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How to Make a Timber Gate

Timber gates are an attractive, long-lasting choice for a fence. Pressure treated timbers are treated with chemicals so they can last outdoors for 15 to 20 years. Making a timber gate is simple and lends a personal touch to an entryway. The construction process is straightforward and adaptable to various dimensions.

Figure the dimensions of the gate frame. Measure width between the two sides of the fence with a tape measure, and subtract 1 inch for the gate clearance. Measure the desired height of the gate from the ground up, and subtract 8 inches.

Place five 1-by-3 inch lengths of timber on a flat surface. Measure two boards to equal the width of the gate frame, and two to equal the height. Mark cut lines with a pencil and cut the boards with a circular saw.

Arrange the four cut boards in a rectangle with the shorter boards across the top and bottom. Lay the fifth board diagonally from one top corner to the opposite bottom corner. Mark a cut line to align the brace board with the edge of the top and bottom board and cut it.

Line 1-by-6 inch timber boards vertically across the frame boards. Pencil the cutting lines at the desired height of the gate minus 2 inches. The gate will hang at the correct height with a 2-inch clearance from the ground. Cut the vertical boards with the circular saw.

Fix the four frame boards together with two 2-inch galvanised nails and a hammer. Lay the diagonal brace board on the back side of the frame and nail it to each end with two 2-inch galvanised nails.

Lay the first vertical board over the frame so the side is flush with the side of the frame. The bottom should hang over the frame by 2 inches and over the top of the frame by 6 inches. Nail the board to the top, bottom and sides of the frame. Continue to nail the vertical boards onto the frame so they are aligned with the first one.

Position two T-hinges to the side of the fence, aligned with the top and bottom frame boards. Attach the hinges to the post with galvanised screws. Place them on the inside of the fence if you want the gate to swing inward, or on the outside to make it swing out.

Drill corresponding hinges to the gate in line with the top and bottom frame boards.

Screw a latch to the opening side of the fence and a hook to the corresponding side of the gate.

Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • 5 boards, 1 by 3 inches
  • Pencil
  • Circular saw
  • 1-by-6 inch boards
  • Galvanised nails
  • Hammer
  • 2 T-hinges
  • Drill
  • Galvanised screws
  • Latch
  • Hook
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About the Author

Aurora LaJambre is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, N.Y. For over five years she's covered topics in culture, lifestyle, travel, DIY design and green living for print and online media. Her publication credits include "WOW Women on Writing," "Six States" and Catalogs.com. She graduated from New York University in 2003 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in creative writing.