A Gate For More Seasons

April by

The New Deck

A cedar-plank deck I built a dozen years or so ago gave out as they can if one is disinclined to stain them and are otherwise less than assiduous with annual maintenance. Some cedar lasts regardless, some does not.

This deck was of the latter sort. So I pulled it apart and bought a load of fresh planking from a long time friend who runs a small mill. Great looking stuff. So much so that assigning it to a new deck didn’t seem right somehow

As it happened, due to the vicissitudes with which small mill operators are often faced, my friend needed to find another location for his….and to get rid of a big pile of cedar sawdust.

About then that new planking, nicely stacked and separated, seemed to want to become a gate. A pair of them actually, spanning an access to my shop about 16′ wide. The existing gate, not a bad one all in all, had been built of cedar slabs over a frame of rough fir 2”x6”.

Taking it apart left me with a pile of cedar slabs….with still a fair bit of life left in them.

That, together with a ready supply of cedar sawdust and an open space in need of finishing in some fashion formed almost alchemically into a concept. It seemed that laying a thick bed of sawdust over conveyer belting and setting into it slabs cut to length might provide a simple, ground-level deck sufficient to the purpose.

And it has, really. Oh the slabs warp some and rock a little underfoot at times, a minor agility test of sorts, requiring some not unhealthy foot-to-ground awareness. But this is not a high traffic area or a staging platform. It merely provides shape and access to some flower beds. It’s different. It uses what was in need of a use. It provides visual contrast. I like it.

The old decking? Some of it was trimmed and racked for some future rough use elsewhere, the rest was made kindling.

The New Gate


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