Not Simple Baby Gate

  • Advertise with us
Project by lumberjuniorvarsity posted 03-30-2016 12:34 AM 1228 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just made this baby gate for some friends. They wanted to keep cost down so I used construction grade lumber. With the exception of where the gate mounts to either wall (2×6’s on one side and 1×4 on the other), the whole thing is made out of 2×4’s (balusters ripped to 1 1/2” x 1 1/2”) using pocket hole joints.

I call this gate “not simple” because due to the stairway opening up at the landing, I couldn’t just make a gate that could fit between 2 opposing walls. This is also the reason why my friends asked me to build something in the first place instead of just buying something from the store. I also had to build it so that it’s easily removable with minimal repairs needed afterwards (see the pic of the cutout for the baseboard).

This was challenging primarily because I’ve never made something that’s ‘built in’ without being at the location where it will be installed. Because of that (or at least that’s the excuse I’m going to use), I made the embarrassing mistake of measuring incorrectly and coming up 3 1/2” short on the shorter section of the gate. Long story short – I forgot to take into account the width of the 2×4 from that 90 degree corner to the wall… I’m giving myself grace because this is the first project I’ve made for someone else.

My mistake actually turned out to be helpful, because there wasn’t much stud available next to the trim on the right side, where I had initially planned to mount it. I built a little ‘extension’ to anchor it on the next stud over.

My friends wanted to finish it themselves (thankfully!), so the pictures don’t show the mounting hardware or the gate latch. The gate will be secured to the wall with lag bolts. This was more of a test fit – which it does nicely!

I used some screen door hinges, so the gate will close automatically. I ripped one 2×6 down so there’s extra width for the gate to slam shut against, just like a typical door frame (I realize I didn’t take a good picture of that). The latch I decided to use is this magnetic latch, which will automatically ‘lock’ when the door swings closed:

So the gate will be self-closing and lock automatically, which was important to my friends. I’m glad I got a screen door hinge kit with 3 hinges because that gate is actually pretty heavy.

Like all of my projects, this is very basic work. I wanted to upload it in case anyone out there has to come up with a solution for an open stairway like this. I sure didn’t find anything on the internet when I was looking for ideas!

3 comments so far

View Hawaiilad's profile


3211 posts in 3075 days

#1 posted 03-30-2016 02:50 AM

Your “Basic Work” as you call it turned out very nice. I like the design and the hinges were a smart add on

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View lumberjuniorvarsity's profile


77 posts in 950 days

#2 posted 03-31-2016 02:33 AM


View ChickenChaser's profile


102 posts in 1135 days

#3 posted 03-31-2016 05:33 PM

Nice work. This situation would have left me scratching my head for a while. Thanks for sharing.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics