Small Title

An Elevated Line -
Supporting Structure

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The track deck is timber planking 6" wide by approx. 5/8" thick (a) bought in 8' lengths. Timber subframes are from standard 2" by 1" (b) also in 8 ft. lengths;

Supporting fence posts are 3" by 3" (c) varying in height from 9" to 29". The height of the posts will need to be adjusted to compensate for variations in the level of the garden to achieve a level running track. My preference is for the line to average 2 ft. above the ground.

The side wall sections are 12" to 15" long cut from 2" by 1/8" timber (d). I get my wood supplier to cut several pieces of 2" by 1/8" from one length of 2" by 1". The side walls retain the loose laid ballast in place and give a tidy, finished appearance to the structure. It is very important to leave a narrow gap between adjacent sidewall sections to allow water drainage from the decking.

The metal fence spikes ("Metposts") (f) can be obtained in various lengths. Mine have 18" or 2ft. spikes. Driving them into the ground (e) can be hard work. I found it easier to hammer the upturned Metpost onto the well oiled end of the fence post first - working against a concrete garage floor - using a post offcut held against the base of the retaining sleeve to transmit the hammer blows and slowly force the post into place. The fence post and Metpost can then be driven into the ground as a complete unit using a spirit level to make frequent checks for vertical alignment.

The timber used was rough sawn rather than smooth planed. Rough sawn was cheaper and gave a good key when brushing on preservative. Track deck sections and supporting frames were joined using both galvanized round head nails and outdoor grade PVA glue. I drilled pilot holes through the track deck where nails were required in order to avoid splitting the wood. The fence posts were spaced at 3ft. to 4 ft. intervals. These posts were a very tight fit in the "Metpost" sleeves. It helps to smear a liberal coating of engine oil on the end of the post and the inside the Metpost sleeve before attempting to force the post into position.

I applied three coats of (child & pet friendly when dry) fence & shed preservative to the finished structure. You can buy the timber ready treated but there's an increased hazard from the resulting sawdust - do all the work outdoors and wear a decent face mask.

The diagram and text on this page are copyright (c) Paul Backhouse 1999 and may not be reproduced or distributed without the owner's permission.

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