Ledged and Brace Gate

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Fitzroy

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Our side gate is on its last legs, actually probably past that point if I’m honest! It’s a ledge and brace and the frame is good so I’m going to directly copy it with a few minor mods ie slope the top of the ledges to allow run off. I’ll post a few photos as I go but for now I’ve a few questions I hope you can help with.

The boards are oak which are 27mm sawn and will be brought to 19mm with T&G:
- what thickness and length tongue? Was thinking 7mm thick and 10mm long.
- the boards are kiln dried so are likely to gain moisture after I hang the gate. The boards will be 150mm wide. What gap should i allow on the T&G? I’m assuming butting them close to start is asking for trouble!

Boards will be fixed with SS clinched (clenched?) nails.
- do I want plain wire or annular ring shank?
- do I want round head or lost head?

Stainless 400mm tee hinges are abhorrently expensive, so plan to go for galvanised. What’s the life span on galvanised, should I bite the bullet and go stainless?

Thanks in advance.

Fitz.
 

Doug71

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I wouldn't do the clenched nail thing, won't work very well, I would use stainless steel screws covered with oak plugs or an oak strip depending how you make it.

If the boards are starting at 27mm why not finish them a bit thicker if you can, maybe 22mm.
 

Trevanion

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Like Doug, I wouldn't bother with clenching unless you're absolutely desperate for the neanderthal look. I'm not sure how well SS nails would clench anyway as I suspect thicker gauge nails would want to snap as you're hammering them around.

The size of tongue you've specified is about right, I would go for a 2mm gap on each board and hope for the best.

I like to run two grooves in the ledges to put screws through into the face boards in elongated holes in the grooves and then I fill the grooves in with a decorative bead of some kind to hide it, I think it looks much nicer than plugs and if anything is a little bit quicker overall since I can easily run the grooves and beads on the moulder, for most others I imagine the plugs would be easier.
 

Fitzroy

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SS screws are easier to source so perhaps I’ll do that. Though about nails was when someone, the kids, forget to close the gate it tends to bang in the end. Didn’t want screws to snap, I know nails are more tolerant of movement. Overthinking perhaps!

I was concerned over weigh, was my though on the board thickness, but yes I expect 22mm is the way to go.

Thanks for your thoughts.

Fitz.
 

Mike Jordan

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My suggestions are - through mortise and tenon joints with wedges.
-Boards maximum of 100 mm wide or consider ripping your 150 mm to make 75mm boards with penny gaps.
-Fasten with screws from back face with knock in cover strips or galvanised round nails through the face ( drill boards to prevent splitting)
- weather top edges ( you've covered it)
- consider using Iroko rather than oak, it will last thirty years if glued with epoxy.
- galvanised hinges in a good gauge.
 

Fitzroy

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With lockdown I thought would come extra workshop time but it seems not. Homeschooling, working from home, and workshop time are not totally compatible so projects have slowed. Additionally I’m finding my motivation is less than normal, three months of being at home with limited social interaction is starting to drag......

The gate is moving on and is 90% there. Design was done in sketchup to get my cutting list together and make the most of the boards I bought. Happily I managed to have one board left over for another day, so I took out the quarter sawn one to a side for another day.

F7B81A02-CB04-4277-A105-87F57BC5375E.jpeg


The gate is a direct replacement of an old pine one so a copy with some improvements. The top of the boards is protected from the rain by a ‘cap’, I wanted to try to dovetail the rebate. Thought it was a good idea, no idea why!

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Dovetailing the ends of the boards became a lesson in ridiculousness. I ended up having to set up the router table in the garden to get the headroom.

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Sacrificial boards clamped fore and aft to prevent spelching. There is a dovetail bit buried in there somewhere! It all turned out ok and the cap is secure on most boards with one or two a touch loose. Whilst innovative, I’m not convinced the idea, nor solution, is wholly necessary or sensible!
00AFEB89-C152-4341-A465-30677C1CB5A7.jpeg


The other part of the design that had me scratching my head has been the braces. I copied the angles from the original gate (which I’m now worried are flawed as the other recent topic on here said they needed to be 45degrees or more). However, I wanted to rebate them into the ledges. Additionally i wanted to put an angle on the ledges to allow water run off. Combining all these things I decided isn’t possible so I gave up thinking and had a bash at it. If it all went pear shaped I’d add more screws.

