How to Make a Simple, Yet Sturdy Garden Gate
A garden gate is a simple, yet effective way to make getting in and out of a garden easier. This is particularly true when you have some sort of barrier to protect the garden from vermin and predators. This simple project will eliminate the need for you to have to climb over barriers, and it only takes about an hour to assemble.
8 pieces of pallet board
3 pieces of 36” long PVC pipe
4 pieces of 24” long PVC pipe
2 PVC elbow joints
4 PVC “T” joints
2 metal “T” fence posts that are 4 feet high
PVC glue or epoxy
10 feet of metal wire
Screws or nuts and bolts to attach the wood to the PVC frame
The first thing that you want to do is to choose the appropriate diameter of the PVC pipe based on your needs. Then, make sure that you match all of the connectors to fit properly. You also want one of the metal fence posts to be a smaller diameter than the PVC pipe so it can slide over it when assembled. Finally, make sure that the wire you use has a thick enough gauge to provide support when attached to the planks and gate, but flexible enough to work with.
Building the Frame
Do not add any glue to the sections of the frame until you’ve inserted all of the pieces and tested them first. This will allow you to make any necessary adjustments. You also want to construct the frame while it is flat on the ground.
The first step is to build the side of the frame that will slide over the fence post first. Take each two foot long section and join them with a T connector in the middle. Attach T connectors to the top and bottom of this piece as well. Place this piece over the steel fence post to make sure everything fits. Make adjustments as necessary and remove it from the post before placing it on the ground. Next, assemble the side that will latch to the other fence post. Attach both two foot long sections by using the T connector in the middle. Next, attach the elbow connectors to the top and bottom of the piece so the bends face inward.
Next, take each three foot long piece and connect them to the bottom, middle and top of the frame by attaching them to their respective joints. Squeeze everything together and make any necessary adjustments to make sure the gate is square. Once you’ve made adjustments, you can start gluing the pieces together with the epoxy. Keep in mind that it will dry and set within minutes, so you want the frame to be perfectly aligned before this happens.
Attaching the Boards
The boards are optional in the sense that you can use fencing material or chicken wire instead. However, the boards will help to add some rigidity to the gate while also providing a better barrier for keeping vermin out of your garden. If the boards are long enough to rest over the top, middle and bottom crossbars of the gate, then all you need to do is anchor them in place by attaching screws or nuts and bolts. Attach two fasteners to the top, middle and bottom section of the gate. Make sure that each plank is centered and evenly spaced so that it will provide maximum protection and look good at the same time. If the planks are not long enough to reach the top and bottom of the gate, simply attach them with the fasteners to the center piece. Make sure the boards are centered in this case as well.
In both cases, you can use the wire to lash the boards together for some additional stability. You can also use the wire in lieu of the fasteners as long as you cut holes through the wood as well as the PVC pipe. Feed the wire through the holes and tighten the ends with a pair of pliers to secure the planks in place.
All you need to do now is slide the gate over the fence post and create some sort of latch. The easiest way to create the latch is by using some of the wire to make a loop or hook that is anchored to the PVC frame. Make a receiving hole or grip on the other fence post with some more wire. Test the gate to make sure that it moves freely, and connect the wire to the fence post to keep it closed.
Feel free to modify this project as necessary, but these steps give you the general concept. This is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to build a sturdy gate, and can serve as an extra layer of protection against unwanted intruders. It will also allow you easy entry and exit into your garden without the need to climb over barriers. This gate will also reduce the chances of sustaining an injury or getting strained from climbing over the barriers as well. Try this for yourself and see how this simple trick can make getting in and out of your garden easier and a lot safer.