Functional but not always Pretty

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Blog entry by WoodMosaics posted 12-05-2008 12:17 AM 2137 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

To keep you from thinking I only make nice looking things, I thought I would show a few things around the farm here that serve there purpose but can’t be mistaken for being pretty. It will also show you that I can cobble things together with the best of them.

About 30 years ago I made part of my goat barn completely out of pallets (walls and roof). I made stalls out of scrap wood also; I used small skids for the gates. I drilled holes for the nails to be used as hinge pins and used the bottom boards as the hinge. 30 years latter I am still using that hinge a couple times a day. It doesn’t have to be fancy for a goat. Here are two of the gates,

Three bottom boards;

Gate for Goat Stall (1)

And four bottom boards;

Gate for Goat Stall (2)

It has always kind of surprised me that they have lasted so long.

This past summer I redone a small enclosure to put the few sheep we have into at night. With the old setup the gate swung 90° back against a building I could hook it to, but now it had to swing 180° back against the fence to hook. I needed a hook to hold the sheep gate open when I let them out in the morning. And I needed to be able to stand in the opening when I shut it so if the sheep got spooked they maybe couldn’t run out the opening before I got the gate shut. I wanted it to be fast and easy to hook and release so I came up with this and it fits the bill. If I were to make it over I would make the bottom slot for the swivel about an inch further back toward the tail end, but it works fine as it is so it will stay. I made it out of Hedge (Osage Orange, Bois D’Arc, Bo dock, Bow wood) so it will outlast me out in the weather. (I keep a supply of hedge around that I have slabbed up with a chain saw. I use it for my jigs and things like this, not for my pieces as it changes color to much and to fast.)

Back side;

New gate hook to hold the gate open

Front side;

View of gate hook from other side

I can just push the gate open and it catches it fine. It is placed close to the hinge side of the gate so I have no trouble standing in the opening and reaching it to release the gate.

Thank you for looking,
Robin Tucker

-- It’s not so much what we know that causes the trouble, it’s what we know that’s not so.

4 comments so far

View trifern's profile


8135 posts in 5104 days

#1 posted 12-05-2008 01:37 AM

Nice solution, no one’s going to “get your goat.” Thanks for sharing.

-- My favorite piece is my last one, my best piece is my next one.

View Greg3G's profile


815 posts in 5422 days

#2 posted 12-05-2008 05:30 AM

Very inventive. By the way….Osage orange is said to make great mallet heads and handles. I heard it a bear to turn but it has great durability and strength.

-- Greg - Charles Town, WV

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5299 days

#3 posted 12-05-2008 03:07 PM

Yep, Robin, form follows function and sometimes that’s all you need. That ol’ Hedge is some tough stuff. I heard that they used it to color Khaki uniforms in WW1. Makes great fence posts but you can’t drive a staple in it after it drys.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5497 days

#4 posted 12-24-2008 08:27 PM

yup.. gotta love ingenuity

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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