Hi there Gman and all other PWs. Greetings from Poland. I hope everybody had a nice Memorial Day weekend.
I am building a rolling gate for my driveway, since I finished the easy part of the front fence. The driveway is about 15 feet wide, for two cars and the gate is in two parts meeting in the middle. Making the gate involves concrete, rollers, lots of steel and wood. Very manly stuff. First I had to pour 4 piers to hold the rollers which are fairly heavy duty. Then after I made the concrete, (by hand, my neighbor has a little mixer but I didn't want to ask to borrow it for reasons I will explain later.) 5 wheel barrows worth, I had to plant the rollers into the wet concrete. I anchored them with 15" long threaded rods, 4 per roller. In addition I made re-bar cages to put in the piers which are about about 2 feet deep. Nothing should move that shouldn't. Next I had to cut the steel bottom part that fits on the rollers. It is about 4" on a side and each piece is about 14 feet long. Heavy stuff. Then 2 upright posts on each side and a couple of steel rails to fasten the wood pickets to. The bottom rails need to be long because when the gates are closed, the gate is suspended over the driveway, the first roller is behind the column where the driveway ends, the next roller is about 5 feet back along the fence. That way there is nothing in the way when you pull into the driveway. Of course the hard part was keeping everything aligned so the gate rolls smoothly and everything lines up when they meet in the middle. Thanks to my mad skilz and some luck, I made it all work correctly. I'll post some pictures in a day or two.
I did all the work except I don't weld. My neighbor has a small arc welding machine and he is happy to fulfill my welding needs. The only problem is Polish men love to critique, find problems and offer all kinds of advice on building projects. I like to design my projects, figure out how to build it and then work alone. Every time I start a new project my neighbors come running! All I have to do is pick up a tool and their spider sense starts to tingle and they know I am going to build something. Then come the questions; What are you building?, why?, how are you doing it?, no, you should do it this way; then the one neighbor will discuss it with the other neighbor and they both have ideas different from each other and different from mine. To top it all off, they don't speak English and although I understand a fair amount of Polish I don't speak it much or well. My neighbors are great and helpful but sometimes I want to tell them to just let me do it my way! My neighbor was doing the last of the welding last night, I was tired, hungry and hot and then his wife came by to offer her opinions on my gate as well. I wanted to tell them be quiet, just do the welding like I asked you to do but of course I smiled and nodded my head and gave my neighbor an 8 pack of beer for his labor. At least he works cheap! I try to be as stealthy as possible when I build things because sometimes it is just exhausting dealing with my helpful neighbors. They also assume since I am American I don't know how to build things, but I spent several years being self employed doing remodeling, kitchens, decks, painting, etc, so I do know a little bit about this work. I would have thought my deck would have convinced them I know what I am doing but I guess not. I am not complaining just ventilating a little, I really couldn't ask for better neighbors. They have taught me a few things such as how to mix concrete which is apparently something all Polish men learn when they are children. If you drive down a street in Poland you will see a pile of sand in front of about 75% of the houses and a few bags of cement in the garage. The Polish man's attitude is you never know when you might need to mix up a batch of concrete so it is good to be prepared. Yes, I have several bags of cement in my garage and a pile of sand out front as well as several lengths of re-bar under my deck. After all, you never know.
My dogs like me, that is important.