driveway gates

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katellwood
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driveway gates

Post by katellwood » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:17 pm

Driveway Gates

I’ve just completed a pair of driveway gates. These are for myself and are part of a long ongoing project whereby I have created a new driveway. This has included digging out a few tons of earth, laying brick retaining walls which included elements of curved brickwork, laying approx 15m2 of granite setts and setting green oak posts to carry the gates.

For those interested I’m going to go through the procedures I carried out in making them and identify the problem solving techniques I utilised when using large and heavy materials without assistance.

This is the opening where the gates are destined to go:-

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The width of the opening is 4630mm (needed to be this wide so as to facilitate access for my Landrover with the angle of the driveway to the road and the awful steering lock my landrover has).

A sketchup of the intended design is shown here.

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Sourcing appropriate material out of air dried oak for this project was proving difficult, eventually I decided on kiln dried French oak and purchased a pack of 80mm (they did 55mm and 80mm, I considered 55mm to be slightly too thin).

The timber as collected:-

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It took some effort to get it off the trailer on my own but I eventually managed it

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But getting it on machinery alone would prove beyond my reach, therefore with the aid of a chalk line, a straight edge and a 75mm circular saw I managed to get it down to manageable pieces.

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The saw wasn’t quite deep enough to cut right through so a recip saw was used for the last 5-10mm

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Once down to manageable pieces I was able to cut off the wane on the table saw and get it ready for preparing. The widths of the stiles, middle and bottom rail being 150mm finish and the top curved rail approx 200mm

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Each gate was going to be approx 2300mm wide and 1850mm at its highest point plus being 80mm+ thick I wasn’t going to be able to surface them flat on my own, so I made this

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This has the facility to make it coplanar to the exit table and folds away for storage.

In use

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It supported the weight excellently producing a perfectly flat face side.

Now the face edge, using the surface planer this would have required me to not only support the timber over the cutter but to also keep it tight up against the fence and with it initially being somewhat out of square I took a different approach. I used the spindle and the sliding table as shown

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The timber being clamped down and fed through the cutter. This not only ensured a perfectly square face edge but also a straight one as well.

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However for a couple of the pieces the table was not quite long enough with a jack plane being called into service to flatten the last 75mm

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As this timber prior to preparing was between 80-85mm thick and my finish size was to be 60mm I didn’t want approx 20mm going up the dust chute as chippings. To solve this I purchased a m42 resaw blade from Ian at tuffsaws which left me with some lovely 15mm+ stock, much of it quarter sawn to use for drawer sides boxes etc.
In addition the bottom rail was to be a barefaced rail to which I could just get two out of one piece of 80mm (it was actually about 87mm). The table support I used on the planer also came into service again.

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The rippings

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The top half of the gate was set out on a board full size, to set out the curves on the top rail if I were to use trammels I would have needed a radius of approx 5m which was not doable. I considered a bendy lath but considered this not accurate enough. Therefore I employed a process I have used in the past to set out large but shallow bow windows. It’s called a camber slip and exploits the fact that the angle in an arc remains constant (could explain it better but this might help, angle X remains constant as it moves round the arc)

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The process as used by myself using a couple of pins in the setting out board

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Eventually I was able to produce a full-size template of the top rail

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And used it as a template for a router and bearing cutter to shape the top rail.

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Everything else was set out from the rod and morticed

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Timbers were to be morticed into the top section at a 45 degree angle but prior to this the top edges of the middle and top rail were bevelled to prevent water retention I will hope the photo’s will show how I cut the tenons on the above mentioned timbers.

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These were draw dowelled into the middle rail

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And chopped full size into the underside of the top rail ensuring an interference fit

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At this stage these timbers were glued and dowelled into the middle rail with the top curved rail located temporarily, squareness was ensured by placing the structure on the setting out rod whilst the glue cured. (cascamite has been used throughout this assembly).

Now the tenons:-

The shoulders were cut out with the track saw

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And were roughed out on the bandsaw using the M42 blade

For fine tuning I used a setup with the router

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The tops of the stiles were shaped again using the router

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And finished with a cabinet scraper

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The glue up

Following a complete dry fit to check all the shoulders etc I put the top sections together as shown

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In situations like this I always apply the glue (cascamite) to the mortices and a small amount to the end grain of the shoulders.

