Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 4, Issue 1
February 2009
Customer Letters

Dear Lee Valley,

As a millennium project in 2000, I undertook to build a gazebo at my cottage using the Lee Valley 8' kit*. As often happens with cottage jobs, it was rendered usable just this summer, in the interim prompting snide queries from guests as to which millennium?


The Observation Post
The gazebo, also known as the "Observation Post"

The cottage being on an island and my having a heart condition limited some of the construction possibilities, particularly when it came to the roof. Large sheets of plywood and heavy bales of asphalt or cedar shingles were out of the question, so I tapped my background naval-officer experience and settled on a lapstrake or clinker-built roof, like a boat, using easily transported 6" pressure treated deck planking. (Just fine, except for cutting all the compound angles!)

To close off the small hole at the top in simple fashion (without any more bloody angle work!) I searched high and low for ideas—birdhouses, pre-built cupolas, anti-squirrel cones, etc.—finally settling on an old Canadian army helmet bought at an army surplus store for $50 and change. A 1/4" threaded rod through the hole in the six-armed apex joist fitting and a wing nut pulled it all together. (I added screening in the void under the helmet to keep out insects but allow hot air venting.)

The gazebo is a real conversation piece now, and we've christened it the "OP" (military-speak for Observation Post, which of course is what it is.)

Thought you might get a chuckle out of this.

Hugh Spence
Ottawa, Ontario

P.S. The war department stamping on the helmet says made in 1942…same as me!

*This product is no longer available.

Other Articles from this Issue
What's New in Gardening
Traditional Japanese Weeders

Japanese Weeders
Wobbler® Sprinkler

Adjustable Fan Rakes

Fan Rakes
Stainless-Steel Mattocks

Stainless-Steel Mattocks
Two-Tier Boot Tray

Boot Tray
Protective Pruning Gloves

Pruning Gloves
Multi-Purpose Anchor Stake

Anchor Stake
Steel Pot Saucers

Steel Pot
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