“What do you want to do today honey buns?” Mr. OTN asked as we sat on the screened porch enjoying our morning coffee.
Okay . . . so he didn’t really call me “honey buns,” because we don’t talk to each other that way. Not insinuating that it’s a bad way to talk if that’s how you choose to show affection for your sweetie. Our endearments are a little less mushy and generic, like a simple “honey” or “sweetie” or “darling”.
Darling: That’s his name for me when he’s feeling particularly fond of me.
David B. Culpepper’s Otto Depot, Wholesale Salvage Co.
“We supply what catches the eye”
We’d been on the hunt, off and on, for a piece of architectural salvage to create a new fence gate into our back yard. You see, we’d recently added a new patio and it was begging for a peek-a-boo gate so that everyone who drove up into our driveway could “Ooh” and “Aah” over it’s cobbled courtyard beauty.
Culpepper’s Otto Depot in Otto, NC did not disappoint.
It all started out on the garage floor by taking measurements around this scrolly piece of iron, followed by 2 x 4’s cut to size, and laid in place for the drilling of diagonal holes using a cool tool called a jig.
This is what this cool tool looks like, and if you click on the picture below you can buy one for yourself.
By the way, I almost forgot to show you how our pretty little architactural piece already had holes in place, making it perfect for attaching to the 2 x 4’s. It was like she was meant to be a part of our gate all along.
This is a picture of the hubs re-attaching the hardware we took off the old gate. We cleaned it up and added fresh black spray paint and it was as good as new.
Next came the fence boards. We screwed standard 5-1/2″ wide fence boards to the frame, leaving 1/4″ spacing between each board, and a 1-1/2″ clearance on the bottom of the gate.
Note the narrower boards in the center of the gate. Our gate is 46″ wide, so we had to make some adjustments to the board widths to fit our gate. Mr. OTN ripped these babies on the table saw to make them the perfect size.
By the way, I think “ripped” a such manly, macho word to describe cutting a board vertically. I have images of Tim the Toolman ripping a board with his bare hands 😉
And just in case you were wondering, this is the table saw Mr. OTN used. The one from his Top Ten Father’s Day list.
Mr. OTN trimmed the boards even across the top of the gate next. Sort of. But not to worry, he had a plan. First though, he added another 2 x 4, laid flat across the top of the gate and screwed in place.
Here he’s carrying out his plan, which was to add a 1 x 4 piece to add visual interest to the gate (while at the same time covering uneven cuts). Notice the short fence boards showing beneath the 1 x 4? Mr. OTN had a plan for that as well.
He had the great idea of adding a frame to highlight our salvaged ornamental iron piece, but since the “visually interesting” 1 x 4 across the top stands out beyond the fence boards he needed to use strips of shim to make the frame level. The shim he used across the top was a 1/4″ square strip cut the same width as the gate opening, and the strips of shim around the other three sides were the same width as the frame material.
I was a wee bit nervous about the difficulty of creating mitered corners (based on my own past history) but Mr. OTN has great confidence in his abilities. Besides, he wasn’t worried about going out and buying a few more strips of wood if it didn’t work out!
Next came the addition of a top for our gate. We wanted something with an arch and searched high and low through salvage yards, but couldn’t seem to find anything the right size.
Then searching online I found, A Rustic Garden, a company that that sells “vintage” gates of all designs and sizes. I found a 3′ gate that I liked but we didn’t want the whole gate, just the decorative piece across the top. Not a problem for this company who makes everything on sight. We were able to have them create exactly what we wanted, custom sized to our wooden gate. I was delighted at how quickly they completed my order and the price was VERY reasonable for custom work. With FREE shipping 🙂
The piece came with pre-drilled holes (at our request) so it was ready to attach with heavy duty 2″ long, 7/16″ hex head screws.
They look like this and you can order those here too, just by clicking on the pic.
By the way, all of the iron pieces and the screws were spray painted with a light coat of black rustoleum.
Just a light coating because I kind of like the rusty look showing though. It was mostly done for the benefit of our HOA who says we are allowed to have either wooden gates or iron gates only in our neighborhood. I’m already pushing the limits a bit by having a combination wooden-iron gate. It would really be a stretch if I left it au naturel from the get go. We’ll see how she patinas over time.
Here’s another look at our gate stained in solid Redwood by Olympic Stain to match the rest of the fence (which now looks faded and needs a touch up so it won’t be shown up by the beautiful gate). Mr. OTN did most of the work on this DIY project but I was a good enough helper that I warranted the label “darling” and a nice dinner out on the town.
This guy 🙂
Finally, if you haven’t already taken my Reader Survey, I’d love if you’d do that today. Then, come on back here and leave a comment letting me know you’ve done so to be entered in a drawing for a $100 Amazon Gift Card. Just because I love you!
I hope you’re enjoying the beauty of the Summer season in every butterfly, or white fluffy cloud, or sweet puppy you see.
Blessings to you my darling friends,
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