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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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?
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.