Eyeballed the angle of the rebate.
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I then made a template for the router, bandsawed out the waste and routered to final size on the router table. Soz no photos.

The joint with the bottom ledge is open, in my mind to allow it to dry. The top joint I made as a socket, the braces are 22mm compared to 40mm ledges. The lower ledge was screwed to the upper brace as a template and then the socket routed out. You can see the outcome on this ledge.
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Boards have a dowel at the centre to keep the board located on the ledge, all expansion will be from this central point with oversized screw holes allowing movement.

With all the parts in place it came time to start getting the shape right. Striking the top of the braces to allow run off and incorporating the braces involved lots of planing and chisel work. Rather made up as I went along but turned out ok.
9F5B8945-70AB-4C9C-8AA3-1E018244A3BD.jpeg


As you can see I went with the advice to use screws and plug the holes. The £12 plug cutter and countersink set from screwfix has been great.

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Overall happy with it so far. All comments and criticisms welcomed.

Fitz.
 

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Fitzroy

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Sorry to all those who battled through my last post. The English was poor and the photos mainly missing. No idea how I managed that but fixed now.

Fitz.
 

AndyT

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Didn't see it before but it looks fine now. I know from experience how much extra time it takes to photograph and write up a project, so rest assured, it's appreciated.
 

Bm101

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Great looking gate. Is it for a castle? Should last a good while against a battering ram! Proper job. I love how you've mated the braces.
Enjoyable write up and learned a few bits too. Thanks.
Chris
 

AJB Temple

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Nice work.

It looks as though the top bar will drip directly onto the ledge immediately below it, which may introduce rot trap, unless you have done something to allow for that (I can't tell from the photos).

Work to proud of I would say.
 

Fitzroy

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AJB Temple":3890976d said:
Nice work.

It looks as though the top bar will drip directly onto the ledge immediately below it, which may introduce rot trap, unless you have done something to allow for that (I can't tell from the photos).

Work to proud of I would say.

Nope you are spot on. When I stood it up I thought oh darn that’s going to drip on there. Little I can do about it now. The devils in the detail, and it’s hard to spot them the first time you make something.

F.
 

Fitzroy

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Right let’s have a crack with this new website and see if it’s easier to post than before!

Since the last time. The gate was disassembled, and everything wetted to raise the grain and sanded back. Old door furniture was stripped and painted black, including the spring return, oh what a pain to strip! Gate was reassembled, screwed together, holes plugged and trimmed/sanded flush.

I really had planned to leave unfinished but couldn’t bring myself to do so as the wood was so pretty and demanding a finish so it got two coats of Osmo UV oil. I know it’s not the best but I had some to hand and it’s in a shaded spot.

The gate weighs 35kg which is not too much, the earlier photos make it look huge but it’s only 100cmx170cm. Pin and band hinges have gone on well all with stainless bolts and screws to avoid staining.

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Wetted to raise the grain and sanded back
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Squaring up before screwing up
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Assembly
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Top edge was pegged in place with walnut dowels once the gate was square.
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Snapped a plug covering one of the peg holes, damnkit.
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Lots of plugs!
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Trim, trim, trim.
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Turned out nice like
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Ready for finishing.
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Glad I had some good paint stripper, lots of nooks and crannies
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Original hardware is lovely, handles are some cast material, each one must weigh close to a lb.
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Backside, spring return yet to be fitted.
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The side all the neighbours have been commenting on.

A fun build with a good end result.

Fitz
 

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SammyQ

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Fitz, that is one of the nicest executed and thought-out projects I have seen on this forum. The choices of wood, design and finish are first class. Yes, I know, it's only a gate, but all the same, be proud.

Sam
 

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