Friday, 20 May 2016

New gates at the orchard

We took delivery yesterday of the new gates for the orchard. It is a pair of galvanised steel  gates, their fittings and the steel hinge posts. One gate is four feet wide and the other is eight feet wide. Together they'll be wide enough to span the gateway at the roadside near the river bridge. 

We'll need to dig some post holes and mount the gate posts in concrete, though for the small gate side the majority of concrete was laid in December 2015 as a reinforced concrete beam which presently hidden underground. We've chosen to have a smaller gate on the right hand side near the stile so we can enable access for dog walkers to the public footpath without opening the main gate. We'll have some type of gate closing arrangement which will prevent people from leaving the small gate open after they've left. Certain features will be added to the gate to provide enhanced security in addition to the covert camera system.

We were going to build wooden gates bespoke to the old gateway, but recent vandalism and crime at the site has convinced us that a timber gate may be open to abuse and damage. We'll preserve the existing old sandstone gateposts in place, but they will be redundant. Work on the installation is planned to commence soon. The new gates will be reinforced to prevent future "accidental" damage.

Edit: 21st May

Thank heavens for the internet! The steel square section gate posts were supplied with matching ground socket tubes and cap plates. I've been trying to work out the most appropriate way of installing the socket tubes. Unfortunately the square base plate at the end of the socket is too wide to fit through the existing 160 mm round hole I've already cast for a wooden post in the concrete beam back in December. 

I was thinking I'd have to angle-grind the baseplate to a 150 mm circle to allow the socket tube to fit through the beam. The steel is about 8 mm thick so this would have taken a while to complete. Fortunately it started raining just as I was setting up the 110v AC generator for the angle grinder so I had to stop. I used the time to do some research on the Internet as to the best way to undertake the installation of the post sockets. Eventually, after almost an hour of search, I came across a single reference to field gate post sockets. It seems you only use the sockets if you want removable gate posts. This is not essential for our purposes. We can just directly and permanently concrete them in position. It makes life a lot more simple for the installation.

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