Each gate was assembled whilst on the trestles and once together I had to bolt four record sash cramps together to get the length for two cramps

The joints were pulled up, wedged, then dowelled with a ¾” dowel which I had turned earlier from the off cuts

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Following the glue up of the gates it came to the bracing.

Here I had to decide whether to brace to the centre of the middle rail or alternatively brace at 45 degrees. I opted for 45 degrees as this made the brace a steeper pitch.

The brace was cut and housed into the underside of the middle rail. To fix it in place I opted for three biscuits as shown.

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The bottom was secured with a loose tongue which was slid into a groove I had placed in the bottom rail and the bottom edge of the brace. This was then trimmed back (the reason will become clear later).

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Clean up was the good old fashioned way with a sharp smoothing plane and cabinet scraper to cut back the excess cascamite which sets glass hard (and a couple of pints of sweat).

When it comes to boarding the gates, firstly I am going to explain my method of fixing the boarding. Hopefully this will help

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With this method no fixings will be visible and I have the facility to remove boards should there be a need to (excessive expansion etc)

The boards were again waney edge oak, straightened on the saw then run parallel.

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To cut down on waste the width of each board was dictated by the original width of the board. Therefore, each board fitted was a different width ranging from 140mm to 225mm. They were V’eed, tongue and grooved and the two side boards and tops of each board rebated too suit the groove.

A pencil gauge was used to measure the depth of the top Vee which was then chamfered with a block plane.

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All the boards were fitted, however a gap of 1.5mm was left between each board to hopefully manage any expansion, they are not fixed at the top just left to float in the groove

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Following this the gates were trimmed to length with the track saw and stood up (the first time I have needed a lift as they must now be in excess of 200kg each).

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Finally I have fitted the lower fillet strip using inset screw cups and stainless steel screws (all the boarding fitted with stainless steel screws)

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I now await delivery of the hinges, a dry day and a couple of strong helpers (but prior to this they are to get a couple of coats of Osmo UV).

promhandicam
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Re: driveway gates

Post by promhandicam » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:40 pm

Very impressive matey. The only thing I would be concerned with is the expansion gap between the boards. From personal experience I don’t think that 1.5mm will be enough - I’d have gone for 3mm and treated them before assembly. I hope I’m wrong as they really do look the business.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by davidpidge » Mon Dec 11, 2017 9:46 pm

Fantastic WIP photos. They are some monster bits of joinery! How are you moving them around?

katellwood
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Re: driveway gates

Post by katellwood » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:08 pm

promhandicam wrote:Very impressive matey. The only thing I would be concerned with is the expansion gap between the boards. From personal experience I don’t think that 1.5mm will be enough - I’d have gone for 3mm and treated them before assembly. I hope I’m wrong as they really do look the business.
Yes that's something that is a concern, I think 1.5mm is approx 25mm across the whole width of the gate, however as they are for myself I do have the opportunity to monitor them and remove a board to cut down without too much hassle should the need arise.

Also the fixing screws were slotted somewhat. here's hoping.

katellwood
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Re: driveway gates

Post by katellwood » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:11 pm

davidpidge wrote:Fantastic WIP photos. They are some monster bits of joinery! How are you moving them around?
I'm not at the moment. they were just about manageable prior to boarding however now boarded I need someone to help me move them about.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by Rogerdodge » Tue Dec 12, 2017 3:50 pm

Excellent work and Wips. Like the old days on here. Thanks very much for taking the time to post.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by rhrwilliams » Tue Dec 12, 2017 9:19 pm

Looks great thanks for posting

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Re: driveway gates

Post by Tomyjoiner » Tue Dec 12, 2017 10:30 pm

Nice job.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by mark270981 » Wed Dec 13, 2017 7:40 am

Really enjoyed that one. Great craftsmanship
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ALOTBSOL

Mark - Sutton Coldfield

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Re: driveway gates

Post by furynaturre » Wed Dec 13, 2017 2:00 pm

Awesome thread, it's really lovely to see the 'Workings Out' thank you so much for taking the time document it.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by MJ80 » Thu Dec 14, 2017 6:31 am

Superb work, thank you for sharing.

