Screwing down tongue and groove boards for ledge and brace gate

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Hi,

I'm constructing a 6ft x 3ft ledge and brace garden gate using 15mm thick tongue and groove boards and 40mm thick ledge and bracing. I've seen a number of youtube clips which show joiners constructing such gates by screwing the boards down from the back of the gate rather than the front for security reasons i.e. the screwheads are visible from the back of the gate.

If I was to use a 4 x 50mm long screw and screw down the boards from the back that means only 10mm of the screw would be holding the boards. Would that be an adequate screw join?

I could screw in from the front and then apply filler to the holes but the gate is only going to be stained and not painted so the filled holes would show up as I find stains don't cover filled areas very well.

Any advise appreciated.
 
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If I was to use a 4 x 50mm long screw and screw down the boards from the back that means only 10mm of the screw would be holding the boards. Would that be an adequate screw j

You could use 4 x 60mm and cut off the 5mm with a angle grinder, either before using them, or after cutting them flush.
 
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Wouldn't it be easier then to just use a 4 x 55mm screw and save time cutting them off, obviously with some possibility that some screws may protrude out the back of the boards if overtightened.

I though the general rule of them was that the screw should enter at least half the thickness of the bottom material in which case a 4 x 50mm would go through just over half the board.
 
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I though the general rule of them was that the screw should enter at least half the thickness of the bottom material in which case a 4 x 50mm would go through just over half the board.

10mm will only be the tapered end of the screw into the board, so not a good secure fixing.
 
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Traditionally such gates were nailed together through the face and any excess nail protruding through the back was bent over flat with the hammer (a process called "clenching"). Clenched nails are very secure and difficult to remove. If oval nails are used, and aligned to the grain, as they should be, the holes left are relatively small, especially if the nail heads are first punched under with a nail set. However, round head nails are more secure

Filler on exterior jobs is often a moot point as it not only shows, but it often falls out (because the timber swells and shrinks all the time dependent on the weather). It generally only stands a chance on painted items such as windows, and even there joiners tend to avoid using many screws on the outside. If you must fill, traditional putty is sometimes a good substitute for modern fillers (particularly as is cures rock hard over time and can be disguised with stain or paint), but whatever you use will always be visible to an extent

On a fence or gate anything screwed or nailed from the rear can always be attacked from the face and removed using a pry bar or large screwdriver - with maybe the exception of clench nailed wood.
 
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Traditionally such gates were nailed together through the face and any excess nail protruding through the back was bent over flat with the hammer (a process called "clenching"). Clenched nails are very secure and difficult to remove. If oval nails are used, and aligned to the grain, as they should be, the holes left are relatively small, especially if the nail heads are first punched under with a nail set. However, round head nails are more secure

Filler on exterior jobs is often a moot point as it not only shows, but it often falls out (because the timber swells and shrinks all the time dependent on the weather). It generally only stands a chance on painted items such as windows, and even there joiners tend to avoid using many screws on the outside. If you must fill, traditional putty is sometimes a good substitute for modern fillers (particularly as is cures rock hard over time and can be disguised with stain or paint), but whatever you use will always be visible to an extent

On a fence or gate anything screwed or nailed from the rear can always be attacked from the face and removed using a pry bar or large screwdriver - with maybe the exception of clench nailed wood.
So would you recommend nailing them down from the face side rather than using screws?
 
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Yes. At the end of the day it's a gate, not a piece of precision interior joinery. The technique of nail clenching I referred to above was actually used on doors and gates found in medieval castles, and examples of it still exist - so at least you can claim precedence
 
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I've seen a number of youtube clips which show joiners constructing such gates by screwing the boards down from the back of the gate rather than the front for security reasons i.e. the screwheads are visible from the back of the gate.

If you screw from the front, you could use anti-tamper screws or pozidive and then use a drill bit to mash up the head.
 

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