Since I had built my Toddler Bed Guard out of PVC, I chose to do something similar for a baby gate. This would also apply nicely to someone who needs a pet gate.
This particular model is pretty simple and uses just PVC components to work. There are two ‘Slip Tees’ in the structure that allow the gate to slide vertically, just slightly so that you can lift it up and over the ‘Table Caps’ that it will snap into. Once over the Table Caps, just press down and it is as secure as can be.
Now, before you child-safety advocates turn on me, here are a few notes about this design:
- It’s made from furniture grade PVC and fittings, obtained from formufit.com, which is non-toxic, contains no dioxins (the nasty stuff they make plumbing PVC with), and is impact and UV-degrade proof (it won’t break down in sunlight).
- The slats are all 2-3/4” apart, which is BELOW the required 3” of distance between slates.
- It is extremely strong. I can put my entire weight on it (215 lb. male) closed and it will not budge.
- All corners and edges are rounded, so no snagging.
- There are no pinching mechanisms in the gate once closed.
- Finally, this is MY choice to make this for me and my family. If you detest such a project, dont make it.
I plan on augmenting this Instructable to make a baby-corral out of the same thing, but making legs that jut out from each side for stability. Look for that one soon.
Step 1: What you need.
As I mentioned in the introduction, I used furniture grade PVC and fittings. First its safe (non-toxic) as it’s made from the same type of PVC used in kids toys, and second, it just looks much better. I built the prototype out of plumbing grade PVC and it looked ghastly. Bonus also is that furniture grade PVC parts have a few more ‘clever’ components to make it easier, such as the Slip Tees and Table Caps.
I ordered all my parts from Formufit (www.formufit.com) as they are the least expensive and have the best selection of parts.
Here are the parts I ordered:
- 12 x 1-1/4” PVC Tees
- 2 x 1-1/4” PVC 90 Degree Elbows
- 2 x 1-1/4” PVC Slip Tees
- 2 x 1-1/4” PVC Fitting Caster Inserts
- 4 x 1-1/4” Table Caps
- 2 x 1-1/4” Internal Domed End Caps
- 3 x 1-1/4” 5’ Furniture Grade PVC Pipe
I also had some spare 1-1/4” Plumbing Grade Pipe to make the connecting inserts, which are not exposed. Fairly inexpensive, a 10’ section will run you $3.00 at Home Depot or Lowes. They will cut it down for you if you need.
You will need the following hardware to secure everything together:
- 2 x 1/4” x 2.5” or 3” long Hitch Pins (Ace Hardware)
- 1 bag 3/4” Wood Screws (Full Thread)
- 1 can of PVC Cement
Normally I would have used a Miter Saw to make all of the cuts, but I chose to use a hacksaw, as it was just as fast (a little de-burring was needed). I did need a ¼” drill bit to make holes for the ‘hitch pins’. Everything else is screwing, so just a power drill a couple of drill bits and a
- Phillips bit should get you through this.
- Power Drill or Power Screwdriver
- Philips Head Bit
- Measuring Tape
- 3/22” drill bit
- 1/4” drill bit
- Countersink Bit
- Knife or Deburring Tool