wood fence gate not plumb

I had a wood fence built and the fence gates are not lined up. The fence was built six months ago and after some rain and sun now the problem magnified.
There are two gates, one left and one right, 5' wide each with a total of 10' opening. Posts and gates are 6' tall.
The fence posts are plumb when you look at the gates from the front.
The fence posts are not plumb when you stand at the gate opening and look left and right. One tilt forward a bit and one tilt backward a bit. Therefore the gates are tilted in opposite directions. At the top the if I measure the two tip of the gates where they are supposed to line up, they are just a bit over 4 inches apart.
OK I know the proper thing to do is to pull the post up, break the concrete and redo the post and reattach the gates. But...
The way I constructed the posts, I knew the 5' gates would be heavy and may pull on the gates. So I had the fence post for the gate and the nearest next fence post (which is about 3 feet away, anchored into the same concrete. I dug a tench 4 feet long, and sank both posts into it, and then poured solid concrete into it, with the intention to not let the fence post pull on the concrete at all, and I did a good job of it in one direction. I am really not looking forward to deconstruct the entire section of the fence wall and pull up that concrete on both sides.
So that leads to my questions. Are there other remedies to consider. Can I shim the hinges? Can I somehow buy some sophisticated hinges that are capable of adjustments inward and outward that would make it less noticable?
Any ideas appreciated.
MC
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MiamiCuse wrote:

If the concrete is holding the posts in their original position then its not the posts. Install 2 adjustable wire tensioners, also known as dolphin strikers. This will pull the outside of gates up if they are sagging. Usually the weight at the ends cause the gate to sag.
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There is no sag. The movement is not in the direction of the two gates tilting towards each other. The movement is on gate is tilting forward (towards you if you standing in front of the gate) and the other gate is tilting backwards (away from you if you are facing it), it's not plumb at an axis 90 degrees from what you were thinking. I hope I explained this right.
MC
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MiamiCuse wrote:

or are the gates warped? You might try shims and longer screws.
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I went and did some measurements and checked alignment, and determined that it is a combinations of things.
First, one of the posts is out of alignment. It is plumb, but out of alignment. If I stretch a string from one corner of the fence all the way to the other corner, crossing all the intermediate posts, one of the posts is out of alignment by about 1.5 inches. In other words, I have posts A, B, C, D, GATE - GATE, E, F, G, H, and I string from A to H, post E is shifted north by an extra 1.5 inches.
Second, both gates were warped. This is probably due to a combination of bad hardware (angles were rusted) and bad wood (the fence contractor ran out of PT wood and were short two pieces and sub in normal wood I had laying around for indoor framing) and now some are badly warped.
I will need to rebuild the gate, no doubt, use stainless steel hardware and better parts.
However I would rather not redo post E, since posts E & F are both cemented into a single wide trenched concrete footing. However, the hinges I have must mount on the face of the fence and gate so no shifting or offset is possible. Are there any fence hinges I can use that allows mounting of it on the inside (like door hinges), this will allow me to mount both gates with a slight shift from the posts. I just don't know if such hinges are possible (strong enough) for fences. I will ask in another thread.
Thanks!
MC
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MiamiCuse wrote:

You could easily make your own with four eyebolts and a length of iron rod similar in diameter to the eyes.

Ever see any of those huge doors on cathedrals? They make your fence gate look like tinker toys :)
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I doubt you are going to fix a 4 inch gap with some shims or a special hinge.
What has caused the posts to be out of plumb? Have you dug down along the base to see if the concrete cracked or if the posts warped?
Maybe you could force the posts back into plumb and then use "diagonals" on both sides of each post (perpendicular to the fence line) with the ends buried in concrete to prevent the posts from leaning in either direction.
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wrote:

I doubt you are going to fix a 4 inch gap with some shims or a special hinge.
What has caused the posts to be out of plumb? Have you dug down along the base to see if the concrete cracked or if the posts warped?
Maybe you could force the posts back into plumb and then use "diagonals" on both sides of each post (perpendicular to the fence line) with the ends buried in concrete to prevent the posts from leaning in either direction.
Remove the gates and hinges. Fasten the two halves of the gate together using a temporary stringer of a few 2x4 or 1x2 just to hold it in alignment. Use additioanl scrap wood to position the gate on the posts temporarily using screws. Now figure out where the hinges need to go. You might need to switch from gate hinges (front surface mount) to regular door hinges or whatever looks lik it will work (sorry no pictures, no precise advice). You might even need to add some lumber to the gate to support a new hinge location.
If I read you right then a front surface mounted hinge should be able to be shimmed either on the door or the post. If you do this, shim all 4 hinges so it looks intentional.
This should get the gates to align when closed but if the posts are so out of whack, it might just result in the gate swinging open by gravity or looking cockeyed when opened or binding when opening. You might not be abole to make it look good in all positions. A spring loaded hinge should help if it wants to open on its own. There are many kinds of gate hinges, some are more forgiving of misalignment than others.
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On Fri, 9 May 2008 10:49:49 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

Maybe... not bracing them while concrete cured and checking with a level, during the process.
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MiamiCuse wrote:

If the posts are absolutely vertical and it's the gates themselves that are warped, you can use turnbuckles to bring them back straight.
I don't hold much long term hope for that process unless you leave the turnbuckles in place.
Go for 1" angle iron (or similar) and bolt it as a diagonal on the gates.
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clipped

the inside ends of the gates so it takes some of the weight off the fence? How deep did you place the posts? If you can put a wheel on the gate, perhaps when the ground is wet and softer so the posts might straighten? What's under the gate opening - pavement? I don't see how changing the hinges would accomplish anything .... seems the weight of the gates, and, perhaps, the leverage of opening them is too much for the support system (not deep enough).
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Norminn wrote:

P.S. If the concrete in the trench isn't terribly wide, you might be able to install another post, deeper, on each side and sistered to the existing, out-of-plumb posts. Less demo/excapvation. Or, possibly, a hinge in the middle of each section of the gate - the thought being that you "fold" each section of the gate before opening it fully and have less leverage pulling the posts out of plumb. Gosh, I wish I knew the math :o)
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On 5/9/2008 1:09 PM Norminn spake thus:

I'll just answer this part of your post: yes, you can. In fact, I just did that recently for two large gates I built that seem uncannily like the ones the O.P. described: each about 5' wide, 6' tall. I bought 2 casters from Grainger with fairly solid but resilient treads and put them under each gate. So far, they seem to be working fine. (You must, of course, level the path the wheels take.) It takes most of the strain off the hinges.
I actually had the same problem he seems to be having--the posts not lining up with each other--but in my case they were only off by a little more than an inch. I suspect he simply wasn't careful enough plumbing the posts when the concrete was setting.
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On Fri, 09 May 2008 15:34:12 -0700, David Nebenzahl

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It is not the weight of the gate pulling it out of plumb, the bottom is soil so I cannot put a wheel. I wish I can.
I found that the two posts are actually plumb but the posts are offset from each other. An entirely different problem.
Thanks,
MC
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MiamiCuse wrote:

What kind of hinges are they? If strap, you could recess the "out" one and shim the "in" one. If mortice hinges, cut new mortices on either post or gate at an angle so the gate is vertical when mounted.
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