Wednesday, August 12, 2015

to chevron or not to chevron (a diy in progress)

I already mentioned walking the novice course after volunteering at OF's recognized event recently. It was mostly a fact-finding mission; call it research or reconnaissance or whatever. The course was mostly pretty soft, with at least half the fences looking pretty doable to me (and I was proven correct when we did, in fact, school those with no issue).

 looks kinda like extremely carnivorous teeth. maybe even horse eating teeth
But some of the others..... Well, they inspired these sharp little intakes of breath. For instance, this bright white chevron. What's difficult to tell from the photograph is that the approach is on enough of an incline that you can see the horizon moving through the cutouts as you come uphill. Spooky, right?

Now I would suck it up and ride Isabel at this thing with everything I'm worth, were we to encounter it on course. BUT. I also did not ask to give it a shot while we were schooling (watch the video closely and you'll see us breezing past it at one point). No thanks!

one man's garbage pile. another's treasure trove of endless diy possibilities!
So, true to form, I decided that maybe we should get a little more mileage over this type of fence. And what better way to do so than by having one at home? It doesn't look that complicated to make, plus we have loads and loads of old 6" boards at the farm from replacing the fencing.

dear board, plz to become chevrons?
I dug around to find a couple likely boards... but damn they were petrified as shit and full of nails that seemed anchored in place by the mortar of age. But then I spotted this old scrap of plywood that looked to be about the right size for making a skinny two-point chevron of reasonable height. Actual measurements proved to be about 7'x17" - good enough, right?

the measuring tape makes this look credibly legit, right? or is it the fancy dotted lines?
Sadly the only cutting tools available at the barn are hand saws and a circular saw that the BM (very reasonably) didn't want me operating. Instead she encouraged me to mark out the lines and said our regular handymen would make the cuts for me. 

first set of lines. looks good, except maybe the thin points wouldn't stand up to a lot of abuse
That plan sounded pretty good to me.... but then I had a really hard time mapping out the lines while the board was in one piece. So I went ahead and used a hand saw to at least get the two pieces that will make up the top and bottom halves of the 'shark's teeth.'

not confusing at all, right?
That made it so much clearer to actually visualize what I wanted - and drawing the lines suddenly got much easier. Except I still screwed it up and made the points too narrow to start. So I started over and drew a bunch more lines.... esp on the bottom half.

if you've had a beer or two, those cuts look straight(ish)
And then given what a mess I'd made of those lines (plus the fact that I had another hour to kill before my lesson), and my need for instant gratification... well, I figured I could make a few more of the cuts with the hand saw. Never mind that just making that first cut had nearly killed me.

my arm is exhausted just looking at this pic
Sawing through old wood is not fun, y'all. This is an example of a project that is MUCH easier with the right tools... Plus my cuts really weren't very straight at all.... But the heart wants what it wants and my heart wants a chevron jump NOW.

and i actually cut along one of the wrong lines on the left side. fml. at least i made it too wide, not too narrow... so theoretically another cut will fix that right up. 
So yea, that's where things stand now. The bottom points of the chevrons are cut out (with probably a little cleaning up, esp that left side, to still be done) and I'll leave the top parts for the guys with the proper tools.

Then it's a question of framing the pieces together and painting it BRIGHT WHITE. The two pieces together measure 4' across, but I can make it wider depending on how I frame them. We will see. Has anyone else done a project like this before? Also, anyone want to take bets on how long it takes before I finish the last few pieces? Lol....

24 comments:

  1. i'll say it again... come here and help me build all my jumps!

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    1. haha perhaps i will. this one is turning out quite a bit jankier than previous efforts... but eh we'll see !

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  2. Dude, I have been dreading jumping one of these things too! I think they look terrifying. Of course, I have no idea how my horse would actually feel about it, but I'm sure she'd pick up on my nerves. I've also build my fair share of jump and standards through the years without any power tools so I totally feel your pain!

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    1. we've jumped a single skinny shark's tooth in the arena before with no issue (even tho i was terrified haha) so idk if these would cause problems or not. this particular fence tho definitely was spooky with the bright white and the uphill approach that really highlighted the cutouts.

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  3. #1 That white chevron LOOKS LIKE TEETH and it's scary. Goodness!

    #2 You deserve an award for doing that without power tools. I don't think my arms could handle it. I'm-a buy you a power saw for your birthday.

    #3 From far away, you can't even tell that your cuts aren't perfectly straight! People will be riding fast. They won't notice!

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    1. haha seriously i could use a jig saw :D hopefully i'll be able to clean it up a little more tho and get it somewhat straighter.

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  4. I feel like you're my kindred spirit in the jump-making sense. Like, if only people would just give us the damn power tools we need, everything would be made in a day.

    Also, since you're framing it anyways, did you think about using the removed teeth for a smaller fence or to add to the big teeth?

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    1. right?? and that's actually an interesting idea that i hadn't thought of... i suppose i could try to make that happen, tho it'll mean rethinking my framing plans... good food for thought!

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  5. Hahaha! Your determination makes me smile! That looks like a very ambitious project!

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    1. eh, it wouldn't be so ambitious if i had the right tools to start with haha. but i'm really eager to see how it turns out!

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  6. LOL OH NO! Okay here's a suggestion: instead of cutting each triangle out from the center of the old wood, why not try cutting out HALF of each triangle along the edes. For example: take one piece of old wood, cut out four right-angled triangles from it by drawing a big X across the middle. Then take two pieces, line up the straight edges, and BOOM: isoceles triangle. You'll need some extra wood pieces to reinforce (this thing will not take a beating, that is for sure) but it should do the trick!

    I love your craftiness. I wish I had access to tools to be so crafty!!

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    1. well that would have been a good idea too, tho doing it that way would mean narrower teeth and a shorter overall jump (height of 2' if i'm understanding correctly). my current plan allows for wider (and presumably sturdier) teeth and a height closer to 3'. we'll see tho!

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  7. See I wish I had the drive that you have. I usually nag my hubby until he builds things lol.
    I think I need one of these now! Buuutt... I should bide my time. DH is all cranky from building the house.
    The trick is to time it well... Then act like you are going to do it yourself... ask his opinion and act confused.... then he will feel exhausted explaining it he will just do it!

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    1. haha i mean, that DOES sound like an easier way to get things done! i'm just too impatient lol

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  8. Wow I'm impressed. In my experience the real trick to riding chevrons is to ride them super straight and go over the middle chevron like it's a skinny. That white one though does look looky-loo. Excited for this DIY!!

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    1. i really have no idea if isabel would care or not... hopefully this will just be an insurance policy!

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  9. Funnily enough, I am working on a chevron fence right now as well! Fortunately though I had a friend with a saw who also wants these fences up, so she made the cuts and I'll be doing to rest! We built one at our last barn and the horses were super chill over them- I think you'll have great success with yours!

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    1. very cool! i'll be curious to see how yours turns out too (probably a bit straighter than this one bc power tools are the bomb lol)

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  10. I didn't even know I wanted one of these, but I do have power tools and it looks fun, haha.

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    1. yesssss you should make one too!!!

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  11. Look at you go. I need to bring you over here and have you help with a headboard!

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    1. lol if you like crooked wobbly lines i can absolutely help you with that!!

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  12. I am super impressed you are even trying this. And that you know how to use a circular saw.

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    1. haha thanks. tho i actually don't know how to use a circular saw... if i did this whole thing would be much easier!!

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