Thursday, July 24, 2014

Reinforcing Combo Panels II

In the first installment of reinforcing combo panels, I took some 2x4's and nailed them onto the metal panels. This worked great - they were stronger and more easier to manipulate.

Unfortunately, time (and animals) worked many of the nails out, causing the boards to flop and the panel to bend. So, last week, I took some scrap metal cuttings and some heavy-duty screws and reinforced them....again.

The metal pieces wrap around the panel wires and screw into the wood.
I also overlaid it across the chicken wire to add extra durability there.
 The panels are now 10 times stronger, at least.

I ended up adding 6 metal pieces to each panel (16 panels), for a total of 96 metal pieces and 192 screws. Thankfully, my neighbor let me borrow the most awesome drill in the world, and it only took about 2 hours of total work. I did have to pause halfway through due to lacerating my thumb pretty bad (and bleeding all over everything) when one of the pieces came loose and spun during drilling. It hurt.  :(

In addition to the metal side, I also added some pieces to the vertical post to help the structural integrity of the middle of the panels.

The vertical pieces provide extra durability and visual aesthetic.
And, I finally finished adding all of the eye hooks for pins.

The eye hook pins making securing a breeze, and also make good hinges and locks
for the door panel to the chicken yard.

So, this is finally complete. It's been a project I've dreaded, since I knew it would be tedious and very un-glamorous. However, I am thrilled it's done, and I can finally sigh a deep sigh of relief knowing that the panels are in top shape now. It does make moving them a lot easier, as the extra security makes the panels more stable during moving, and the pins make attaching them a lot faster.

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