How to Install a Farm Fence Gate

Written by chuck brown
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Installing a farm fence gate is always a good way to increase accessibility to your property. The increased number of entrances will add convenience when working, hunting, or inspecting your more remote areas. Gates are also excellent for increasing property security. Only a well-installed gate that is straight, strong, and level will do its intended job and stand up to rigorous farm use. Sagging, flimsy gates not only look unseemly, but they may invite unwanted attention.

Skill level:
Challenging

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • Post hole digger
  • Shovel
  • Power drill
  • 4 8-inch, 8-foot creosote posts
  • 2 4-inch, 4-foot creosote cross members
  • 2 bags dry concrete
  • Strainer wire
  • 2 12-inch galvanised spikes
  • 4 all-thread hinge bolts
  • Hammer
  • Hatchet

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Instructions

    How to Install a Farm Fence Gate

  1. 1

    Measure your area to fit your gate size, using a tape measure. Make sure the two spots where you will dig the holes for the anchor/swing posts are directly in line with each other. Dig a hole where you want your first anchor post. Dig it 3 feet deep, using hole diggers. You want a hole only slightly larger than the posts you will hang the gate sections on. Large holes with a lot of dirt packed back into them will give you wobbly anchor posts and a flimsy gate.

  2. 2

    Set your anchor posts in the holes you just dug. Use 8-foot weather-treated or creosote-soaked posts as your anchor posts, or any other corrosion-resistant metal posts of equal length if you prefer. Fill in around your posts with dry concrete to set them firmly. Pour a bag full in each hole, around each post, and do not add water. Ground moisture will harden the concrete and set the posts. Fill the rest of the hole with dirt. On sloping ground, allow enough height from the bottom of the gate for freedom of gate movement, as you align your gate on your swing/anchor posts.

  3. 3

    Repeat Step 2 for your two brace/reinforcement posts by digging another hole 4 feet from your swing/anchor posts, and in perfect alignment with them, for each side of the gate. Set these two posts, one on each side of the gate to be installed. Using a sharp hatchet, cut a notch ½ inch deep and about 8 inches from the tops to the swing posts and anchor posts. Install the cross member by sticking the end of it into the notched out joint to join them. Using a hammer, drive four 8-penny galvanised nails through the cross member into the swing post to secure the cross member. Repeat the attachment at the other end of the cross member. Your anchor posts and reinforcement posts joined by the horizontal bracing post will shape what looks like a capital H for each gate section you will install.

  4. 4

    Drill holes through the swing posts and anchor posts. Drill holes into both ends of the cross member. Hold the cross member in place, with the holes aligned, and insert 12-inch galvanised spikes through the holes you just drilled. Drive them all the way into the cross member with your hammer. These spikes will strengthen the H framing for the gate. Add strainer wire to strengthen the frame on each side of the gate.

  5. 5

    Measure and drill your holes for your bottom gate hinges (careful measurement and alignment are crucial here; this determines if your gate will be straight or crooked). Repeat for the top hinges. At the marked hinge locations, notch out about ¼ to ½ inch to mount the hinges into. Set your hinges and hang your gate sections onto their hinges. Adjust your gate sections as needed to straighten and align them.

Tips and warnings

  • Always point the top hinge down for more fence security.
  • Make the necessary adjustments with the hinge bolts by turning them as desired.
  • Use only weather resistant or creosote wood or metal to build fence gate frames.

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