Many of you may ask, "Why don't you just close the closet door?" My response is that I would love to just close the door, but the unusual location and construction of the closet makes that difficult. This particular closet has a high humidity problem and it needs to stay open at all times. So rather than expose my boy to the uncertain dangers of an unattended shoe rack, I decided to hack an off-the-shelf baby gate.
I have experience with a few different brands of baby-gates. Most of them use the same linear ratcheting mechanism to get the gate to fit snugly into the door-jam. This instructable should be applicable to most linear ratcheting gates because they typically have excess material that can be cut away.
- (1) Safety 1st 23" Wood Gate -- $12.99 at local Babies R Us. The 23" actually refers to height
- 7/32" drill bit
- (1) 2" aluminum screw post
- (1) 1-1/4" aluminum screw post
- (1) 3/4" aluminum screw post
- (1) 5/8" aluminum screw post
- screw driver
- pair of pliers
- roll of masking tape
Step 1: Disassemble
Drill out rivets:
- Lay the gate on a flat table-top, with the flares of the rivet faced up.
- From below, grab the edge of the flat end of the rivet with the pliers.
- While holding the rivet to prevent rotation, drill out the flared end of the rivet. I used a large bit (3/8") for added strength and to make sure it stayed centered over the workpiece, but you may find it just as convenient to use the 7/32" bit for this operation. Your choice.
- Be careful not to put too much pressure or else: A) you may spin the rivet instead of drilling the material, or B) you may score the surrounding material by suddenly breaking through. A sharp drill bit is key.
- Remove remaining flared material with the pliers and tap the rivet thought the hole. Be careful of sharp edges.
- Remove (2) top and (2) bottom brackets with a screwdriver.
- Pull apart panels.
- Save parts for later reassembly.
- (2) panels
- upper linear ratcheting mechanism support
- lower linear ratcheting mechanism support
- linear ratcheting mechanism clip
- linear ratcheting mechanism link
- (4) panel brackets