View Full Version : Gate design help please

07-27-2004, 02:53 PM
My next project is to build a new gate. I will give you some info gate opening is 16'
height of fence boards 6' type of wood is cedar 1"x6'. I would like to build one gate to span the opening. In the picture below I have 3 gates 1 gate is a walk through and the other two open to make an 11' opening. I did not build this original set up that is my disclaimer.

I would like to put in a metal post 6"x6" x .250 " square tubing in the ground 4' deep concreted in place with rebar. This will be the post the gate will hinge on. I am going to make grease able pins to hinge the gate on. I will put 2"x4" wood stringers on the outside of the gate to attach the cedar boards to. The frame of this gate is to be made of steel. My question is what size material should I use to make the frame out of. I don't want it to be heavier than necessary but I don't want it too bow either. I am thinking of using square or rectangular tubing. I have a mig welder to build the gate with.

I am having a hard time getting in and out of the 11' opening with my motor home and boat, due to the shape of the driveway not shown in the picture. I would like the gate to open very easy as it will also be my walk through gate.


Mike W
07-27-2004, 03:07 PM
I made a 20' gate. I used 2" square tubing, .064 wall. At about 14' from the hinge, I have a wheel that pivots on a truck spring. The asphalt is a little rough. I can level the gate by a bolt pushing on the spring.

I used two old truck throwout bearings in the hinges. I bolted 2 by 4's on the sq tubing for the fence boards to attach to.

07-27-2004, 03:27 PM
How about mount a small wheel at the swinging end of the gate. This way you don't have to make the door too rigid and it will be lighter.

07-27-2004, 04:17 PM
With all that wood on the gate it is going to be heavy so a wheel out near the swinging end is a good idea. You may also like to make the bottom hinge telescope so the gate can follow the ground. Should work good on that concreate driveway.


07-27-2004, 04:24 PM
Another thought is that you could put another hinge in the gate just past the land wheel, say 3 feet short of the end. Then the end section could be your walk through gate, save you swinging the larger gate all the time.


07-27-2004, 05:01 PM
It's a rare gate that won't sag eventually, regardless of the construction. All the more pronounced the bigger the gate.
I also would make it in two sections, with the smaller as a 'walk-thru'.
I had to go thru the same gate-enlargement several years ago after buying a boat bigger than the gate. I wasn't into metal working then, so mine was all wood, ...not a big as yours. But it still sags. I keep the swinging ends resting on a concrete pad, which helps that a lot. Have since traded that boat for a smaller fishing boat, and now seldom use the gate.
Even with the welded metal frame, I'd still use an 'X' cross-bracing for regidity.

07-27-2004, 05:03 PM
I just went down the Lowes and purchased screw in hinges for a gate. It was in the fencing supply area. I put in 3 for my 15' gate. I had a 20' piece of 1 1/4 tubing I bent two 90's in. I put regular fence posts on the other end. Put the 1/2" metal strapping across it to reinforce it. I put fence fabric on it and used the tie wire.

It won't hold out a truck pushing up against it, but it keeps the pup in. I think it weighs less than 100 pounds if My calcs are right.

I keep going to.. cut some different design and putting it up.. but I really hate to draw more attention to myself and my toys to the undesireables.


07-27-2004, 05:30 PM
It would be hard to use a wheel the driveway on the other side slopes down too much.

07-27-2004, 06:15 PM
Make the wheel end a spring loaded arrangement that will support at least some of the weight and it will allow the wheel to go up and down on the driveway slope.


07-27-2004, 06:45 PM
Why not two 8' wide gates?

07-27-2004, 08:03 PM
Mount the gate on two 1-1/2" pillow block bearings,easy swing and grease lubed.

If you look you can probibly find some 2x4 or even 2x6 11ga tubing,edge on it would be strong with a single diagonal brace running from the top hinge side down to the bottom latch side.

07-27-2004, 08:35 PM
The posibility of sloping ground was why I sugested a sliding bottom hindge. Just a smaller section of RHS sliding inside the gate frame if your using square section. Used to work for a company that built dairy sheds. One design of yard was round with a gate swung from the centre. These gates made from galvanised pipe were often 30" plus would move 270deg The ground often would often have over a foot of fall for cleaning. With a sliding bottom hinge and a solid rubber tyre these easly traversed the 270deg. Yours only requires 90 deg of movement and the wheel probably only 13" from the hinge. Of course 2 8" gates would not need suport and probably a good option.


07-27-2004, 09:23 PM
Not sure about the depth, mine are 32" since the last 24" was drilled into rock. The post have a 2' x 2' x 6" concrete pad at the top. I also ran 1/2" rebar through the post and rebar in an 18" square ring around the post. All rebar was welded together.

For hinges, I used 1" diameter solid bar. The pins are 11.5" long and are locked in the lower part of the hinge via a socket head cap screw. The hinges are adjusted by using a floor jack under the end and loosening the pair of set scews on each mounting rings and rotating.



