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How to Build a Wooden Gate

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

More in Home Improvement

  • Time

    Under Half Day

  • Price Range

    $100 - $250

  • Difficulty

    Moderate to Hard

Highlights:

Step 1: Measure and Cut the Cedar Pieces

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.

Step 2: Create Pocket Holes

Once the wood is cut to size, secure a pocket hole jig with a clamp onto 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.

Step 3: Connect the Frame Pieces

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

Step 4: Add a Diagonal Cross Brace

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.

Step 5: Attach the Cross Brace

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.

Step 6: Attach the Boards

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

Step 7: Attach the Gate

Attach the gate to the fence posts. Screw one side of the hinges to the fence post, and 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 to avoid attracting moisture.

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