I am not suggesting you build this weekâ€™s project. This is a project that should probably be made from steel and by someone who knows what he or she is doing or at least has some liability insurance. I am simply telling you what happens behind the closed doors of our shop and what may be of interest to you. This is project gate crossing.
I like to check our little group of cattle pretty often. These trips are made on a four wheeler which means I have to open the gate each time I cross. I spend much of my life building things to remedy that which irritates me; opening gates is an irritant.
I started my project by cutting a twelve foot 2 x 8 in half then cutting each end at a 45 degree. These ends were then screwed together to form an upside-down â€œvâ€ or truss. I laminated the junction with two pieces of plywood that were both glued and fastened with screws over the junction of the 45 degree angles. I always use screws as they hold better and I can remove them to fix my numerous mistakes. I placed the trusses on top of 2 x 6 boards that would serve as skids to move the whole structure.
I placed the two mounted trusses facing each with about five feet apart between them, then started at the bottom and began spanning the distance with 2 x 4 boards. I placed the boards about five inches apart and quit after I got to sixteen inches high. At this point I fastened a 2 x 6 across the distance created by the â€œvâ€ of the truss. This board was where I fastened more 2x 4â€™s to create a flat plain at the height of sixteen inches. The whole idea is that I will climb the ramp with my four wheeler to sixteen inches, then land onto the plat plain before driving down the ramp at the other end of the â€œvâ€ truss. The cattle wonâ€™t climb the boards because they are oriented the narrow way, on their edge. The 2 x 6 that creates the base for the flat space is also buttressed by one pier at itâ€™s middle point.
This is a simple project but one that would be dangerous if not properly constructed-consult an expert. I adhere to a few simple construction techniques that have served me pretty well that I will share. I glue and fasten most boards, plus I use an unholy amount of screws just to make sure nothing falls apart. I never rely totally on screws to hold anything. I try to build like post and beam carpenters in that I place wood in such a way that one piece will hold the other up and that the fasteners are just there to keep things from wiggling apart. A good example is that I place blocks of wood between each 2 x 4 step to keep them from twisting. I also ran a 2 x 4 along the bottom of each side of the junction where the truss and step met so that the fasteners do not bear the considerable weight of man and machine. I also ran a board at a 45 degree angle along the backside of each ramp and the flat plain too eliminate any flex. Finally, laminating the junction of two boards with plywood and glue is a technique that Ross Cota from Red Lake Falls, MinnesotaÂ recently taught me (thanks, Ross.)
I donâ€™t know if you have cattle but it seems most folks have a four wheeler. I hope this little project is something you can have made or at least makes you think of what can make your atv more enjoyable. I enjoyed this project and it cost less than $110 so I can probably afford to enjoy it again.