I like your out feed table, I have a pair of the aigner extensions which are great, but yours looks a whole lot sturdier and better with the wide foot. I’ll be copying that.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by woodsmith » Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:10 am

Thanks for going to so much trouble to post this, the gates look great and I especially like your method of hidden fixing which I'm going to nick if I may! Like Prom though I don't think you have left enough space between the boards, especially as you used kilned. I had a door split its stiles during some really bad weather and I had left more gap than you have allowed.
Keith

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Re: driveway gates

Post by Meccarroll » Fri Dec 22, 2017 11:14 am

Nice little project there. I think the posts (unless supported) may struggle to hold the weight of the gates true and level over time but that is just pure speculation on my part. Listening to the comments about expansion and the 1.5mm gap you gave between the boards I'd be inclined to think that even kiln dried timber will absorb moisture in a workshop while the build of the gates is taking place so helping to reduce the difference in moisture content between the original moisture content of the kiln dried timber and ambient conditions. Wood preservative with water repellant will help reduce swelling during damp weather and of course keeping the gates well coated will help too, which I'm sure will not be a problem for you.

I too have made heavy gates like you and found that fitting the board loosely in the workshop then taking them out again until I have pre-hung the gates on site makes moving things around and hanging the gates much easier. Once I have fit the gates and hung them on the hinges I take gates off again and fit the boards then re-hang the gates.......it's a lot easier for one person that way :D

Really nice post that you can be proud of, thank's for sharing.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by JonR » Fri Dec 22, 2017 6:25 pm

Pukka job there Chris thanks for posting also.

katellwood
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Re: driveway gates

Post by katellwood » Fri Dec 22, 2017 7:25 pm

Thanks for all the nice comments/constructive criticisms and advice, its all very much appreciated.

Where we are at the moment is, I have had delivered two pair of 900mm adjustable hooks and bands. They were advertised as being galvanised and powder coated however the coating was flaking a little (don't know how well powder coating takes over galvanising???) so have given them a rubdown and a couple of coats of a good quality metal paint.

All nuts bolts and screws came with the hinges however to minimise any tanin stains I have replaced all bolts etc with stainless steel.

The posts are 8" x 8" green oak they are concreted (bottoms on pea shingle for drainage) in the ground approx 4' deep I feel this is enough, do you guys agree?

I have not been able to hang them due to a family bereavement the other end of the country so not been about, however I hope to get them swinging imminently.

Can any of you point me in the direction of above ground auto gate opening mechanism suppliers (plenty on ebay but would like to see them first)

Finally all have a good Christmas and a prosperous 2018 (ps this made me smile)

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Kind Regards

Chris

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Re: driveway gates

Post by Leveller2911 » Sun Dec 24, 2017 6:14 pm

Hi Ketellwood,
Really nice thread and cheers for the WIP pix. I still struggle to upload pix so don't even try now. I did do some WIP of some bowed/curved boxframe sash windows I did a year or so ago and may give it another go at uploading...

Anyway, nice job buddy and I loved the hand tool display on the wall above the bench, almost gave me a semi lob... :roll:

Nicely made Gates and like the way you disguise the fixing for the T&G board, nice touch that and I may give it a go sometime. Like others have said I would have increased the joints in the boards and tend to use 2mm formica packers I have in the workshop which tends to be fine and I always treat/seal the Tongues & grooves of the boards and any grooves rebates on the gates before fitting the boards...

Nice job matey and Merry Christmas.......

Leveller

katellwood
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Re: driveway gates

Post by katellwood » Thu May 03, 2018 4:28 pm

An update too this.

I appreciate there has been a delay in getting these swinging, the main reason being I spent the majority of the winter in Australia and if I had hung them prior to going I would not have been able to monitor any movement in the boards and take any remedial action as needed.

Anyway there on and I'm very pleased

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I now want to sort the automatic openers, is there anyone on here who can recommend auto gate openers possibly with a keypad as well as an in car clicker

Any help will be greatly appreciated

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Re: driveway gates

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:48 am

Just wondering how these have stood the test of time? Did the posts stay upright ?

