I was browsing reddit when I saw “Wood driveway gates, build and install.” and thought it was a nice idea to post in the blog. All the credits go to Dankedan.
Finished product first of course.
Yes, there is an automatic opener on its way, along with real lights. No, I’m not worried about the dog crawling under the gate, she has her own 1/4 acre out back. There are hedges and roses coming to fill in the gaps. This is for privacy and karma.
The gate plans back from the designer. These gates used a combination of 2×12, 2×10, 2×6, 2×4, and 1×4
The shopping list looked like: 2x12x8 x2
4′ x 1/2″ dowel x1
6″ strap hinge x9
striker latch x1
thumb latch x1
24″ cane bolts x2
1/4″ x 6″ carriage bolts x 9 1/2″ x 2″ lag bolts x11
1/2″ x 4″ lag bolts x9
60lb premix concrete bag x55
5/8″ rebar x20′
12″ x 1-1/4″ eyebolt (galvanized) x1
3/16 aircraft cable x 20′
10″ x 1000lb stainless turnbuckle x1
solar lights x4
outdoor UV-rated polyurethane x2 (gallons)
And the post layout
Pippa getting karma for blindly chasing deer through the vineyard and up the hillside. Shes fine.
I was unloading lumber and I heard a faint yelp. There is 5 acres of vineyard behind me and then mountains, and we get lots of deer that she loves to chase. After about 1/4 mile I got close to the yelping and turns out it wasn’t her, instead it was a blue-jay mimicking her yelp. The jay kept yelping every couple seconds, and after a few minutes of calling, Pippa came barreling out of the bushes with this hanging off her face.
All the materials. Yes, its construction lumber. SPF (spruce/pine/fir)
Originally I was going to try for 100% Fir or Pine, but after digging through the lifts of lumber I realized that I was going to have to compromise on the species in order to get straight, stable lumber. I opted out of a stain at this point, as staining something like SPF would result a ton of different tones going on. Spruce is a waxy, closed-pore softwood that accepts stain poorly. Pine takes a ton of conditioning, and Fir can become very dramatic (flaming grain) if you go too dark.
Playing around with profiles
I initially wanted something with a ‘busy’ top rail profile. These samples also helped me dial in the mortise and tenon proportions. I opted for a 1/2″ mortise which I cut with a hollow-chisel mortiser. This left 1/2″ of wood on either side of the mortise. (The material is 1-1/2″ thick)
Definitely getting closer
F*ck digging holes in sandy condition. I used a 12″ gas auger and finished them off with a post hole digger and a breaker bar
The only advice I can give for digging in these conditions is to have a podcast or something going on because its going to be a slow go. I let the gas auger get about 40″ down before it started taking the inner walls of the hole apart. I switched to hand tools and water and very slowly finished the holes off. The water helps stabliize the walls of the hole, and also makes it a little easier to pull material out with the post hole digger. There was no easy option for the rocks. They were all grapefruit-sized and has to be removed one at a time. Im thinking a little stone and mortar fire pit is coming up next.
All in all the holes averaged 20″ diameter at the top, mushroomed out to about 30″ at the bottom, and 48″ deep. Also, Goose
The diagonal braces are screwed into some simple 1×2 stakes I made from cut offs. The horizontal braces are setting the spacing on the post, accurate to a 1/16″ of an inch. All you do is take a piece of lumber wider than your post-to-post, and add blocks that will set the spacing of the inside of each post. Make sure you use two braces per post and the spacing blocks are identical. With this method, as long as your first post is level, all the post will come out level.
15 bags of 60lb premix. I’m no concreter so I’m hoping a little soil around the edges will help… blend
This setup has more braces than Appalachia if orthodontics were free
Making sure the profile doesn’t look too dramatic
Found this little guy smothered in sawdust. Rinsed him off and found a nice, wood-bug rich corner of the yard for him
The small gates top rail
All the parts, as per the plans
Tenons half done
Double checking to avoid awkward-looking proportions
I won’t admit how badly I wanted to make this setup 10′ tall, but it was bad
Missed a few photo ops, so to catch you up here is the styles all mortised up, and the rails with a dado cut to accept the slats
Rails for the large gates, cut to profile, tenoned and dadoed
Dry fitting everything
If you ever need to space slats like this and want every gap identical, here’s what I did- (for this type of stuff I have to use metric, but maybe I’ll try an imperial attempt)
Total space to fill- 1619mm
width of slat- 89mm
-just guessing maybe 16 slats would do it?
=16 x 89mm =1424mm
so 16 slats would cover 1424mm
1619-1424=195mm195mm is how much space will not be covered by slats.
There are 16 slats, which equals 17 spaces
195mm / 17 spaces = 11.47mm per space. This was too large for the look I wanted, so I opted for 17 slats.
17 x 89mm = 1513mm
1619 (total space to fill) – 1513 = 106mm
106mm / 18 spaces (always # of slats+1 for spaces) = 5.889 mm. Perfect spacing.
I don’t know if this sort of calculation would be as easy in imperial, but lets give it a shot
Trying 17 slats-
Total space to fill 63-3/4″
Width of slat 3-1/2″
17 slats x 3-1/2″ = 59-1/2″
63-3/4″ – 59-1/2″ = 4-1/2″
59-1/2″ will be covered by 17 slats, which give us 4-1/2″ for 18 spaces
4-1/2″ / 18 = 1/4″ spacing.
Yup. It was about as easy as metric. Mostly I worry about these things coming down to 16ths and 32nds. But this time I probably could have just used imperial.
Laying out the different options for hardware
Mortise and tenon locked with dowel
Skipped photos of the first 4 coats of polyurethane. I used a UV-rated outdoor, water-based poly and brushed it on
First gate up
Didn’t want a traditional pergola top, so I kept it simple and functional
My neighbors warned me about assassin beetles. As soon as it got cold they started showing up everywhere
Dug an 18″x36″ hole and poured this small block to anchor into for support. Used 3/16 aircraft cable and a 1000lb turnbuckle
The hinges use a 4″ and a 2″ lag bolt. The hinges secure to the gate with a 1/4″ carriage bolt and some #6 wood screws.
I’m not looking forward to ripping out the old rotten fence around this property
Almost done. Just need a couple small pads for the cane bolts, and some hardware
The property was vacant last winter and the deer did some serious damage to the hedges
The workshop build will be coming soon. So far reframed the entire thing after a massive, post-grow op gutting
The cane bolts pads are in. I hate when people perfectly center these things, so common
Thumb latches are neat
Canes and the latch
Found this badass scaling a window
Backside moneyshot. Center pad for cane bolts perfectly off center
They swing, secondary cane pads seem to work well
Couple of cheap solar lights until I run a line out. There is an auto opener on its way too
The light output is laughable, but the housing is sure pretty
Pippa and Goose keeping warm
The original author is reddit user, Dankedan. All the credits go to him.