View Full Version : DIY disaster

31st Jul 2006, 13:42
Dateline: Last Saturday.
Best mate called and said would I come up and and help with his three kids as his wife was away. No problem, I'm off, pick the kids up from school (all at different bl00dy times) have a barby, few beers, and stay over. Great.

At the barby he says 'Could you hang on a bit tomorrow, I need some help fixing the gates, I want to reverse them so they open out.'

I've been conned into a DIY marathon. B*stard.

These are big 7ft tall wooden gates, planks on the outside and inside with big crossbars in the middle. Three hinges on each one. 10am, we try to lift one off the hinges. Doesn't budge. Give it a massive one-two-three and it comes off, and starts to fall on top of me. Swearing profusly saved me being squashed like a bug.

So, we went to take the hinges off and attach them to the other side of the post. No chance. We'd put up this ourselves, for keeps. 'Get a drill' says I, and unscrew them. He produces a drill the size of a briefcase and attacks a screw. He strips the head and melts the star drill bit, then he does it again. 'Oops, that wasn't reverse'. 'Actually it doesn't have reverse' :ugh:
Hour and a half.

We had to use a hacksaw to get those off. Reattaching the hinges on the other side of the post. I suggest in the strongest terms we pre-drill all the holes WITH A SMALLER FECKING DRILL. He drills, and brakes the bit. Redo all the markings slightly. You can't put a screw through a drill bit.
Fix hinges and hang the gate (without getting squashed).
Maybe an hour.
Go to open the gate, and it sticks on the brick lip of the driveway. It's too low.
Lift the damned thing off, take hinges out, raise them and do it all over again.
An hour. It's raining now.

Right, the opposing gate. Easy. We're experts now. gate off, hinges swapped, etc. Me: 'What about measuring this again.' Him: 'I already did'.

Ceremonial first opening of the da-da-daaa gates. Above the brick, check. level check. Ability to open more than 3/4's because the wall of the house is blocking the hinge. Oops.
Try the other one. Blocked by the fence. 3/4's only. It also overlaps it's partner by an inch, and is an inch too high.
You can't close them. Nowhere near. They meet about two feet out from where they should. It's now dark.
I started laughing, my mate went off to have a cigar and was muttering to himself.
He builds fences and gates as a sideline.
We had to tie it shut with rope.

Another DIY disasters from all you well educated, multitasking ppruners?


31st Jul 2006, 13:54
I've been conned into a DIY marathon. B*stard.
When I was but a single youth, a senior manager where I worked had two pretty daughters and a large property with a swimming pool (unusual in the 60s in the UK).
He would invite myself and another (gullible) youth out to his pad "to swim with the girls - they get so lonely living so far out of town".
True to his word, he would provide the girls, the pool (and beer!).
However . . .
"Whilst you're here, I know you're Engineers," (my mate specialised in engines) "will you have a look at my tractor?" (used to cut the extensive grass-paddock) "I haven't been able to start it recently. There's tools in the shed."

Fell for it every time too . . .

31st Jul 2006, 14:31
First rule of DIY is know what you are doing, or at least have an idea.

Have you considered cake making because gates are obviously not your forte?

31st Jul 2006, 14:45
Trouble with making cakes is that you can't go back and add/subtract salt/sugar or liquid.

Work friend (not the engine engineer) built a patio. Got fed-up with mixing concrete (heavy work turning the heaps, especially when wet), so he decides to fill the area (and volume) with dry-mix only, then 'waters-in' the mix with the hose-pipe.

31st Jul 2006, 14:54
He might have saved himself the trouble of getting out the hose if he'd waited till it rained. Rains often there.

31st Jul 2006, 14:56
Would probably have avoided washing the 'fines' down to the bottom too.

Bloody women! WHY do they know about what they don't understand? :ugh: