View Full Version : The ugliest thing I ever built

brian Rupnow
09-30-2014, 08:13 PM
Well---In the last 40 years anyways. My son's new house has a fenced backyard, and sometime in the long past some ambitious soul put up a big heavy wooden gate about 4 foot wide, hung on a 3" square timber buried in concrete. The square timber is in really good shape everywhere except at the ground level, where it has rotted off at the level of the concrete. Rather than tearing up a large chunk of backyard and trying to excavate the concrete around the post, my son was able to dig a new hole immediately beside the post and its concrete base. I scrounged around in my store of various bits of pipe, angle, plate, and square tube, and built the "offset ugliest thing ever" tonight. Works like this---The really ugly square tube end with all the odd bits welded to it goes into the 30" deep hole, and the angle (which will be cleaned up and painted) bolts to the side of the square timber post with three 1/2" thru-bolts. The square timber post is then propped up with 2 x 4's until it is plumb and then the hole with the ugly end in it gets filled with wet concrete. Assuming that I can keep my grandkids from messing with things for 3 or 4 days, the post and gate SHOULD be as good as new. I am somewhat mortified by how much my eyesight/welding skills have degraded over the last 10 years. I have three different kinds of welding machines and can't see clearly enough to run a good bead with any of them.
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/BrianRupnow017/UGLIESTTHINGEVER002_zps10c82755.jpg (http://s307.photobucket.com/user/BrianRupnow/media/BrianRupnow017/UGLIESTTHINGEVER002_zps10c82755.jpg.html)
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/BrianRupnow017/UGLIESTTHINGEVER003_zpse3a362d0.jpg (http://s307.photobucket.com/user/BrianRupnow/media/BrianRupnow017/UGLIESTTHINGEVER003_zpse3a362d0.jpg.html)

09-30-2014, 09:22 PM
Uhh, Brian, if you're ever tempted to build an IC engine from weldments, I'd suggest you just remember this project and give that idea a rest. :) :rolleyes:

09-30-2014, 09:33 PM
I think it might have been "better" to use some means of removing the rotten remains of the wooden post from the original concrete foundation, and then install some steel threaded concrete anchors and/or a steel post support and backfill with fresh concrete. Of course, if the second hole had already been dug, then your steel post may have been just as good or "better". However, it may be even better to drive steel rods or angles into undisturbed earth, than to dig a hole and use concrete. The edges of the hole are often loose and crumbly and may not provide good stability.

Jon Heron
09-30-2014, 09:47 PM
Looks like it will work to me Brian, and that's what counts eh!?
It is after all a fence post and not a beautiful miniature working engine eh!?

J. Randall
09-30-2014, 10:09 PM
I had the same problem a while back, son is an electrician and stopped by with his big Hole Hawg drill and just bored it out for me, I replaced it with steel pipe. Had thought about doing something like you did, but liked this solution a bit better.

09-30-2014, 10:45 PM
If it works its not ugly

09-30-2014, 11:47 PM
If it works its not ugly

Ah, so that's what "form follows function" means.

10-01-2014, 12:32 AM
Your right, butt ugly that only a mother could love.:p

Black Forest
10-01-2014, 01:42 AM
Brian I feel your pain on the eyesight thing. I have the same problem when welding. My eyes are very slow to adjust to different light situations as I get older. If a weld is important I have to close my eyes for two or three minutes and then put the helmet on and run a bead. Normally I am in too big of a rush to be patient enough to wait unfortunately.

Don't sweat the welds. So long as the gate stays vertical you are good to go.

John Stevenson
10-01-2014, 04:00 AM
And he's me thinking you meant the cupboard

10-01-2014, 08:32 AM
And you know about ugly cabinets. ;-)

10-01-2014, 08:57 AM
retrofit cabinets painted white to reflect light in greasy environment.
Once cool sound system used as shop radio
butt ugly project request
This is familiar- ;)

10-01-2014, 09:17 AM
I'm with you on the eyesight thing. I have all forms of "cheaters" and magnifiers scattered everywhere. Add in the Essential Tremors, makes soldering surface mount components lots of fun.

