Wire gates can be sturdy and durable or flexible and very inexpensive, depending on your needs. They are simple and economical to build and require little effort to install. Use framed wire gates for small or wide openings that are used regularly and build floppy gates for small openings that are used infrequently. For electric fences, considering using electrified wire instead of a wooden or metal gate.
Framed gates provide both charm and functionality, and they blend easily with brick, stone, wood or wire fences. Framed gates require some time to design and build, but can provide long-lasting service.
Build a frame for your gate and secure the corners using bolts or screws. Bolts add a more rustic look, whereas you can countersink and hide screws. Create designs with vertical and horizontal supports, such as a fan or a "V," "M" or "W," using several pieces of wood.
Attach cattle panels or hog or chicken wire to the frame using agricultural staples. Select decorative hardware to add interest to your gate, but hinges must be strong enough to support the gate's weight or the hinges will bend or rip from the wood.
If your fence opening is used infrequently--for example, by pipeline bush hoggers--build a simple, inexpensive floppy gate using wire stretched between two posts. Use store-bought posts or sturdy limbs from downed trees. Floppy wire gates have a rustic charm and often become invisible when used with wire fences.
Attach barbed, hog or chicken wire to the posts with agricultural staples. The British Columbia Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries recommends adding a diagonal length of wood from the gate end to the latch end and attaching the wire to it to keep the gate from sagging. Create designs with the diagonals, such as an "X" or "W," or weaving flexible willow or hazel twigs through the wire.
To close the gate, drop the post in a narrow hole near the fence and wrap a wire loop over the top of the movable post. To open the gate, remove the loop and lift the post from the hole.
Use electrified wire to create a gate for an electric fence. Livestock can break metal or wooden gates, but the animals will recognize the electric wire and respect it. Electric gates are quick and inexpensive to construct.
Run one or two strands of electric wire at the same height as your fence from one gatepost to the other and connect the electrified wire to your gate wire. Attach rubber gate handles and hook onto the gatepost using hooks designed for electric fences. Be careful when opening the gate, because the wire will remain electrified when unhooked.
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