Monday, November 14, 2011

Dog Walk and A-Frame Bite The Dust

The A-frame side boards are what rotted, where the chain pulls
the most tension, and close to ground level.
This fall we discovered that my wooden home built A-Frame and Dog Walk are no longer safe to use.  From tiny cracks, they have finally rotted through in several places.  They only lasted 3 years outdoors despite caulking, several coats of paint, and no excessive use.  Oddly, one could not see the rot from a casual visual inspection.  I accidently pushed my thumb clean through a board trying to move it, then checked everyplace else.  Thank goodness the dogs didn't get hurt because they're on the equipment all the time.

I've been waiting for cooler weather to rebuild, but now that it's cooler weather I always seem too busy.  But I took the time today to assess what materials I need to repair them, and took a few i-photos to illustrate where they gave way on my push.  Seems it was always at the water collection points or where a few pernicious wood mushrooms grew and cracked the wood.

Anybody who doubts the wisdom of getting aluminum equipment for outdoor use if you can afford it, show them these pictures.

I thought I did a good job building my equipment --solid wood, clamped glue, caulk wherever water might gather, primer, several coats of paint, screwed not nailed, reinforced at all the stress points.  But I didn't use pressure treated wood, to save on weight.  On my rebuild, you can bet I'll use pressure treated wood.  My A-frame is on wheels anyway so weight doesn't matter.

Dog Walk rotted under the slats, almost clean across.
The dog walk rotted on the edges just below a feww slats, and was rotten almost clean through under the slats.

I feel naked without my dog walk and A-frame.  The see saw, by the way, is doing fine -- I think because it doesn't have slats holding moisture on the board.  I think I know what I'll be doing the whole month of December.  That will be my Merry Christmas to my dogs.

Upwards and onward!

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