While the standard wood gate is approximately 3 feet wide, which allows for accessibility by wheelchairs and most gardening tools, there is no right or wrong width size.
Figure 8 - Turnbuckle
If you have an exceptionally wide gate you can distribute some of the leveraged load by connecting a steel wire with the use of a turnbuckle, as shown in Figure 8, to the far side of the gate and the hinge side gate post, as shown in Figure 9.
Figure 9- Wide gate installation using steel wire and turnbuckles
Figure 10 - 12″ gate hinge
The gate hinges should be as long as possible as a longer hinge provides more support than a shorter hinge. Figure 10 is a 12 inch,
T style steel gate hinge.
It is best to use stainless steel hinges, latches, screws and fasteners, throughout the entire project. Hinge screws should be at least 2 inches long and should be the maximum diameter that the hinge will handle.
Wood Gate Construction:
Construction of the gate itself is relatively simple.
- Measure the opening between the two gate posts.
- Determine the gate height. This is completely arbitrary as there are no standards for gate heights.
- Build a frame using 2 x 3 or 2 x 4 lumber, as shown in Figure 11, using the gate opening dimension less 1 inch and the desired height less 8 inches for the dimensions. As an example, if the gate opening was 40 inches and the desired finished gate height was 48″, the frame would be 39 inches (40 - 1) wide and 40 inches long (40 - 8).
- Ensure that the frame is perfectly square by measuring the diagonals, as shown in Figure 12.
- Insert a diagonal piece of framing to hold the frame square, as shown in Figure 13.
- Fasten the slat boards to the frame, as shown in Figure 14. The slats should be mounted with 4 inches of material above and below the gate frame. Note: it is highly likely that one of the slats will have to be ripped to width to cover the gate frame without overlapping the sides.
Figure 12 - Measure diagonals
Figure 13 - Insert diagonal
Figure 14 - Mount slats to frame
For tall gates, over 4 feet high, the addition of a center horizontal cross support will add to the stability of the gate, as shown in Figure 15.