I put in some low gabion cages when I re-landscaped my front yard with the intention of putting timber on the top to form some bench seats and also to deliniate the path and the garden area.
My mind had been playing over in my head how to "hide" the screws that I would need to use so as to attach the timber to the cage lid and also how to attach the timber lid to the base cage....
Eventually I came back to the original idea which was to open up the cage, remove some rocks and place some strips of timber to be able to drill through to. My main concern doing it this way was how to close the cage once more.... It was easy and a pain at the same time. Easy as in undoing the corkscrews, hard as in redoing corkscrews when i hadnt allowed for the minimal spacing that I ended up with.
Recyled hardwood from recyle yards and side of road
Makita drop saw
Long nosed pliers
I had finally gotten to the pile of old hardwood timber I had collected and purchased from a recyling yard (No longer exists 😕 ) I was going to use merabu but $$$ are being saved for the patio handrails so my brain thought why not give it a go. Happy to say it worked beautifully!
I had finished the timber for the table and thought If I cut the bench seat timber now then I dont need to drag out the drop saw tomorrow.... Cutting after denailing the old timber.... That was a pain...
All cut with one mistake....
Spot the odd one out... Shows that you should not do things when you are tired and its the end of the day!
So the width of the basket was about the same as three pieces of timber (300mm) So I included a "spacer" that was an old rafting strut? It added 20mm to the width and was perfect
Before I started and yeah the glossy golf grass no longer exists 😕 The first heat we had after I planted the grass seed wiped it out.
Laying out the timber to make sure I had cut it properly.
I screwed two piece across the 4 pieces, this what I use to keep them all inline. Taking off the lid was easy as it was just unwinding the wire screws.
Then I screwed through another piece of timber, through the mesh to lock it to the cages lid. I removed a few rocks to make space for the timber strip of merabu on the underside of the cage lid.
I had planned the timber before I attached it to the lid. Gave it a beveled edge as well. For the small cage the screws went back on easily.
The large cages turn now, I was more concerned about removing the corkscrews as the cage may want to splay outwards. That didnt really happen but the small distance between the timber underside and the rocks inside made it hard to wind the spirals back on. They would hit the rocks within the cage and not want to turn.
Bunnings guy told me about rolling the timber screw in soap first before screwing into the predrilled hole. Makes life so much easier. I used my decking screws to attach the base plate to the 4 piece lid and then more decking screws to attach the timber to the lid with the mesh in between.
I used four pieces this time as I didnt want any flex. Not that old hardwood will flex a lot lol
Planning the edge
Lining it up, really happy with the look as is.
After planning. Love my electric planner It really works a dream. (making sure all nails were gone or punched down further into the timber (I used a small end of a bolt to punch down)
Attaching the base strips, also removing the stones where the timber strips would rest
Mmmm, and the ratchet straps are what I use to bring the side of the cage towards the top of the cage.
Fairly big gap and man it was painful to do. Too full of rocks and too tight a spiral made life difficult
The gap was larger then I expected and by all rights I should have removed some of the rocks alongside the edge that would require the corkscrews. I made it in the end but consistancy in the spiral would have made it easier.
Done, next step to oil them.
They really bring the area together. And yes I was stirred by my friends about my many weeds lol
The timber had beautiful colours to them, With the extra spacer in the lid it worked well.
Normally the spirals would look a lot tider but the physical space I had left and not removing some rocks made the job harder to wind them back on. In the end I went for a shorter spiral length but more of them.
The planned timber made it shine.
After mowing my weeds.... Next step oiling the timbers.
Last step was to oil the timbers. I remember seeing some timber oil under the house when I was getting the mower petrol out. I thought Id have a look and sure enough had around half a can. The oil looked ok and didnt smell so thought why not.
The timber drank the oli tho not as much as the non planned timber for the table setting.
It really didnt take long to oil the timber tho I did not do the underside of it.
It came up really nice and I did two coats, maybe a third in a week or so but shall see.
The oil I had. It was still fine. (For reference when i do a job I take pics, lots of them )
Much nicer, the rocks/concrete are for another gabion wall around the other side of the house. They are just stockpiled for now
Yep.... All done and they turned out a treat. I made sure I used timber strips, 100mm timber, 20mm timber strip, 100mm and 100mm strip on both seats so they would match. Its raining at home apparently so cant wait to go home and check them out (came home and the timber had water sitting ontop )
Thank you for sharing that gabion seat project. They look fantastic, the finish has come up very nice and makes your gabion wall look like a bench seat. It's certainly very inviting and would probably make a great spot to relax in.