the spruce hinge bolts I made a small blunder.
For the jack tool or even tyre iron I’d used previously for tightening it in had minimal clearance for rotating. It was so low to the ground even
digging out a path only got us so far. By the time the screw bolt had gotten in so far the concrete base was in the way and there was no way I could
damage that. Besides which the force required to turn the bolt in once it was over half-way into the post was gruelling.
MMM came over, took a moment then went to his tuff shed den.
He came back with a tiny socket set.
I used the tyre iron as a cheater bar onto the small socket wrench for the upper arc bit yet for the lower radius I had no way of turning it.
“It’s not going to be easy to get that to turn Mike.” I said, the screw bolt had to go in further, there was no way it could take the weight
being so far out of the post
Yet MMM with some raging power I can hardly fathom seized the socket wrench resting in place and said.
“I don’t do things easy!” He said the words as man and socket melded for a brief moment of shear violent titanic struggle against wood and
zinc-steel hinge bolt!
Sure enough MMM overcame the laws of physics and the screw bolt went in just enough.
We got the gate frame hung up, this time my guestimate of the upper hinge was off a bit, but with big washers I’d get it aligned better later.
After the epic struggle was over MMM went into mini-hibernation for an hour or two, I set about getting some planking and green metal sheets to wall
over the gateway.
Catche Supplies are getting low on the green sheeting, need to get some more on the next supply run.
No gateway is complete without a method of locking it.
Taking inspiration from our olde ancestors I stormed up a plan.
Taking a 4x6 length I used my trusty wood chisel to make two ‘U’ shaped cut-outs. Then with MMM’s help I had it chainsawed in two. Making a
pair of beefy brackets that any town gateway would be pleased to see.
That was the easy bit, getting it spiked onto the gate was a feat.
But on it went and with a big plank through both brackets the First Gateway is secure.
In later times I might add a second and even third pair of brackets, but that is for another time.