Friday, 7 August 2015

Gate Construction Part III

This is the wrap up to the gate project I started back in May. I finished it in 3 weeks, working almost every evening/weekend. Here are some photos of the key steps along the way to the finished gate.

 At the end of the last blog post I had mostly finished building the frames. This was by far the most difficult and frustrating part of the entire build. Once these were glued and bolted together my Wife and I set about first cleaning and then staining the gate. I chose the Home Depot's Behr Premium semi-transparent wood stain. Reading reviews of wood stain on the internet is enough to make you give up all hope of finding a product that will work. I'm not sure but I suspect most of the bad reviews are a result of poor preparation and application. I have nothing but good things to say about this stain. The colour covered the pressure treated lumber nicely with only two coats. I tried both a foam brush and a regular paintbrush and both worked OK but the paintbrush seemed easier. As with all stains the hardest part is avoiding drips and excess stain from gathering in corners and at the ends.

It took the two of us the entire day to stain the gate frames and all the fence boards. The weather was beautiful so we were able to get both coats in one day.

5 Gallon pails and broken chairs were essential to complete this project

When we ran out of big things we used paint tins to keep the frames off the grass.

The fence boards were quite easy to paint in batches.

Over the next few evenings I fastened the fence boards to the gate frames with deck screws.

To make it easier and faster I built a drill template jig for attaching the T hinges to the frames. I made it from a 2x4 which I planed square and fastened one of the T-hinges to. I then clamped it up against the gate frame and drilled the holes in the gate frame. This was really helpful.

With the hinges in place and with some help from my Wife we hung the gate between the posts. There is no easy way to do this. It just sucks and you will loose your temper. All I can suggest is lots of different sized pieces of wood to use as shims and whatever you do, don't settle for anything less than level and square. You only get once chance to hang this.

Here's a close up of the gate.

You'll notice the centre two boards are not in place. This is deliberate and allows you to cut them to size once you know exactly how the gate is going to hang.

A few weeks later I filled in the gaps either size of the gate with some 2x4s, post hangers and more fence boards. Sadly I'm all out of stain.

Thinking of building your own gate?

If this article inspires you to build your own gate please leave a comment. If you are on the fence about building it your self, hopefully this convinces you to do it. I wasn't sure that I could do it but I pushed myself and stuck with it and now I have a gate worth the time and money invested in it. 

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