How to Make Wood Gates

Written by jim wildman
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How to Make Wood Gates
Make a wood gate (arch to paradise image by davidcrehner from

A gate gives you access to the fenced area of land. A gate can be made out of wood, steel, plastic, and fibreglass. Whatever it is made of it needs to be sturdy and secure. A gate also needs some kind of locking device to keep it closed. The do-it-yourself handyman can build a custom wood gate with a little hardware and some wood.

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Things you need

  • Tape measure
  • (5) 2 by 4 by 8-foot Boards
  • Mitre saw
  • Construction adhesive
  • Caulk gun
  • Assorted exterior wood screws
  • (4) 8-inch steel corner braces
  • Pencil
  • Fence pickets

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  1. 1

    Measure the distance between the fence posts where you want to place the gate. Use a tape measure to measure it at the top, middle and bottom of the post. You will need to use the smallest of the three dimensions. Measure the height of the fence. Most gates are built to the same height as the fence is tall.

  2. 2

    Cut (2) 2 by 4 by 8-foot pressure treated boards to 12-inches less than the height of the fence. Cut a 2 by 4 by 8 to the dimension found in step 1 minus 4 inches. You are taking out the width of (2) 2 by 4s and 1 inch for clearance. Use a mitre saw to cut the boards at 90-degrees so the boards will be square.

  3. 3

    Apply construction adhesive to the ends of the short 2 by 4s and set them between the two long boards on a flat surface. Align them with the ends of the long boards and screw them together. Use 3-inch exterior deck screws and a power screwdriver. This will make a big rectangle for the gate's frame. Use a caulk gun to apply the construction adhesive.

  4. 4

    Place 8-inch corner brackets in each of the four corners. Screw them in place using 1 1/2-inch exterior wood screws. These will help to keep the gate square. Place a 2 by 4 by 8-foot piece of wood under the gate frame so that it runs from the top left corner down to the bottom right corner. Center it on the 2 by 4 and use a pencil to trace the inside corner onto the 2 by 4. This will show you where to cut the 2 by 4 so that it will fit within the gate frame. Cut the 2 by 4 using a mitre saw along the lines that you made.

  5. 5

    Use the 2 by 4 that you just cut as a template to cut another one. Put construction adhesive on one of the 2 by 4s. Set the other on top and align them together. Screw them together using 2 1/2-inch exterior wood screws. This makes a brace to keep the gate square.

  6. 6

    Apply construction adhesive inside the two corners of the gate frame. Set the 2 by 4 brace inside the gate frame. Screw it in place from the top and bottom using 3-inch exterior wood screws.

  7. 7

    Place the gate frame on a flat surface with the 6-inch corner brackets facing down. Place construction adhesive on the top side of the frame. Attach fence pickets that match the fence on the frame using 2 1/2-inch exterior wood screws.

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