I would like to make a nice 3 foot wide by 6 foot high solid gate with a nice
simple clean look that includes a small window near the top.
I was considering 1x6 x 1" thick cedar boards vertical on a hidden 1/2" marine
plywood core hiding the plywood edges with cedar inserts.
This would give me a nice 2 inch plus thick gate with no cross bridging at all.
Is the doable, and will it work?
I was going to use homemade copper hardware and glue to holed it together
I build gates from steel they last for ever. Size your building I would use
3/4 square tubing for the frame. I have never seen an wooden gate last for
very long especially if there is a lot of sun.
When you place wood on both sides of ply, you are inviting rot due to poor
drainage and resulting slow drying after rain. Both the 1x and the ply would
likely rot, in a sandwich configuration. Also, it would be a super-heavy
gate, adding to the sag problem, and torque on the hinges. I just use a 2x4
redwood frame with 1x8 fence boards, and framed 2x2 redwood spaced pieces at
the top one foot, for a window, of sorts. Use wide, heavy steel hinges
(copper is too soft) and a diagonal 2x4 going from the bottom hinge up to
the latch corner of the gate. Eventually it will sag. Then, you wedge the
gate up to horizontal, and install on the non-cosmetic side, machine eye
bolts with nuts, wire, and screw-type turnbuckles, running diagonally from
the lower corner on the latch side, up to the top hinge, forming an X with
the original diagonal 2x4. Galvanized steel hardware will add years to the
gate, while being strong, and cheap. I usually finish the gate with
non-linseed based clear acrylic deck finish. Costs 30 bucks a gallon, but
lasts well and does not darken wood over time.
Not much rot here in semi arid mountain country.
I can get the plywood used for concrete forming and truck and boxcar floors.
It's not supposed to ever rot or de-laminate. It is manufactured locally and I
have a friend who works in the plant. It has an oil paper on it that is
impossible to glue. I could use spacers between it and my cedar boards and good
drain holes out the bottom. I'm just trying to avoid any visible metal or cross
bracing on the gate.
No hinges, I'm using big hook and eye hangers so the gate swings both ways.
The eye will be draw bolt style with the nut hidden in the gate. The hook will
go right through the 8 inch post.
Sounds like it would be 1-1/2" thick. It will work fine just screw
and glue the cedar boards to the plywood but the gate will be heavy.
Personally I would use 3/4" plywood, even heavier gate. Use heavy
hinges, preferably the two piece kind where the gate hardware just
slips down on an L screwed into the post or you will get sagging at
As others have said, it would not be a good idea to use a sandwich.
Single layer with a 'Z' brace on the non-cosmetic side is the way to
go. As for sag, the post it attaches too has to be sturdy also.
I've done this in the past but with the rounded top on this gate it didn't seem
a good idea.
I've decided to weld up a steel frame and sandwich it between the boards each
Thanks to everyone for their suggestions.
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