We’re at the end of our concrete fence project. So far, we’ve covered everything from buying the lot to fabricating and installing the gates. This time, I’d like to show you those gates and the terrible state they were in once we’d hustled the wall crew off of the property. Then we’ll take a look at how we repaired the damage ourselves and put the gates right.
Do The Hustle
As we’ve covered elsewhere in this concrete wall project saga, we had a falling out with the architect who designed and built our wall. As our project came to a close, his priority shifted to other projects. Our project suffered. Finally, with the gates hung and the lot rolled and compacted, we handed the wall crew their hats.
The State Of The Gates
We had contracted with the architect to fabricate, install and paint our gates. Hustling the crew off of the property as we did meant that the painting was left to us. After just a couple of weeks, we saw how poorly the gates were welded and primed.
The primer began to peel off in places and it was obvious that the metal surface of the “tubular” steel had not been prepped properly.
The welder cut notches in the steel to accommodate the mounting of the hinge “pins”. The mounts wound up looking like they were welded by an untrained monkey. There were huge gaps all around them where water would surely get in and rust the steel to nothing.
The welds were ground flush but the welder left the fresh steel exposed from grinding unpatched and unprimed.
It was clear that the gate fab was substandard. We had to fix the problems ourselves.
Gate Repair: It’s Up To Us
We sanded all of the rusted spots and I patched the gaps and holes with polyester body filler called Polituff. The filler comes in two parts: the resin and the hardener. It sets up very quickly. It was hard to work with.
Some areas that we couldn’t reach with sandpaper were treated with a rust converter product made by Turco. The converter is a liquid that is applied by brush. It chemically converts rust and stops the rusting process. It’s paintable.
The wood slats mounted on the angle bar lip around the inside of the gates are made from local Yakal wood. It’s very tough, dense, and weather-resistant. Our neighbor’s son helped us stain all of the slats with an oak stain and give them a coat of polyurethane.
My wife, Menchu, had to really shop around for the short carriage bolts used to mount the yakal slats. We wanted and asked for galvanized steel nuts and bolts. What we found out later – too late – was that the nuts were galvanized but the bolts were not! Usually, you can tell galvanized steel from regular steel but I could not see a difference between the nuts and bolts. All of the bolts rusted.
Our gates were finished. Our concrete hollow block fence was finished.
And now it was time to move on to building the house!