Sunday, May 20, 2007

Construction Day

One of the things I enjoy doing is construction. I feel a certain sense of satisfaction when I've created something from a pile of lumber and nails and it somewhat resembles what I set out to build.

Carli called me last week and said she needed a trellis for her apartment balcony. Her potted vining plants were growing out of the pots and they were in need of a place to start clinging. I had been thinking about making a milking stand for the sheep, and I still needed to make the tomato cages. This was the perfect excuse to go to my one of my favorite stores, Lowe's.

Carli was off on Thursday, so she came over to help. We made a list of materials and went to the store. Don't you just love the smell of fresh lumber? We also got a few more flowers for the front flowerbeds while we were at it.

One of the flowers I got. It's a Susan G. Komen for the Cure "Dahlietta Louise Dahlia".

$250 later we sidetracked to the bank so Carli could run an errand. After she came out of the bank I realized it was 12:30 and I was hungry. There's a nice little Japanese restaurant called "Miyoshi" in that shopping center and we both agreed it sounded really good. Finally, after some delicious sushi and teriyaki chicken we headed for home.

finished trellis

I had drawn out some vague plans for the trellis the night before, so I had an idea of how it would come together. It was surprisingly simple. I placed the redwood lattice between a frame of 1" X 3" boards and screwed them all together. The only change I made to my original plans were of the feet. I think originally I had made the feet too complicated. Maybe if I had a bandsaw I could have made them look nicer, but everything worked out in the end.

For the tomato cages I had purchased a fifty foot roll of "remesh" wire, originally designed for use with cement work to add strength and stability for sidewalks, etc. Last year I had used a three foot tall 2" X 4" thin wire fencing. The problem with that was it was too short, and the holes were too small to reach through to pick the tomatoes. Consequently I had to reach through the top to get the fruit. The remesh was thick wire with 6" X 6" holes. Perfect.

roll of remesh wire

I used bolt cutters to cut the remesh at 4' 6" intervals. Then while wearing gloves and using pliers I joined the two edges together by bending a cut portion around the opposite edge. It was very dirty work because the wire was rather rusty. I was going to include a picture of my shorts and legs showing all the rust transfer, but the pictures were less than flattering. I wouldn't want to be accused of causing any urpiness to anyone.

Carli's new trellis on her balcony.

The trellis ended up fitting perfectly on the balcony (measure twice, cut once!). The tomato cages not only fit well, but they actually look half way decent too. They are very sturdy and I have high expectations. Tomato lady, you're welcome!

Happy tomato plants.

Next week I will work on the milking stand and hopefully I will have just as happy an ending.

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