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Thread: Mounting a Gate Frame/Jamb in a Hallway

  1. #1
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    Mounting a Gate Frame/Jamb in a Hallway

    I'm finally getting around to hanging the dog gate I made last month, and I need your opinions. The gate will be installed like a door in the middle of a hallway, with three 3" hinges and an interior door lockset. I'm planning to attach a frame, like a door jamb, to the wall on each side of the hallway. The jamb is 3/4" thick and 5 3/8" wide. (It's a true 3/4", milled down from thicker stock. Not 5/8" thick 1 x material.) It will only go as high as the gate on each side, and it won't have a horizontal header across the top.

    I need this jamb to be very solidly attached to the wall (particularly the side with the hinges). I'm planning to install it on top of the drywall, anchored into a stud. What would you use to attach a 3/4" x 5 3/8" piece of wood to an interior stud wall that would make it sufficient to hang a pretty heavy gate? I don't know the weight of it, but I figure at 66" tall, 35" wide, and 1 1/8" thick, it's only a bit lighter than a frame and panel interior door. I'm thinking along the lines of heavy 4 1/2" or 5" drywall screws, about 8" apart on center. Do you think this would handle the load? Am I running a risk of bowing the wall since it's not framed to hang a door?

    You thoughts?
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    I'm finally getting around to hanging the dog gate I made last month, and I need your opinions. The gate will be installed like a door in the middle of a hallway, with three 3" hinges and an interior door lockset. I'm planning to attach a frame, like a door jamb, to the wall on each side of the hallway. The jamb is 3/4" thick and 5 3/8" wide. (It's a true 3/4", milled down from thicker stock. Not 5/8" thick 1 x material.) It will only go as high as the gate on each side, and it won't have a horizontal header across the top.

    I need this jamb to be very solidly attached to the wall (particularly the side with the hinges). I'm planning to install it on top of the drywall, anchored into a stud. What would you use to attach a 3/4" x 5 3/8" piece of wood to an interior stud wall that would make it sufficient to hang a pretty heavy gate? I don't know the weight of it, but I figure at 66" tall, 35" wide, and 1 1/8" thick, it's only a bit lighter than a frame and panel interior door. I'm thinking along the lines of heavy 4 1/2" or 5" drywall screws, about 8" apart on center. Do you think this would handle the load? Am I running a risk of bowing the wall since it's not framed to hang a door?

    You thoughts?
    First, I wouldn't use drywall screws, I like the coated Deck screws for these types of applications, (they're much stronger and don't snap off easily like the drywall screws) and the ceramic coating makes them drive easily. I would use 4" or 4 1/2" screws and with the spacing you mentioned, I think the combination of the 1" thick jamb fastened against the drywall solidly into the 3 1/2" orientation of the stud, should negate any bowing problem. If you think about it, the door/gate will probably be open most of the time (against the wall) and when it is closed, there will be almost no room for the door to pull outward (or sag), so I don't think you will have any problem with that.

  3. #3
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    Good points, Norman. The screws I had in mind are indeed coated deck screws. (Musta been suffering vapor lock when I was typing my questions.) I was also thinking along the same lines as you in regard to the stresses on the jamb. When the gate's against the wall, the screws will be under a shear load (backed up by the hinge mortises), pushing in line with the wall. And when it's closed, the tension stress on the screws and jamb will be potentially relieved by the opposite jamb. I guess bowing is not much of a worry as long as I don't decide to swing on the gate or something.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  4. #4
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    Vaughn, I did think of one thing I forgot to mention, and that is with the semi-narrow hall, you are going to want the gate to go as flat against the wall as possible which brings to mind a door latch I saw somewhere a few years back that would be perfect for that application. It didn't have the usual knobs sticking out, but had a lift trigger/short bar mounted in a cutout and was almost flush with the face of the door on each side. To open, you just slipped a finger in the trigger and lifted it up. It didn't cause the usual problems of knocking a hole in the wall on that side, and you didn't bang your hips on the other side in the narrow hall. Now,....... If I could only remember where I saw it. It is possible that it was while I was in Europe tho, as they had quite a few innovative hardware items for doors AND windows that we didn't have over here at that time, 'course that was 18 + years ago, so if that was where I saw them, we "May" have them here now. It would sure be worth a search though.
    Last edited by Norman Hitt; 03-13-2009 at 09:36 AM.

  5. #5
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    Our hallway is about 36 1/2" wide, so I don't think the doorknob will stick out too far. (I'll check though, to be sure.) Fortunately, LOML and I are skinny. If space is indeed too tight for a full lockset, I'll consider something like this:

    Gate latch

    (The problem with that type of latch is that a dog could potentially open it.)

    I was thinking of something along these lines to keep the knob out of the wall, and to keep the gate open:

    Magnetic door stop
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  6. #6
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    I don't think you need to worry about misalignment of the stud Vaughn, the wall will stay together as a unit. (Think attaching a 75lb. Flat-Screen TV to the wall for comparison.)

    But I would use several counter-sunk 1/4" lag screws with wood caps. You really want the gate to stay up and deck or drywall screws aren't designed for attaching other than (comparatively light) drywall, or flat boards on joists. Of course pre-drill the stud and coat your lag screws with wax to get them right in.
    Last edited by Frank Townend; 03-13-2009 at 11:53 AM.



  7. #7
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    Here, Vaughn, this would do away with the knob:

    http://www.majormfg.com/c-12-secret-gate-latch.aspx

    I spent the last five minutes googling trying to find this... This is one of those "hidden" latches like they have at libraries or banks, to latch closed a half-door in the counter.

    They use something like this at my inlaws church in the nursery -- young kids can't figure it out. you just grab the latch and pop up the button that is underneath the body. This is totally flush - no knob.

    The problem, in your situation with something like this is the height of your gate might make this unworkable.

    ...art
    There's usually more than one way to do it...
    www.wordsnwood.com ........ facebook.com/wordsnwood

  8. #8
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    I think Chuch has your answer. You should be able to get a pounc at HD or Lowes.

    Ray Gerdes

  9. #9
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    One thing I was thinking about, do the wall studs line up across from one another? If not you may have to use some heavy duty construction adhesive to mount the jamb with the striker to the wall.
    Aloha,

    What goes around, comes around.

  10. #10
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    Nothing to add except avoid putting in long screws at say 28" to 36" off the floor just in case any horizontal wire runs are in that wall running through the stud
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

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