Cheap skate gate reinforcing?

27 Jun 2010
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United Kingdom
Having fenced the perimeter of the garden and being broke the last hurdle(no pun intended!) is the gate. I left the opening between the gate strainers at 3700 with intentions of eventually getting two 1800mm gates in wood allowing 50mm either side. We now have a 6 month old collie pup who knows no boundaries...
So- I sourced a bit of that galvanised fence stuff that usually sits in the heras type footings (1200x3500mm) which looks like it will do the job width wise(add timber to the strainers to pack it out). One strainer had moved so I dug out all the tamped material and concreted it in today alongside a 35mmx1200mm bar which is 400mm set into the concrete 100mm from the strainer (the strainer is in 900mm in gravel/glacial till, good stuff, should be solid now)
The idea is to slot the end of the fence on to this bar(it's a perfect fit) and use it as a gate. The job has gone well so far but it was never designed as a gate and the welds look pretty sketchy at the corners and there's no bracing. I don't see it holding out for long supported from one end only- what form of bracing would be best, and should I consider a wheel of some sort to support the other end?
I've thought about some right angled triangle metal plates either side bolted through but no idea who would sell something like that? :confused:
Any ideas welcome?!!
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Do you have any freecycle groups in your area like we have?-
If so then look out or put a wanted ad on there for angle iron and bolt a lenght of that onto the gate to act as a brace, probably the cheapest option. You could also use a piece of timber as a brace, it's likely to look a bit Heath Robinsonish but does it really matter :)
I think I'll just need to look out for whatever scrap I can find and do it as tastefully as possible. The concrete can wait at least 7 days, maybe longer I know concrete takes a recommended 28 days to cure and with the temp being just above freezing here it's retarded the set too. Last thing I want is to hang the "gate" too early and have it break the concrete(gonna pop one end on bathroom scales to see how much cantilevered weight is at the other end?)
I think it would also be prudent to get some form of upper hinge attached to the strainer itself so the whole mass is taking the strain not just the 35mm solid bar. This should counterbalance the fence when I restrain it too!
Even some mild steel strip bar would do the trick, but will take a look in the local fencing place to see if I can find something with an eyelet to fit in the end of the upper "gate" pole that could be drilled and bolted in place and used with conventional strainer through bolt hinges?
Last thing I want is to spend a whack and end up with Steptoe gates when it would be less hassle to just get some proper ones!!(Can't do that it's the Womble in me....)
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Not sure if this photo has worked but the gate has turned out well- found 8 galvanised corner plate things for that overhead ducting stuff and flattened them all out, then used 2 per corner with 4 M10 nuts and bolts and then used a ball pein hammer to bend and shape the overlap at the top/bottom and sides so it is hugging the tube of the gate. Used a hinge thing and drilled a 19mm hole down into the gate and fitted it to the strainer, a sprung bolt attatched nicely with minimal drilling at the other side and an old 2400x100x100 post cut in half and screwed to the strainer left a nice perfect gap at the other side. Total cost about £20
Bingo it worked- forgot to say the underside was two pieces of thin galvanised sheet bent around either pole and bolted, supported in the middle. Its a bit wobbly like a rolf harris instrument and ideally I'd like to replace it with a tensioned wire system. Was worried the dog may try to get under, get trapped and slice herself up but she's not daft and now knows she's way too big to try that...!:cool:
Cheers Ladylola but for the time being it's all been a bit of a waste of time- first the fence went up with just post and wire, the dog could still get through the wires so £100 lighter and a days work going around the perimeter saw the fence dog proof,then the gate, then the OH decided that the bit nearest the gate was to be a lawn so 30 tonnes of soil(£504!!) and £80 bag of grass seed later and 5 days work spreading,raking,rolling,raking,rolling,seeding,raking,rolling(200m sq) and the collie is now banned from running around amok due to the damage she causes trying to dig up the soil!!!! :mad:
Need to google whether it's legal to shoot a neighbours cat as it's the only thing ruining the chances of the lawn being a success!(only joking, it keeps the mice down around the houses...:cool:)
Unfortunately the fence/soil/seed are not womble items....hope it's all worth it!

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