Adjust-A-Gate or strap hinges?

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Old 08-18-08, 02:35 PM
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Adjust-A-Gate or strap hinges?

Hi everyone,

I'm building a 6 foot high shadow box fence for my backyard. I have a 16 foot wide driveway that I have to cross, either with 2 8 foot doors or by sinking a post into the driveway and making a smaller 3.5 foot door and 2 6 foot doors.

So far I've built the framing for my fence and I have sunk 6x6 posts 4 feet in the ground in about 350lbs of concrete on either side of the driveway. I didn't put in a concrete ribbon between the posts, but I am considering fixing a turnbuckle to the top of these posts and the bottom of the next post over (inline) if necessary. As far as the gate goes, I've got a couple of options:

1) Buy an adjust-a-gate kit from hoover fence co. This seems like a nice low weight option though I worry about hinges and how well it will keep from sagging given that I'd be covering the maximum span it allows.

2) buy a couple of 60" strap hinges and build my own gate. Would cost more than the adjust-a-gate kit and is probably somewhat heavier. Seems like using those hinges along with mortise and tenon joints in 4x4s might be a good alternative to the adjust-a-gate kit, but would put a lot more load on my posts.

the strap hinges I'm looking at are here:

http://www.kilianhardware.com/bargatandsta.html

3) Sink another 6x6 in my driveway and make a narrower 12 foot span to cover, but without the benefit of being able to have a turnbuckle on one side (instead I'd have the 3.5 foot door hanging off that post as a counter balance).

Any thoughts or suggestions?
 
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Old 08-18-08, 03:17 PM
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I vote #1. They are hard to find in our area, but I have used them in the past and love them. They tend to keep your framework square-er. Definitely plan on cabling back on your gate posts, as they will take alot of punishment from the weight of the gates. Putting a turnbuckle in line will help you keep the gates adjusted to squareness, too. Good luck with it.
 
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Old 08-18-08, 03:46 PM
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I do not believe that the turnbuckle will do much to help, but it would surely do nothing to hurt.
Using 6x6 posts was a very good move ... On any double drive in wood, having anything larger than an 8 foot opening, it is always a good idea to beef up the size of the posts.
In most cases of having a 16 foot opening, my best suggestion would be to use a steel gate frame to support your wood fence gate.'
By doing this, one would have to purchase a chain link gate "frame only" welded to match the rails of your wood gate.
After getting it , all you need do is through bolt your wood panel to your steel gate and you would have a gate that may last 2 x the years as your existing fence.
After properly affixing your two frames together you will have a gate that will not sag, bow, twist or fall apart. For the most part, if you at any time bump into the fence with your car you may break the pickets of the wood portion of the fence, but the actual gate will probably not be harmed.
In your case, with having a board on board fence,,,, well , that alone is a very heavy fence to make one gate out of one full section. If you must install a gate that large I would suggest using a wheel to support the weight of each gate panel.
They come with shock like springs so that they can travel over small bumps in the driveway. These work, but because they would roll on the ground they usually take away the weight of the cantilever side of the section but they may also add some stress to that side with the springs pushing up the weight of the fence pushing down.
I am sure it is difficult to picture what I am trying to say, but as with anything that has a spring, there is wear and tear.

Best suggestion would be to cut back on the width of the opening.., But being you already installed the posts, Go for it .

It may work out just fine.

Good luck with that end of the job.

As for the hinges, you can use 3 sets of T hinges . Putting one set on each rail of the fence, not just one on top and one on bottom. Doing this takes stress away from the gate on your typical windy day.
Drop bars are suggested on both frames. This also helps the gates from being pushed by windy days... You have to remember, an 8 foot solid panel of fencing is much like a sail in the wind... Try to keep your boat tied in .

Good luck.
 
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Old 08-18-08, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Chandler
I vote #1. They are hard to find in our area, but I have used them in the past and love them. They tend to keep your framework square-er. Definitely plan on cabling back on your gate posts, as they will take alot of punishment from the weight of the gates. Putting a turnbuckle in line will help you keep the gates adjusted to squareness, too. Good luck with it.
Hi Chandler,

Thanks for the testimony regarding adjust-a-gate. How big of doors have you made using them? I assume that if you still love them you haven't had any problems with the hinges bending or frame sagging?

Originally Posted by GregsFence View Post
In your case, with having a board on board fence,,,, well , that alone is a very heavy fence to make one gate out of one full section. If you must install a gate that large I would suggest using a wheel to support the weight of each gate panel.
I'm somewhat open to doing the gate in a different style from the rest of the fence if I can lower the weight enough to get away without having to use a wheel. I have visions of our Minnesota winters and the associated ice, snow, sand, and salt causing havoc with anything that has to consistently roll along the ground. I'll do it as a last resort, but would like to avoid it if possible.

Some options I've considered:

1) picket only one side with no gaps.

2) lower the height of the gate.

3) picket one side but leave the gaps the same width as the rest of the fence (which would also help with wind but provide less privacy).

