Making a T&G Gate (Part 3)

As we take one giant leap backwards to a point before the second post on this project, we begin to discover just how messed up the timeline is on this one! At least, with the way I’ve posted it…

Of course, before I could fit the gate in to its newly-created opening, even for a single night, I had to trim the boards so that the gate would actually fit…

This was done with my Hitachi C9U2 circular saw. With a 3in depth of cut, it is a little over-sized for this sort of work but, it’s all have available at the moment. It was fitted with a 40t ProTrade blade from the Atkinson Walker range, which left an excellent finish, even on the top side, where you might normally expect some breakout as the blade cuts up through the wood. A spacer was sawn on the bandsaw and used to give a 150mm distance from the bottom rail to the bottom edge of the gate.

You may not have noticed this in any previous photos but, I fitted the PTGV boards full-width (without trimming), meaning that the overall width of the gate would also be several inches greater than its intended finish. So, again, I used my circular saw to remove the excess (the finish off the saw blade was good enough, for a project like this). Cutting across the grain first (the bottom) means that you can remove any damage or chipping at the ends when you come to trim the gate to width, cutting along the grain.

On to the next day and, once the braces were on, I could turn my attention to round over the top. This was marked out with a thin lath of pine (sawn to about 6mm thin on the bandsaw – with all the dead knots near the centre of its length, I’m still amazed it did not snap under this tension!) which was bent between the heads of a sash cramp, to achieve the correct curve or radius. Then, I could cut trim the excess wood away (cutting very close to the curved line) with my jigsaw:

Since starting a full-time job as a wood machinist only a few months ago, my confidence at cutting curves and shapes on the bandsaw has come a long way. I no longer leave “far too much” waste beside my marked lines and, the same was true when I used my jigsaw on this project. What also helped was the ‘Extra Clean’ jigsaw blade from Bosch that I was using:

It actually came packaged free with an issue of Good Woodworking magazine, some time ago, now. As I rarely used my jigsaw, it’s hardly been out of its packaging since. I did use it on some melamine-faced chipboard (contiboard) back in April and it left a superb finish on both faces. There was almost no breakout whatsoever on the top surface (this is still an up-cutting blade). Again, I found similar success and it left me with a very positive impression after cutting the pine of this gate. No splintering, a very good feed rate (well, the boards are only 19mm thick) and a finish that simply doesn’t look like it’s been cut with a jigsaw (or bandsaw, for that matter). As smooth as glass, almost.

I fitted a cheap latch from Toolstation (above) in order to allow access to the gate from both sides and, so that it can be kept closed without locking. Had I fitted it where “it wanted” to go (dictated by the length of the bar), it would have meant mounting the latch directly over a join between two boards (I couldn’t have placed it any more perfectly had I tried to measure it out!!), which would’ve looked odd, to say the least. So, I ended up cutting about 40mm off the length of the bar, so that I could mount it where I wanted it to go. This has meant that I’m unable to fit another part of the kit. I don’t know what it’s called but, it’s main job is to stop the bar from dropping down as the gate is opened and also, to stop it from lifting too high. So, for the mean time, I’ve made up for this with a pair of screws and matching penny washers, which actually works okay, for now… 😳

From this photo, you can see where timber door stops have been added to the wall plates, with matching bevels cut on top. These were only nailed in place – again, using those ring-shank Polytop fixings. These do help the door to close positively but also, they stop draughts from creeping through beside the gate. I forgot to mention this earlier but, when trimming the gate to size, I allowed a good 6mm (¼in) on either side, to allow for some expansion in winter. Not only that but, I also made sure that the three rails were short of each side of the gate by an identical distance. So, if the door (gate) swells in winter and I do have to have to plane it down a bit, I won’t have to deal with any awkward end-grain. 😉 Likewise, should the two outer boards shrink, there’s no danger of the rails fouling as you try to close the gate.

Three 450mm tee-hinges and a pair of 150mm bolts to allow the gate to be locked securely from the inside, without access from the front. These photos are after all surfaces have been treated with a single coat of paint. As the weather’s being generally ‘unkind’ at the moment, I’m still awaiting an ideal opportunity to finish off the paint job.

You’ll also notice a 50mm (2in) gap below the gate, which allows plenty of clearance for any unevenness in the floor and, so that water can run off without causing problems associated with rising damp. This is easily created by sitting the gate on a pair of 2in-thick offcuts as you screw the hinges to the frame.

After all that work, this is really going to bother me…


This gate isn’t the only thing that still needs painting, either. The garage door frame looks as though it’s desperately in need of some attention, ASAP:

I’ve also got a spring to fit that should help the gate to close (and, stay closed) naturally. Trouble is, I’ve already lost one of the supplied pins and, each time I try to tension it, the other pin just seems to shoot out just past my left ear! Instead, I’m going to try drilling the holes out and with either insert a nail or similar or, I’ll fit a self-tapping screw. That’s what many others appear to have done, after a quick Discussion search on Google.

Hope you’ve enjoyed following this so far. Thanks for reading.

Any questions? Please get in touch.

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