Long (and expensive) story short, one of our dogs has decided she wants to kill one of our other dogs. Because of this, we have always kept the dogs separated while we're not home. (All three dogs stay indoors when we're gone.) Until about a month ago, we used a child safety gate across the hallway, but recently she has figured out how to go over the gate. It's time for a larger, built-in gate.
I intend to build something similar to this, styled and stained to match the solid wood raised panel interior doors throughout our house:
I intend to hang it and latch it just like an interior door, except the bottom of the gate will be about 5" off the ground (to clear the base molding in the hallway) and the top will be about 5' 6" above that. The gate is going across the hall, and not in an existing door frame, so I need to also attach the side parts of a door "frame" on opposite sides of the hall to support the hinges and the strike plate.
Poplar or select grade pine? I think the existing woodwork is pine, so it'll probably be easier to match the color if I use pine. (The existing stain is Minwax "Puritan Pine" shade, and I plan to use the same.) Poplar would likely be a bit nicer to work with. Maple would be nice, but I think it's out of my budget.
Suggestions for attaching the "frame" to the hallway walls? The location isn't critical, so I should be able to anchor the hinge side to a stud. Should I go with lag bolts or would long deck screws suffice? Either will be countersunk and plugged.
The mortise and tenon joints for the vertical bars will be a bit tricky on the underneath side of the arched part. I'm thinking of doing away with the shoulders on the tenons for those joints, and cutting the mortise to the outside dimensions of the bars. (But only on the top. The all the other M&T joints would have a 1/4" tenon shoulder typically.) Any pitfalls to this idea?
Any suggestions are welcome.