Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hanging Out

Strange as it may seem, I love doing laundry.  I love the smell of clean clothes and the warmth of just-dry garments.  I love how line-dried things have a crispness that can't be imitated.  So it should come as no surprise that one of the very first projects Aaron and I talked about when we bought our lovely house was the installation of a DIY clothesline.

The way our backyard is laid out was making our decision on where to place the drying line a bit of a conundrum.  We didn't want to divide the grassy area into different parts and we didn't want to obscure the view of the pretty plants and flowers bordering the lawn.  We also needed to make sure we didn't block the paths to our vegetable garden, our back patio, or the covered porch and gardener's shed.  For many months we were left scratching our heads, but enough tipped-over-portable-drying-rack mishaps led us to a major brainstorming session.  Aaron eventually came up with the idea to attach a folding-arm system to our masonry wall on the side of the house.

As many of you know, we were left with a strangely large menagerie of 'left-overs' from the previous owners of our house, including hardware, furniture, and lumber, among other things.  After browsing through our collection of misfit pieces, we decided on some perforated angle iron (I think that's the technical term for it anyway...) to get our project going.  Aaron took the reins on this project and from there on the only thing I did was help with some rust-proofing.

Before I knew it Aaron had the plans drawn up and most of the metal cut.  We weren't able to source all of our project materials from the 'left-overs' so a trip to the Home Depot was next on our list.  (We love going to the hardware store!)  More cutting and the temporary construction ensued.  We needed to seal the metal so after all the pieces were cut and put together we took it all apart and readied it for painting.

The metal we were using was pretty rusty, so a thorough sanding and several coats of a rust-proofing paint was the next step.   (Afterwards I read on the paint website that a light sanding is plenty of preparation for the specific paint we used, but at least we got a good workout; sanding rusty metal to a pseudo-shine is hard!)  After the paint had plenty of time to cure our friends Mike and Ren came over and Mike helped Aaron hang the contraption.  I hung the line and used it a few days later.

On first using it we figured out a flaw in the plan.  The weight of the wet clothes was pulling the arms together (and out of square).  We needed to devise a way to add some lateral rigidity between the arms.  We quickly realized that another piece of the angle iron across the front would provide just the rigidity we needed.  A quick sanding and some more painting were completed and the arms were attached.

The clothesline now functions perfectly!  My favorite part of the whole thing is that the racks fold down when not in use.  They are also placed against a wall which means they are using a space that would otherwise have been unused.  The masonry wall also provides a source of natural heat that helps the clothes dry even faster!  The lines are also just out the back door which is right next to the laundry area inside; I can easily move between the washing machine and clothesline.  You can now count me as one happy laundress!

P.S.- Don't pay attention to the explosion of weeds that occurred when we went on a week-long road trip.  They've taken over the whole yard!

1 comment:

  1. Way cool. I dry my comforter on my balcony railing. haha

    Hey, I posted a pic of my vintage ceramic christmas tree that I found on my blog. hehe