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Thread: Gate layout...

  1. #1
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    Gate layout...

    So I took on a job for a friend that I have never attempted before. I need to build a two piece driveway gate spanning about 29'5". It will be a pretty simple design overall. The top profile will start at about 6' high and has an 18" downward offset in the middle.

    Materials are 1 1/2" square tubing around the perimeter with 1" sq. tubing for the pickets. I already have the top profile pieces bent and am getting ready to lay this baby out on my shop floor.

    A couple of questions...

    Each section will be just short of 15' obviously with pickets on 6" centers. I don't have any diagonals in the plans, do I need them for strength or will the sheer number of vertical pickets be strong enough to support itself?

    What is the best way to square this thing? Because of the offset I won't be able to simply take diagonal measurements. I'm thinking the 3-4-5 rule on the post side 90* angle is my best bet. Any other tricks?

    As far as assembly, I'm planning on truing up the outer perimeter then welding those joints complete before starting the pickets. I figure 1/4" plate spacers under the pickets while it is lying on the floor will give me the correct centering for the difference in dimensions between the perimeter and pickets. I am going to tack all the pickets in place before welding any of them solid to try to avoid warping the perimeter pieces.

    I have adjustable J-hook hinges so I should be able to line things up just right when it comes to the install. What is the best way to locate and weld the hinges to the post? I have access to a laser level and figured I could at least get the bottom hinge bases in place easy enough. Will the gate ride ok if I just measure out the upper hinge placement and go for it or should the location be determined with it on the gate temporarily set in place?

    Any advice from you pro gate builders would be greatly appreciated!
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  2. #2
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Because the top is sloped the shape is not a parallelogram. The top and bottom are not parallel so you should be OK with the sloped top providing the triangle bracing to keep it in shape.

    How I would assemble this:

    Squaring the ends: Yes, the 3-4-5 rule works, but requires pin-point accuracy of your marks. A good carpenter's framing square will be helpful here.

    To get the two ends parallel you can also measure up from the bottom to the top of the short end and mark it, then measure up from the bottom of the long side the same distance and mark it again. The distance across the bottom and across between the two marks shouild be exactly the same. Use these points for diagonal measure to check for square. Check for square at the bottom and adjust as necessary. Tack the ends to the bottom length, verify the ends are parallel to each other and square to the bottom then tack a long strip of flat stock at an angle across from end to end this to keep this squared up. Check for parallel and square again.

    Now slide each of your pickets in under the temporary diagonal and tack at the bottom cross piece. Get all the pickets in, get them all parallel to each other - equal distance between them along their length, and tack several to the diagonal flat bar. You can tack them all if you want, it depends on how many tacks you want to grind out later. Just a few will help to keep things all parallel and square to the bottom rail. Now install the top piece and weld top and bottom to each of the pickets. Flip it over and finish the welds on the other side. Flip again and grind off all the tacks to remove the temporary diagonal.

    - Mondo

    PS: Not a pro gate builder. But I have construction experience.

    Alternately, tack all the pickets to the bottom before laying on the temporary diagonal. Get the ends parallel and square to the bottom then tack on the temp. diag. Check and double check parallel and square before fitting up the top piece.
    -m.
    Last edited by Mondo; 09-04-2013 at 06:30 PM. Reason: Add Post script
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  3. #3
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Since you have no diagonals, you may consider Blocking off about 20" on the bottom and welding in a solid panel(16ga would work fine). This would give you some more shear strength. J bolt hinges are marginal for a gate this size. They will likely bend and give you fits. At the very least, I would use weld on ball bearing hinges. You are going to want a good sized post (4") buried at least 3-4' to support that gate.

  4. #4
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Mondo, would it be too much to draw a rough sketch with your written explanation? I'm planning on building something similar and I want to make sure I understand..thanks

  5. #5
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Thanks for the detailed reply Mondo. Good point about measuring up the length of the short side on the long side to measure my diagonals.

    I'm wondering though, since my top piece is offset, I won't be able to get a good fit on the pickets until the top is in place. I'm guessing I could run the temporary diagonal to square things up and then go ahead and fit the top piece. Once the four corners are secured then cut and tack all the pickets in place.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Gate layout...

    I would go with at least a 2x2 sq 1/8th for the frame

    it wont cost that much more for the customer to pay for that and the gate will last longer and look better



    I would get a long tape and measure it properly

    over 15ft steel can have a hell of a bend a square may or may not be of much use except in the corner


    best bet if you have it is to tack the whole bottom to something like a 4-6 inch channel on edge to keep the bottom straight as you weld it.


    I would build this gate standing if I could because your floor isn't going to be flat and at least standing with your verticals level you know if your straight on the bottom it should be flat.

    depending on how good your cuts are make them perfect if need be and grind them just right.

    the fit and alignment of the tubing should be a reasonable if your right

  7. #7
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    Re: Gate layout...

    AKmud

    Prints & Pics.

    Opus
    Last edited by OPUS FERRO; 09-05-2013 at 01:38 AM.

  8. #8
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    Re: Gate layout...

    I'm considering however, since my top piece is counterbalanced, I won't have the capacity to get a great fit on the pickets until the top is set up. I'm surmising I could run the impermanent corner to corner to square things up and afterward feel free to fit the top piece. When the four corners are secured then cut and tack all the pickets set up.

  9. #9
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Quote Originally Posted by Danny_Harris View Post
    I'm considering however, since my top piece is counterbalanced, I won't have the capacity to get a great fit on the pickets until the top is set up. I'm surmising I could run the impermanent corner to corner to square things up and afterward feel free to fit the top piece. When the four corners are secured then cut and tack all the pickets set up.
    Spammer
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  10. #10
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Opus,

    I don't have either at this point. I'll try to get the basic idea down on paper soon.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Bryce,

    I already have the 1 1/2" bent for the top. My shop floor is very close to flat since I don't have a drain. It has a slight slant toward the door for water to travel, I think it is 2" over 25', so it isn't level.

    I measured the distance between the posts and there is 1/2" difference between top and bottom (29' 5 1/2"). That shouldn't be an issue with the adjustable hinges.
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  12. #12
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    Re: Gate layout...

    AKmud

    "Prints & Pics" - Opus

    Opus - "I don't have either at this point. I'll try to get the basic idea down on paper
    soon".


    Plan, no plan - do something anyway!

    From the posts, I can only conclude; that the lack of an idea [design] doesn't deter
    abundant 'plans of action'.

    It's a guy thing - "Reading the instructions is the last resort of the incompetent" - JW.

    You provided a concept - but nothing anyone could build . . . .

    AKmud - Show us, tell us, something tangible - so recommendations actually apply.

    Opus

  13. #13
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    Re: Gate layout...

    The vertical and parallel 'pickets' really add little to the strength of the gate panel. the resistance to sagging or folding will be in your perimeter.
    Your greatest load or stress will be at the hinged side. If the 1.5 is not strong enough, the pickets will happily follow.

  14. #14
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Jumped in with both feet and got 'er done. The lines look good and it is strong.

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  15. #15
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Beautiful. Nice width.
    Looks like the latch has enough overlap to hold it well in line.

  16. #16
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    Re: Gate layout...

    I was reading the thread and following the solid recommendations intently, then out of the blue AKmud jumped in with a great post all fixed. Well done digesting all that info and coming up with a nice job. Gate looks great

  17. #17
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    Re: Gate layout...

    Great looking gate. I've got to build a couple of 12 ft ones. Still trying to come up with a pattern of what I need. Richey

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