Thursday, July 21, 2016

OKAY, I TAKE IT BACK ... PINTEREST IS NOT JUST FOR GIRLS ... AND YES, IT HAS BEEN A GREAT HELP ON THIS FENCING PROJECT

 A few years ago, when someone asked me, "Do you use Pinterest?"
I would snort, sneer, and say, "Um no ... I have testosterone."

In my defense, early Pinterest did seem pretty girly, and I didn't find much to interest me ... at first.
So that has all changed now and I ate those earlier "testy" comments with a dose of datil pepper hot sauce.

This is not a post about Pinterest ... (sorta seems like it so far), but rather a post about my dog fence.

One of the things I learned from having kids in FFA ... (besides being sure to drink strong heavily caffeinated coffee before an end of the year FFA banquet) ... is that something called "hog panel" and "cattle panel" exists.

I love this stuff ... as does Pinterest and YouTube. At both of these sites you can find all kinds of projects using these panels in ways never intended at the "panel factory".
The cattle panel fences on Pinterest were very creative and some were downright beautiful.
My wood budget doesn't allow as much extra wood trim on this fence as the prettiest Pinterest pics showed, but Pinterest was definitely a source of inspiration and instruction.

My goal is an attractive, Labrador Retriever proof fence surrounding the back and side "yards" here at Pure Florida HQ.
 Right away, these 16 foot long panels present a challenge.
How the heck do you get them home?
This challenge gets more challengy when you drive one of the shortest vehicles on the road ... A JEEP Wrangler.

Hey, no problem, I have a trailer ... which is barely 7 feet long.
Did I mention I also needed to buy two 16 foot 4X4's for my Ninja Warrior Salmon Ladder project?
No?
Well, I did and that both helped and complicated things.

In the trailery-cattle panelly photo above, this may not be obvious, but I took an old 14 foot extension ladder and strapped it into the trailer fully extended.
Allowing for a little overhang at the JEEP end and beaucoup overhang at the stern, my system worked like a charm.

 Of course, once I got home (multiple trips by the way), there were a bunch of post holes to dig.
 With the exception of some VERY rooty areas in one section, digging post holes here is pretty easy. 
"Easy" in the sense that the soil is sand with no rocks or hard clay.
The photo above is just a sample and it also shows one of the minor challenges ... the humps.
Scattered around PFHQ are occasional humps of richly dark, charcoally soil. They rise above the surrounding ground by only a couple feet at most.
My hypothesis is that a long time ago, when they cleared parts of this land for cattle, they pushed piles of trees and brush together and burned them in situ.
You can still see that practice in any rural area today.

Above is a comparison of the hump soil and the native sand beneath it ... all from the same post hole.  I'm trenching and then swaling the ground wherever a hump arises. 
On this project, that's only 2 places, but the second one is big, forested, and SO DAMN ROOTY!

 IF you are going to do this kind of work during the humid 100 degree heat of a Florida Summer, it's important to fuel up for the task at hand.
I call this "The Fencer's Breakfast" ... bacon, Key Lime Cake, coffee, and milk.
 The devastated brown area to the right of the line of fence was a shrubby, briaralicious, grapevine encased jungle that extended out past the where the fence now lies. 
A bit of machete mayhem at the end of the day pushed it back so the fence could both proceed and ... turn a corner.
 (Important note from the fencer: None of the fence in these photos is finished. It's all just hanging and the future trim has yet to be added.)
The photo above shows the fence passing through a large hump of that dark, charcoal-rich soil I mentioned earlier.
It's pretty good dirt for Florida, so I'll be harvesting some of that as I swale the fence line.
The trenchy look is temporary.

 This is a fencer's rootiest nightmare.
Sigh...
On the bright side, I've made much progress since I first stared down this line, and that makes me feel good.
 Don't forget to take breaks if you are trying this at home... and remember, it's not a fashion show.
Wear what works.
Easy for me to say ... I don't have neighbors :)
Turning the corner ...
 I'm going old school on this big log that lies across my fence path in the jungle zone.
I only need to move the part across the fence line, and I COULD chainsaw it, but it's punky on the outside and in the dirt, ... I try to never let my saw chain touch the ground.

So while I work nearby, I let a slow and low fire saw through the log. When it gets done, I'll just move the section under the fence line.

That's about it for this PFHQ fence update. This one is more for me than you dear reader. This blog is many things and one of the most important jobs it does is keep a running record of projects in and around Pure Florida HQ.
I can't tell you how many times that history has come in handy.
And remember ... when your head starts to smoke, well, it's time to take a break.

14 comments:

Pablo said...

Great post. Love all of the informative photos.

Did you strike any oil when you dug those holes?

R.Powers said...

I usually strike oil in early April

Wally Jones said...

What a great project! Especially since it's you and not me rasslin' with those roots.
I discovered cattle panel makes a great trellis for the garden for such stuff as rattlesnake beans. I managed to transport it by rolling it and securing it with nylon ties and stuffing it in the back of the Explorer.

Can't wait to see your finished fence.

In the meantime, key lime cake and bacon sure sounds good!

roger said...

another breakfast of champions.

that is a fine looking fence.

Leslie said...

Great job! You would enjoy the book: "A Handmade Wilderness" by Donald Schueler. Do you know about biochar? Your stuff may not be it exactly, but I'll bet it makes great garden soil. I skip around with your posts, so if this stuff is old news, forgive me.

Lisa Greenbow said...

I nearly laughed my ass off at this post. I, being a girly girl, didn't look at pinterest for a long time. It is fun to look at different ideas. I hope you keep your furr people encapsulated for their good health.

R.Powers said...

Wally, I saw a picture of some cattle panel folded in a U and strapped into a pickup truck online.
Like a giant coiled spring...
There are some clever greenhouses built from this stuff on YouTube.

R.Powers said...

Any building complement from the pirate who single-handedly moved a greenhouse is doubly appreciated.

R.Powers said...

Hey Leslie,
I do know about Biochar and had the same thoughts. Thanks for the book suggestion!

R.Powers said...

Lisa,
Pinterest is as addictive and timesucky as Facebook, but way more productive and idea stoking.
The pups are already using a portion of the to be fenced area that we sealed off with some temporary hog panels. They are loving it.

R.Powers said...

Lisa,
Pinterest is as addictive and timesucky as Facebook, but way more productive and idea stoking.
The pups are already using a portion of the to be fenced area that we sealed off with some temporary hog panels. They are loving it.

Julie Zickefoose said...

So THAT'S where you went. PINTEREST. Baying at the Facebook moon here, missing your presence. I signed up for Pinterest years ago. But I've forgotten my password and never learned how to navigate it. I like your smoking brain shot and gnash my teeth in sympathy at the rootiness. I also see a whole new job for you, which is Keep the Fenceline Clear. That's gonna be a bigun' the way Florida likes to grow vegetation. Keep on keepin' on. Dang, that Fencer's Breakfast. YUM. Did you post that on PINTEREST? (not bitter, no, not one bit).

Facebookefoose

R.Powers said...

Julie,
Pinterest knows I like Jeeps, tiny teardrop campers, tiny houses, and gardening-farmy stuff...and it keeps luring me back with email teasers.
And yes, the fence line will be a challenge to keep clear of the creepers!
I should just plant muscadines on it.

R.Powers said...

Julie,
Pinterest knows I like Jeeps, tiny teardrop campers, tiny houses, and gardening-farmy stuff...and it keeps luring me back with email teasers.
And yes, the fence line will be a challenge to keep clear of the creepers!
I should just plant muscadines on it.