If the 4 x 4 posts appear to lean to the left, that is only an illusion of perspective because of the camera angle. There was a large bush at my left elbow and I could not move farther to the left when I took the photo.
I did a search on Instructables and could not find anything similar to what I am showing here. Although my solution is very simple and may be obvious to many, this could be of help to someone who does not happen to think of it. Although this Instructable may not be as glamorous as preparing for a Zombie Apocalypse, there comes a time when all of us will deal with home repairs, and this is a common one.
Step 1: What Needs to Be Done
The tops of the two 4 x 4 posts need to be pulled away from the house slightly. The simple way to do that is to add a strut that will pull so as to shorten the red line I have laid over the photo.
I used a rule to measure the length of the red line and I used an angle finder to determine the angle of the red line relative to the vertical lines.
The photo shows the outside or street view of the gate. I do not want to add a strut to this side, but to the inside of the fence. I also showed the outside of the gate because I am writing this Instructable after I made and installed the strut.
- 1/8 x 3/4 x 4 inches strap iron
- 1/8 x 1 x 3 inches strap iron
- 3/8 inch concrete reinforcement bar
- 1 inch angle iron
- 5/16 inch threaded rod
- 2 nuts 5/16 inch
- 1 lag bolt 5/16 x 2 1/2 inches
- 3 lag bolts 1/4 x 1 1/2 inches
- Hacksaw or angle grinder with a cutting wheel and a grinding wheel
- Angle finder
- Drill and bits
- Wrenches for installing lag bolts and for making adjustments
- Spring clamps
Step 2: The Strut in Place
Step 3: Threaded Rod
Step 4: The Adjustment
I used an "L"-shaped piece of angle iron for part of the adjustment. The threaded rod passes through a hole in the angle and the adjustment is set with two nuts. The angle is welded to the other piece of reinforcement bar. I probably used heavier, thicker steel than was necessary, but I was not certain how much tension would be needed to pull the 4 x 4 posts back into alignment.
Step 5: The Bottom Mounting Plate
Step 6: The Top Mounting Plate
Step 7: Installation
I bolted the two sections of the strut together at the adjustment. I left most of the threaded portion available above the angle so I could tighten the adjustment as much as I want later. Then I mounted the top of the strut. Next I mounted the bottom of the strut. Then I tightened the adjustment until the two parts of the latch aligned for smooth operation.
No welder? The cheapest possible way to pull two posts to one side so the gate hangs straight would be to pound a large nail into the posts at the top and bottom of the line the strut defines. Run at least two plies of fairly heavy steel wire between the nails. Use a flat paddle, like a paint stirrer, to twist and hold the twist in the wire.