Construction common redwood for gate?

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Forum topic by WOODIE1 posted 09-10-2016 11:06 PM 565 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View WOODIE1's profile


117 posts in 2481 days

09-10-2016 11:06 PM

Ok I just finished my overthought out HD redwood fence. I planed all the pickets and it actually looks incredible for cheap HD rough saw redwood. I simply ran them through the planer and they are still approx 3/4 thick as I only did one side. It really gives the fence a finished look.

Ok now on a budget again and wanting to match the mix of color I am thinking of using simple construction common 2x material to build a gate. It is going to be a s simple 5’ rail/stile with a diagonal in the middle. The center will be the same above boards floating in the center.

HD construction common is dried correct? Am I wrong that redwood is stable enough that I can just cut/plane/join to size and it should not turn into a pretzel gate? It is just an exterior gate but don’t want to have difficulties with it.

I just don’t want to throw a picket gate if with a little work I can have a better piece.

Thanks I appreciate the help.

4 replies so far

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1122 days

#1 posted 09-12-2016 02:09 AM


I have no experience with red wood but do not see why working with red wood would be much different than working with any other lumber. Wood is best worked when dried to a moisture content as recommended by the USDA, Wood Handbook… , page 13-3

The USDA handbook Chapter 13 also describes various methods for determining moisture content, although buying a moisture meter is probably good enough.

Also, long term stability would be enhanced by protecting end grain by either covering it with long grain boards or beveling surfaces so the surfaces shed water. Protecting the wood with an outdoor penetrating oil is probably the easiest protection to maintain, but annual re-applications will likely be required.

View josephf's profile


207 posts in 2298 days

#2 posted 09-12-2016 02:26 AM

love redwood .great to work with .i use tb111 glue . obviously dry wood is better . do know your constr method ,if wood is wet design for and expect shrinkage and cracking .
i salvage alot from projects . planes and glues up nice for great gates . do know your specific question ,hope that helped .
that hd rough redwood – would have to see it or test it but dought it is dry .kiln dry redwood doesn’t generally end up in the same sentence as cheap.

View WOODIE1's profile


117 posts in 2481 days

#3 posted 09-12-2016 02:46 AM

I am in no means a experienced woodworker but have done quite a bit of walnut, cherry and oak. I started the gate today making a simple rail and stile gate.

The wood is right off the shelf at HD. Was it dry? I would say all except once piece was a little heavy. I left them out in the SOCAL sun and it wasn’t an issue. This is a cheap exterior gate so I am not checking moisture contents I am just cutting away.

Yes, I would love to use better wood but it is what it is and the labor is free. I cut some mortice and tenons with a table saw and a dado blade. They are not perfect and I had some splintering and there was a feed rate adjustment as it is soft wood.

It is roughed out and I will do the center panels and glue her up tomorrow. Will it last 25 years? NO, but for $30 I will take my chances. A simple picket gate would have been easier and probably stronger but the fun is in the creativity and trying new things. I will post pics of my overthought cheap gate. Sometimes it is fun making inaccurate fast projects.


View rustfever's profile


760 posts in 3512 days

#4 posted 09-12-2016 03:02 AM

Contrary to others having commented on this issue…........

First, I live in an area that Redwood is commonly used [Northern
California]. So, my comments are tempered with REAL experiences.

Redwood moves greatly between 6/7 % and 15/20% [summer vs winter]
I would not try to use ‘green’ redwood for anything other than fencing until it was stable [below 8 %]

Redwood will expand about 1/4” [or more!] PER FOOT of board width between summer and winter.

You will need to allow for the expansion in you construction.

-- Rustfever, Central California

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