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      Posting these cat-cartoons-without-the-cartoon was a long journey that I don’t know if I’ll repeat soon again. A daily blog is tough … even when you have your material handed to you! But, I couldn’t have done it without the artwork … Continue reading →
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Quick Project: Trellis

Posted by joeabbott on April 9, 2010

4048624318_0bc701153d_b[1]A long time ago, Before Joe, Suzy was a little tyke and her dad painted a horse on the living room wall in their family home to keep the kids entertained while Suzy’s mom was away. I think that’s the story. Anyhow, it lives large in family collective memory and I probably hear references to that story more than any other. I have to admit, I like it.

I ’m not the sort to paint something on the wall (largely lacking the talent), but I like the idea behind it: to heck with convention, let’s do what’s fun, and is anything really irreparably damaged? Must be something I got from my mother.

Anyhow, Suzy’s father was staying with us a few months back and made a comment about using the fenceline around our house as a canvas. “Do something with all that space,” I think is how he put it. And while I was a bit terrified he’d start for his paints, the kernel of an idea was sown.

Later that summer we got “the gecko” from a local fair and that started using the fenceline as a canvas. I should have included the gecko in one of my SITBY entries but must have gotten it later than those posts.

I’m not sure how he’s intended to be displayed, but we picked up 5 nylon spacers from Home Depot (in the fasteners area) and ran a short wood screw through pre-made holes in his feet and tail, though the spacer, and into the fence. Of course, taking care that the fasteners didn’t protrude through the far side.

In the lovely Fall picture here, you can see our gecko hanging on the fence just looking up. While we had no immediately plans to include additional art in this fashion, we’d taken a bold step that, I’m sure, will lead to many others.

And so it was after we’d built the coop when we were busy around the yard tidying up, that I was nudge to do another project.

Suzy wanted a trellis for climbing vines, kiwi plants, and whatnot and I’d promised it would be no big deal. As the day had crested way past noon and I’d taken no steps at that point to create the trellis, I’m sure more than a few people would chalk this up to my usual procrastination. But inspiration hit me.

today 294I went into the shop (which is also our garage), buzzed off a bunch of 1”x1” strips of cedar in varying lengths, chamfered the ends, pulled out my level, cordless drill and pneumatic staple gun, and with a bit of help from Suzy, banged out a trellis (“permanently” attached to the fence) in about 30 minutes. And Suzy had a few plants plunked in the ground in no time!

As far as details go, we started with using the gecko as the center. We then placed the verticals in roughly symmetric fashion around him, using the number of cedar slats as our gauge. Because the ends of the long stakes were chamfered, we just pushed them into the ground. Once we had things the way we liked them, I had cut little 1″x2″ spacer blocks so the trellis wasn’t directly attached to the fence. This allows the plants to grow around the parts.

I then drilled a hole through both the trellis vertical and the spacer, and then drove a screw through them both and into the fence. Again, making sure the screw would go into but not through the fence slat. It wouldn’t be good to give the neighbor a spikey surface to his fence!

Once all the verticals were up I worked with Suzanne to lay out the horizontal parts. I just had a pile of parts and we used whatever looked ok in each section. The level helped to make sure all parts were perpendicular, and with a quick *bang* *bang*, the horizontal part was attached.

We like the way the gecko is worked in over and under the trellis in places. If the fella ever has to come down it’ll be a pain, but that’s part of the reason I put the word permanently in quotes above … it’s just screws and staples into cedar. And that’s not very permanent!

View Backyard Trellis
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