|Project by clin||posted 08-23-2016 11:05 PM||505 views||4 times favorited||9 comments|
Finally a project that wasn’t something for the shop. My wife insisted that a shed be placed to where she could not see it. Which meant on the side of our house where there was no access. So we had to put an opening in the wall and put a gate in.
The gate is made form inland, western red cedar. For those not in the know, western red cedar comes in two flavors; coastal and inland. Same tree, just grows different. Coastal grow very large, like a redwood, and you can get large, clear boards from it. Though it tends to be a very dark reddish brown color. Inland, where it is much dryer, grows more like pine trees and has a more yellow color. Because inland trees are a lot smaller, you don’t get the big clear boards.
I wanted this to look more like pine, which is more common for these southwestern style gates, so I went with the inland red cedar.
The build is a bit unusual in that instead of working with thick boards for the frame, I laminated three 1X boards. The three boards form a final thickness of almost 2 1/2”. Makes a nice solid structure. I’m not even sure if inland red cedar is available much thicker than 1X.
Because I laminated it, I also did not have to cut mortises. I just left the inner board short or cut it cout before laminating. The inner board is also narrower to create the channel that holds the panel boards. Of course a dado could have been cut easily. But this avoids that step.
To laminate it nice and flat, I built a 5 ft long 6” wide torsion box as a caul to clamp it to.
The center boards are tongue and groove that I cut on the table saw. Used the block plane to chamfer the edges as well as the tongue. Tongue is 3/8” long.
The wood was very dry so I spaced the panel boards about 3/16” to allow for possible expansion. The panel boards are attached, but only by stainless steel brads toenailed in on the back side. Just a single brad in the center at the end of the board.
The idea is the boards length won’t change, the board can expand and contract without restriction. The brads just hold the board in general position. Also, the boards only extend about 3/8” into the 1/2” deep channel. This allows for the way the 45 degree cut will expand and contract giving it some clearance.
I think the frame was likely stiff enough to avoid sagging, but chickened out and built in the diagonals on the back side. Figured why not. Looks fine. I did run some brass screws through the diagonals in the panel boards. I placed these where the center of the diagonal cross the center of a panel board. Again, these should be locations with minimal wood movement. The idea behind these screws was to stiffen the diagonal.
I also secured the ends of the diagonals with biscuits. There’s actually 3 biscuits on the longer edge where the diagonal meets the stile, but only the biscuit nearest the corner is glued in. Again, not gluing the entire joint to reduce problems from wood movement. There is another biscuit on the short end glued to the rail. Mostly the biscuits just hold the ends of the diagonals in position. But the one diagonal, that is in tension, just might support some tension with the biscuit joint.
Finish is Penofin (a rosewood oil finish). Penofin has a lot of UV inhibitors and has worked very well for me in my high-desert climate.