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Oak baby gate

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Project by TimTucker posted 11-20-2015 02:33 AM 861 views 1 time favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

First of two baby gates for the house.

Made from 3-1/4 oak flooring I picked up at an estate sale this summer, along with some paneling from a more recent estate sale.

General process:
- One pass to rip off the tongue of each board on the table saw
- Another pass to rip off the groove side
- Planed down the sides
- Broke the edges with the plane
- Cut to length on the miter saw
- Joined the frame together with a kreg jig
- Cut down the back and attached it with a pneumatic nailer (convenient for covering up the pocket holes and the reliefs on the back of the flooring)
- Stained everything unfinished (using Varathane fast dry stain in gunstock to match the finish on the flooring)

For the hinge side, I needed a few pieces combined to bring the gate out from the wall so it would open in front of the baseboard heat):
- Ran each piece other than the front across the jointer to strip the finish off
- Glued the 4 boards together
- Planed sides down
- Glued on the top
- Mortised out for hinges with a cordless trim router (started out with a chisel, then tried the router freehand, then moved to router with a few boards clamped down when I realized I needed to mortise for the hinge itself to make everything line up correctly)
- Drilled in about 3/4 of the depth to countersink bolts to go into the wall
- Mounted to the wall with snap toggles and extra long bolts (the exterior wall appears to be drywall with paneling on top followed by more drywall…)

For the latch side:
- Planed down sides
- Glued top
- Countersunk the holes to mount to the wall
- Countersunk the holes in the stop
- Mounted to the wall with standard kreg screws since there was a stud available
- Attached the stop to align flush with the door after the door was hung
- Mounted the latch to the door, then drilled in place through the stop and backer board for the latch bolt

Still needs the stop and hinge mortises stained, but I figured I’ll go ahead and do that when I put together a second gate for the second floor.

Had a few small mishaps along the way:
- When I went to mount the gate I realized I had made the gate about 3 inches taller than the sides (had added in the height of the top but not the bottom). Found that I actually liked the staggered look. As a plus, it hides any imperfections in height across the gate, though at the expense of making it less obvious that the top pieces were cut from a single piece to have matching grain where the gate and sides met. Will be repeating that in the second gate.

- My initial attempt to mount the hinges to the gate left the gate too low: I used the same spacer board underneath as I had used when mounting the sides, but failed to account for how much more the carpet was sunken in at the middle. Second gate is over hardwood, so this shouldn’t be an issue there. If I had to do it again, I’d cut a spacer board to that went across the full width of the opening when mounting.

- When screwing in the first hinge, I realized the T-hinges were just a little too wide for the boards I was trying to mount them to (went straight through the paneling instead of hitting the side). Not too noticeable and it seems to hold strongly without the far screw being included. (Will be using a set of standard 3-1/2 door hinges that were free after rebate at Menards for the second gate).

End result though is that my wife is very happy with the outcome and the living room is a little safer for the baby.





1 comment so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

17162 posts in 2569 days


#1 posted 12-15-2015 04:17 AM

Nice gate. Good design, too. I can see where you need it there!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

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