The tail of 2 dogs, a fence and a gate...

Discussion in 'General Gardening Discussion' started by Fat Controller, Jan 5, 2024.

  1. Fat Controller

    Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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    Our garden is split into two distinct parts - the half nearest the house is patio with the shed and greenhouse to one side and the back half is grass with borders, trees etc.

    A 2-3 of winters ago, I chucked up a very (very) Heath-Robinson fence and gate to keep the dogs off the back half of the garden when things were really soggy, firstly to protect the grass but mainly to stop mud and glaur getting dragged into the house. It is made of fairly light chicken wire and 2x2 that isn't even treated wood, so was never intended to last - indeed, I had to replace one half of the fence's chicken wire earlier this year as I had very deftly managed to catch it with my electric tiller and before I could blink, it was a tangled wreck. Roll forward to this winter and we started to have problems with the dogs getting through - basically headbutting holes through the chicken wire, so the stuff is clearly too soft.

    Having used everything to patch holes including cable ties on a number of occasions, I reached the point around Christmas where I simply had enough, so got onto Wickes and placed an order for stuff to 'do it right' (in my head!)

    I was initially going to order fence posts and Postcrete, but looking at the cost of those, I then stumbled over metal spikes that hammer into the ground about 2½ft - and corresponding treated wooden posts that simply drop in and are then bolted up. Much easier, thinks me, so I ordered sufficient length to make the fence posts and also extra to allow me to knock up some gates that I could put on hinges as opposed to the lift-out affair we have currently. From a separate website, I ordered welded wire (2.5mm wire gauge, 50mm hole size) which is considerably chunkier than the stuff we have currently. It has all arrived through this week and is all butch enough. I ordered cranked cast iron hinges (about a ft long) and equally chunky sliding bolt/locks.

    Now, when the wood arrived on Thursday, the jitters set in. I measured the length, you see, but didn't really pay attention to the widths other than they would fit the metal spikes! The wood is 75mm square (or 3x3 in real money) and I am now worrying that it is massively too big for making the frames of the gates.

    I am intending on having two, equal width gates so they swing open saloon-bar style (if that makes sense) with some of the fence mesh stapled onto the frame, like this:

    upload_2024-1-5_18-43-4.png

    Is 3x3 going to be way too much? I am not a joiner by any stretch of the imagination (I can almost hear @pete laughing at this), but am not shy about having a crack at something myself either.

    I am now wondering, if I can lay hands on a table saw, would it be better to run the wood through that and cut it to half the thickness, to then build the gate with 1½"x3"? Or am I better to just accept that I have spare fence post wood and go and buy something more appropriate to make the gates with?
     
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    • pete

      pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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      I think your idea of cutting the 3x3 down the middle could work, if you can get a saw.
      Maybe a brace or two going diagonally across the gate would be good to stop it going out of square when hung, they usually go in an upwards direction from the side it is hung.
       
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      • Fat Controller

        Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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        If I cut it down the middle, I'd have enough wood for bracing for sure - would you do that in addition to the brace across the middle or abandon the one in the middle completely? I am assuming I would have to treat the cut face of the wood with something too?

        I think I know where I can lay hands on a table saw... need to check though.
         
      • Fat Controller

        Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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        Currently not a clue - very open to suggestions/education. My original idea was to do a very simple lap joint at each corner (half the width of the wood knocked off each opposing end and screwed together); whether that would still work on wood half as thick, I don't know. Joinery never was my thing.

        Worth mentioning, I am not expecting a professional result at the end - as long as it is functional and sturdy enough, then I am happy.
         
      • pete

        pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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        Depends on how high the gates are going to be, always looks better if the proportion are right so as long as not much higher than width you could leave out the middle one.

        If you dont want to cut joints you could just buy some of those metal corner plates you just screw on, might be faster and you basically end up with what you want.
         
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        • pete

          pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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          • Fat Controller

            Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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            They will be roughly 34" wide (total width of the gap is 68-70" and height will be 40-46" - this is the mesh that will be going onto it.

            1.2m x 12.5m Galvanised Steel Welded Wire Mesh Fencing Roll | 50mm Hole | European

            Good point on the corner braces, I hadn't thought of those! Are you thinking these sort?
            https://www.amazon.co.uk/Plated-Bra...alvanised+l+shaped+plates,aps,77&sr=8-27&th=1

            Kinda glad that my thinking that the wood is too thick for a gate isn't wrong if I am honest, I was having visions of having to brace fence posts and get really large coach screws to put the things together.
             
          • Fat Controller

            Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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            Well, we posted very similar things at the same time there - yours are cheaper though :biggrin:

            That is looking like an idea. I assume that only one side of each gate would be sufficient?
             
          • Fat Controller

            Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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            They might also be good too - along side the other ones? Belts and braces type approach...?

            I've got most basic tools - thankfully I do have a half decent Bosch mitre saw, although not sure if it will cope with the thickness of these posts. Got a reciprocating saw that should do it though. Table saw is one I don't have and I don't have a huge amount of chisels.
             
          • Fat Controller

            Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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            Those coach screws would work if I don't cut the thickness of the wood in half - I just really worry if having wood that thick is going to be too heavy for the fence posts that the hinges are going onto to cope with?
             
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            • Fat Controller

              Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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            • pete

              pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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              You got some good heavy hinges, but yes my thoughts were the gates dont want to be too heavy on the hanging posts.
              The corner brackets that @Drahcir shows would perhaps mean you could do away with a cross brace, as long as they dont protrude ie. they suit the thickness of timber.

              You can get metal strapping from builders which is just a metal strip with lots of holes, you just cut it to length and you can use it flat or bend it, its probably the cheapest option and you can use as much as you like, its pretty cheap.
              This kind of stuff.
              http://www.batmetalwork.com/BAT1/BAT1-MAIN/images/pdfs/STANDARD_STRAP.pdf
               
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              • Fat Controller

                Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                Champion - I am going to do some asking around for a table saw then and go from there. Any recommendations from either of you on wood preserver for the cut face? This is the timber, so I am assuming that it will need something if cut in half?

                Incised Timber Fence Post 75 x 75mm x 2.4m | Wickes.co.uk
                 
              • Fat Controller

                Fat Controller 'Cuddly' Scottish Admin! Staff Member

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                Aye, I do tend to over-spec things :redface:

                Closed, they will be over a sort of step area that is filled with slate chips, with the main step of a couple of concrete slabs just in front of that.
                 
              • pete

                pete Growing a bit of this and a bit of that....

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                Its pressure treated but it is always good to treat cut surfaces at least, but you might want to use a decorative coating on all of it before you apply the mesh.

                I wouldn't recommend anything, most preservatives are so environmentally friendly these days they are incapable of doing the job they are intended for imo.:biggrin:
                 
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