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  • Question for Gate builders

    I may build a 10ft wide x 5 ft high gate for a person. I 'm thinking the outer frame will be 1"x 1.5" tubing with pickets and etc inside. What I would like to have input on is the wall thickness of the frame. I think .057 wall would be ok but the welds at corners & the hinge would have to beefed up some with some corner plates etc. If I use heavier wall tube, I just have more weight to deal with. Also what size hinges x 2 would be recomended? Either way, I still feel the corners and hinge weld points should be reinforced. When I say corners, they will be mitered.

    Nick
    Nick
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  • #2
    I've built quite a few ranch gates. Some pretty heavy. I've also done a few ornamental ones. The key to making a gate work correctly is the hinge post and how it's braced. It doesn't take a huge post to hang a pretty heavy gate if the post is braced properly. I wouldn't worry as much about the weight of the gate as the corner. Will this gate be hung on metal?

    What kind of pickets are you using? From what you are saying, I'm thinking you are going with something like 1/2" or 3/4" square tubing. The hinges pretty much depend on what you are hanging the gate on. Post a little more info and I'll try to help.
    Jim

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    • #3
      gate

      i tend to use a .120 wall thickness on the hinge side and for the post on every gate i make, even small ones. i weld the hinges onto the post and drill out on the gate for attaching. with this wall thickness, the metal doesn't give when tightening the bolts. for the rest of the gate and frame i try to use .065. for a large gate, i would use 1 1/2 or 2" square tubing and plan the design to have enough vertical and horizontal members so everything is solidly-welded. for hinges, i tend to use 4" or 5" heavy-duty hinges but i am always hinging to a metal post. my posts have 4 or 5 weld tabs welded on (depending on height and weight) and i use 5/16 or 3/8 lag bolts and anchors. if the driveway gate is going to have an automatic opener, i would plan the design to reinforce that area for attaching. cat

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      • #4
        I use .120 wall square tube for the frames on all my gates with no corner bracing. I've been using it for years with good results. With pickets and cross rails I don't put an angle brace across anything under 6 feet. Over that I brace from the bottom gate corner to the top latch corner. Seems to keep them from drooping better that way. Yoiu need the wall thickness to support the hinges. On throughbolt hinges the tube will collapse and weld on hinges will fatigue and tear out over time. I get a lot of calls to repair that. Hope this helps. Not the only way to do it, just what works well for me.
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        • #5
          Ok..here is the gate I may build.
          Gate is 10ft long.......5ft high
          Circles will be approx 4"dia
          pickets will be 3/4 sq tube 16 ga
          Frame 1" x 2" x .120 ? not the 1x1.5 shown on the drawing
          posts will be 4" sq probably .250 wall
          any more suggestions
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          Last edited by monte55; 09-23-2007, 08:43 AM.
          Nick
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          • #6
            It looks like you are right on track. I really don't see anything wrong with the design or weights of the stuff you are planning to use. That 1 x 2 .120 is some strong stuff. It should work good. Here's a link to some hinges. http://www.kingmetals.com/Default.as...&CurrentPage=1 I've used the smaller sized weld on hinges and they work great. I've never been much of a fan of the butt hinges. Seems like any little speck of weld splatter in the wrong place can really cause problems and they don't look that great anyway. You can also just make your hinges but I've figured out that I can buy them and save a lot of time plus they look good.
            Jim

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            • #7
              I usally plan the design to have a horizontal cross-piece 12" or so up from the bottom and welded to every pickett so you don't get that vibrating-feeling on the vertical picketts; feels more solid when it "slams" against the latch. What finish are you using? Powdercoat?

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              • #8
                There is alot of 16ga stuff around where I live and IMHO this is fine for pickets but not so good for frames. Especially at the width you are working at.

                When the neighbors noticed I was doing some welding it seems they all had a gate that needed repair. Agree with others that thicker frames and a solid gate post are key. Most of the repairs I've done included not only the damage from an impact to the gate but the additional stress to the hinge area.

