How to: Building a Wooden Gate

Carter Oosterhouse shows how to build a wooden gate for a fence using sustainable western red cedar.

HCCAN-111_cedar-gate

A wooden gate makes an attractive way to add security and privacy to your backyard retreat.

Materials and Tools:

cedar 2x4s
cedar 1x6s
2-1/2 inch hex-head screws
brad nails
wood glue
gate hinges
gate latch
chop saw or table saw
pocket hole jig
clamp
drill
screwdriver with hex head attachment
brad nailer

HCCAN-111_A-cedar-gate-jig

Steps:

1. Measure for the gate opening and cut the cedar down to size. For this project, the 2x4s were cut to 44 inches for the stiles and two were cut to 27-1/2 inches for the rails with a cross brace of 46-1/8 inches. NOTE: Decide the width of the gate opening, then factor in a slight gap of approximately 1 inch, so there's room for the hinges and latch that will attach to the gate and fence.

2. Once the wood is cut to size, secure a pocket hole jig with a clamp on to two of the cedar pieces that will serve as the stiles of the gate. Create three to four pocket holes on each end of the stiles.

HCCAN-111_B-cedar-gate-drill

3. Connect three of the frame pieces together with glue and screws.

4. Add a diagonal cross brace through the center of the gate for added support. Cut the ends of the cross brace so they form a mitered edge and fit securely into place at the corners where the rails and stiles meet.

5. Create two pocket holes on each end of the cross brace at the side that forms the larger angle. Attach it to the center with glue and screws.

HCCAN-111_C-cedar-gate-frame

6. Once the cross brace is in place, secure the last side of the frame.

7. Now that the frame is complete, cover one side of the gate with vertical cedar boards that match the adjoining fence. The last board may need to be cut down to fit flush with the edge of the gate frame. Attach the boards with brad nails about 3/16 to 1/4-inch apart all the way across.

HCCAN-111_D-cedar-gate-hinge

8. Attach the gate to the fence posts. Screw one side of the hinges to the fence post, and then align the gate between the adjoining gate posts and screw in the other side of the hinges to the gate. It should be attached so that the bottom is about an inch off the ground so it doesn't attract moisture.

9. Attach a latch to the fence and gate for quick and easy opening.

10. If desired, attach a cap to the top of the gate to match the rest of the fence and to preserve the wood. Cut the cedar 1x6 to length to fit the top of the gate and nail it down on top of the upper rail.

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