September 30, 2014

DIY: How to Make Crossties

Our barn appears to have never housed anything equine. As far as I can tell the inside of the barn was used for welding and woodworking. This is great, because the barn, aside from some sawdust, is very clean. Love that. As a result, I have an insulated room that was once a wood working area which will be an awesome tack room once I am done with it. Love that too. It also means I get to set it up the inside of the barn just as I like with very little tear down necessary. Really LOVE that.

The inside barn projects have been on the back burner because re-fencing the pasture has been top priority before the weather turns crummy for good. It is a big project for little old me to get done all alone during nap times and preschool. I am getting there though. However, today it has been raining. Raining a lot. So, once I wrapped up my money-earning work for the morning, I decided to use the remainder of my toddler free preschool time to do an inside the barn project.

Today I decided to make the crossties for my grooming stall. The grooming stall itself is a project for another day when I can have some help from Hubs moving and cutting boards.

To Make Crossties, Things I Used:

5/8" poly rope - length varies depending on your measurements
4 - Rope Clamps
4 - Panic Snaps
2 - Tie Rings with Plates, and 8 screws
Screw Driver / Drill
Aim 'N Flame (optional)
Measuring Tape

How I Made Crossties:

1. Install Tie Rings

Install tie rings if you don't already have them. I am installing mine between two pole barn posts that measure 10' on center.

Pick your location. This is my future grooming stall that has 10' x 10' pole barn post spacing. Crossties are going in on the interior beams.
Measure 6' (72") on your post. I always attach tie rings to posts, and only posts!
Install tie ring using four self drilling screws. Center of ring is 6' up on post.
Stand back and survey your work. Take a sip of a nice cold beverage.

Whalah! A thing of beauty. One tie ring is installed 6' up on each post. Now time to make the crossties...

2. Make The Crossties

Feed poly rope through the end of the panic snap. Set rope in rope clamp.
Using pliers close rope clamp around rope. Use a hammer to flatten rope clamp once closed. The clamp will be nice and smooth once flattened.
Measure your beam spacing and divide by two. Use this length for each of your crossties.
Once you have the length correct, repeat process with panic snaps on the other side. 
I had an old pair of panic snaps laying around from a long dead set of crossties. I simply cut them off the old ropes and re-used them for this project.
Almost done; extra length needs to be removed.
Double checking the length before cutting off the extra length. In hindsight, I should have measured before buying the rope, since I paid for it by the linear foot (wasted a few bucks here), and the farm store does a very nice job of cutting and melting the ends (made extra work for myself).
Crossties touching, sans horse. This is how tight/loose I like my crossties. Any longer and horse can spin around too much.
To cut the extra length of rope off the crossties, I tightly wrapped duct tape about 1/2" from where I wanted to cut it. Then carefully cut it with a knife, and then (outside...not in the barn) I melted
the end of the rope with my Aim 'N Flame.
The finished product. Makes me smile!

So, that was my rainy day project today. I can't wait to get the boards up for the walls of the grooming stall, and a bridle and saddle rack, so that I can actually start using it! On another note, you might be wondering why I made my own crossties instead of just buying some? Well I "bought the farm" so I have to do everything I can to save a penny now. So that's one reason.

However, my main reason for making my own is quality and safety. I want well made crossties that only have panic snaps. I hate that people always put the panic snaps on the horse's halters instead of on the tie ring. Panic snaps must be on the tie ring, otherwise they are useless in a panic situation! To avoid that from happening, it is just easier to have all panic snaps. End of debate.

I also wanted crossties made of good polyrope, not some flimsy nylon strapping or other bungy material. I've just had too many bad experiences with those types of crossties. Also, by making my own I could pick what color I wanted them to be. Our local farm store had a surprisingly huge selection of color and pattern. I am lame of course though, and like all things black, so I passed up the cool ropes for solid black.

Then of course there is cost. I am sure I could buy crossties that would fit my post spacing and have panic snaps on both ends. But how much would that cost to order and ship? Probably a lot more than the $19 in material this project cost me (it would have been $17 if I had measured for my poly rope before buying it; lesson learned there).

Happy trails and swooshing tails!

1 comment:

  1. They look great! I love making my own stuff. This is how I made my driving reins. :)



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