How to build a gate

Jason
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How to build a gate

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Project Overview

A front gate is a great way to add privacy and security but can also add street appeal to your home. We’ll take you through the various steps involved in building a wooden gate. You’ll see how to build the frame, how to add bracing to keep the gate square and how to attach the front panels.

Continue to step-by-step instructions

Step by Step Instructions

1 Check your local council regulations
2 Make the ends of the timber square
3 Measure and mark the two vertical side rails
4 Cut the vertical side rails
5 Measure and mark the horizontal posts.
6 Cut the horizontal posts
7 Measure and mark for the plinth
8 Measure and mark for the horizontal rails
9 Pre-drill holes for the horizontal rails
10 Secure the horizontal rails
11 Check the gate is square
12 Measure and mark for the brace
13 Cut the V shape in the brace
14 Tap the brace into place
15 Secure the brace to the frame
16 Mark, cut and install the second brace
17 Cut and secure the plinth board
18 Attach the first paling
19 Attach the second paling
20 Attach the thinner palings
21 Measure and mark the gate’s height
22 Cut the gate to size
  • Step 1. Check your local council regulations

    Before you start building your gate, check with your local council to see if they have any regulations. Take down the width and height measurements for your gate. You also need to consider the thickness of your side rails as this will affect the width of your gate. You will need work out the clearance distance at the bottom of the gate, so that it opens and closes easily.

  • Step 2. Make the ends of the timber square

    Sometimes your timber pieces won’t be cut square at the ends. You can cut them square using a set square. Just run a straight line about 10mm from the ends of each piece of timber, then use the circular saw to cut it. 

  • Step 3. Measure and mark the two vertical side rails

    Transfer the height measurements for your gate onto one of the side rails. Lay the other side rail next to the first so they’re flush and square. Then use your set square to transfer the measurement and draw a line across both rails.
  • Step 4. Cut the vertical side rails

    Before you cut, make sure you put on your protective glasses, ear muffs and dust mask. Use the circular saw to cut the two side rails to length.
  • Step 5. Measure and mark the horizontal posts.

    Using the width measurements for your gate, measure and mark them on the timber for your horizontal posts. Remember to deduct the combined thickness of the two vertical side rails, when measuring and marking your timber.

  • Step 6. Cut the horizontal posts

    Again, make sure you are wearing your safety equipment. Use the circular saw to cut the three horizontal posts to size.

  • Step 7. Measure and mark for the plinth

    Measure 200mm up from the bottom of both vertical posts. Mark and use the set square to draw a line across the timber. Then measure 70mm up from this line, which is the width of the horizontal rail, and draw a straight line across the timber.

  • Step 8. Measure and mark for the horizontal rails

    Measure and mark where the three horizontal rails will be secured to the vertical rails. Make sure the rails are evenly spaced, with one in the middle of the gate. Mark the width of the horizontal rails on the vertical rail. Use the set square to transfer these measurements to the other vertical rail.

  • Step 9. Pre-drill holes for the horizontal rails

    On the side of the vertical rails, pre-drill two holes where each horizontal rail will be attached. 

  • Step 10. Secure the horizontal rails

    Holding the horizontal rail firmly in place, use the drill and wood screws to attach the rails together. Repeat this until the three rails are attached to both vertical rails
  • Step 11. Check the gate is square

    Check that the gate is square by measuring the distance between the two diagonal sides of the gate. The distances should be the same.

  • Step 12. Measure and mark for the brace

    Run a line down the centre of the timber you will be using for the brace. Then place the timber under the frame and line up the centre lines on the wood in each opposite corner. Mark the V shape on the timber from the corner of the frame. To make it easier to remember, mark the matching side of the frame and the brace with an A.

  • Step 13. Cut the V shape in the brace

    Put on your safety equipment. Use the circular saw to cut the ends of the brace into the V shapes marked on the timber. 

  • Step 14. Tap the brace into place

    Line up the brace so that the ends are in the correct corner. Use another piece of wood to tap the brace into the frame until it is flush.

  • Step 15. Secure the brace to the frame

    Pre-drill a hole in the side of the frame and into the brace. Secure the brace to the frame with the wood screws. Repeat this at the other end of the brace.

  • Step 16. Mark, cut and install the second brace

    Repeat Steps 12-15 inclusive to mark, cut, tap into place and secure the second brace to the frame.

  • Step 17. Cut and secure the plinth board

    Use the circular saw to cut the plinth board to length. Line the board up so that it’s flush with the bottom and edges of the frame, then use the nail gun to attach it. 

  • Step 18. Attach the first paling

    Line up a wide paling so that it is square with the plinth and flush with the edge of the frame. Then use the nail gun to secure it in place.

  • Step 19. Attach the second paling

    Take an off-cut from the vertical rails to use as a spacer. Then place another wide paling on the frame. Make sure the paling is square and use the nail gun to secure it. Repeat this process until all of the wide palings are attached.

  • Step 20. Attach the thinner palings

    Lay several of the thin palings between the gaps of the wider ones. Make sure they are square and use the nail gun to attach them. Repeat this until all of the thin palings are secure.

  • Step 21. Measure and mark the gate’s height

    Draw a straight line across the top of your gate at its required height. Clamp a paling across the top of the gate. This will act as a straight edge when you cut it.

  • Step 22. Cut the gate to size

    Take into account the distance between the blade on the circular saw and the outside (36mm). Mark this distance away from the height of the gate. Put on your safety equipment and use the circular saw to cut the gate to the right height. 

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