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How to make wooden gates

Updated April 17, 2017

Building wooden gates is not difficult, and even the simplest design can look good. The size of your wooden gate depends on its use. In most cases however, you are simply going to need a gate for people to enter and exit the area in which you are fencing. Building a sturdy and functional gate will only take a couple of hours.

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  1. Determine the size of the gate you need to build by measuring the opening with a tape measure. Place the end of the tape on one post and pull it across the opening to the other post. Write down your measurement. Place the end of the tape on the ground and pull it up to the height that you need the gate to be. Write that measurement down. Remember that you will need about 5 cm (2 inches) clearance at the bottom so that the gate opens easily.

  2. Purchase the timber you will need based on the dimensions resulting from your measurements. Measure the "2-by-4" boards using a tape measure and mark your cuts on them. Place the boards on the sawhorses and cut them at your marks using a circular saw. Mark 45-degree angles on the boards using a builder's square and a pencil at the ends of the boards. Place the boards on the sawhorses and cut the 45-degree angles using a circular saw.

  3. Lay the boards on the ground and form the shape of the gate by placing the 45-degree angle cuts together to form a square or rectangle. Connect the boards together using 10 cm (4 inch) screws, a drill and screwdriver bits. Place two screws into each side to make the joints strong. Install a corner bracket on the inside corner of each side and secure it using 2.5 cm (1 inch) wood screws, the drill and screwdriver bits. This will add extra strength to the gate.

  4. Measure the gate pickets using a tape measure and mark them at the necessary length for your gate size. Place the pickets on the sawhorses and cut them to the necessary length using the circular saw. Line the pickets up on the face of the gate and spread them apart evenly. Attach the pickets to the gate frame using 5 cm (2 inch) screws, a drill and a screwdriver bit. Place two screws at the top portion of the picket and two at the bottom.

  5. Attach the hinges to the gate frame using a drill, screwdriver bit and the screws that came with the hinges. Attach the gate to the fence post using a drill, screwdriver bit and the screws that came with the hinges. Use the level to make sure the gate is level when you hang it. Install the latch on the gate according to manufacturer instructions for the particular style of latch you are using. Repeat the steps to build the total number of wooden gates you need.

  6. Tip

    This is a standard 90 cm x 90 cm (3 ft x 3 ft) wooden gate.


    Wear safety glasses or goggles when working with power tools to prevent injury to your eyes.

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Things You'll Need

  • Tape measure
  • Builders square
  • Circular saw
  • 2 sawhorses
  • Pencil
  • 5 x 10 cm (2 x 4 inch) "2-by-4" boards
  • 2.5 x 7.5 cm (1 x 3 inch) fence pickets
  • 10 cm (4 inch) screws
  • 2.5 cm (1 inch) wood screws
  • 5 cm (2 inch) screws
  • Drill
  • Screw bits
  • Corner brackets
  • Level
  • Hinges
  • Gate latch

About the Author

John Rose has been writing professionally since 1981. Now contributing to various online publications, he specializes in auto repair, home maintenance and similar topics. Rose studied English at Frostburg State University.

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