The sign is up!

Have I mentioned I have an awesome brother?

Absolutely the best!

He came over this morning, his truck loaded for bear, to install the sign I made to replace the one that was stolen. And, wow, did he ever go all out!

Once we decided where to put the sign, he used the little legs on the back of it to mark how far apart to set the posts, in the ground.

He started working from the outside of the fence, clearing away some brush growing at the fence line, using the soil auger bit on his drill to make post holes, then using the metal bar to widen the holes. He hit rocks, of course, but was able to either break right through them, or move them. He did have to cut away a section of spruce root, though.

While he worked on the outside of the fence, I worked on the inside.

The area was pretty overgrown, and I worked on cleaning it up so we could access things. This also gave us a chance to take a good look at the corner post, which turned out to be quite solid. It’s just tilting. You can even see how one of the support boards has broken from the pressure!

He ended up setting the 8′ fence posts slightly more than 2′ deep. He brought his post pounder and a level, and had to do a bit of back and forth-ing between them, to get them level at the top.

While he worked on that, I continued clearing undergrowth.

I continued clearing into this area, wanting to have access to the telephone company’s post. My brother confirmed that the green wire is a ground wire.

When planning for tree planting, we need to make sure not to plant over the buried phone wire. In our brother’s property across the road, there is an open alley through the trees. I had figured we just needed to line up with that and we’d be good. However, this post it not at all lined up with the alley.

My brother remembers when the phone lines were buried, and was able to tell me why. My father had asked them to move where they were laying the wire down in the quarter section across the road, so as not to take down the large, mature spruces they would have gone right through. They agreed. Once they crossed to the home quarter, they shifted back to being closer to the north property line. There is another one of these posts near our second gate, right at the north fence line, and my brother says the line was laid from this post to the other.

Which means it continues to shift diagonally, northward, along the way.

It also means the lone chokecherry tree that was allowed to grow in the open grass along the lilac hedge, it directly over the buried phone lines.

*sigh*

I am so thankful that my brother is able to tell me this stuff. He’s the only living person left who knows it! This will help us in working out where to plant trees and bushes.

Here is the corner, all cleared of underbrush. Even the trees that were left to grow got a bit of a necessary trim.

Gosh, it look so much better!

As for the posts, my brother took soil from the ditch to put around the posts. In the process, he cleared the ditch a bit, so that any water in there would not be as obstructed.

We then used his pounder to pack down the soil, with him doing the outside while I did the inside.

What an awesome tool!!! I want one!

I also want one of those steel bars (there was one here, but it got disappeared before we moved here) and a post pounder. 🙂

Then it was time to attach the sign. The legs were trimmed off, but the wood attached to the back was left. Between us, we worked out exactly where it would sit, so that the the remains of the legs on the back lined up with the roundest part of the post. While I held it in place from the inside, he marked the based and drilled a couple of screws at the line, to support the weight of the sign. Then he screwed the sign to the posts at the top, using deck screws, right where he would later add the carriage bolts. Once it was secure, and I didn’t need to hold it up anymore, he drilled pilot holes at the bottom, then enlarged them to the size needed for the bolts.

A perfect fit!

After helping put the washers and nuts on the bolts, I continued cleaning up the undergrowth while he finished attaching the sign.

This is the “after” by the telephone company’s post. I didn’t want to clear out all the small trees, as we do want what little privacy they can give us. Several dead branches from the pair of spruce trees got trimmed off, too.
It’s remarkable how big the pile gets, and how quickly!

Then, while I hauled the branch pile away, adding it to the one that’s out by the spruce grove, my brother added some final touches to the back of the sign.

A board was added for extra strength and stability.

We’re just assuming our vandal is going to try and do something to it, so he also added extra locking washers to the back of the carriage bolts, and other things. They cannot be taken off now!

He also attached the barbed wire to the post and…

… in what seemed like the space of a heartbeat, installed a new fence post. The old one beside it is free floating; completely detached from the ground.

He even added a second one.

In this spot, the fence was so unsupported, my brother was able to lay the barbed wire on the ground, so it would be easy for us to cross the fence. After we were done and he was straightening things up, he installed another post. This time, I was able to provide the post, from the collection of fence posts I’ve been finding as we clean up. Just a couple of new posts, with the old posts keeping the barbed wire properly spaced, the fence is surprisingly more secured, and the wire was taught enough to actually make it difficult to slip between them as we crossed in and out!

Speaking of secure…

For some reason, there was an old post lying loose on the ground, not attached to anything. So we used that to add support to the corner post. My brother brought out a post maul – yet another of his many tools that he brought, just in case! – and was even able to straighten the corner post, just a little bit. Then he added some screws to the support post we added, as well as the one that was already there, to secure them even more. The last thing that was done, was installing the mounting hardware for the newer security camera. It took a while to find a good place for it. I wanted to make sure it covered the area in front of the sign, but also not face the main road. There is enough traffic around there that we’d ended up draining batteries like crazy, from the motion sensor being triggered so often. The mounting hardware also allowed me to adjust the camera even more, to make sure it was aimed exactly where I wanted. Of course, it also has to be set up so it can be reached easily, to switch the memory card and change the batteries.

If our vandal does decide to do something to the sign, we’ll have it on file. The camera isn’t exactly hidden, and may act as a deterrent, too. Unless our vandal is drunk again, at which point, he wouldn’t care if he was being recorded. I’m just hoping that if he does decide to do something to the sign, he’ll see the camera and stop.

Since the sign has our name an address on it, obviously I’m not going to post a picture of it here, but my brother is very happy with how it looks, and I’m very happy to have it up, so much sooner than I expected!

In all, it took us about 3 hours in total, to install the sign, a couple extra fence post, the trail cam, and clean up. Then my brother headed straight home, because he had so much to do at his place this afternoon, too!

Have I mentioned I have the best brother?

It deserves repeating.

Later on, when it’s dark out, I want to go back out and take a photo of the sign with flash, to see how the reflective paint shows up behind the lettering. I know my brother will want to see how it looks, too!

I am so happy this is done and – as a bonus – that corner got cleaned up. It looks so much better. We’re not cleaning up the rest of the fence line until we have planted the berry bushes we intend as a privacy screen.

It’s starting to look really nice out in that corner!

The Re-Farmer

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