Sunday, 19 June 2011

How make a gate (a rough guide) ... ...

I figured it's about time I wrote another post seeing as it's bee a while since the last one.
Things have been a little hectic of late, finally got approval to build a small poly-tunnel on our allotment plot, so got that to do, spent 3 hours weeding the plot in the rain the other day, not ideal, but had to be done weeds grow very quickly.

Anyway I thought I'd give people a rough idea on how to build a simple gate, it's really not that hard even if you don't have much practical experience it's a good starter project, and it's easy enough that the kids can help as well.

I had to build a gate for our allotment plot, well I didn't have to it was the easiest option for the small issue of no fencing on the front of the plot, and as it's half a plot, fencing off the front was cheaper than fencing our section and putting some kind of divider down the middle, not that it cost that much as I recycled some wood from various places.

Here's the gate in place -

The fencing was recycled from our pond cover.
It's not a perfect gate, but it does the job, I got the wood for it from a couple of saw horses I made to hold our desktop whilst I worked on it. Ideally the diagonal piece should go from corner to corner, but it wasn't long enough :-)

Making a gate is easy, and you can approach the job in different ways I've made a few gates through the years, big ones, small ones and all sorts of other types.
You can make your gate as simple or as complicated as you want, it depends on what you want it for, the gate for the allotment just need to serve as an entrance into the plot, so I was too bothered about aesthetics, just as long as it could be locked and opened easy I was happy.

Here's a closer look at the allotment gate - 

It's upside down in this picture, but you can see how it's built.

It's basically a square frame with some extra bits for strength, I chopped the wood out on the uprights and the diagonal piece so that the diagonal sat inside the main frame, but you could just fix it across without chopping it in, although for a nice neat job it's probably better to chop it in.

This is a picture of our front garden gate, I built it 4 years ago and it's still as strong now as it was then :-) it's a slightly more complex build, but don't worry I drew some diagrams (all be it dodgy ones) to give you an idea of how it's made.

Front garden gate -

Could do with a coat of paint now :-)
This one is made to be a lot sturdier than the first one, it's a good idea to think about where the gate is, how much it's going to be used and things like where will hinges fix to it and any locks, the allotment gate only has a few small hinges and a small slide bolt, the gate itself weighs very little compared to this one.

If you click on the picture you should get a larger view, which will give you a closer look at how it's made (don't forget to click back in your browser ;-)

Here's a picture of the other side of the gate -

I used some large t hinges on this, and it's self closing, by way of the spring.
I made a diagram to show how it fits together, but again if you click on the picture you can get a closer look, the main frame of this gate is fixed in a different way to the allotment gate, this one uses wooden dowels to secure the main frame, I didn't want to see any fixings when looking down on the gate, I just used screws on the allotment gate.

Dodgy diagram time ;-) 

This is how I built the front garden gate.

Feel free to copy the pictures, they might prove useful, this gate was perhaps a little more complicated than it needed to be, I guess I was experimenting a little with it, but it works so I'm pleased (not all my experiments work) I've made another diagram which might help explain a little more what's going on with this particular gate.

Another diagram -

Perhaps not the clearest of descriptions.
If you compare the above diagram to the pictures you should get a clearer idea of how this gate is built, however if you don't want to get this complicated you can build a gate easily, in about an hour (maybe less) and for as little as £15 if you buy new wood, if you can recycle some wood from some where then it'll be even cheaper.

Here's the last diagram (I promise ;-)

Doesn't get much easier.
As it says in the diagram this gate uses 9 pieces of wood, depending on how many uprights you use, obviously more uprights the wider the gate, so it's a good idea to measure the hole where you intend to put the gate, this will give you an idea of how much wood you'll need, you can also work out how far apart to put each upright and how high to make it. 

You can see that the upright pieces are fixed to 3 other pieces (the 2 horizontal and the 1 diagonal) this isn't going to stop a charging bull, but it'll do to keep things out of certain areas of your garden (things like the kids or the dog, or both) and as the diagram says you don't need the diagonal piece, but I would use it as it will make the gate much stronger.

Thanks for reading.

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