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Thread: Gate Rebuild Advice

  1. #1

    Gate Rebuild Advice

    Hi everyone

    Awhile ago I built some garden gates, was actually my first woodworking project. Since they were going to be off the ground and painted, I just used 2" x 12" white pine, biscuited and epoxied together like a big breadboard.

    They looked great but I have had ongoing problems.

    And while that repair went great, now there is another area of rot starting around another bolt hole (I took all the bolts out and painted them with expoxy but that doesn't seem to help.

    Instead of continuing on the repair cycle I have decided to put "build new gates" on the project list (but not at the top!)

    So what are your suggestions for construction? I (and SWMBO) like the massive look of the gates that we get from the 2x thickness, we want the arched top, and they WILL be painted red!

    When I first built them I thought the breadboard construction would help keep them flat -- it has but I have had to deal with movement across the top that I hadn't anticipated. So, should I just glue up the boards without any cross boards at the end and then cut the arc out of the entire gate?

    Should I use Pressure Treated lumber to save cost since the doors will be painted.

    Want to do it right this time because I HATE redos.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    jay, i can`t see pictures at smc ......look to redwood or white oak for outdoor use.....or if you`re feeling wealthy mahogany....if you`ll move a pic here i`ll look at your design...tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3

    Here's a pic


    Not a great shot, I'll try to take another one later on today the shows the whole gate
    Last edited by Jay Lock; 11-04-2007 at 12:23 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    The Heart of Dixie
    To add to Tod's list you want to consider cypress if you can find it. When I made my garage doors I did some homework and seems cypress is an excellent outdoor wood. And it was more available to me than anything else.

    Just a tip, consider solid stain as opposed to paint. It doesn't peel and that make is easier to recoat when the time comes.

  5. #5

    Thanks for the suggest on the cypress, I'll look into that. I don't know about the paint -- the "esthetic committee" really likes the look of Glossy Red, it doesn't show up on the screen very well, but the color is perfect for our house/location. I don't know how many compliments we get on the "wonderful red you have on our gates and doors" Don't want to mess with success! Guess I'll have to repaint once in awhile.


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Placitas, NM in the foothills of the Sandia Mt
    Hey Jay,
    I hear you, life is too short for rebuild! I just will not use PTW, its too wet, too warpy and too toxic.

    When I'm making outdoor furniture, I use Clear Penetrating Epoxy Sealer from Smith and Smith Company

    The epoxy soaks in, displaces moisture and makes the piece waterproof. You can paint over it (main use is on boats). If I'm using CPES, I will go with inexpensive lumber, such as pine or cypress. If you want to try cypress, and your local dealer doesn't carry cypress, try

    Here's a pic of a bench after 2 years of New Mexico high desert UV and temps from 10 to 100.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails bench.jpg  

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Mountain Home, Arkansas
    Having raised cattle for 25 years, I know that gates can be problematic. They receive far more stress and abuse than one might think.
    My first thought is that using 20-byes adds greatly to the weight. Suggestions for cypress, especially in your location are excellent.
    Consider brass for all hardware, after all your exposure to the elements is not unlike that of a boat.
    Always go with hinges larger and stronger than you think might be necessary. What you use might be alright until some 150 pound kid tries to swing on the gate.

  8. #8
    I would use redwood or cedar. Florida is one of the most unforgiving areas concerning wood. Either of the two are stable and hold nails or screws well. Be sure to prime and paint any holes you drill for bolts. You did a good job on those first gates, just a poor selection of materials. I made the same mistake too. I live in Winter Springs about 10 miles N/E of Orlando. Been in the area since 1955.

  9. #9

    About the design

    Ok thanks for the advice on the wood, now back to the gates themselves!

    As you can see from the picture, they are basically flat slabs, I breadboarded the ends and then cut the arc for the top. Want to preserve that look. When I rebuild, should I just glue up to the appropriate dimensions and forget about the breadboard end pieces? I think this time I"ll allow for a looser fit between the two gates and perhaps cut complementary rabets on the gate edges so they don't swing by each other -- we want them only to swing "in" the right hand gate has a latch that locks the gate to the pavers

    Last edited by Jay Lock; 11-04-2007 at 12:23 PM.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    jay, i`d look at your gates as large frame-n-panel doors, you`ll have the styles-n-rails to hold the shape........that is if you use solid lumber?... the design and painted finish would lend itself to building the whole shebang out of baltic birch.......either glue up a few layers or do a torsion box.....much more stable than "real" wood.......tod
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

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