Saturday, June 28, 2014

My New Clothes Line And So Can You

I have recently moved in to my trailer at the farm and it has been wonderful!! It is not completely set up yet, I'm waiting for a few things in the mail, so once it's all put together I'll take a bunch of pictures and take you through a tour :)

Just a day ago I made myself a clothesline so that I could, you know, do laundry. I just did a little research on the interwebs and then went for it! I thought I would take you through what I did step by step so that you can make one too. This is my first 'how to' and I didn't really plan ahead so I don't have any pictures of the building process, but I'll do my best to make it as clear as possible.

I made a T post clothesline with supports.

What You Will Need: I really just winged it, but it all turned out great so all is well :)
Two 10" 4x4
One 10" 2x4
One 10" 2x2
8 long nails, 2 1/2' or longer
16 shorter nails, 1 1/2' or 2'
8 medium hook screws (Again with the not planning ahead, I don't know the exact size I used but they were not small flimsy and they were not huge industrial)

Rod-like-tool for tightening hooks (I had a screwdriver handy but any strong tool that can fit through the hook hole will work)

Step One:
First you want to cut all the wood pieces. The 4x4's don't get cut so you can just put those to the side for now. The 2x4 gets cut in half at the 5" mark. I did not have a measuring tape handy so I took the clothesline sting, laid it along the board and measured the board with that marking the spot where the board ended. I then folded the sting in half and marked the string at the half way crease and then used that to mark the half way point on the board.

I also don't have a place to saw things, so I put one end of the board being cut on top of the 2 4x4s stacked to get the sawing point off the ground.

The 2x2s get cut into 4ths, at the 2"6' mark, the 5" mark, and the 7"6' mark. Now your four 2x2 pieces get cut again. Each corner needs to be cut off at a 45 degree angle so that they can support a 90 degree corner.

Of course I didn't have any tool for making perfect angles, so I took a piece of thick paper/thin cardboard that was a square and folded it in half to make a triangle and used that to mark out the 45 degrees on either side of the boards. I drew on all four sides of the board so that I would have multiple lines to follow during sawing. 

Step Two:

Now that you have all the sawing done you can put it together! (see how fast this is going?)

First you want to make the 'T' and to do that you need to mark the middle of the top of the 4x4 and the middle on the length of the 2x4 so that when you nail them together one side of the T isn't longer than the other and it wont be pulled off balance when you have heavy sheets on there. 

You want to lay them down on a flat surface so they line up perfectly and line up your two marks. I put four nails in the top and that seemed to work well. You want to start with two nails on the diagonal, one on the top right followed by one on the bottom left.

Do that with both posts so you have two 'T's.

It's starting to look like a real clothes line now! I have seen some clothes lines that just left it at this and have had success with it, but I wanted to make sure it was more stable. That and I like the look of the supports.

To nail the supports on I stood the T on it's side so it looked like it was a side plank champ. It is easy for the top to wiggle out of it's 90 degree by a smidge so double check that everything is nailed on tight. Take your time placing the support so that one side is against the top and one is against the middle post. This is where you want to use the smaller nails since where you will be nailing will be relatively thin and bigger nails could easily crack the 2x2s in half. There will be four nails in each support so you want to do that diagonal thing again (I'm not really sure why to do the diagonal thing but I heard it from someone who knows a thing or two about building so I have just done it ever since and everything has worked out great) starting with the bottom right nailing the support to the 4x4 and then moving to the top left nailing it to the 2x4. Then finish off the bottom left and top right.

Flip the T to the other side and repeat. Pretty soon you'll have two T's with supports. How easy was that?!

The only thing left to do is put the screws in!

Step Three:

Put the screws in! I put four on each post for no real reason other than that sounded good to me. One went over each support.

The other two I put half way between the middle and the first hook. This way I either have two sides that are a bit separated for whatever reason, or if I decide that I need five lines, there's a spot right in the middle with proper spacing on either side that I can add another.

That only took three steps and you have a clothes line!

Now all you need to do is find the perfect spot to put it, dig some holes a couple feet deep and pack your posts in. That is my goal for today to finish, but it's been raining so it's not like I could dry much on them now anyway.

Sorry for the lack of pictures really showing the steps, I'll be sure to document my next adventure in building more thoroughly.

Tell me how your clothesline went, or what you did differently, I'd love to hear!

Linking up with DIY Show Off


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