Instructions for Installing Wrought Iron Gate Hinges

Written by darci pauser
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Instructions for Installing Wrought Iron Gate Hinges
Thick wrought iron requires a specialised cobalt drill bit. (wrought iron fence of spades image by Stephen Orsillo from

Wrought iron gates add elegance to any building or garden. Gates keep out predators and pests as well as divide space in an outdoor area. J-bolt hinges are standard for wrought iron gates and consist of an L-shaped "male" part along with a "female" tube welded to a plate. The plate on purchased J-bolt hinges has two predrilled bolt holes -- one on each end -- and comes with two bolts and three nuts for each complete hinge. You will need to drill holes into one wrought iron post as well as in the moving gate door to install these hinges.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • China marker or chalk
  • Two wrought iron gate hinges
  • Drill
  • Cobalt drill bit, slightly larger than the hinge bolts
  • Lubricating oil

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  1. 1

    Measure the gate post on which you wish to mount the hinge. Mark the halfway point of the post with a China marker or chalk. Then, mark the halfway point of each post half. These latter points are the centre for your hinge installation.

  2. 2

    Place the female side of one hinge centred on the hinge-installation point and mark the bolt holes. Repeat at the second hinge-installation point.

  3. 3

    Insert a cobalt bit into your drill. Oil the bit and bolt-hole marks. Drill into the bolt-hole marks and through the other side of the post, keeping the drill bit parallel to the ground.

  4. 4

    Place the hinges onto the bolt holes and insert the hinge bolts through the gate post. Secure with nuts on the other side of the post.

  5. 5

    Insert the male hinge pieces into the female pieces. Lift the swinging portion of the gate up, so that it is level with the adjacent gate post. Mark the point at which the protruding male hinge pieces make contact with the gate.

  6. 6

    Set the gate down and drill into the two marked points with an oiled cobalt bit. Continue drilling through the entire post, keeping the bit parallel to the ground.

  7. 7

    Lift the male hinge pieces out of the female hinge pieces and insert them into the two gate holes. Secure with a nut at the other end. Oil the male hinge pieces that will make contact with the female pieces.

  8. 8

    Lift the gate, with the male pieces attached, onto the post with the female pieces so that the male pieces fit inside the female pieces.

Tips and warnings

  • Oil the hinges once each year to prevent a squealing sound when the gate moves.

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