Gate Rebuild Advice

Jay Lock

Member
Messages
1,037
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.

http://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?t=26760&highlight=gate

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.

Thanks

Jay
 

tod evans

Member
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4,993
Location
ozarks
jay, i can`t see pictures at smc:eek: ......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
 

Jay Lock

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1,037
Here's a pic

Tod

Not a great shot, I'll try to take another one later on today the shows the whole gate
 
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Jeff Horton

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4,272
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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.
 

Jay Lock

Member
Messages
1,037
Jeff

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.

Jay
 
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
http://www.star-distributing.com/smith/cpeswhy.html

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 www.walllumber.com.

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

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Frank Fusco

Member
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12,316
Location
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.
 

Jim Bell

Member
Messages
7
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.
Jim
 

Jay Lock

Member
Messages
1,037
About the design

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

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

Jay
 
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tod evans

Member
Messages
4,993
Location
ozarks
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
 

Jay Lock

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1,037
Tod

Thanks, I should have though of that, lot less work as well! I guess I can get exterior BB and then expoy the exposed edges. Torsion box probably isn't such a good idea since we do have hurricanes around here -- a couple of years ago they took quite a beating one side cracked at the hinge area.

Jay
 

Jay Lock

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1,037
Just talked with a plywood supplier he doesn't know about exterior BB. He suggested using some of the new pvc "wood" said they even have it in 4 x 8 sheets. Any experience with that? Said I could get it in 1 1/8 thickness, wouldn't have to laminate up

Jay
 

Dan McGuire

Member
Messages
41
Location
Plainfield, IL
Jay,

While I haven't used the PVC plywood, I have used other pcs of exterior trim made out of PVC. I really liked it. Cut like wood, went up real easy and looked good after it was done. I replaced all of the trim on my exterior doors at my old house with the stuff. It would be something to consider I would think.

Dan
 

tod evans

Member
Messages
4,993
Location
ozarks
jay, my experience with the composites is limited to the early trex and the like.....i`d worry about warpage due to heat in your climate? ask your supplier about the need for reinforcement in your application...
fyi; take a piece of regular ol` baltic........cut a 1" square put it in a coffee cup fill with water and boil it.......repeat daily for a month.......my results where no delamination and minimal swelling.......tod
 

Joe Mioux

Member
Messages
351
Location
Carlyle IL
Hi Jay:

Being in the Greenhouse business, all old greenhouses were made out of Redwood or Cypress. Cedar was also used.

Wish I had a picture of an old cypress greenhouse door that had to be 80 years old. The last 25 years, it set in the weeds, no paint. When cleaning up that area I pulled it out and that wood was still in great shape and wasn't warped.

I am finishing up a planter box made of cypress. It mills it really well and it is kind of pretty. It has a "sheen" to it.

HTH
joe
 

Jay Lock

Member
Messages
1,037
Decisions decisions

Hi everyone

Well I went to my supplier to talk about baltic birch and told him what I was planning on doing. He didn't have anything thicker than 3/4" so I would have to laminate BB to get my desired thickness. The "plastic lumber" isn't cheap, $250 a sheet and neither he nor his supplier were sure what it would do hanging on some hinges in the sun.

As an alternative he suggested Extira

http://www.craftmasterdoordesigns.com/pageBuild.asp?PageID=B_ext_e#

Of course this is "a new product to us" so he doesn't have any direct experience. But, it comes 1 1/4' thick and is $96 bucks a sheet. I ordered a sample from them but don't know if they will send it since it seems that they expect to be dealing with commercial operations. Will wait and see.

Anyone out there have any experience with this stuff?

Ah the wonders of project planning!

Thanks for all the ongoing assistance.

Jay
 
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