Making a quick rope gate

Yesterday, our renter transferred his cows to this section, so I added making a gate to my to-do list for this morning.

Before I started on it, though, I painted the gates. One side is now done, and the other now has its first coat done and just needs a second coat.

This is the area I needed to work on.

20180609.mowing.barn

Sort of. I didn’t take a photo, because I thought I had one, but this picture from a year ago was the best I’ve got.

To the right of the barn is where there used to be a barbed wire gate. Right now, the renter has an electric fence across it. Which works fine, unless the power is lost for some reason. Then this happens.

20180906.cows3

The entire fence line needs to be replaced, so it’s not worth building a proper gate. Even the big fence posts there now are loose and tipping.

So what to use instead?

It’s just a back up if the electric fence gives out for some reason, so I wanted something that was quick, highly visible and inexpensive.

I had some rope I picked up before we moved, in my craft supplies. I was originally intending to make rope baskets, but we ended up finding other uses for it, including wrapping some around the chain we have across our main gate, to increase visibility. It’s bright orange with reflective bits.

Whenever I was in town and remembered to do it, I picked up some larger screw eyes, then later I got a couple of carabiners. I had considered other types of hooks or fasteners, but carabiners are just really handy.

This is the result.

The first thing I had to do was use bolt cutters to cut away pieces of the old barbed wire gate. Then I could access the posts to insert the screw eyes. The wood is soft enough that I could screw them in without pilot holes. When they got deep enough that it was getting painful to grip the eye while turning them, I slipped a screwdriver through the eye and used it for leverage.

I had intended to have doubled rope at top and bottom, but having used as much of the rope as I’ve already done, I didn’t have enough, so only the top one is doubled.

Well, of course the camera focused on the grass behind, instead of where I wanted it to… LOL You can still see the flecks of reflective material woven into them, though.

The rope has quite a bit of elasticity to it, which allowed me to pull it fairly tight before knotting it to the carabiners, and still be able to unhook the carabiners, as needed. The other end just has the screw eyes.

It’s not much of a barrier for a cow, but they will be able to see it and avoid it. The deer will also be able to see it and know to jump it, though there is some possibility that they’d catch the electric fence on the other side. I’m hoping they’re close enough together that it won’t be an issue.

It’s very much a temporary fix, but it’ll do the job for now. And it doesn’t involve barbed wire.

These are the bits I’d cut loose from the old gate. The rest of it, I had to just push aside as close to the fence as I could.

I’m developing a serious dislike of barbed wire fencing.

The Re-Farmer

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