|Project by NewPilgrim||posted 1373 days ago||5742 views||4 times favorited||6 comments|
I am quite new with building stuff and have been working on my shop for a few months now building benches, tables, shelves, sliding drawers, etc. But with my one year old now learning how to walk, I figure I better learn to construct a gate for our stairs ASAP, so… now is the time to put my tools to use.
At home, my stairway has pretty good woodwork so I wanted to build a wood gate that would match it, in terms of the basic look and feel. I did not want to buy a modern gate with a modern look.
Oak instead of Hemlock would have been better, but I chose Hemlock because of the cost. Maybe cost shouldn’t have dictated what materials to use. Hmm. But I got some balusters, hand rail and shoe rail with fillets.
I spec’d out the measurements and referenced some photos of gates that I had. I found out my wall was plumb, but the stair post wasn’t and my floor was pretty bad. (Sigh) I heard that every project will have some nice surprises. Ha.
With a hammer, I was going to toe-nail the balusters, but my neighbor buddy said he’d teach me how to make dowel joints instead at his shop. I said, ‘cool, let’s do it.’ He taught me how to use his doweling jig, (Dowel Max) and that went really well. I was glad to have someone teach me this. It was also the first time I had to do a ‘glue-up’ albeit, a tiny glue-up, and using a dumpload of clamps. At the time, I had just three clamps at home. Now, I have over a dozen 3/4’ pipe clamps any many others styles. (I hear I can never have enough, so I am searching Craigslist everyday).
Now after that was completed, I realized I shouldn’t have conditioned, stained and polyurethane’d my wood until I was finished. There was a few scuffs and I foolishly didn’t hide a few balusters that had some tear outs… I should have turned them away from the frontal view (or cut slower). But, so I re-sanded, re-stained, and re-poly’d the whole thing.
Fortunately I just had to attach long wood screws in the hinges which easily grabbed the lath behind the plaster. I thought I was going to have to use toggle bolts. It was a bit of a pain to make sure the gate was level… the darn floor underneath the gate deviated about 1” from one end of the gate to the other.
Lastly, I just ordered a brass ‘cabin hook’ from a marine supply house, which is just like a regular ‘hook and eye latch,’ but has more girth, heavier and looks distressed. A shiny silver or a new brass look would conflict with the wood, I believe.
And so there it is, it works fine and not only I built something, I just built up my confidence for creating things out of wood.