Fabulous thread and job, by the way.
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
Friedrich Nietzsche

katellwood
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Re: driveway gates

Post by katellwood » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:33 pm

bit of a wet day but just been out to take a few photo's

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absolutely no sagging of the gates or movement on the posts the only issue which does not concern me too much is that the auto closers needed to be place high up to so as to go above the brickwork on the left. As a result the pressure of the closers have placed the gates in twist, however the twist is even on both gates with the outer stiles remaining perfectly in line (ideally i would have liked the closers as close to the ground as possible so they force against the gate stop on a level line)

The boarding has expanded but not too much as to cause any effect (the mortice and tenons were both glued/weded with cascamite and dowelled with 20mm dowels as well)

The fencing is now done and additionally i have made a pedestrian gate to complement the main gates with a wooden suffolk latch which to address any swelling issues I utilised skateboard bearings (22mm OD) on all moving parts, again no issues

a few further pics and thanks for enquiring.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by Meccarroll » Sun Apr 07, 2019 8:33 pm

All looks very nice to my eyes. A very good job indeed!

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Re: driveway gates

Post by thatsnotafestool » Sun Apr 07, 2019 9:37 pm

Nice gates.. lovely job there.

Nice Audi too ! Q3 ?
The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.
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Re: driveway gates

Post by johnfarris » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:29 am

Superb job.
I have a question if you do not mind
Could you tell me why you didn't haunch the mortice and tenons? I noticed a lot of gate makers do not.
Isn't the reason for haunching to help prevent wind and promote squareness.

John

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Re: driveway gates

Post by katellwood » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:44 pm

Haunching is usually carried out on a corner joint say the top and bottom rail of a door so as to completely contain the tenon in the mortice, on wide rails (usually middle rails) the haunch is usually in the middle of the rail thereby preventing the need for an overlong mortice.

The short tenon on the edge the actual haunch is to prevent twisting and the shoulders misaligning. if there where no haunch then the joint would stop being a mortice and tenon and would become a bridle joint

On thin section timber where the haunch mortice weakens the stiles (sash and casement windows etc) the haunch is replaced by a franking
franking.JPG
On certain gates as in mine there is substantial timber either side of the end rails to create the strength of a mortice and tenon the bottom rail being a barefaced tenon (only one shoulder) and set up from the ground. this design eliminates the need for haunches completely allowing full width tenons without compromising strength.

Squareness is dictated by the shoulders of the tenon

hope you understand my explanation

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Re: driveway gates

Post by johnfarris » Wed Apr 17, 2019 6:53 am

Thank you for the detailed reply I think I understand it. So your saying because you have substantial timber either side of the bottom and top rail you do not need haunches. Unlike a stile on an internal door or window were part of the tenon is exposed on the end of the stiles once you cut off the horns

But what about the tenon twisting because your leaving the tenons wide and not haunching is there not more chance the tenon will twist?

John

katellwood
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Re: driveway gates

Post by katellwood » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:06 am

you would create a haunch in a wide tenon more to strengthen the mortice as in certain cases the mortice walls are thin and need bolstering in the middle this is purely subjective to the thickness of the material.

In my case with six inch rails and 60mm+ thickness of material a central haunch in my opinion was not necessary.

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Re: driveway gates

Post by houtslager » Mon Apr 22, 2019 8:43 pm

An excellent class in real world joinery , hats and head off to you. By the way could you pm me regarding details of your morticer , as I have the same one but have no details of it, nor handbook :(

Karl
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Re: driveway gates

Post by nos » Sat Apr 27, 2019 1:27 pm

Very nice gates, you have already found out what I was about to comment on regarding the gate closer rams, I myself did the same, my gates were commercially made, I dont have the machinery or the skill to make some to your standard, and I put the rams on the top rail, while of course, the gate stop is at ground level. As mine have been in for ten years the twist is somewhat alarming, about 15cm out over a 3mt gate, my advice to anyone is to put your rams on the bottom even if it means beefing up the bottom rail, I have two choice's replace or make a metal frame to screw to the back of the gates to take the twist out, my preferred option, then put the rams at the bottom.

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