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Thread: Aluminum Gate Installation

  1. #1
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    Aluminum Gate Installation

    Last fall I prepared detailed drawings for the driveway gate for my friend Scott, who is an engineer that I work with. Scott had previously designed the piers and arranged their construction. The piers are actually an armature of stainless steel, which goes about five feet deep into a footing. The bricks of the pier rest on the footing and are built up around the armature. The first picture shows my SolidWorks design of the gate assembly.

    1. Gate Assembly
    Name:  1. Gate Assembly.jpg
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    The second picture shows the gate leaf components.

    2. Gate leaf asm
    Name:  2. Gate leaf asm.jpg
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    The third picture shows the weld callouts for the gate leaf. The gate consists of 2" x 4" Aluminum tubing as well as three solid bocks that have tapped holes in them. The curved tube is bent the hard way and we couldn't find anyone willing and able to bend the tube in the Detroit area, so we had a company in Chicago bend it for us. I sent the design out to one of my company's local fabrication venders for welding, because I was concerned that the job was a little big for me and that my Dynasty 200 DX welder wouldn't have enough power to weld the heavy blocks, even with a Helium Argon mix.

    3. Gate leaf weld callouts
    Name:  3. Gate leaf weld callouts.jpg
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    I chose to use spherical bearings for the hinge bearings so that the bearings wouldn't fight each other if the pintles weren't perfectly aligned. I used a thrust bearing that had a concave recess that matched the diameter of the ball, so the thrust bearing would also accommodate misalignment.

    4. Spherical bearing and thrust washer
    Name:  4. Spherical bearing and thrust washer.JPEG
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    The pintles are 1" stainless steel with 1"-8 UNC threads on them. My design called for the pintles to be reverse bored as shown below to add a proper finish and to make the bearings fit in the blocks that had to mount to the 4" wide tubing.

    5. Spherical and thrust bearing
    Name:  5. Spherical and thrust bearing.jpg
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  3. #2
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    The next step was to do a dry run with all of the details to insure that we had all of the proper hardware and everything fit.

    6. Checking fit and our measurements
    Name:  6. Checking fit and our measurements.jpg
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    The first thing that we found is that the pintles bottomed out by hitting concrete before they were in the correct position, so I brought the pintles home and cut 1" off the end.

    7. Cutting down the pintles
    Name:  7. Cutting down the pintles.jpg
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    8. Pintles cut down
    Name:  8. Pintles cut down.jpg
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    This is a welding forum, so here are three pictures that the fabrication vender sent to me.

    9. Gate leaf weld
    Name:  9. Gate leaf weld.jpg
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    10. Leaf welded
    Name:  11. Gate leaf welded.jpg
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    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
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  5. #3
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    11. Gate leaf welded
    Name:  11. Gate leaf welded.jpg
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    I found that the pivot pin of the gate actuator wouldn't fit in the bore of the gate bracket because of the powder coat, so I brought home the gate brackets and reamed them with an adjustable reamer.

    12. Reaming off powder coat from bore
    Name:  12. Reaming off powder coat from bore.jpg
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    13. Testing pivot pin in reamed hole
    Name:  13. Testing pivot pin in reamed hole.jpg
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    14. Reamer has just paint on it no Aluminum
    Name:  14. Reamer has just paint on it no Aluminum.jpg
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    The pier bracket had to be welded by me in the field and there was only 8" between the bracket and the ground, so I decided to chamfer the top so that I could weld it with two passes from the top instead of all the way around as specified. I also have only limited experience welding overhead with a mirror.

    15. Chamfered pier bracket
    Name:  15. Chamfered pier bracket.jpg
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    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
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  7. #4
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Last Saturday we installed the gate. Here is a close up picture of the hinge block and the pintle. After some experimenting we found that it was easiest to mount the top block to the gate leaf, then hang the gate and then slide the lower bearing block onto the lower pintle and finally mount the lower bearing block to the gate.

    16. Upper bearing block mounted on pintle
    Name:  16. Upper bearing block mounted on pintle.jpg
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    Here is a picture of the gate bracket bolted to the gate.

    17. Gate bracket mounted
    Name:  17. Gate bracket mounted.jpg
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    Here is a close up of my two pass stainless steel TIG weld, which attaches the pier bracket to the plate in the pier.

    19. Pier bracket welded to plate in pier
    Name:  19. Pier bracket welded to plate in pier.jpg
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    The following picture shows the linear actuator temporarily mounted to the newly welded pier bracket.

    20. Linear actuator mounted
    Name:  20. Linear actuator mounted.jpg
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    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport
    Lincoln LE 31 MP & Lincoln 210 MP

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  9. #5
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Here is a picture of the mounted closed gate from the street.

    21. Gate closed
    Name:  21. Gate closed.jpg
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    Last but not least here is a picture of the opened gate, looking towards the street.

    22. Gate opened
    Name:  22. Gate opened.jpg
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    -Don
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  10. #6
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Very nicely documented and great work again. Please keep on posting your work.
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  12. #7
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Great looking gates. Nice work!
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  14. #8
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Very nice, looks well designed and executed.
    Mike

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  16. #9
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    wonderful

  17. #10
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Great step by step post! I love it!

  18. #11
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Really great attention to detail - nicely done

    ...house is gorgeous!!
    Dave J.

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  19. #12
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Lovely gates Don
    Just a Q.
    When doing larger gates like yours , we would normally have the pivots into top and bottom of the gate .
    Why did you opt to go with off set face fixed pivots ?
    Brett
    A good guess is better than a bad measurement

  20. #13
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    Quote Originally Posted by Brett View Post
    Lovely gates Don
    Just a Q.
    When doing larger gates like yours , we would normally have the pivots into top and bottom of the gate .
    Why did you opt to go with off set face fixed pivots ?
    Brett
    The reason for the offset bearing blocks is to eliminate the pinch point that typically occurs when the hinges are on the edge of the gate. The city that Scott lives in is very fussy about the design of gates and have extensive codes that the gate needs to meet. Attached are two pictures of the last gate that I worked on. You can see that as the gate is opened the vertical edge of the gate will get closer to the pier creating a pinch point. In this case the pier is a 6x6 post. In the case of Scott's gate the pier is wider so it would be a tighter pinch point.

    1. Whole gate asm
    Name:  1. Whole gate asm.jpg
Views: 165
Size:  96.0 KB

    2. Close up of hinge
    Name:  2. Close up of hinge.jpg
Views: 165
Size:  68.4 KB
    Smith Oxyacetylene Torch
    Miller Dynasty 200DX
    Lincoln SP-250 MIG Welder
    Clausing/Coldchester 15" Lathe
    16" DuAll Saw
    15" Drill Press
    7" x 9" Swivel Head Horizontal Band Saw
    20 Ton Arbor Press
    Bridgeport
    Lincoln LE 31 MP & Lincoln 210 MP

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  22. #14
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    Re: Aluminum Gate Installation

    I see,
    Cheers mate
    Brett
    A good guess is better than a bad measurement

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