Scrap Happy August – a gate

It was too wet to work outside and I was struggling to think of something useful for Rob to do under cover when it occurred to me to offer to teach him how to make things out of green wood by us making a gate together. The one to the veg patch was an old one made out of slate lath and whilst it did the job it was not as beautiful or interesting as I wanted it to be.


When we cut firewood last winter we had stacked some straight logs on the North side of the greenhouse where they would stay cool and slightly damp as material for just such a project.

We selected some pieces that would give us the right lengths and split them with the fro. Half rounds for the frame and eighths for the slats. (And yes the fro is the origin of ‘to and fro’)


The side axe cleaned them all up a bit and roughly shaped the tenons on each end of the top and bottom rails. More detailed shaping was done with the drawknife on the shave horse.

The only powered tool we used was an electric drill to cut 2 holes for each mortice in the side uprights (which were then chiselled out to make oval holes) and pilot holes for the nails that hold the slats in place. I have since bought an augur bit for cutting the mortices by hand. The skill is in cutting the joints so they all go together smoothly even though the wood is curved and twisted!


By the end of the day it was all put together. The only money spent was on a pair of new hinges. Not a bad result for a load of firewood!

Scrap Happy is curated by Kate and we all share our projects on the 15th of the month. You can see all the posts by using these links.

Kate, Gun, Titti, Heléne, Eva, Sue, Nanette, Lynn, Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, Sandra, Linda, Chris, Nancy, Alys, Kerry, Claire, Jean,
Joanne, Jon, Hayley, Dawn, Gwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L (me!)

15 thoughts on “Scrap Happy August – a gate

  1. tialys August 15, 2019 / 8:00 am

    What a charming gate – it looks like it’s been there for decades and I mean that in a good way.
    Have you treated it with anything?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales August 15, 2019 / 10:08 am

      So far I have left it natural. Most treatments seem to change the colour. And since it only cost some time I will make another when it rots away. I enjoy doing them so it is no hardship to spend a few hours in the workshop

      Liked by 1 person

    • Going Batty in Wales August 15, 2019 / 10:25 am

      Maybe on a workday?


    • Going Batty in Wales August 15, 2019 / 10:25 am

      I would be delighted to teach him


  2. dezertsuz August 15, 2019 / 5:07 pm

    That is a wonderful gate, and it’s so nice to do a teaching project. I was interested in all the hand tools you used. We used to go to the Kutztown Folk Festival, and I probably spent the most time watching Amish men turn table legs and do other things with power-free tools. Wood working is so interesting to me! Thanks for sharing this scrappy project!


    • Going Batty in Wales August 15, 2019 / 5:35 pm

      Thank you. I much prefer working with hand tools and was lucky enough to go on a course to learn to work with green wood.


  3. KerryCan August 16, 2019 / 12:28 pm

    Good heavens! I am SO impressed with this! Those scraps will definitely make you happy for years to come!


    • Going Batty in Wales August 16, 2019 / 12:33 pm

      I am not sure how long it will last since I didn’t treat the wood but I am eased with it and it is nice to do something creative indoors but not girlie sometimes so when it rots I will happily make another. Glad you liked it.


    • Going Batty in Wales August 17, 2019 / 3:18 pm

      Thank you.


  4. Laurie Graves August 22, 2019 / 1:54 pm

    Wonderful! Looks great and it is scrappy. A winning combination.


  5. Joanne S September 28, 2019 / 4:04 pm

    This is such a pretty gate and would be a lovely addition to any garden. Very impressive use of hand tools and handwork.


  6. Going Batty in Wales September 29, 2019 / 7:10 am

    Thank you Joanne. I enjoy doing this kind of woodwork and the ‘not straight and square’ suits my country garden. I will be posting similar pieces over the winter I hope.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s