I finally tackled another step in the garden development. I have had the plastic fence posts set for a temporary electric fence around the garden for a while. I also picked up the wire for it a month ago or so. Last Friday, I remembered to pick up the clips for making a gate. Next, I just had to find the time and weather to do it.
Wednesday, I had both. It was sunny, but cool, low 40s I think. I got Savannah down for her nap and turned the monitor on. Then, I got a handful of things and headed out to work. Since the posts were already set up, I just had to get my small spool of 14-gauge wire, needle-nosed pliers (for cutting the wire, and the rubber gate clips.
The first, and lowest, wire strand was the hardest. As with most projects, the toughest thing is starting and getting into a rhythm with it. I started at one of the posts that would be one side of the gate. I made a small loop, which was big enough for the clip to set into, about 5 or 6 inches from the end of the wire. Next, I slid the wire side that went to the spool into the lowest notch of the post and wrapped the cut end around the backside of the post. I twisted it around the wire going to the spool. Then, I was ready to string the wire.
Here I will throw in a word of caution. I had a small spool of wire so I strung it by simply letting it rotate on my fingers. This worked great except for one moment of stupidity on my part. Because I wasn’t dealing with barbed wire, I thought I would be about to get by with cloth gloves. I figured the most I had to worry about was keeping my hands warm. I was wrong. A quarter of the way through stringing the first strand, I noticed a small hole in my gloves. Half way through, I noticed a bigger hole and a slit in my finger. Needless to say, from now on I will get my leather gloves first for any kind of fence work I start.
As I was stringing, I would string a length and then walk back to slip it into the notch on each post. The other main problem I had with the first strand was an overly curious and klutzy puppy. Dixon was interested to see what I was doing. This wouldn’t have been a problem, but he kept tripping over the wire, which means my lowest wire isn’t as snug as it could be. It got simpler when he finally lost interest.
After I took the strand all the way around the garden, I came to the post for the other side of the gate. It might not have been necessary, but I wrapped the wire around the post once before stretching the wire across to my starting point. Here I took out one of the gate clips and put it in the loop I started with. I estimated for 6 inches beyond where the clip needed to be on the wire line from the spool and cut the wire. I ran the wire through the eye on the end of the clip and bent it back when the wire was straight with the clip and loop. I then twisted the excess around the gate wire to hold the clip in place.
I repeated that three more times. Each time it went a little smoother. It ended up looking pretty good. It would have been snugger if I had used metal posts for the corners, but I wanted to have it so it was easy to take down. There is still work to be done. I want to add a fifth strand to it and add a couple of posts where the lowest strand droops closer to the ground. Then I will set up to electrify it. I just have to buy one more gate clip…