How to Make a Gate Out of Split Rail Fencing

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Split rail fencing is traditionally used in rural settings, but is increasingly popular in urban and suburban yards. You can make a gate of split rail fencing to match the look of the fence. On farmsteads these gates can be up to 8 feet wide, but for an urban or suburban fence the gate should be more in scale with the size of the yard; a standard gate opening of 3 to 3 1/2 feet is ideal.

Things You'll Need

  • 1x4-inch lumber for gate frame
  • Galvanized L-shaped corner brackets
  • Galvanized wood screws
  • Screwdriver
  • Reciprocating saw
  • 1x4-inch cross members
  • Hinges
  • Gate latch
  • Determine the size of the gate by measuring the opening in the fence. The gate should be about 4 inches smaller so it swings freely.

  • Make a frame of 1x4-inch lumber that is 4 inches smaller than the gate opening and the same height as the fence. Attach the corners with galvanized L-shaped corner brackets and galvanized wood screws.

  • Cut the cross members one inch shorter than the width of the gate.

  • Use a reciprocating saw to cut holes in each upright board of the gate in which to lay the horizontal cross members. The holes should be large enough to hold the 1x4-inch cross members and should go all the way through the uprights. Position the holes so the cross members are the same height as the cross members in the fence.

  • Slip the cross members into the holes in the gate's uprights. Secure with galvanized wood screws.

  • Attach hinges to one of the gate's uprights. Position one about 3 inches from the top and the other about 3 inches from the bottom. Use galvanized wood screws to attach the hinges.

  • Have a helper hold the gate in position. Attach the top hinge with one screw, then attach the bottom hinge with one screw. Insert the remaining screws into both hinges.

  • Mark the position of the latch on the gatepost and attach that side of the latch first. Then mark its corresponding position on the gate and attach that part.

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