A friend of mine approached me with a rough drawing of a driveway gate
design today. The simplest way to describe it would be a frame and panel
design, except that instead of a panel it would use slats or pickets in the
field. The design would use a curved top rail and straight stiles and
bottom rail. We had envisioned using M&T's to attach the slats to the
rails. While it has raised numerous questions in my neophyte mind, the
biggest one for now is how I would cut the tenons and their shoulders to go
into a curved frame. I imagine that I could establish a line where the
shoulder should be and rough out the material in an expedient manner and
then work to the line with chisels, rasps, files, etc. Is there a better,
more consistent, more expedient way to do this? Did any of this make sense?
The simplest solution would be to rout a groove over the entire length
of the top rail. Put in your pickets and then fill in the space
between them with blocks wood thus creating your mortises after the
fact. I would also dowel the pickets in place from the sides rather
than from the top.
If you're afraid that the spacers/ filler pieces would eventually fall out,
you could cut them into the slat, lookingkindo of lime this if layed on its
It would require cutting each side of the slat in order to provide the
filler at the top and an opening between the adjacent slats.
On Sat, 21 May 2005 03:32:55 GMT, the inscrutable "Highland Pairos"
Grooves can be routed the entire length, then filler pieces placed in
between the slats. I've seen that done to save time in wannabe M&T
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I'm liking the idea of a groove the entire length of the top rail, not
cutting tenons at all and then using filler blocks. Is there a downside to
eliminating the tenons all together?
P.S. Just wait until I start working out the structural integrity issues of
One of the big issues is going to be the fact that each panel will be seven
feet from the latch to the hinges. My friend (who is a carpenter) was
thinking that the rails would be 2x6. He is using a gate that is at a house
he is working on as a model of what he wants. I will be curious to see what
details he discovers about it.
On Sun, 22 May 2005 03:28:37 GMT, the inscrutable "Highland Pairos"
Damnit, man, MUST you top-post?
Will this be painted? For integrity, he might use a few short
vertical cables pinned between the rails, spaced so they can be
a feature or point of interest.
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I believe the plan is to keep it natural. That will make forming the top
rail a challenge. I asked him to try to look for glue lines on the
prototype, but I have already started working out how to piece it together
out of reasonable sized pieces of wood. There will be much template making
and testing long before the real wood gets cut. I will raise the idea of
vertical cables to him and see what he thinks. Are you envisioning a
turnbuckle type arrangement?
1) Find tree grown in a shape that is very near to the wanted
2) Have a party
3) Split tree from step 1 into two halves, hew/plane split faces
plane, thickness other side, bandsaw-joint upper and lower faces,
If I had to do that I think I would probably try to build a fixture that I
could position on the curve that would allow me to use a plunge router to
make the mortices at the correct position/angle. For the tenons (and
possibly the mortices), I would use my Leigh FMT jig (because I just got
it), but you could quite easily build a fixture (like a T with a hole in the
center of it) similar in shape to the FMT jig that would allow you to rout
the end of the slats and make the tenons. The slat would be clamped to the
verticle leg of the T and the router would ride along the top of the T
cutting the tenon through a hole in the center of the top of the T (tough to
Like the other responder, I'm wondering how you would repair this thing at a
later date. Possibly you could make the curved rail removable so replacement
slats could be installed. You might also consider making a sub frame that
would hold the slats and then fasten into the larger frame. It could later
be removed and repaired without dis-assembling the whole gate.
"Charles Spitzer" < firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote in message
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