Wow. I can’t believe I started this project a month ago almost to the day and this took me a month. Granted I got sidetracked with a few other projects along the way but still. It was kind of the kind of project I don’t really like. Repetitive. I like making one, or maybe two of something, to make twelve of something got a bit boring at times. Too much like an assembly line. Doing the first of each operation on the first one then the second was fun, on the twelfth, not so fun. But, by the third or fourth I had each process nailed down.
I finally got some time Sunday and Monday to work on this and on Sunday it took a good part of the day just stapling the screens on all twelve frames. Then on Monday I mounted the mounting hardware to each frame and to the posts of the raised gardens. Again, that took a good portion of that day.
Well here’s one of the 4 foot frames with the screen and mounting hardware installed. The screen is 1/2” mesh chicken wire or poultry screen as they call it, vinyl coated. I used stainless steel staples to fasten the screen to the frame and had to buy a pneumatic staple gun to do it. All my pneumatic staple guns take 1/4” or 1/2” staples and the only stainless steel staples I could find were Arrow type T50 which are neither. So for $25 I found a Surebonder staple gun at Blain’s Farm & Fleet. I was not about to kurr-chunk by hand a 1,000 staples. I was previously using 1” mesh galvanized chicken wire but even with the galvanizing it rusted in a year. So when I saw this vinyl coated chicken wire I thought I’d use it figuring it would last longer even though it was 1/2” instead of the 1” I was used too. Probably a better move anyway, keep even smaller critters out.
The hardware to hold the frame/screen in place consists of 2” Hooks & Eyes and some Mending Braces as they’re called that are 1-1/2” x 1-3/8”. Two Mending Braces are installed on the bottom inside of each frame and serve to catch the 2x of the raised garden thus holding the frame in place in conjunction with the raised garden’s posts. The hooks & eyes then hold the frame to the posts at the top.
When I was trying to come up with a way to mount the frame/screen assembly I had two criteria, first it had to be easy to remove/replace the screen for easy access to the garden, and second it had to be easy to fabricate or cheap to buy. The cost for this seems pretty reasonable. The Mending Braces came 4 to a pack for $1.99 so one pack covered two frames and the Hooks & Eyes came 2 to a pack for $0.99 so one pack per frame. I then used stainless steel 10×1” screws to mount the Mending Braces so 4 of those where $0.62. So for $2.61. per frame/screen I had an decent way to attach them that met the criteria. Still, $2.61 adds up when it’s times 12.
Here’s a close up of one of the Mending Braces installed on the bottom of a frame.
And a close up of an eye installed at the top of a frame.
Here’s a picture of drilling template I made to drill the holes in the posts for the hook. Having to do 24 of these I did not feel like measuring and marking each of the 24 holes individually.
Top view of the drilling template. As a sidebar, I really do like that Makita driver I picked up a while back as discussed here, and find it extremely useful. If you’ll take note of the stop for aligning the template with the edge of the post, it’s made so the template works on the right or left side of a post.
This picture shows the top of the template again and how I know were to put the hole.
This picture shows the frames/screens installed and how the Mending Braces and Hooks & Eyes join forces to hold the screens in place.
A close up of one of the posts showing the the mounting hardware.
And finally, an overall view of one of the two raised gardens with the screen assemblies installed.
-- -Curt, Milwaukee, WI