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Bird net and ball back-stop

June 15, 2004

I built a frame out of 3/4-inch PVC for bird netting. So far, so good. Well, good enough. The next one will be better.

Originally, I set out to build a single 40-foot by 10-foot frame as a series of 4 connected squares, with 4 10-foot legs centered in the top of each square. That is (legs dotted, main members dashed):

+—-+—-+—-+—-+—-+—-+—-+—-+
|““.““|““.““|““.““|““.““|
|““.““|““.““|““.““|““.““|
|““.““|““.““|““.““|““.““|
|““.““|““.““|““.““|““.““|
|““.““|““.““|““.““|““.““|
+—-+—-+—-+—-+—-+—-+—-+—-+

This was hopelessly floppy, and took at least 3 people to move it, and threatened to bend/break at any minute. By splitting it down the middle and adding an additional square edge, I ended up with two much more manageable pieces. That’s what I put up instead. Most of the joints are just jam-fit; only the near-vertical pipes are glued into their T-joints.

+—-+—-+—-+—-+ +—-+—-+—-+—-+
|““.““|““.““| |““.““|““.““|
|““.““|““.““| |““.““|““.““|
|““.““|““.““| |““.““|““.““|
|““.““|““.““| |““.““|““.““|
|““.““|““.““| |““.““|““.““|
+—-+—-+—-+—-+ +—-+—-+—-+—-+

I then painted it all black to make it less obvious. It seems to work; I’ve seen several birds run into it, and my paw-paws are still unpecked.

End-of-season post mortem: it did not stop the squirrels, and they vandalized the pawpaws (and everything else). 3/4 inch PVC is also too light; in a high wind, these things went over. Right now they are laid down in the yard, waiting to be dismantled, and replaced next season by something better. I will probably recycle the pipe into something for the older raspberry trellis; that was old electrical conduit with a piece of wood jammed in it, but the wood rotted, and that, too, came apart in a high wind.

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