Baby Gate (self closing and latching)

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Project by Rob posted 02-24-2009 06:44 AM 26915 views 8 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is a baby gate for my daughter who should be crawling shortly. I wanted a good solid gate rather than a store-bought pressure fitted one because this is used at the top of a dozen stairs. I used reclaimed red oak from an old table top that was badly warped. This was a good opportunity to use my new workbench to flatten the stock by hand. Joints are mortise and tenon.

I had a design failure at first. You can see some plugs in the wall in the second and third pic. Thankfully we haven’t painted here yet and will wait until there is no need for gates to do so. Origionally the gate was attached to a board here with hinges but it pulled away from the wall from stress. So then I reworked it so that it is hinged to the balistrade (not sure if that’s the right term).

Also my latch didn’t work out well which lead me to design my own. I used self closing hinges and wanted to be able to take advantage of this by having a self latching feature. I didn’t want to have to always resecure the gate. It works well. You need to pull up on the latch, which bends the thin oak, to open. I don’t think a small child will be able to do this. Tomorrow morning I will see how long it takes my 3 yr old to figure it out.

Excuse the open screw holes. I know it looks rough but I have to be able to remove it one day. Thanks for looking. Comments, critisism, and suggestions are welcome.

8 comments so far

View oldwoodman's profile


137 posts in 3421 days

#1 posted 02-24-2009 08:31 AM

It blends in beautifully with your existing stair railings. Its purpose and functionality only add to its charm. You did a fine job.

View Popeye Jr.'s profile

Popeye Jr.

120 posts in 3446 days

#2 posted 02-24-2009 09:32 AM

Thats a great project. I think I will be needing to build one of those in the near Future.
Thanks for the good idea.

-- People who say it cannot be done should not interup those who are doing it

View interpim's profile


1170 posts in 3481 days

#3 posted 02-24-2009 03:59 PM

Great looking gate… if you have children anything like mine, it will take all of 30 minutes to figure out the latching mechanism, where my wife will never figure it out.

-- San Diego, CA

View Rudge's profile


40 posts in 3645 days

#4 posted 03-24-2009 11:40 PM

looks great rob, which I tackled one of these instead of that nice plastic one I have… LOL !! maybe baby 2 !!

-- 'Original Rudge' Muskoka, Cdn

View Frankie Talarico Jr.'s profile

Frankie Talarico Jr.

353 posts in 3379 days

#5 posted 03-25-2009 12:43 AM

blends great and you didn’t go overboard on design. And that’s what counts functionality. Awesome pet deterer,child proofer,and classy . Nice work!

-- Live by what you believe, not what they want you to believe.

View JNelson's profile


18 posts in 3339 days

#6 posted 10-24-2009 06:41 PM

Looks great, would love to see how the hinges looks. This is exactly what I need for my 10 month old. Our stairs are almost exactly the same also.

View cabinetmaster's profile


10874 posts in 3581 days

#7 posted 10-24-2009 06:56 PM

great job. Should work very well and keep the little ones from falling down the stairs.

-- Jerry--A man can never have enough tools or clamps

View a1Jim's profile


117115 posts in 3600 days

#8 posted 10-24-2009 07:28 PM

Beautiful and functional great job

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

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