Installing a wooden gate and properly fitting the hinges is a simple job that requires no special tools or advanced knowledge of carpentry. To ensure proper operation and longevity of the gate, the hinges should be installed with at least two of the hinges securely affixed to the horizontal rails of the gate frame. By levelling the gate and using shims to hold it in place prior to attaching it to the gate post, the gate will swing true, without undue stress on the gate post, the hinges or gate.
Place the gate on a flat surface, hinge-side up. Place the hinges on the edge of the gate so their straps are aligned with the centres of the horizontal rails of the gate frame. Align the edges of the hinge straps with the edge of the gate so the hinge pins are parallel to the vertical stile of the gate frame. Use a pencil to mark the positions of the screw holes in the hinge strap on the gate, Remove the hinges. Drill a pilot hole through each screw-hole mark you've made. Reposition the hinges. Using a drill and driving bit, attach the hinges to the gate with the screws provided in the hinge kits.
Lay pieces of scrap lumber on the ground between the gate posts to support the gate while you install it. The gate should be raised two to four inches off the ground, depending on your preference and security needs. Place the gate on the planks, centred between the fence posts. The hinged side of the gate should be flush with the gate post where the hinges will be installed. Place a carpenter's level on the horizontal rail of the gate. Push shims between the gate posts and the gate, as many as are needed to hold the gate in position. As you are placing the shims, make sure that the gate remains level.
Open the hinges so their mounting plates lie flat on the gate post. Use a pencil to mark the positions of the screw holes in the mounting plate on the gate post. Close the hinges so the mounting plates are out of the way. Drill a pilot hole through each screw-hole mark on the gate post. Reposition the mounting plates. Attach the hinges to the gate post with the screws provided in the hinge kits.
Remove the shims and scrap lumber planks. You may have to use a mallet to knock firmly wedged shims from between the gate and gate post.
Pilot holes should be drilled to a depth that approximates the length of the installation screws. Use a drill bit with a slightly smaller diameter than the threaded shanks of the screws.