DIY: Wood Garden Gate

Written by tanya khan
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DIY: Wood Garden Gate
A small wooden gate is a functional and decorative addition to any landscape. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

A basic addition to a property, a simple garden gate adds privacy and security to the enclosed space. Instead of purchasing the gate from a home improvement store, consider making it yourself to save on manufacturing costs. Use treated lumber and galvanised nails or screws for added protection against the elements and for a long-lasting gate. Prime the gate to retain the natural appearance of the wood or paint it a bright colour so it stands out in the landscape.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Post hole digger
  • Posts (2)
  • Gravel
  • Cement
  • Trowel
  • 46-inch long 2-by-6s (5)
  • 30-inch long 2-by-4s (3)
  • Hammer
  • 3-inch nails
  • Saw
  • 2-inch packers or breeze block
  • Hinges (2)
  • Bolt latch
  • Hand drill and drill bit
  • Wood screws

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  1. 1

    Use a post hole digger to excavate a 1-foot deep by 2-foot wide hole over the selected area for the gate post. Measure and dig an identical hole 36 inches away. Tamp the base and walls of each hole to ensure they are firm and level.

  2. 2

    Spread 2 inches of gravel over the base of each hole. Enlist an assistant to hold a post vertically in a hole while you pour concrete around it up to 3 inches from the top. Level the top of the cement with a trowel. Repeat the process with the other post and leave the concrete to dry for 24 hours.

  3. 3

    Lay the five 46-inch lengths vertically on a flat surface, with their tops flush and in line with each other. Measure 2 inches down from the tops of the vertical boards and lay a 30-inch board over this point, across the five boards. Ensure the ends of the smaller board are flush with the sides of the vertical boards.

  4. 4

    Hammer a 3-inch nail through the 30-inch board at each intersection so it penetrates the board directly below to join them together. Measure 2 inches upward from the bottom edge of the five boards and repeat the process of joining another 30-inch board across the point.

  5. 5

    Lay the third 30-inch board diagonally across the vertical boards, from right to left, so it forms a Z-shape. Mark the lines along the corners of this board so it forms a snug fit against the other two 30-inch boards.

  6. 6

    Saw over the marked lines on the third 30-inch board to cut off any excess length at its corners. Spread this board diagonally between the two cross boards. Hammer a nail through this diagonal board into each underlying board.

  7. 7

    Set 2-inch packers or a breeze block on the ground between the two posts to keep the gate 2 inches off the ground. Place the gate over the packers and line it flush with one of the two posts. Hold the gate firmly as you mark the location of its two horizontal 30-inch boards on the post. These two points mark the location of the hinges.

  8. 8

    Line up the hinge posts with the markings on the post and drill screws into the hinge holes to attach them in place. Set the gate in position between the posts and line up the two horizontal boards with the hinge posts. Drill screws through the hinge wings to attach the other half of each hinge to the horizontal boards of the gate.

  9. 9

    Secure the latch to the top horizontal board at the opposite side of the gate. Line up the clamp for the latch on the post and secure it in place with screws.

Tips and warnings

  • Measure the spacing between the two posts and the desired height of the gate and design it accordingly. Keep it 1 to 4 inches off the ground.

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