How to Install Gates in a Field Fence

You have laid out and constructed your field or pasture fence and installed the planking or wiring. You're almost finished. Now it's time to hang the gates. You have purchased a pair of welded steel tube gates. And, you have set and plumbed a pair of 6-inch-by-6-inch pressure-treated gate posts at the correct distance to accommodate them. This is the home stretch of the project, so let's get started.

Determine how much ground clearance the gates require. Then measure to determine where the bottom hinge pin will be located.

Drill a hole about 4 to 5 inches deep in the centre of the gate post. Be sure the hole is perfectly horizontal and straight.

Twist the first hinge pin into the post. If friction makes it difficult to twist, use the breaker bar for more leverage. Leave about 2 to 3 inches of the hinge pin exposed. This will ensure that the gate will not bind against the post when swung open or closed.

With your helper's assistance, lift the gate onto the lower pin. Use the level to determine when it is horizontal. Mark the post with the location of the upper hole.

Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the upper hinge pin. Then hang the first gate. Check that it swings freely. If required, adjust the depth of the hinge pins. Then remove the gate.

Attach the string to the lower pin, hang the line level on it and stretch the string to the opposite gate post. When your helper signals that the string is level, mark the location of the lower hinge pin in the centre of the post.

Repeat steps 2 through 5.

Mount both gates and swing them to the closed position. Verify that they will almost meet but will swing freely and not bang into one another. Adjust the depth of the hinge pins if required. Wrap the latching chain around the both gates and secure it into the latching groove.

Remove both gates, apply a liberal coating of grease to each hinge pin and any exposed threads. Remount the gates. They should swing freely without squeaking or colliding.


Steel tube gates usually have a factory-applied base coat of paint. If you do not like the colour, or your gates have a few minor rust spots, paint them with a good quality metal paint. If your gates do not come with hinge pins, be sure to purchase them when you buy the gates.


Depending on their size, steel gates can be heavy to lift and move. Consider wearing a pair of heavy-duty work boots in case you lose your grip and the gate falls onto one of your feet.

Things You'll Need

  • Pair of welded steel tube gates (at least one should have a latching chain attached)
  • 4 3/4-inch-by8-inch lag end hinge pins
  • Half-inch diameter twist drill
  • Drill or drill driver
  • Measuring tape
  • Breaker bar
  • Level
  • String
  • Line level
  • Pencil
  • Grease


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About the Author

Rich Finzer earned his boating license in 1960 and started his writing career in 1969. His writing has appeared in "Northern Breezes," "Southwinds," "Living Aboard," "Good Old Boat," "Latitudes & Attitudes," "Small Craft Advisor," "Life in the Finger Lakes," "BackHome" and "Dollar Stretcher" magazines. His maple syrup has won awards in competition. Rich has a Bachelor of Science in communications from Ithaca College.