Supreme Court Ruling
So today is the day - the last of the deer fence post construction! No more hole digging or chain sawing for a while...
The day started off early - I was out in the vineyard by 7:15 AM after a quick stop to chat with the neighbors. First order of business was to insert the twitch sticks in the bracing wire that I had done last weekend (but didn't have the lumber for the twitch sticks.) Got those done (three corners) then it was time to pull more bracing wire. I had been fortunate for the first few corner assemblies in that I was using scrap wire from last year's research vineyard, but since I ran out of that I had to use the big roll of high-tensile wire for the remaining braces. So this roll of wire comes in lengths of 4,000' and until you've actually picked one up you can't imagine how heavy it is! Fortunately it's possible to roll them from one place to the next. Even more fun is pulling the wire. The rolls come wound very tightly and secured with 5 metal bands. The trick is to place the roll on an apparatus called a "spinning jenny" which prevents the roll from unwinding rather violently (and tearing your face off in the process...) So I got the spinning jenny assembled and the wire in place, then measured out the correct length and started pulling/cutting wire. But hold on a second - something is different here??? Apparently the wire I bought last year was the softer kind, and this new roll is much tougher to cut (and much harder on tools...)
Anyway, after a few hours I got the last corners complete, then it was time to begin the gate posts and bracing. So I figured it would be a good idea to assemble the gate frame just so I could get some exact measurements on where to place the final post. So I put the outer frame together, and since it was just temporary I decided to just hold things in place with duct tape until I got everything in place. Took the last measurements and dug the final hole. Once the post was in place and tamped, I completed the last set of braces and the posts were done!!! Just as I was finishing up Shannon came by to check it out - it was nice having here there when I finished that part, since it's been such a huge headache (literally) I was glad she got to share in the milestone. So we hung out for a little while, sitting in the sun just enjoying a peaceful moment.
Once Shannon left, I still had a few hours of daylight left so I decided to get started on installing the monofilament line (also know as impact wire) which gets attached to the posts, and which holds the netting in place. The process basically involves measuring each fence post and putting marks at 0" - 2'6" - 5'0" - 7'6". Then beginning at one end, the impact wire (8-gauge black nylon monofilament line) is wrapped around the post and crimped. Once that is secured, I took the spool of line and walked down to the next corner, cut the line to length (plus extra) and tied it off. Repeat x 3. After all 4 lines were run, the next step is walking from post to post and stapling (using the big galvanized staples) the four wires at the correct height. A key thing here is to ensure that the staples are not hammered completely down on the line, as the line must be allowed to move freely through the staple to allow for tensioning. Once each post has had the 4 lines nailed in place, the slack is pulled out and the other end is crimped. Next the tensioners get installed. This is an annoying process, whereby these goofy black plastic spools are slid over the line, then turned over and over to roll the line and take up any slack. The worst part is using the tightener tool. Reason is because as you take up more and more slack the line gets really tight and the tool is trying to unwind itself. One slip and that thing would spin itself right into orbit (after bouncing off my front teeth, scattering them about the field...) In fact, that thing made me so nervous I put on my face mask just to use it! La de da I got the four tensioners installed and decided to call it a day (mostly because the sun was setting...)
If you've been following along, you'll notice we've turned our comment feature back on. The way this will work is that comments will be open for an entry for a day or two, then disabled. Hopefully this will prevent scumbag spammers from trying to advertise Viagra or porn on our blog comments...
May 21, 2005 9:58 PM
Thanks for letting us put comments in again. I am so impressed with all the work you have accomplished (with help from family and friends) and appreciate your keeping a running diary of the work along with pictures. It allows everyone the opportunity to see just how much hard work it takes for us to enjoy that "little" glass of wine!!
May 24, 2005 8:34 AM
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