Ledge and brace gate kit from Wickes

posted Feb 14, 2011, 2:39 PM by Jim Sear   [ updated Feb 14, 2011, 2:52 PM ]
Monday, 26 February 2007
Have you ever woken up, gone to work, and wished you hadn't?
That was how I started feeling this morning.
I was scheduled to fit a round top gate, but first I had to collect it from Wickes. The lady had seen an advert in one of their brochures for a 6' x 3' gate priced £35. That should have sounded alarm bells straight away (Good thing no cheap, cheap thing no good!). Did they have the item? Yes! The only thing was, it was in bits, a flat-pack, in kit form, ready to assemble. Call it what you will, it wasn't a gate. It was a pile of wood that needed to be assembled, screwed, and cut to size!
Thirty five pounds for a gate is cheap. Thirty five pounds for a heap of white wood is not. Now add to that T-hinges, Suffolk Latch, Breton gate bolts, wooden posts, and some door stop and the Wickes bill was way past £35, in fact it was over double that. Assembly of the "gate" is simple enough. (Best ignore the instructions). Normally, I would be able to assemble and install a gate in about an hour. This morning wasn't normal - it was one of those Monday mornings. The brickies who built the house were good. The brickie who threw up the garden wall was not.
He was probably from Pisa. He was very probably Pisian when he built the wall. No big deal. We can compensate for that. Just offset the posts to compensate. Compensate an inch and a half over six feet! Then the drill bit broke. Then the chuck seized. Then the Torx driver sheared. Then I spilled my entire screw box in the grass. Then I drunk a freezing cold cup of tea. Then I felt like giving up! Needles to say I soldiered on, and eventually the job was done, the lady was happy, and I was glad to be on my way.
Onwards to Shinewater and install a blind in the living room. That one went without a hitch, and by then I'd gotten(what a horrible americanism!) through the morning and the sun was shining again. One of those mornings was over.
In the afternoon I had to build a windbreak and seat in a restaurant. Those who know me know I generally have a plan before I start something, but rarely follow that plan if a better idea comes along. Planning is for people who do not want to work but want to make themselves look busy. General Eisenhower had a famous quote. "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." Very country boy, but he does make a good point.
The client had a vague idea of what they wanted. I like vague. It leaves plenty of room for me to fill in the detail. I asked if they minded if I made some suggestions, and they agreed with them all. So off I went to Howdens for a door, and then onto KB Glass for some, wait for this.... glass. Howdens is primarily a kitchen supplier to the trade, but also has a vast range of doors in stock. I get most of the doors I fit from there. KB Glass is a third or fourth generation business run by Keith. He is friendly (I don't deal with unfriendly people), and knows a whole lot about glass. If its glass he can do it. Visit his website here. When possible he will cut and supply while you wait. He's reasonably priced and good advice is freely available.
Back at the restaurant I built the windbreak from the door, glazed it, and made the bench from materials the client had saved.

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