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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A New Gate

I just hung these gates last Wednesday. I originally was going to make them with the tops arched in reverse so that the peak was at the top, centered between the gates. However, after flipping the top rails on a whim, I liked the way they looked.

I decided to stain the gates in a puritain pine finish. I finished out the jambs by mixing some walnut with maple in order to approximate the finish on the railroad ties which used to be the borders for an old rose bed.
The jambs were necessary because the railroad ties were twisted and bent too much to accommodate the gates.

The oak railroad timbers were originally part of a landscaping feature where they were utilized as a border for a small rose garden. They are bent and weathered, so, I decided to plant them in the ground placing the most curved timber at the top, imparting an aged appearance. However, the gate's pronounced curvature, - the downward bend at the mid point of the top timber - is hardly noticeable. I decided I liked the way the timber looked overhanging the uprights so I didn't cut the excess that extends beyond the uprights.

My reason for deciding to invert the top rails of the gates is because the combo works well as gates and entry complement each other.
The combination has a zen quality to it. Additionally, since I love reading so much, I decided to make the middle rail arched as well in order to make the gates look like a book, laid open.

Finally, the arched rails make the gate look like it is sagging - reminiscent of those famous doors at Santuario de Chimayo located in Northern New Mexico. Unfortunately, the gates of that ancient church remain fixed because they long ago lost their functionality.

I tried to capture that aesthetic appeal but wanted mine to be functional as well.

I elected no to put speakeasy windows in the gates because I really don't need them.

The wood is seasoned #2 pine which means the wood has some knots. Additionally, the panels are 3/4" solid pine as well. I still have not decided what to do about a gate handle. I think I am going to make my own out of wrought iron. I have a friend who tinkers around on his spare time doing blacksmith work. It is something I have always wanted to learn. I am thinking about something rustic.

I'll be posting more pictures of the next set of gates currently being fabricated, to be installed this week once my customer decides on the final finish.


At Fri Jul 09, 02:05:00 AM MDT, Anonymous steve said...

Nice work!!


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