Monday, 2 April 2012


I mastered a new tool on the weekend.
Well, maybe mastered might be a bit of an exaggeration.  But I did overcome my total fear of it - laziness being the driving force.  Using a hacksaw wasn't an option due to access angles and the risk of damaging my knuckles, and a file is slow and puts my teeth on edge.
So what was the tool?

An Angle Grinder!
And why was I using it?

Because I couldn't get screws shorter than 12mm - and they poked out from the 'decorative' wooden corners on my garden bed.  Making them both decorative and dangerous - like cactuses.

What do you think?  SMD says he's happy now, the bed looks more 'finished', though I still have the irrigation pipe top edging to finish.

Bed with 30 x 30 mm corner profile pine.
To fit these corner pieces, which I do admit I like, and make the beds a little safer for kids to run around, I had to unscrew the ends from the bed.  I did this one at a time, rather than disassemble it completely.  Then drill through the sides with clearance holes for the wood screws, hold the corner profile in place, screw, grind the screw ends off, then refit the end piece with the help of SMD to hold it in place.  Then do the same for the other end.

But having solved this design problem for the one bed already constructed - I was able to pre-prepare the pieces for all the other three beds.  Using a production line method to avoid wasting time changing tools continuously.
Drill the holes through multiple sheets of corro at once.  Screw all the corner profiles in place.  Grind the ends off all the screws.  Screw the structural wood supports in place on the end pieces.
And this is what is sitting in my shed as a result.

Sides with decorative corners & ends with structural joiners already in place.
It will now only take a few minutes with an extra pair of hand to put each individual bed together.  But I don't know how long to fit the protective edge on the top yet.

I highly recommend starting with one, almost a prototype, to iron out the bugs, and increase the quality and efficiency of the remaining builds.

A good morning's work.  Thanks to 'Ian Across The Road' (IATR) for the loan of the angle grinder.

And this is some of the soil that is going into the first garden bed.  It is what is left of the straw bale raised no-dig bed that I grew my potatoes in.  Beautiful stuff.  Full of worms, some 6mm or more thick.  Photo doesn't really show how rich & loamy it is though.
A composted down 'no-dig' bed.
I'm still (slowly) working on the second instalment of 'Organic Certification', and reading a couple more books I intend to review.

May your gardens be ever fruitful.

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