Let’s take a moment to contemplate gates. There wooden ones and metal ones and some that are just wires or strings. There small gates and double gates. Some gates are practical, others look nice, but the best of all are those that entice you to go further: to open them up and take a peek at what’s on the other side. Let’s see how to do a rustic gate.

What do you need: 4 • 105cm x 50mm x 25mm (timber battens), 12 • 84cm Hazel poles for uprights, 1 • 140cm Hazel pole diagonal, 1 • 150cm round fence post (or two if you need one at each side of the gate), 2 • 10cm galvanised strap hinges and screws, 6•4mm x 40mm and 26 •5mm x 70mm screws.

gate

STEP 1: PUT THE POST IN PLACE.

Use the crowbar to make a 40cm deep hole for the post (or posts). Use the sledgehammer to knock the post in place. This job is easier if you can gain some height above the top of the post when knocking it down. Use a spirit level to make sure the post goes in as upright as possible. This will make it much easier to have a gate that hangs level and opens without scraping against the ground.

Measure the width of the opening when the post is in place. Knock 5cm off this figure to leave a small gap at each side. This gives the width of your gate end you can change timber sizes accordingly.

STEP 2: CUT HAZEL POLES TO LENGTH

Use the saw to cut poles to the desired length. Use snips to cut off any unwanted side shoots. Keep an eye out for attractive features such as a twist of ivy or forked poles. Sand the edges of battens.

STEP 3: DRILL PILOT HOLES IN POLES

Use the 3mm drill bit to make a pilot hole in the center of each end of the 12 upright poles. Eyeball the line of each pole when drilling and aim towards the far end so the hole is centered.

STEP 4: LAY OUT THE INNER FRAME

This includes one batten span at the underside and the top and the 12 erect poles distribute evenly between them. This is about how a gate will appear when finished so take the time to move posts approximately until attributes, differences and curves appear right.

gate

Where the center of each post will go Mark on the top and bottom battens. Those demonstrate drilling points allowing one to repair the posts in position. If you’ve got a Y end on any post then you will need to mark both points of the Y. Number the end of the posts from one to 12 so you can repeat how they are laid out when you get to Step 6.

STEP 5: DRILL CLEARANCE HOLES.

Use the 5mm drill bit at the points marked on the battens in step 5. If using any Y-shaped poles then drill holes at an angle so they aim directly for the ends of the Y tips. On the top batten only, use the 4mm bit to drill three even-spaced clearance holes (one towards each end and one in the middle, but not too close to where hazel poles are marked).