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Beam me up, Scotty!

September 14, 2013

Even the bad guys are lazy! At least, that’s what I assumed when I started this little project: putting up a beam at the beginning of our private road.

A 200 meter long forest road leads to the Villa branching off from the forest road leading to to the few countryside houses at this side of the lake. The best protection against robbers are those houses along the road with permanent residents (because there are plenty of cottages in the middle of nowhere in Finland to choose from). But since I got my hands on a beam free of charge (it was taken out of use at an apartment block in Helsinki) I opted to improve security by keeping unwanted intruders at some distance. Yes, it is only 200 meters thieves need to carry any heavier items but I assume they prefer to drive directly in front of their target object.

The beam has been in use for many years already and has been waiting two years for its installation already here.


One of the challenges of this project was that the main post of the beam has been cut short when it was removed from its previous owner. In order to extend the post again to something that I could cement into the ground I had to extend the post somehow. I first looked at finding a slightly smaller steel pipe that I could slide into the old pipe but such piece would have needed to be made to order. I went then for the pragmatic – yet immensely uglier – version of dropping some steel rods into the old pipe and filling the gaps with fine concrete.


The next question was how to get the beam up the 200 meters of road. Without a trailer at hand that weekend I had to find another solution. A little bit of engineering ingenuity led to this improvised solution: a trolley put under the heavy side of the beam makes the beam into a trailer itself which I pulled up the road with the car. Or to be precise I was sitting in the trunk of the car with the open door holding the lighter end of the beam while the other half was speeding up the hill.


With some further improvisation the beam was leveled into place. 200 kg of concrete surrounded by two massive rocks make for a sturdy foundation.


And now, while we are always open for friendly guests, when the nights are getting longer, we are making the bad guys life a bit more difficult.


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