Unfortunately, the new Congress has voted to completely eliminate YouthBuild's funding in the next budget, potentially causing all 273 YouthBuild affiliates to shut their doors once their funding runs out. In 2007, the most recent year figures were available to me, YouthBuild cost the federal government $50 million dollars. This represents a mere .00039 percent of America's current deficit, yet, by some studies, YouthBuild generates $9 of economic output for every $1 spent on it. We are working hard to get America's economy back on track by training skilled workers and helping young folks help themselves rise above their circumstances. Please help us by signing this online petition in favor of YouthBuild's continued funding: http://www.change.org/petitions/save-youthbuild-act-now-2#?opt_new=t&opt_fb=t
I would like to thank all the students who participated in building the fence last fall: Raheem Ameen, LaDarius Carlisle, Anthony Davis, Nathaniel Davis, Quency Edwards, Shineka Gilmore, Jamie Gray, Jonta Greene, LeDarius Kennedy, Percy Lawson, Markel Lewis, Marshe Lewis, Andrew Mitchell, John Mullen, Marcus Pasteur, Marcus Richardson, Korderra Robinson, Tyisha Thomas, Dai-Samona Waller, Eric Watkins, Shakena Webb, Melvin Webster, Eric White, and Roderick Williams.
I would also like to thank the YouthBuild staff: Jon Carter, Dakesha Greene, Dan O'Hara, RaMell Ross, Ron Ross, Carter White, and Sara Williamson. Thanks to RaMell for the first ten photos and several more throughout (http://www.ramellross.com)
You will need these materials:
Approx. 80-100 3' x 3' aluminum road signs, reasonably flat and bullet-hole free
6" x 6" x 10' pressure treated posts (for corners and sides of gates)
4" x 4" x 10' pressure treated posts (for intermediate posts)
2" x 4" x 10' pressure treated horizontals
3" galvanized screws
1-1/4" galvanized screws
You will need these tools:
Circular saw/table saw
40+ tooth carbide saw blades
Carbide drill bits
Step 1: Pickets
Given 3" wide pickets, with 1-1/4" gaps, it takes 22 pickets to run 8' horizontally; it takes 44 pickets to run 8' if the fence is two tiers high, or 6' tall. Accounting for the kerf (amount of material that must be subtracted to account for the width of the sawblade), you can get 11 pickets out of a 3' sign. However, a lot of signs or portions of signs had to be discarded due to bullet holes, excessive dents or bending that couldn't be hammered out, or other damage.
We cut our signs by clamping a guide board to the sign to run a circular saw against, then slicing the aluminum with a carbide finishing blade. Carbide teeth are hardened, and the finish blades have a lot more teeth, making for a smoother cut. It was quite loud, but it cut surprisingly smoothly. Once the signs got too small to hold and cut safely with the circular saw, we fed them through an old table saw with a carbide blade on it. Aluminum is a very soft metal, and cuts quite easily.
Then, each picket had four mounting holes drilled in it, using a jig to position the holes. Unfortunately, I don't have any good pictures of the jig, but it was basically a wood frame that held the picket, with a movable guide piece to precisely place the holes.
The most important step, safety-wise, especially since the fence was going around a daycare, was to sand the edges to remove any burrs, and knock down the corners with a file. 60-80 grit sandpaper will sand aluminum quite nicely, and a standard metal file rounded off the corners. We went over each one with bare hands to feel for any missed spots, then bundled them in stacks of 22.