I was given a damaged pallet the other week and as it could not be reused, it was destined for firewood or a new lease of life recycled as a gate for a mythical apiary that one day may present itself but right now does not exist.
First, you have to decide on the width you want your gate to be and I decided on six vertical slats. As the opening for this gate does not exist this is a slightly easier build than if it was destined for a pacific opening, but still reasonably easy with just a bit more cutting involved. I don’t think it should be any narrower as the six slats are just about right to get a wheelbarrow through and if anything, perhaps slightly wider but six slats are in my thinking today.
It’s easier to cut away using a handsaw parts of the pallet not needed before trying to remove the large blocks and unwanted timbers. The nails in pallets can be real devils to remove and its worth taking a bit of time carefully removing them, rush the job and go to hard and it’s easy to split the wood.
Ok, once the unwanted timber is cut away and prised off it’s basically a gate, but it’s not anything of beauty and it’s also not going to be very strong and will cause problems in the future.As I have a bit of rustic decoration in mind, I want to remove the top rear baton and refit it some 6 inches lower.
With the batten lowered and some of the other timber from the pallet a couple of braces fitted and it looks a whole lot better and stronger. I screwed the braces and repositioned rail and if I wanted to could have reused the nails from the pallet but just for speed, I grabbed a box of screws from the shelf.
So now is the time for a bit of fun and embellishment. As a joiner I have a few toys to play with so remove the pencil from behind my ear few mins sketching, a quick google to make sure I have spelt apiary right and then the six slats makes sense.
A few mins with the jigsaw, free hand routering with the cutter fixed at a set depth, my small grinder with a sanding disk fitted and finally a bit of hand sanding and the finished gate. Much easier with the power tools and the router is the important one that makes life easy but easy to do without the other power tools just a bit more time required.
Up close not something perhaps you would want as your front path as that would need a bit more time and care, but for an out apiary forming a rustic boundary along with a bit of fencing perhaps perfect and rather charming. I have made a couple of these gates now and one is just visible in my banner photo and most people who see them all comment on them and I think they make for a nice look to the apiaries.
All that’s left to do apart for a new apiary site is to chop up the remainder of the pallet take it to the boat and use it to keep me warm for a night or two.