Posted by: 347bennetrd | February 17, 2010

Carpentry 101 – Deer Gates

This morning I arrived up at the workshop to find Marty working away at two damaged gates from the deer yards.  In the first week I was here, two newly-bought wapiti stags arrived and broke the gates.    The gates are about 210cm tall and about 180cm wide.  My first job was to take the new blue jemmy and hammer it under the folded over nails to straighten them.  This was painstaking.  Dad turned up and suggested instead using the electric angle grinder to cut through the bent over bit so I dutifully donned the plastic goggles and cranked ‘er up…  Oooh it was scary – it makes a screeching sound, and as it grinds through the nail sparks fly everywhere.  I didn’t like using this power tool.

Once all the nails were done I heaved away at the outside braces to lift them off.  Some of the horizontal bars were rotten so we replaced them with new bits.  And so I had my first go at sawing planks of wood.  I was very unco.  And slow.  But after a few I got a little better (though used two hands!).  We drilled holes and bolted everything together, and the repaired gate number one is in the photo at the bottom (the gap is intentional ;)).

After lunch we did the second gate then at about 4pm Marty got me to set off and take a mob of cows and calves from Humpy Flat right up to the cattle yards ready for reading the tb results tomorrow morning.  It started off well enough – I managed to separate the lambs from the cows and set them up the hill, but far out it was extremely slow going.  It took me aaaaaaaaaages.  I probably did about 10kms to every 1 the cows walked by driving back and forth behind them, ‘encouraging’ them to move on and ineffectually waving my stick around.  It was like stirring treacle – impossible to make a whirlpool.

I popped home for quick dinner, then Dad came with me get another mob.  We grabbed Bronc the Barker, but Marty was ahead of us already so we just had to set up the electric fence to keep the cows contained til tomorrow morning.  Bronc did really well – I had him on a rope and we practised barking on command (and stopping barking too!) and we also mostly practised him not running away and pulling my hand off.  He got lots of pats and a big juicy piece of mutton for dinner.

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