Repairing Gates is a common task on the Farm, so this time I tried to fix one myself. Having removed the rotten panels and side posts I set about replicating the mortice and tenon joints using a saw and chisel. It took me ages and I couldnt help thinking of the old farmer who used do all this by hand week in and week out with the most simple tools. I had the use of electric light so could work in the evenings but in the old days all these repairs had to be fitted in during dailylight hours on the Farm. Once the frame was put back the whole thing was fastened with dowels – you can see the original ones on the side of the gate. These were simple bits of branch from birch/hazel which were cut to shape and inserted into the holes and they are just as strong as nails or screws. The brackets I managed to salvage and reuse as well. Then I sanded down all the wooden surfaces and covered the gate with 3 coats of Danish Oil. A masterpiece (sort of!) but it probably took me 10x longer than it should have done.

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