                Also be careful to avoid heat distortion when welding the pickets on. I learned the hard way on this one. I started at one side of a 4' single leaf man gate with pickets spaced about 4" apart. By the time I got to the middle, the picketts were too long to fit between the top and bottom frame.
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                • #9
                  My main concern is whether to use weld on hinges or an adjustable should any adjustment be needed later for any reason such as sag, post loosing
                  plumb etc. I have fence post around my property that gets loose when the ground gets real dry. Also the customer plans later to add an opener to the gate. What sort of latch should be used? Does one just put a stop on the post where the gate is fully closed or is a guide of some sort used on the post to guide the gate to the closed position? I'm also thinking of the height of the gate off the ground. I'm thinking about 4 inches. I think if too low they'll have to get the shovel even in a mild snowfall to clear the gate arc.
                  Just keep your ideas coming guys. I do appreciate your input.
                  Another thought............would it be dumb to put a small ground wheel
                  to help the gate sag providing the pitch of the drive would let me?
                  Nick
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                  • #10
                    I've always used weld on hinges but do have some gates that change with wet and dry conditions. Being able to adjust the hinges would be a plus. I've never used an opener so no help. Maybe you need to get with the gate opener people and see what they sell. Four inches off the ground sounds okay. I wouldn't go any less than that. If the gate is hanging over concrete the wheel might help. However, most of those little wheels end up either torn up or not touching the ground. I probably wouldn't mess with one on a gate that size. If the gate was 15' then it might be necessary. What support is your gate post going to have? Is it braced or just standing in the hole with concrete. If it's not braced then it's going to move.
                    Jim

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                    • #11
                      Update .......I have talked to some local gate people and as I thought just boring a hole for a 4" post and filling with concrete to hold a 10 foot gate will not be sufficient. One said to use a 6" sq post and make a 3ft x 3ft x 3ft hole and fill with concrete. Isn't that a yard of mix? Another said they would set a 4" sq post .250 wall in a 12" diameter hole 36-42" deep with concrete. I am more inclined to go with the 12" hole.
                      Input???????????????
                      Nick
                      Miller 252 Mig
                      Miller Cricket XL
                      Millermatic 150 Mig
                      Miller Syncrowave 200 Tig
                      2-O/A outfits
                      Jet Lathe and Mill
                      Jet 7x12 horz/vert band saw
                      DeWalt Multi Cutter metal saw
                      Century 50 Amp Plasma Cutter
                      20 ton electric/hydraulic vertical press
                      Propane Forge
                      60" X 60" router/plasma table

                      www.youtube.com/watch?v=jTu7wicVCmQ
                      Vist my site: www.nixstuff.com
                      and check out some of my ironwork and other stuff

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                      • #12
                        I've never hung a gate on a post that wasn't braced. I suppose if you put enough concrete around it and the hole is deep enough you could hang the gate but, to me, it's not practical. It doesn't take much of a brace to add a tremendous amount of strength to the post. That guy that said to put it in a 3 x 3 x 3 hole must sell concrete. Yep, that would be a yard of concrete less what the post itself displaced. I'll bet that the gate would still sag over time. Now, IF the area the gate will swing over is level concrete, you might use a wheel and get by w/out having as strong a post. Otherwise, I don't think a wheel will help much.

                        What is going to be on each side of this gate? Can you post a simple sketch?
                        Jim

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                        • #13
                          You can't have enough concrete!

                          I may be going against the grain here but for the past 25 years all I have done is build gates, railings and misc bars.. i.e. grab, pull and support. If there is one thing I learned from all my experience setting posts is that you can't have to much concrete. This mainly applies to stand alone installations where you are not using any secondary support. I have done more repairs to single and double swing gates where the post was falling due to inadequate support mainly the foundation and ground rust/moisture penetration points. Even with the installation drawing I have attached it still my be required to add slope (angle) to your closed position should it be free standing or double. A dry fit will determine this. Also the use of adjustable hinges in my work is not an option. I start by using solid weld-on's but cut 2 parallel slits with my plasma to give me up and down on one side and 2 horizontal on the other side for tilt. This is really a fail proof system that has worked for me trouble free for years, I'm happy to share it with all and hope it helps.

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                          • #14
                            gate project

                            hey monte,when i do the heavier gates i usually go with a 10 or 12 inch sono tube, you dig a bigger hole than needed then put your snotube in the hole ,backfill and tamp around the hole ,then put 3/4 crush gravel in to the bottom to pack and put in your post and fill around it with concrete.Your hole has to be deeper than what i read on some of the previous replies also dependant on the weight and compaction and type of soil in the area. i usually make my own hinges and put gussetts on each side on the bottom of the hinge plate for strength.hang the top one first and then get your helper to hold and prop the gate level and plumb to measure up for the bottom hinge or just prefab both and be prepared with a couple of heavy shims that you can weld on to get your gate true. If you need a drawing just ask and ill forwrd one to you . hope that helped

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                            • #15
                              When I made the remark about the yard of concrete and that the guy must sell concrete, I was trying to convey the message that a little proper design and bracing will offset the need for massive amounts of concrete. I've built a lot of gates and never hung one off of an unsupported post. I'm sure it's possible and probably done all the time, but I don't do it that way. If any of us knew what, if any, structure (support) was going to be on each side of the gate it would help a lot in recommending how to hang the gate.
                              Jim

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