A Ten Pound Bag
Chapter 58: Fasteners

Copyright© 2020 by Emmeran

It’s really funny how the world revolves more on tiny inventions than on massive ones. We love to talk about the flashy, impressive airplanes and starcraft but in reality it’s the little things that truly changed the world. Fasteners are the little things that make the goods of the world stick together and are a great blue chip type investment as the demand is never-ending. I got to read extensively on them when one of our funds made a major investment in a fastener company, it is simply mind numbing when you realize the importance of such a seemingly simple thing as the nail.

I had some fasteners. Any decent toolbox has a supply of fasters as you don’t want to be running down to the hardware store just to complete a simple task. Because this toolbox was an camping/hunting set up most of my fasteners were what you would need out camping; big nails, hooks, eye bolts, and the like. I just didn’t have a lot of them. Basically like everything else in the new existence of mine what I had was a treasure to be hoarded.

To make up for this we used what mother nature provided as often as possible and one of those things was natural fibers. The easiest to obtain this time of year was sapling trees that the deer hadn’t gotten to, it had to be deciduous (leafing) and it had to be young. The deer and other herbivores would chew on these when the winter snows came too heavy for them to forage on the ground any longer. When you removed the bark the sapling would die which is why we would put fences around young trees in our yards back in the modern world.

You also needed to use the bark immediately after you cut the tree so that it maintained its flexibility, we peeled the saplings as we needed them. We would then save the sapling pole itself for other uses.

We dug a two foot deep trench and went another two feet deeper for the corners and gate posts. That was definitely backhoe work; the tractor was able to finish the trench in a couple of hours and we still did a lot by hand in order to save our small supply of diesel.

We planted the main gate posts and secured them, a cross bar went across the top to keep them straight and relational. Holder split a log to serve as the cross bar so we had a flat surface to work with, that was a new experience for me but a skill I had to learn also. By the end of the day Tuesday we had our gate frame built, I had even splurged and used two lag bolts to attach the cross bar on the top of the gate.

From that point it started to get faster. Holder and I would stand a fence pole up and hold it while Amos secured it to the neighboring pole with sapling strips. They weren’t huge poles and while they could be handled by a single person it just went a lot faster working together. One man would hold the pole up while the second aligned it and the third secured it. Repetition breeds process familiarity which increases quality and speed. We were able to get a quarter of the palisade up by the end of the week, even if we did have to work a little late on Friday to get the first corner post in and the dirt all filled back. We were racing the next rain storm so we pushed on until just before dark.

Everybody got beer that night, celebrate your small victories with small celebrations as they occur.

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