Wednesday, August 28, 2013

magic fence update

Last summer I spent a couple of days drilling holes in the old wood privacy fence out front to turn it into a "magic fence".

I've been pleasantly surprised at how it's held up, so I thought I'd post an update on how it turned out and what it looks like after a year+ of wind, rain, snow, heat and bitter cold.

To backtrack a little, making the "magic" in my fence turned out to be a little more work than just drilling holes in the fence and pushing marbles into them. Marbles are not uniform in dimension I discovered, so some of them fit a little loose in the holes I drilled, and some of the holes had to be enlarged a bit for them to fit. This wasn't a big problem, but it did add a little time and complication to the project. The bigger issue was that some of the marbles didn't want to stay in the holes... most stayed put, but a dozen or so kept falling out into the grass. (Leaving me with a holey fence!) A big part of the problem was that my fence is old and some of the wood is dried out, brittle, and even cracked in places.

Since picking marbles up out of the grass and pushing them back into the fence got old very quickly,  I needed to find something that would hold up to the sun and weather and hold the marbles in place. I tried regular super glue at first (looking for a strong, clear, adhesive) to hold the marbles that liked to "travel" but it didn't work at all.

A quick trip to Home Depot (my second home) and I came home with this:

Which I ended up using, on the wrong side of the fence, to reinforce each marble. I think the "gel control" was the key... it was gloopy enough to stay in place while it dried.

It's over a year later and only two marbles have loosened and fallen out. I'll glue them back in and probably re-glue everything again  (from the back) before winter to make sure they make it through the cold/snow/wind.

All in all it was a very cool project... one I'd do again (if I had another old, beat up fence!). It was not quite as quick and easy as the directions I'd found made it sound... but seeing the tiny globes of color sparkling in the sun more than makes up for the time I spent putting it together.

(This photo was taken late in the day, when the sun was already beginning to set.. it's much brighter in mid-day!)

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