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My first project: a fence for my front yard

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  • #31
    Originally posted by kiwi View Post
    Great job. You may give some thought to growing vines on your beautiful fence. The fact that it is made of steel will require maintenance and the vines would make it difficult to repaint. None the less it is a beautiful addition to your home.
    Nick
    Thanks. I talked her out of the vines.

    Originally posted by HawkerMetalworks View Post
    i'm surprised you went with tubing, solid bar wasn't cheaper?
    I never priced it. But I don't know that my little 110v welder would get enough heat into solid stock.

    Originally posted by MrChevy View Post
    The steel bench hinges out far enough that the bench can fold up vertical? I see the adjustable feet you put on the legs. Good idea.
    Thanks. Yeah, the high edge of the table comes out a couple of inches from the wall up at the top when it's in the 'stowed' position. If I didn't storec the clamps there, it could go flat.

    Originally posted by MrChevy View Post
    Was reading your narrative and thought to myself; "this person writes" and then seen the WGA sign on the wall by the garage door.
    Yeah. I cleaned out the garage and put in the flooring during last year's strike. Good use of a lot of dead time.
    Originally posted by rixtrix1 View Post
    Don't sell yourself , short. That's a fantastic looking fence. What brand of cold saw do you have? Is it high rpm or low? Looks like it would beat using an abrasive cut-off saw ten times over, especially inside.
    It's a low-RPM Milwaukee cold saw. I agree -- I don't like the dust and the smell of abrasive blades.

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    • #32
      Impressive

      I was not as impressed by your project (don't get me wrong, it was great) as I was with your sharing the details from conception to installation, KUDO'S DUDE. Looking at the pictures of your garage it is plain to see that you have experience in man vs materials. Who ever would of thunk of tile in a garage, it seems a natural. Metal fabrication can be a real bear, I have never met a know it all type expert. There are many times that I start a project not even close to having an idea of how I am going to get there from here. I always take notes, and detailed pictures of my projects, I hate repeating mistakes of the past. I always include "What I Would Do Different" notes along with the pictures. Measurement in metal working will always bite you just when you think you have it all figured out. I don't know how many times I have had someone verify my measurements, only to discover my mind was on something else and I was off by 1/4" or 8'. Your project was refreshing, entertaining, and a reminder of my early days in fabrication. Purchase yourself some top quality equipment, buy better then you think you will need. You will find a use for it. Nothing worse then having the ability, talent and inspiration to do a home project and not having the equipment to do it. God Bless, great job.

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      • #33
        Nice looking fence how long do those blades last on your saw? we have a evoultion, been buying those cryo treated blades from partsmaster but thier not holding up for the 200.00 they cost.

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        • #34
          Picket fence

          Jack,
          The fence is fantastic, but the narrative is the most complete and informative one I've read here. I'm a real novice, so I like your planning and ideas on how to accomplish certain tasks, even though you, by your own admission, are not experienced in this sort of thing.
          Sorry about the little injury, but the project is enviable.
          Nctox

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          • #35
            faststeel

            do you know about FastSteel? I read where you said you had to grind the weld on all 4 sides on the pickets-you can use FastSteel to cosmetically improve a weld. It's a 2-part epoxy putty that you knead in your hands. Home Depot sells it (in the paint department) for $3+. cat

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            • #36
              Thanks again, for all the positive responses.

              Originally posted by stick man View Post
              Nice looking fence how long do those blades last on your saw? we have a evoultion, been buying those cryo treated blades from partsmaster but thier not holding up for the 200.00 they cost.
              My $40 Freud Diablo blade did the whole fence -- all 300 pickets and the rest -- as well as three welding tables and a lot of other miscellaneous cutting. Most of it's been 16 gauge, so it's not really brutal cutting. But I'm happy with the blade. If I had an evolution saw, I'd get the Freud blades for it.

              * * *

              All right. Today I finished the latches for the two gates and the last piece of painting. It's fastened down. There's a traditional gate on one side and a small camouflaged gate on the other. I got a couple of chairs for the front yard, since I'm a lot lazier than my boy. It was a fun project and now it comes in handy every single day.

              (Next up, a swing set.)

              Here's a full shot that shows the one section (on the right) that needed to be sloped to match the terrain. I could have stepped the sections, but I thought this would be less noticeable.



              And here's the gate. I put a bar on one side that goes into a hole drilled into the walk. A slide-type latch holds the other side shut. I still might add springs to make it automatically return to center. We'll see.



              Thanks again to everyone for the suggestions and the encouragement.

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              • #37
                Question on painting

                Jack, can you provide details on how you painted the fence? What type of cleaning, chemical or abrasive? What type of primer and paint (brand) did you use? Did you spray it on or hand brush?

                John Chunis

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                • #38
                  Jack, it looks fantastic, great job.

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                  • #39
                    Iron fence

                    I read the narrative, looked at the pics, and have been following up. I'm going to tell you Jack...I don't even like fences, but that made me want one. Great job with everything! Keep it up.

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                    • #40
                      Wow, what a great intro to fence fabrication! I have been looking at building one for a shile, and this definately helped. I am also curious as to how you painted the fence, with what, etc. Also, do you think it would work to spray the fences? I have a paint sprayer, and i thought maybe it would be faster than by hand?

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                      • #41


                        Thanks.

                        For paint, I tried two different paths -- and I'll see how each holds up over time. For most of the sections (everything that sits on the retaining wall), I cleaned the steel with detergent, rinsed it, dried it, scuffed it with sandpaper, and then used Krylon Industrial "Iron Guard" light gray primer. It's what King Metals recommended, and it's compliant for California (which has its own laws on this, apparently). Over that, I used Krylon Industrial "Iron Guard" gloss black. Both are latex.

                        Then, on some smaller sections, I tried a different approach. I cleaned and prepped the metal, and then used an automotive anti-rust paint: POR-15 "Blackcote," which is a variation of POR-15 that also contains UV protection. (Ordinary POR-15 will get chalky and lose its gloss when exposed to direct sunlight for too long.) POR-15 is not latex, it's a pain in the neck to apply, and it costs $45/quart. I used up a quart of it, and so far it's held up just as well as the traditionally painted stuff.

                        But of course time will tell.

                        I brushed (and sometimes rolled) the paint on. It's a lot slower than spraying, but it gives the paint more character -- which to me is what you want on a wrought-iron fence. It already looks like it's been there for a long time.

                        Spraying has its advantages, but I used less than a gallon of paint for the whole fence, which was nice from a cost perspective.

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                        • #42
                          Havent got to follow the thread for awhile and you've been busy. Very nice job.

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                          • #43
                            Fence

                            Hey Jack,
                            Looks real nice Make your house look real good Hope your leg is better.
                            Great Job once again Vernon

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                            • #44
                              Thanks.

                              Here's a small update. Yesterday, my wife finished up on her part -- the landscaping. No vines, so repainting the fence won't be a nightmare.

                              You can also see my second front-yard welding project, a swingset. It's not painted yet, but the kid loves it.









                              The grass is a mix now of new sod and (do they do this anywhere outside of Southern California?) short-cut grass with its annual winter dose of steer manure.
                              Last edited by Jack Olsen; 11-19-2009, 01:03 PM.

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                              • #45
                                Jack,

                                you up for a brew later?

                                I'll be over at Bergin's on Fairfax for the games tonight.


                                Swing looks good! Now I'll really know which house is yers

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