The gates are 9 years old now, the wood was added this summer.

[This message has been edited by JPR (edited 07-27-2004).]

07-27-2004, 10:32 PM
The rear wheels, bearings and spindles bolt onto the front wheel drive cars these days.

THey work great for supporting a sliding gate. Trailers, rollers, etc...


Paul Alciatore
07-27-2004, 11:35 PM
I've seen gates that were smaller and they both sagged and their weight pulled the hinge post out of square. A 16' gate, hinged on one side is a real challenge. The wheel is a common solution but you say that is not practical.

I don't think that a post that is only four feet in the ground is going to stand up to the stress over any period of time. I would definitely go deeper, perhaps 6, 8, or even 10 feet. An alternative would be to use diagonal bracing (like a guy line) on the back side of the post and solidly anchored in the ground. The concrete is definitely called for.

As for the gate itself, it will definitely need diagonal bracing. Divide it into four foot sections and weld a diagonal from the top corner of each section nearest the hinge side to the bottom corner that's further out. These diagonals will be in tension and need not be as big as the horizontals and verticals. 1/4" or 3/8" steel rod would do. Turnbuckles in the diagonals would be a good touch to allow taking up any sag that may develop over time. The H and V members sound like they should be perhaps or 2" steel angle or channel, 3/16" or 1/4" thickness. At least! Use the thinnest wood possible. Perhaps exterior plywood. Or aluminum slats - they do make vertical siding.

Perhaps a sliding gate would be possible. With a counterweight and proper bracing. Perhaps not. In my opinion, they hold up better than hinged ones of this size. But two posts wouls be needed for the rollers.

Paul A.

07-28-2004, 07:57 AM
If you don't want a gate to sag just incorporate a rest for it to sit on on the latch end post. If it stands open a lot have a stop with a rest on it too. Works for me.

07-29-2004, 07:47 PM
Thanks guys for all the help. I would have replied sooner but I made a trip to Bremerton, Wa. to visit my son for his 22nd birthday. He is a nuclear engineer on the USS Carl Vinson ( very proud) a little bragging by Dad.

I have no room for a sliding gate or a guy wire they would both land on the neighboring property. I have worked as a lineman for many years and have set a lot of poles when we could not use a guy wire we would use a reduced tension span and put in a pole key. A pole key is a 4" x 30" x 24" piece of treated wood or steel. You place it across the face of the pole at the top just under the ground for more surface area for the pole to lean against. I plan on doing something similar with the concrete by digging a slot at the top of the hole 4-6" wide and another on the opposite side on the bottom. I don't think this post will go anywhere when finished. Another note my soil is very hard with a lot of rock old river run without the sand. I have also worked on large transmission structures that had very large wire dead ended on it with out guys these steel poles are very tall 60-80' or more and use a concrete foundation 20' deep and about 12 feet in diameter. If I scale this down I think I should be good with my plan for the post. My main question is the size of the material to make the frame of the gate out of. I am thinking 2"x3" rectangular tubing .125 wall. I will use diagonal bracing with same material. I think I will incorporate a wheel it probably won't hit when fully open but the gate is closed unless I am going in and out of it. Maybe make some sort of spring loaded arrangement I like that idea. If you have any pictures of a spring loaded wheel post them please or e-mail them to me. I will post some pictures of the final product.
Thanks all Mike

I should have added the reason I don’t want to use the two 8' gates is that the end against the house is all concrete and the other end is in the dirt. I do not want to break out the concrete to put in a larger post. I guess I could rent a concrete saw and do that. I will think this over some more before I start. If anyone has any more good ideas I welcome them.

[This message has been edited by gundog (edited 07-29-2004).]

07-30-2004, 08:50 AM
hey Gundog, how about a 3:1 ratio gate. it looks to me that the l/h gate post is the one you dont want to disturb, right? if so place the r/h post that carries the larger gate on a slight leen away to accomodate any drop when loaded up by the weight of the gate.weather seal the cedar to minimize moisture gain. i made my 3.5m w x 2m h single gate some 15 years ago. i doubled up the hinge posts 300mm apart, 800mm deep in a substantial cement footing, then clad them in marine grade ply with thru bolts(2) between them .these beggers havent moved at all! i used 50mm x 20mm x 1.5mm wall with one centre,(vertical & horizontal)diagonal braced. (then galved)this carries 40mm x 6mm hardwood trellis and swings beautiful with no need for a jockey wheel. hope this helps.

07-30-2004, 09:07 AM
ps. use farm type hinges with threads to adjust gates for accurate alignment, set them so they oppose each other, the gate will be difficult to remove and more secure. adjustment of the hinges is gained by access holes/slots in the rearside plywood.this works good for me. close the gates useing a ramp latch and use drop pins from each gate into the concrete.