Garden Gate

Our hens were invading the garden so we fenced it off but were left with no convenient gate. In the shed I had some old growth, oil-soaked 8/4+ redwood and some newer 1" x 6" redwood, at least enough for a gate of about 34" wide by 36" high. Ripped the "stiles" from the heavier stock and planed them on all sides. A little bit of quaint shaping and piercing made it slightly less dull.

I left the 1 x 6 rough but did plane tenons on the ends 1.5" deep x 3/4" thick by as wide as I could fit. Then I laid out and drilled two rows of holes on each to tie down the 1/2" diameter bamboo I was going to add. I staggered the holes for strength (I think) but you could put them in a single row. Finally I mortised the stiles to 1 5/8" deep and slightly wider than the tenons. The frame was glued and clamped, making sure it was flat and square. Gorilla Glue works well for this application.

And the detail at the bottom...

And the detail at the top...

And a closeup of the binding. To do this I used some heavy gauge stranded copper wire I had around (anything smaller than 18 ga. will work. Too thick and you will suffer and likely crack the bamboo.)

And the final back of the gate. I faced the protruding bamboo and related bindings toward the back of the gate so they would not tear into anyone passing through the gateway. Do leave enough wire to fold over for added safety. When the gate is open all of these hazards are safely out of the way. 

Lastly came the posts - one came from a 6 foot section of 6x6 salvaged old redwood. The top of the post matches the tops of the gate stiles - similar to the top of an obelisk (think Washington Monument) at 15 degrees. Corners were heavily chamfered with a drawknife and an expendable kanna, then the above-ground surfaces were cleaned up roughly with the kanna - at a 45 degree angle to make it a little more rustic. 

The other post would have received no mention but I pieced together 2 short sections of old 6 x 6 using a kanawa tsugi joint ( see That took time and it would have been way faster to go buy the longer piece. But, it was a good experience. Very strong joint. Try it on smaller stock first.

And here is a variation I put together after the original blog post. Again, this was redwood scrap wood and bamboo from thinning a small patch of black and "other' bamboo.  I drilled the holes for the wire in a straight line this time. Saves copper wire and layou time.

uses black and light colored bamboo. Both fade rapidly.