How to build a wood gate..

Tips for building a wood gate.

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How to build a wood gate

 

Almost all wood gates need some form of diagonal bracing which is always installed with the lower end of the diagonal on the hinge side. Some style of wood gates employs double diagonals, although in truth the second diagonal adds more to the aesthetics of the wood gate than to the strength. The benefit of a braced frame wood gate is that it can accept any kind of infill and therefore can be used with any style wood fence. It’s also rugged enough to support the weight of infill up to a size of 3 feet by 6 feet.

Measure the wood gate opening before you cut the framing. Take measurements between the posts at both the top and bottom. If the measurements are different, it means one or both of the posts are not plumb. Hanging a gate on tilted posts will make the gate look as though it’s sagging and in fact it will eventually sag. You can make a slight adjustment by shimming out the hinges to level the wood gate, but you should replace or straighten a post that’s severely out of plumb. Once you have the measurements straight, subtract the amount of clearance and use this dimension to cut the framing.

 

 

 

Be sure to use kiln-dried lumber for the frame and cut the rails the full width of the frame. Cut the stiles to a length that will put the wood gate rails on the same plane as the wood fence rails. You can use butt joints or miter joints at the corners for a cleaner look, half lap them for added strength. O make your wood gate even stronger apply polyurethane glue to the joints before fastening them.

Because lumber is not a perfect medium, sometimes the infill boards will not fit flush with the sides of the wood gate in the prescribed number, no matter how carefully you measured and calculated. In every case it’s best to cut the infill to length and dry lay it on the frame. If it’s a little too wide you can rip each board or space them a little differently.

 

 

 

 

1.      Measure the wood gate opening with clearances and cut the frame to fit, with butted or mitered corners. Square the frame and fasten the corners with two pre-drill screws. Support the frame on 2+ blocks and center the 2+4 crosspiece under opposite corners. Make sure the frame is still square, then mark the angles at the ends of the crosspiece.

 

2.      Test fit the crosspiece in the corners. It should slide in snugly, but without contorting the frame. Using the same techniques as you did as before, mark and cut the other diagonal. Cut a half lap in the center of one piece and use it to mark the other. Then cut half lap in this diagonal too. The half lapped joint will allow the brace to fit flush in the frame.

 

3.      Fasten the brace to the frame by driving pre-drill screws through the corners into the ends of the brace. Then cinch the half lap joint with a pre-drilled 2 ½ inch screw. Cut the wood gate infill boards to the length require by your design. Fasten them to the frame and brace with pre-drilled 3 inch screws.

 

 

 

 

Tips for building a wood gate

 

Each kind of wood gate construction uses slightly different techniques. Here are some tips that apply to all wood gates

1.·         Make sure your frame stock will support its load. You’ll find very few gates with frames thinner than 2+4s.

2.·         Buy the best wood you can afford. Pressure treated lumber is less likely to warp or rot.

3.          Make sure all your hardware is rust resistant,

4.          Do you want to latch your wood gate open in addition to being able to latch it closed. A hook and eye will do the trick. So will a j-latch or cane bolt. They slip into a pipe in the ground.

5.          For automatic gate closing use a gate spring. One that’s strong enough to push the latch.

6.         To minimize sag on a long wood gate that swings over a smooth surface, put a wheel near the end of the wood gate.

 

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