The Last Post
The fucking gate is jamming again and I can't get out.
For some strange reason that I can't quite fathom, people seem to be able to get in. Leastwise the postman got me out of bed at the ungodly hour of eleven this morning and he never mentioned anything about gates jamming. Maybe he was just overawed and struck dumb in admiration of the naked figure that stood before him?
I originally thought it was just the wood expanding but it has been getting progressively worse so that any time I want to take the car out means I have a huge fight on my hands getting the fucking gates open first.
I'm ashamed to say I may even occasionally mutter a rude word.
I have discovered what's wrong, which I suppose is something.
The gates hang off a lovely pair of 8" by 8" hardwood pillars. One of the pillars has started to shift. It has only moved a minute fraction of an inch but as anyone who any basic knowledge of trigonometry, geometry or even the principle of the lever will tell you – a minute fraction of an inch at the base of a pillar translates to considerably more at the far end of the lever, namely where the gates meet.
My problem now is that I don't know what to do about it.
If the pillar had moved by a decent amount I could push it back and shove a spadefull of concrete into the crack, but right now there isn't enough room to even slide in a sliver of cardboard.
I could dig the whole fucking lot up and rebury it with a bigger foundation but that sounds like an awful lot of hard work, and I'm allergic to that.
I could remove the gate altogether but then the local dogs would just come in and shit all over the place, and it's bad enough with Penny laying her little land-mines all over the front drive.
Luckily I have a fair stock of provisions, tobacco and whiskey. If it looks like I'm running short of anything I can always heave Herself over the fence and she can walk to the village.
I don't know how the pub will manage without me though.
Was your wood expanding because you secretly fancy the postman?
That is fucking disgusting! Wash your mouth out with carbolic.
If the gates are well hung (and we aren't talking about your expanding wood here) there should be a way of adjusting the hinge without moving the post?
Indeed they are well hung [and I refer to the gates as well]. I have been adjusting the hinges but the problem is deteriorating. I last adjusted them about a month ago and the damn thing is stuck again. And it is NOT an easy job doing that adjustment. Those gates are damned heavy and awkward.
Or put a wedge under the middle of the gates when they are closed to try and reverse the process?
Install a style?
Or a stile, even!
Have you ever tried driving a car over a style/stile? It isn't as easy as you may think.
Hmm. Being lazy I think I would just on the odd occasion take a plane to the gate until such time as the leaning post actually greets its counterpart…might even have a beer while doing so. Or two – thirsty work, planing.
Being a chip off the old block [*cough*] that is precisely what I did. For a while anyway. Then it became too much like hard work so I adjusted the hinges instead. Now that's becoming too much like hard work.
If you have enough space,get a stay wire [steel]- with an adjustable fitting.You should then be able to get the post vertical.
Good God! A sensible suggestion? 😮 Don't get many of them here.
I did actually think of that but there is nowhere to tie the other end of the stay. It would end up down at the bottom of a small hedge which is far too flimsy to stake the cable. I would need a fairly chunky anchor.
I did think of placing a beam between the two pillars to keep them forced apart, but then I would have to limbo-dance in and out, and would have to flatten the car too, so that's a non-runner.
i'm just glad you aren't dead
Not half as glad as I am.
The ground moves. We had some like that, every time it was really wet for a long spell or really dry for weeks the posts moved. Sometimes the gates jammed together, sometimes they were so adrift that the catch wouldn't engage. These were steel gates on brick posts so it wasn't expansion.
Well, I'm happy the earth moved for you too. You could have a point though – maybe after the long dry summer the ground has shrunk? I'll try turning the hose on it for a couple of weeks. Fuck the council and their water conservations.
'For some strange reason that I can't quite fathom, people seem to be able to get in. '
What about buying some small steps/ladder to climb over gate or adjacent ditch and pushing the gate open from the other side?
And wouldn't I look the right eejit climbing over my own front gate with a stepladder? I suppose what I could do is cut a wee gate in the gate and use that to get out to open the gate? Now why didn't I think of that?
Can't you just tie the gates closed with a piece of rope so the dogs can't get in? A good sized lump of concrete or some bricks would stop them swinging open.
Hold on there Sean…. It's the other way around! I would be only too happy to have the fucking things swinging in the breeze with an old noose of rotten rope to tie 'em shut. The problem is that I can't get them to sway in the breeze as they are wedged shut without the help of any rope or bricks.
Put a hefty wrought iron bracket on the upper outer edge of the offending post, and hang an equally hefty counter-weight (mega flower basket maybe?) off the bracket. Then soften up the ground as per the hose idea, and sit back and wait as the magic occurs! Voila! 🙂
You might have something there? At least someone here knows a bit about engineering principles..
Just leave the fucking things shut and go through the neighbours[reasonably quietly ?]
They might – and this is just a remote possibility – just might notice me driving through their back garden past their kitchen window?
I have a big mother of a chain saw. Let me know where your gaff is and I'll get yer gate sorted.
It'll be great practice for cutting up Politicians heh!
I misread that at first. I thought you meant you had a mother whose a chainsaw. It's quite a good description of some women I know.
Drive a piece of rebar into the ground at a 45DEG angle away from the offending post. Place the rebar about a yard away. Using wire rope tie two loops with a turnbuckle in-between. Install one loop around the top of the post and the other around the piece of rebar. Tighten.
It would pull out. I'd need something more substantial as an anchor!
Blimey GD, you've actually precipitated a raft of practical solutions to your problem. (And a couple of fucking stupid ones, but that was to be expected.) However, if it was my gate, I'd put an Acro bar (those builder's poles with a screw thread) between the posts to push the offending post upright, dig out a bit of the groundwork on the inside of said offending post, and fill with concrete. But what you really need to do if you want a proper job is what you've dismissed as being too much like hard work, that is to re-set the post in a much heftier concreted hole.
Haven't you got a few friendly Pikeys round your way who could do the job for a few quid? Over here, for that sort of job we just get a few Albanians in to sort it out. They're good and they're cheap,
The Interweb has its uses occasionally. I did toy with the Acro bar idea [along with my suggestion above of using a beam] to prise them apart but the problem then is that the Acro has to stay in place until the concrete has set. I more than likely will go with the idea of digging out the side of the post and adding some extra foundation there.
I'd ask the Pikeys all right but then I'd end up with no gate and a very badly asphalted driveway.