Best suggestion would be to cut back on the width of the opening.., But being you already installed the posts, Go for it
Do you think it would be viable to put another 6x6 4 feet into the driveway and have a 3.5 foot door on one side of the driveway, and a pair of 12 foot doors on the other? This would be a way to shorten the span, though my better half has indicated it's not desirable.
 
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Old 08-18-08, 07:03 PM
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The look of having 3 , posts of that size, and not in even spacing ,,, it would not look very nice.

If you have different options in mind to cut back on the sheer weight of the gate, I would go with the other option that I mentioned.

In that , using a steel gate frame, bolting the two together. You can still have pickets on both sides but that too just adds to the overall weight . If just having pickets on the one side is ok with you , why not try that ... close up on the spacing verses opening up on the spaces and your fence would have a better shot at staying alive .

I know the wheel was not a desirable look... and it is usually my very last, last , last option... But honestly , and 8 foot opening is very big. Not just big.. but if one of my customers asked for it , I would surely say "no way" then give them all the cons before I said ok.

No matter what method you choose, I would strongly suggest your nailing each picket, 2 times side by side into each rail. For a 3 rail fence, you would be using 6 nails, screws ,whichever your fastener is .
If you are using cedar, look for colored vinyl coated screws. I know they are a little expensive, but they are colored to match most any type of wood.. They do have shades to match cedar. But this idea would only work if you are planning to stain your fence.. so that the color stays constant. Otherwise your fence will turn naturally , and your screws will still be whatever color you buy.

Oh and by the way ... If you lower the height of the gate... I think you would still need to do something to keep the gate from twisting.
That is why the steel gate frame works well in this scenario.

A 1-3/8 pipe frame is fine... at most 1-5/8" pipe.
 
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Old 09-11-08, 07:29 PM
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Hi all. I'm new here and not trying to threadjack, but I've got a similar situation. I'm building a 6' privacy fence with a 14' span to cover in my driveway, hence two 7'x6' gates. I've also got 6x6 posts for the gate already sunk in concrete just waiting a few days to cure.

What I was going to do (please let me know if I'm off base here) is bolt chains with turnbuckles at the top of the 6x6's and run them down to the top, outside corners of the gates to provide support and take some of the load off the hinges (I'm using three sets of 10" T-hinges). The 6x6's are 9' tall and I am also going to bolt in 2x6's across the top of the span to provide lateral support.

Does this sound like it would work, or do I need to do something more? Thanks guys!!
 
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Old 09-13-08, 07:43 AM
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Johnlenard;

I am not sure if that would work, but I am sure having a 6 foot high fence with a 9 foot high gate post, with chains and turnbuckles going from the high end of the gate posts down to the high middle of the gate opening would look like poop to your neighbors.
Plus, thinking it through, I keep thinking of the opening of the gates... if the cables/chains that you use are not on some sort of a swivel base, they would get taught as the gate swings one way or the other and just running it through the mind I can visualize the gates being torn apart from the stress the cables or chains would put on them by pulling them up, then releasing again and again every time you open the gates.

That would not be my first choice of installing the gates.
You have done good with the 6x6 posts for sure... I would think that if you just use an A frame truss on both gates , plus the 3 sets of hinges you would be in good hands.
Make sure that when you finally install your gates and they are meeting each other at center with heights, I would surely screw all the pickets into the rails, and trusses to further secure the gates structually.
If you want to add on a cable and turnbuckle, I would do so on the gate alone. Not the gate post to the gate.
Do so from the high side of the hinge side of the gate to the low side of the center of the gates. Do not overturn the turn-buckles ... Doing so would twist your gates.

The application you were suggesting does get used with some modifications..,. But more so on overspan gates of more than 12 feet, and mostly in farm use single gate or double gates... But then, mostly it is more the industrial look.. which is more acceptable to look at under those circumstances.

Come back if you need more direction...

Good luck

Greg~
 
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Old 09-13-08, 10:06 AM
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Thanks Greg. I too was wondering if the chains would do what you said as far as becoming taught when the gates swung open. Glad I asked now before I installed them! The thing I was trying to avoid was putting undue stress on the hinges figuring that the chains would take a fair amount of the load.

As far as how it would look to the neighbors, I'm not too concerned about that as the gate is on an alley and the neighbor on that side lives in a hovel anyway with rusted out cars, snowmobiles and general garbage in the yard...hence the fence!

Does an A-Frame truss look like what it sounds (starting at the bottom corners of the gate and peaking at the top center)?

John
 
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Old 09-13-08, 02:57 PM
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John ,

That is exactly what it is ... Begining at the bottom hinge side and bottom latch side meeting at the top center of each gate panel.

Make sure you screw all the pickets into the trusses. This is essential to the strength of the gates.

If by chance you get stuck you can always email me direct and I would be happy to walk you through it step by step.

My email address is , [email protected]

Good luck !

Greg ~
 
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