Like a lot of parents, our house if FULL of baby gates. We have one in practically every doorway, hallway and entrance. One of the things that my wife and I found out early is that baby gates are EXPENSIVE if you want quality (around $75 to $100 per gate). When you add to the fact that you need 4-10 of these things, the costs can be enormous. We purchased a few of the ¼” wooden varieties only to have my 3 year old stand on it and bust it to shards.
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 tried to make it with features that other baby gates incorporate, such as being attached to a wall or door frame, can be removed, and swings. I built each gate for around $48.00.
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.