Gated

We’ve crossed an important milestone in the garden. We are now fully enclosed. I finally built the gate last weekend.

Garden gate

The first step, and the most time consuming part of this project, was to plumb my posts. The fence posts were anything but straight. They were meant to be fence posts, not gate posts. You might recall that this only became the gate when my nephew and I cut through the fence rails.

I found two 4x4s and ripped them down for each post. They were attached to the posts with the longest screws I could find. Not too difficult. Just fiddly, but worth it so that I could build a rectangle gate rather than a trapezoid or parallelogram.

Making fence posts plumb

So I drew up my plans and got to the easiest part of this project, the gate itself.

Plans for the garden gate

I made the outside frame, added a centre brace and tested the fit. It was too wide. I knew my tape was sagging when I measured the opening, but I thought I’d compensated enough. Ugh. Baxter was very concerned.

Baxter supervising gate construction

I unscrewed one end and trimmed off an inch, and that fixed the problem. This still wasn’t a difficult project. I squared the gate and added my diagonals.

Building the garden gate

Our usual chainlink mesh adds some extra stability to keep everything tight and square. We had both 4 foot and 5 foot chainlink on hand. I picked the 5 foot because I wanted it to run all the way from top to bottom. I’ll borrow my FIL’s heavy duty wire cutters and clip off the excess height. (Allow me to brag a bit by pointing out our extremely tall tomato plant towering over the mesh).

Chainlink fence over the top of the garden gate

Even though these are just 2x4s, the gate is pretty heavy–a factor of being 7 feet wide and nearly 5 feet tall. I’m considering adding a little wheel on the underside so that we don’t have to muscle it all the way open and closed. I just don’t want the wheel to be too tall because I don’t want much of a gap between the gate and the brick threshold I put in. As well, if the wheel ends up tangled in the grass, it’s not going to be much help. I may end up with just a handle of some kind to make the gate easier to lift.

Brick threshold at the garden gate

While I’m still sorting out these details, the gate is just propped in place. The other details I’m trying to sort out are the best hinge solution. Between the narrow 2x4s of the gate, the tapered 4x4s of the posts and the excessive weight of the gate, there isn’t a clear hinge choice. I really value Home Depot’s easy return policy in this situation. I can buy pretty much every option and bring them home to see what will work best. (And I did buy a handle and small caster as well).

Gate hinges

Hinged, handled, wheeled or not, the gate is still doing its job.

Garden gate

And the vegetable garden is continuing to take shape.

What have you built this week? Have you ever constructed a gate? Any thoughts on whether the wheel will work? How long do you think it’ll take for the new wood to weather so that it matches our fence?

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6 thoughts on “Gated

  1. Nice gate! I bet it feels great to have your crops protected!

    Having not seen it in person, my first instinct is that when your ground is soft, that little wheel will just get stuck. But I understand your desire for a wheel or something to assist with the gate. I am not sure what options you may have. I will have to think about that.

  2. Baxter does look so concerned. I hope you reassured him. And I love your high tech blueprints! 😉
    I think a wheel might work, but maybe a larger one? You could put a bit of pea gravel over the grass where its track is, or some wood chips or something to keep a dry layer between it and the ground. Friends of mine have done this and it works great, but the wheel is about 4 or 5 inches in diameter.
    That was such a great idea to use the corral as a garden. It’s looking wonderful, and that gate just adds the final touch.

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