Removable center post for double gate


  #1  
Old 04-08-10, 05:40 AM
vsaunders's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Removable center post for double gate

I have a wooden double gate (for vehicle access to fenced yard). The gates are sagging really bad. I would like to install a center post to provide needed support but the post needs to be removable. I have heard rumors there are such things but can't find any info on them. I realize I could put a sleeve in the ground and slide the post into it, but not sure that is best approach. Suggestions?
 
  #2  
Old 04-08-10, 05:16 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 8,670
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
How side are the gate panels and what are they made of??

Is it the gate panels that have sagged out of square, or has the weight of the gates caused the posts to lean in??

What are the gate posts -- the posts that these gates are hinged off of??
 
  #3  
Old 04-08-10, 06:49 PM
vsaunders's Avatar
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 9
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Gates are 60" wide each made of 2x4 frames with vertical wooden slats. The gate panels have sagged out of square (as well as warped). The gate posts are those used for split rail fences (can't really call them 4x4s but they are similar). Posts are good and sturdy and are not leaning in. The gate panels are hinged onto the posts, 3 hinges per panel, vice hung from the posts (if that makes any sense).
 
  #4  
Old 04-08-10, 08:40 PM
L
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 8,670
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
vsaunders,

A center post would only be addressing the symptom and would do nothing to cure the problem. In fact, it would create other problems for you.

Your posts seem to be able to handle the pressure that the gate panels are applying to them. The problem is the gate frames.

The easy fix would be to install a 'sag kit' on each gate panel. An eye bolt at the top of the frame on the post side and at the bottom at the latch side, then a 1/8" or 3/16" S.S cable between them with a turn buckle in the middle. Tighten the turn buckle and it will take the sag out of the gate frames. After that is done, install steel gussets at each corner of the gate panels. I would use an 1/8 stell plate about 12" square for each gusset. (Cut each plate diagonally and you'll get 2 gussets out of each plate.)

The problem that a center post would create would be that you would be relying strictly on the latch of each gate to hold the gate panel square. That's asking a lot of the latches! Opening the gates would be difficult, at best.

Another cure would be to replace the wood frames with steel frames (Think chain link gate panels without the chain link fabric.) Install a wood rail across the top and bottom of each panel and attach the fence boards to those.
 
  #5  
Old 04-09-10, 12:38 PM
W
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,418
Received 66 Upvotes on 57 Posts
Center Post

Here is a related posting:

http://forum.doityourself.com/fences...uper-post.html
 
  #6  
Old 04-09-10, 08:05 PM
R
Member
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 4
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
I put in a couple of removable posts when I built my fence. Instead of burying the post, we put in a 6" sonotube with a post anchor on top. Not quite as stiff as a buried post, but easily removable.
 
  #7  
Old 04-11-10, 06:32 AM
M
Member
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: new york
Posts: 459
Upvotes: 0
Received 2 Upvotes on 2 Posts
You could add a wheel to the bottom like they do with wide commercial gates. Like something you would see on a trailer to move it around after you take it off the hitch.
 
  #8  
Old 04-11-10, 06:54 AM
L
Member
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arlington, WA
Posts: 8,670
Upvotes: 0
Received 1 Upvote on 1 Post
Wheels work as long as the surface that they are riding on is hard, absolutely flat, and perfectly square to the plane of the gate hinges. In the real world, that is seldom the case unless the area was designed with the wheel in mind from the very beginning.
 
  #9  
Old 09-02-10, 05:45 PM
S
Member
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 1
Upvotes: 0
Received 0 Upvotes on 0 Posts
Experience is a great teacher

I built a double gate on the side of my house on a corner lot for access for my trailers. It was all wood and it sagged. I built another larger one, and it sagged even worse. So, third time is a charm. Oh, and I have the pickets facing the street, and due to my HOA being the ****s that they are, I didn't want them to know there was a gate there, so the pickets were flush, but it opened to the inside of the yard. No hinges or latches visible on the outside. You can't tell there is a fence there. Here's what I did:

I built a frame out of steel. I welded it all up, and it takes all the weight. It has hinges welded to it, and they are attached to the fence post. There are two techniques for slowing, curing, or eliminating sag...one, when you make the frame out of wood or metal, there needs to be a diagonal support from the top corner of latch side, going to bottom corner of hinge side. If this doesn't make sense, imagine that gate mounted. Now imagine pushing down on the top corner of latch side. You'll be pushing that diagonal piece down and into the hinge post. Hopefully that painted a picture for you that you can see what I mean. I wish I could put a picture here for you.

The other technique is the cable support. It has already been mentioned here. It attaches to the opposite corners of the diagonal support. Use turnbuckles so you can adjust over time.

Okay, then I built the panel like you'd do a panel for the rest of the fence, and attached it to the metal frame, and used shims to space it out enough to be flush with the outside of the rest of the fence.

Where I put the gate, I moved it 4 feet away from the nieghbors fence. Two reasons. One, I wanted room to maneuver when I was backing something thru the fence. I didn't want to be limited on that side and always be right up against the fence. Once thru the gate, I wanted to have some wiggle room. Second, for more support with another post. The neighbor's fence and mine, where they meet, there is a post (obviously). My first two fences were hinged to this post on that side. I didn't have wiggle room or support. So, I went 4 feet, and put in another post. These added a lot of support for the gate. I did the same on the other hinge post...I put the hing post in, then another just four feet away. This eliminated part of the sagging problem, which wasn't the gate sagging, it was the posts leaning in toward each other. Now to answer your actual question.

I put all posts, which were 8 feet long 4x4's two feet in the ground, in cement. I originally planned to cement the center post in, wrap it in plastic so the cement wouldn't stick, and it would come out. Well, it didn't come out so easily. The cement settled inward, compressing the post. But it didn't stick! I had to widdle the bottom of the post a bit so it would go back in, and that's how it is today, three years later. It's a tight fit, but it comes out and goes back in pretty easily.

The gates (which are 6 feet EACH!) close on either side of the center post. The inside edge of each latch-side of each gate rests up against the center post, and then I used a rod-latch to lock it. Two techniques I planned to use but never got around to it, one is wheels on each corner of each latch side for support when the gate is opened. Didn't really need it as the two posts on each hinge side kept those posts from leaning. And I didn't use the cable support.

One other technique. Get some pipe, or a chain link fence post, and cement that in the ground. I'd use one 3 feet long, and cement it two feet in the ground. Use plastic or something so the cement doesnt stick. Wrap it up with several layers, like about ten garbage bags. When the cement cures, the pipe should come out without too much problem. The extra thickness of the plastic will absorb the settling pressure of the cement, and make the hole only slightly larger than the diameter of the pipe, allowing it to go in and out easlily without wobbling too much. The hole in the cement will be small in diameter (not 4x4" like would be a fence post) and you can easily plug it with something when the center post is removed.

Now get a 4x4 post, or whatever size post you are using for the rest of the fence, and drill a hole in it 1 foot deep into the bottom of it, and 2" in diameter. Put the pipe in the cement hole, and put the post over the pipe. You'll have a shorter fence post, which will be lighter (it will be two feet shorter), it won't rot in the ground, and will be easy to remove. And the pipe will be easier to remove out of the ground than a wooden fence post, too.

Sorry so long, hope this helps.

SOLER
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: