Adding an iron or steel gate to a driveway or entry can add value and prestige to nearly any house. Ranging from modern, angled styles to fanciful designs, gates can be made to fit any mood or decor. While ornate and dramatic designs are usually the work of skilled artisans using special tools, an attractive and functional gate can be made by a novice for a very small cost and using only a few basic tools.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Welding machine
- Hand grinder
- Hot-rolled 1/2 inch square steel bars
- One-inch square steel tubing
Determine the general height and width dimensions the gate needs to be. Remember to allow clearance below the gate for it to swing freely, typically six inches.
Cut the square tubing to the total height of the gate. Cut four lengths for the two outside edges of each gate.
Cut square tubing for the top and bottom sections of the steel gate. You should now have the material to make two rectangles that will be the outside shell of the gate.
Clamp the edges of the square tubing. After each corner is clamped, take diagonal measurements from each corner and adjust until the measurements are equal. This ensures a square frame.
Measure the inside dimension of the frame. Cut the square bar to this length making sure to cut enough bars so that there is one bar every six inches or so across the grate.
Place the bars inside the frame beginning with the centre, and placing one in the middle of each remaining section. This process will ensure an equal separation between the bars.
Weld the bars to the top and bottom rail. Once every bar is welded, clean up the welds using a disc grinder until the surface is smooth.
Wrap wire around the top of the bar connecting it to the top rail. This creates a decorative element and adds more rigidity to the gate.
Finish the steel to your liking; flat black paint is the most common finish. Once finished the gate is ready to be installed.
Tips and warnings
- To finish the ends of the square tubing, cap them with a scrap piece of steel to give the grate a more finished look.
- Use a welding mask and gloves when making the gate. Welding machines can cause blindness and severe burns.
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