Monday, September 23, 2013

Fit Wooden Gates

To ensure proper positioning, the gate must be plumbed in two planes.

Accurately fitting a wooden gate between gate posts is a critical step in installing the gate. In order to operate smoothly and to ensure durability of the gate and installation hardware, the gate must be plumbed, or positioned vertically, in two directions. Hinges typically are mounted to the gate frame before the gate is positioned for installation. Once the gate is accurately positioned and secured between the gate posts, you can attach the hinges to the post in minutes. This fitting technique requires no special tools or advanced construction skills. Does this Spark an idea?


1. Stack scrap wooden planks between the gate posts to hold the gate 2 to 4 inches off the ground. This provides clearance, allowing the installed gate to swing without obstructions. Place the gate onto the wood scraps between the posts. Measure the distance between the gate stiles and the corresponding posts to center the gate. Position the gate so its hinged surfaces are flush with the fronts of the gate posts. Once the gate is centered, push a wooden shim between each of the vertical centers of the gate stiles and the posts.

2. Place a carpenter's level against the front or back of a stile. Tip the top of the gate forward or backward until the gate is plumb in that plane. Place shims between the ends of the top rails and the corresponding posts.

3. Lay the carpenter's level across the top rail of the gate. Raise or lower the lateral sides of the gate until the rail is level. Place shims along the edge of the gate, holding it firmly to the gate posts. With the gate held in position, recheck the rails and stiles to make sure they are level and plumb. Minor adjustments, if necessary, may be made by tapping the gate with a mallet until it is in satisfactory position. Add more shims to hold it securely in place while you mount the hinges to the gate posts.

Tags: gate posts, between gate, between gate posts, carpenter level, corresponding posts, gate must, gate must plumbed