Advice on gate design - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-12-2019, 03:39 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on gate design

I am building a double 4' cedar gate (8' total) similar to the picture below. It is T&G and i would like it clean both sides (no diagonals). I have considered sandwiching a steel gate frame between two T&G layers, but would prefer not to add the weight, thickness or cost. Of course, I don't want to see any sag over time. I am trying to figure out the joinery/construction of the pictured gate, and what i can do to ensure it does not move over time. Glue all joints and T&G?

Advice appreciated! :)
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-12-2019, 04:56 PM
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If it was made like a house door with the center panel glued as one piece and floating loose it should prevent the frame from sagging. You make the panel close to the size of the opening in height but about 1/4" smaller in width than the opening. Wood practically doesn't shrink in length but expands and contracts with the weather in width so you have to allow for that. The panel height wedged between the rails would prevent it from sagging quite a bit. Over many years if you put a square on it you would see some sagging but just visually I don't think it would be enough to notice. This is assuming your joints on the rails hold up. I would recommend mortise and tenon joints.
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post #3 of 7 Old 08-13-2019, 03:55 PM
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the top lattice work is not ornamental only, it has 2 cross braces and 4 knee braces per gate side
make sure you build the lattice work to brace the gate for racking and you'll probably be fine
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-13-2019, 04:38 PM
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a four foot width with no diagonal support will sag. you can plan for it now, or later.....


I would examine some method to hard pin the diagonal in the lattice work . . .
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post #5 of 7 Old 08-14-2019, 01:26 AM
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jtech1, I have made a number of cedar gates over the years and on the rail to stile joinery, I use a haunched mortise and tenon joint, with the tenon going about 2" into the stile. I also pilot, countersink, and drive in some long 3/8" lag screws in through the side of the stile, into the tenon. I glue the joints with waterproof epoxy, then screw them snugly. Never had sagging of the gate frames.
An example:
Advice on gate design-1399144_10201378926327779_1545065381_o.jpg

Advice on gate design-598928_4057364585134_2079737136_n.jpg
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-14-2019, 05:27 AM
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I have a different approach .....

Since wood moves across it's width only, I would glue all the vertical pieces into one large panel. Let it move all it wants, no diagonals for bracing to prevent sagging. A solid panel can't sag. I would "float" the lattice between the styles as a decorative panel, not structural and not attached in a way to restrict the wood movement of the main panel.


I've always used a diagonal for my gates, up to 6 ft wide per side. That seems to work for me using nails or screws for the verticals in a 3 set pattern since a single nail or screw acts as a pivot when load is applied. I used the diagonal from the inside top to the outside bottom to load the bottom hinge with the weight. That way the diagonal is in compression, not tension, a stronger application. But, since you have no diagonal, treating the entire panel as a solid unit will do the same thing.



The only joints I see an issue with are the top horizontal bars which need to allow for wood movement. A mortise and tenon that is not glued, but pinned with a dowel in a slot would work. Then the lattice panel could just "float" on the horizontal rails.



My .02$

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-18-2019, 04:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtech1 View Post
I am building a double 4' cedar gate (8' total) similar to the picture below. It is T&G and i would like it clean both sides (no diagonals). I have considered sandwiching a steel gate frame between two T&G layers, but would prefer not to add the weight, thickness or cost. Of course, I don't want to see any sag over time. I am trying to figure out the joinery/construction of the pictured gate, and what i can do to ensure it does not move over time. Glue all joints and T&G?

Advice appreciated! :)
Folks have share not only some of there methods (and some great photos of examples!!) but it leaves me with more questions before I could give good advise (I think?)

What is the source of the material...is the design to be "exactly" like the photo...and do you want to do this as they had been built (aka traditionally) or with modern methods combined?

No glue and all joinery is possible. No sagging is dependent on that and some other factors as well. Good luck...

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