Shortly after I moved into my house, I went to the big box store to pick up an under counter water filter, only to realized after I had gotten there that I forgot my glasses. It took me about 3 minutes of moving closer and farther and various forms of squinting to realize that I was staring at the Spanish side of the box. :p

brian Rupnow
10-01-2014, 06:38 PM
John--The cupboards aren't ugly. They're just dirty. The metal thing though---it's ugly!!! I ran over to my son's place from the factory I am currently spending a bit of time at, and it fits the hole and the post perfectly.--Not bad for saying I didn't have any measurements and just cobbled it together from memory of what the application looked like. I will bury the ugly end and cement it in this weekend.

10-01-2014, 09:05 PM
Re: Eye site: Brian,, cataracts,, get them removed and you will see AGAIN!! Had mine done years ago, amazing difference!!
(could also be the wrong lens in your'e helmet had to upgrade mine, and friends have also over the years.)

Black Forest
10-02-2014, 12:31 AM
Brian just take your ugly thing down to city hall and sell it to them as a sculpture to put in front of the court house. Tell them the part with the all the branches correlates to the various branches of the local community working together to come to one unified point that leads to Mother Earth. At only 20,000 dollars it will be a bargain. Over here they put much uglier things on the front lawns and call it art. Do not paint it first. The rust represents the toil of mankind.

brian Rupnow
10-03-2014, 07:09 AM
Well, it's still ugly, but at least the part which will be exposed above ground is shiny!! I drilled 4 or 5 holes for bolts last night to bolt it to the wooden post, and found some ancient brown Tremclad paint that was left over from a job in the distant past to paint it with. Tomorrow I will pick up bolts long enough to go through the angle and the wooden post, and a couple of bags of Sackcrete (a premixed concrete--just add water and mix it up in your wheelbarrow) and after propping the post into its correct vertical position and bolting it to the angle I will fill the hole with the ugly end of my sculpture and hope for success. Blackforest--I think your idea is great, but someone already beat me to the courthouse years ago, and they have a much larger "ugly thing" down there already!!
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/BrianRupnow017/UGLYTHING3001_zps90f2173a.jpg (http://s307.photobucket.com/user/BrianRupnow/media/BrianRupnow017/UGLYTHING3001_zps90f2173a.jpg.html)

10-04-2014, 05:26 PM
But you'd made a 3D CAD drawing before you built it, hadn't you Brian?


brian Rupnow
10-04-2014, 05:41 PM
Michael--You're onto my evil ways---but---this one time I didn't model it in 3D, because I hadn't taken any measurements. All the cad models I do are based on inputing the geometry (dimensions and angles) as I build the models. I have never just modelled something without having the math data to input. If I did that, the model would be meaningless. I installed the ugly post today, and bolted it to the wooden gatepost with enough bolts to hold up the Lusitania. (I am a firm believer in overbuilding). Five 60 pound bags of premixed concrete and five 7/16" diameter x 6" long hex bolts, and a stern warning from Grandpa to all 3 grandchildren to stay away from that gatepost for a week---and thats how I spent my afternoon!!!

brian Rupnow
10-05-2014, 03:12 PM
So there we have it.--The ugliest thing I ever built is set in concrete, bolted to the gatepost. It is probably strong enough now to tether a Sherman tank. The actual gate, which you don't see in the picture, is big enough to fight off Comanche attacks. That's my youngest grandson Brennen posing proudly beside it. (He says he helped!!!)
http://i307.photobucket.com/albums/nn294/BrianRupnow/BrianRupnow017/GATEPOST-DECK-BRENNEN005_zpsb7e59ab0.jpg (http://s307.photobucket.com/user/BrianRupnow/media/BrianRupnow017/GATEPOST-DECK-BRENNEN005_zpsb7e59ab0.jpg.html)

Paul Alciatore
10-05-2014, 06:49 PM
Looks nice to ME.