We finally did it! We got our road fence for the yard repaired. Someone had been driving too fast and plowed through, taking out three sections, our front entrance with gates and a post in the fence along the hay field. The cowards snuck off without even an apology. We tidied up the mess best we could, but the real repairs had to wait for the right supples.
These supplies came when Papa had to clear some cedars that came down during winter. He and Mama helped us set four posts with the tractor’s auger. With our rocky Arkansas dirt, it made the job so much easier. (While we were at it, we helped Papa set posts and fix fence where someone else took out a long section just down from our yard along the hay field and took off. Needless to say, people drive like idiots on our dirt road, especially on the blind curve by our yard.) Papa also left me posts that would work for the crossbeams.
Using Grandpa’s remaining posts and Papa’s confirmation to understand the method, I set to work. I chose the section above to fix first because the wagon wheel would take the attention away from any possible roughness in my work. I used a chainsaw (first time) to cut two parallel lines in the post where I wanted to insert the end of the crossbeam. I had carefully measured and marked where I needed each cut for making the notches so I made all the cuts at once.
Then I used a chisel and hammer to remove the sections, creating four notched spaces in two posts. I did not get the 90 degree angle Grandpa did; mine were rounded on the interior. This kept the crossbeams from sitting as pretty as they could have, but it worked okay. I also had to use the chisel and hammer on the crossbeams’ ends to get them to fit in the notches. (I did not cut the posts for crossbeams shorter until I measured the notches and length needed to fit there.)
Once I set the crossbeams in, I secured them with three-inch screws. Finding a good location to run these was frequently a test in patience. When I was done, I leaned the wagon wheel against the crossbeams and used the old chains to fasten it in place.
Having a better rhythm for the work, I moved on to the other side of our entrance and put up the rest. It had a few rough areas, but overall I like the way it turned out for my first time doing it.
Now when we get the chance, we will hang the gates on their new posts. We also need to finish the yard fence along the hay field, where we already replaced the broken post. I will write on these later and show how it turned out.