A Simple Pallet Gate

About: I have struggled to come up with a label that accurately describes what I do creatively. Some days I’m a musician, some days an artist. I like to play guitars and synthesisers. I like taking photos, but gene...

My Most recent make was a gate made from parts of a pallet. The crucial thing here is to find the right pallet for the job. I had a couple lying around so ended up using one that appeared fairly lightweight with small narrow slats and fairly minimal fixings (believe me the heavy duty ringshank fixings are a nightmare to remove). The height of the gate was based on the length of the  main slat length of the pallet to reduce cutting.

The first step is to take it apart whilst damaging the wood as little as possible. For this I have a Jimmy bar and a nail removing bar... both are invaluable for work like this... oh... and a hammer. A little patience is all thats required for this so just go carefully and use minimal force where possible.

In setting out the gate I laid out two horizontal bars cut to the width of the opening with two vertical slats forming the edge of the gate with a slat laid diagonally between them. The diagonal slat needs to be diagonally cut flush with the vertical edge pieces of the gate. In order for the gate not to fall out of shape once hung, this diagonal brace must form a triangle from the lowest hinge to the latch position. This is the strongest position but as you are forming a triangle the orientation shouldn't matter really... its just good form!

Another two horizontal bars were then laid over the diagonal and vertical pieces as shown and I set about screwing the frame together. I tried to ensure the wood was as undamaged by this process as possible and pre drilled all the holes I also fixed each corner with screws diagonally across from each other to allow the screws on the other side of the gate to be fixed in opposite positions whilst maintaining the strength of the fixing points.

The facing slats were spaced out evenly across the face of the frame, and drilled and screwed into place. The hinges and latch were all new from B&Q, a hole was drilled for the latch axle (no idea if this is the right word for it), the hinges hasp and staple were all then laid out and screwed into place and the gate was mounted.

After thoughts included drilling a larger hole for the axel and the realisation that pallet wood kept out side needed some form of preservative. we wanted to stay natural with the preservative and were advised that tea makes a good preservative... my son now has a weekend job of painting the gate with strong tea as often as he likes!

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    8 Discussions


    6 years ago on Introduction

    "This is the strongest position but as you are forming a triangle the orientation shouldn't matter really... its just good form!"

    It does matter: The way you have it is correct, as the gate/door tries to collapse (on the side farthest from the hinge), the diagonal tries to shorten, and ends up under compression between the top and bottom horizontal, and this stops it. This only works if it's a good tight fit between the horizontals though!

    The other way, it ends up under tension, and as nothing is holding the horizontals and diagonal together, it can't do much to help and the door/gate sags.

    3 replies

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Many thanks for the clarification, I've stickied it!... its my first gate so wasn't familiar with the exact physics of the situation


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    LOL! well he used to be able to walk through the last gate when it was closed... not sure if this is an improvement


    Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

    I have no idea how good it is compared to cuprinol, the tanins are the preservative from what I recall.

    Personally I don't expect a lot from it, but my 7 year old has paid work anytime he wants to "tea" the gate!