So my railings sat at the powder coaters for a week and a half but they finally were completed. The coating had turned out fantastic. The color that had finally been decided on was a textured flat black. I had previously ground some of the visible welds and so with the powder coating added to the smoothed out seams the finish looked great. Like I have talked about previously I have always struggled with finishing procedures. Normally the railings would have got a coat of Tremclad tossed on them however I have zero regrets going with powder coating. It gives the project a very pro look to it.
At last I would be able to see some completion with the railing project. Like always the most satisfying parts of the projects are always so short lived. It is always the behind the scenes work that ends up being so time consuming. When the time comes to see everything come together the work doesn’t last long enough for my liking.
To mount the railings into the gazebo was simple. All the sections had already been custom fabricated to their pre determined locations. The holes were already marked from when I mounted the railings in the jig. Nothing more then drilling some holes and screwing each section into place. They all got attached using 3 inch pan head screws. I would love to eventually find a supplier of black hardware. The odd fastener is easily found in a black finish but for the most part I end up having to finish the screws and nuts myself. I sandblast all the new hardware to get rid of the shiny chrome finish. Then they all get a few coats of flat black spray bomb. The hardware doesn’t take any abuse so the spray bomb is sufficient.
The steel railings were going to get capped of with a wooden handrail. I wanted to add the wood to them simply to help tie everything together. The railing caps were pressure treated lumber purchased pre-fabbed in 6 foot lengths. They all got a couple coats of paint first before getting chopped up and installed. Since all my main support posts for the gazebo are not set 100% accurate in regards to their angle I needed to custom set every angle for every railing section before slicing them up with the chop saw. It was well worth the added effort. The railing caps were attached to the steel railings using a half wood screw and half machine screw stud. I had already predrilled the steel before sending them out to the powder coaters. It was a simple procedure of marking holes, drilling, and clamping the caps down using acorn nuts that, too, were sandblasted and painted.
2 of the 3 flower box holders were hung and the flower boxes were dropped in place. Voila, finito compleato! Railings for the gazebo? Check! The railings are officially done. Many years ago I used to be one of those guys that always had 1 or 2 lingering details that still needed to be finished after completing a project. I have finally trained myself to reach for completion and when the project is done that means it is actually done. In the case of the railings, they are done!
So what’s next? Well there are a few things on my plate. I need to get back onto the fireplace I started, next stage in that project will include some metal fabricating in the garage. I still have the soap box for my daughter that is somewhat of a side project but I do need to get it done soon so that some enjoyment can be had before the snow falls. Then there are always a few side projects I have on the go for other people.
The soapbox is a priority “in between” job. Unfortunately I need to introduce a new project into the mix. The issue is this. I like nature and I like wildlife. I enjoyed working along side the robins that had previously shacked up in my gazebo. In fact it was just recently discovered that we have another birds nest in one of our spruce trees. What the species is I am unsure. However there has been lots of bird activity in the yard. I like that. I always try and give wildlife their space and I try and be respectful of there habits and need for survival. So here comes the issue…we have got rabbits scattered throughout the neighbourhood. It is getting to be a serious issue. They ended up destroying hundreds of trees this past winter by chewing the bark off clean. I called the cities fish and wildlife department to enquire as to any policies in place to deal with this growing problem. The city has no plan and they had no interest in discussing it any further. The problem is getting worse. I have caught numerous baby bunnies that seem to make my yard their home and then my daughter and I take them up to local woodland near by and let them run free there. Okay so what does all this have to do with my next project? My back yard is fenced and completely secure from rabbits except for a section that is waiting for a gate. The gate posts were set in place a few years back, I just haven’t built a gate yet. This weekend was the last straw, the rabbits chewed down the wife’s clematis again. So next up is a gate and therefore the fortress will then be secure. What’s the design? I don’t know yet but it will involve welding and it may involve some lumber to help tie the look in with the rest of the fence. I’ll figure it out as I go.