Building a Wood Gate Building a Wood Gate

To build a wood gate you will need lumber, metal angle plates to secure gate frame, a diagonal wood piece to strengthen the gate, wood screening for the gate, screw or bolt hinges for hanging gate, a latch to secure the gate and a strip of wood for the stop for the gate. 

Step 1 - Determine Posts for the Gate

While constructing a fence, you might decide you would like a gate. When setting posts for your fence measure where you would like your gate opening and set posts accordingly. Make sure the gate opening is square by measuring the posts at the top and the bottom. Equal measurements mean the gate posts are square. If they are not square you will need to readjust your posts to allow your new gate to hang properly.

Step 2 - Prepare the Gate Frame

The next step is to construct the frame for your gate. Determine the width of your gate by measuring the distance between your two posts and subtracting ½ inch, or ¾ inch for a heavier gate. Cut your gate frame wood to desired length. You will need 4 pieces. For butt joints cut 2 pieces of wood the width of the gate. Next cut 2 more pieces to make your gate the desired height. Remember when cutting your height pieces that the top and bottom pieces will add length to your measurement. Align your 4 frame pieces and attach the 4 corners with metal angle plates. Make sure you keep your gate square while assembling. To strengthen your gate, cut a piece of wood to be placed diagonally from the top of the hinge side of the gate to the bottom of the latch side of the gate. Secure with nails.

Step 3 - Add Screening to Gate Frame

There are many different types of wood to use for gates. Make sure you decide on something that is weather resistant and choose a stain or paint to protect it. Measure and cut your screening material to cover the frame you have built. You will want to stain or paint your wood screening prior to attaching it to the frame. Once your screening is ready, begin attaching it to your frame on the opposite side of where you have attached the metal angle plates.

Step 4 - Hang Gate 

Finally, you are now ready to hang your gate to the posts. Start by attaching the hinges to your gate frame. Hold the gate up in the opening next to the post where the gate will hang. Attach the hinges to the post. Next, decide where you want the latch for your gate. You can attach it either on the top or the side of the gate. There are several types of latches available at your local hardware or lumber store. Once you have the hinges and latch installed, close the gate and mark the inside edge on the post adjacent to the latch. Cut a strip of wood the length of the gate and nail it to the post for the gate stop.

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