Introduction: Baby/Pet Gates From Pallet Wood: Super Easy!!
I made a pair of gates for my toddler and dog for the cost of the paint, stain and polyurethane, from pallet wood and fence railings. You can use standard wood from your big box store but that's no fun! In order to get that fence railing appearance all you have to do is snip off the ears at the top.
Keep in mind that this design works best for door-less door frames, bottom of staircases or anywhere you do not mind them being there on a semi permanent basis. The hinges where not flush mounted, just drilled in. So if you have to move you can simply unscrew them and fill in the holes.
So lets run down what you will need for this project.
5 24" wood blanks (dependent on your size, could be more or less than 5)
2 2x4 planks or pallet runners (length dependent on your project)
1 Straight Barrel Bolt Lock
Self tapping wood screws or nails
Miter Saw or Circular Saw
Drill and bits
Step 1: Measuring, Cutting and Sanding
You only need to do two sets of cuts. The Runner Boards and your Fence Rails.
The first thing you want to do is establish your measurements. If you are placing this in a door frame simply measure from left to right. For my design keeping baby's fingers from being closed in the gate was a concern for me. So I subtracted 1.5 inches from the measurement to leave a small gap. I'll explain more in a few steps down. But the length of your runners totally depends on your area that you have to work with.
My door frames were exactly 36 inches so I cut my runners down to 34.5 inches. My fence railing were 24 inches in height. As you can see from the picture after you cut railings you have to clip the ears of the other wood to give the other pieces that fence look. Again the measurements will be tailored to suit your situation.
If you are using pallet wood, sanding is highly recommended. One for appearance but also to prevent splinters. You do not want baby or doggy rubbing up against it and getting splinters. No Bueno!! Depending on how rough your wood is use course paper to strip. Then work your way to about a 220 grit to smooth the wood down.
Store bought timber should be good to go. Sand as needed.
Step 2: Paint, Stain and Mock Up
These steps are fairly simplistic. All you need to do is choose how you want to finish your wood. Paint or Stain or both. I choose to use paint and stain. I wont take you through the paint and stain process and if you need instructions on that. There are a ton of tutorials here on Instructables and around the internet.
What is most important here is your mock up. Here you simply place everything in order the way you want. If you are content with your color scheme, measurements and spacing its time to move to assembly. Also very easy.
Speaking of spacing. It goes without saying that it will look best if everything is spaced evenly. Take your time and ensure that your runners are equal distance apart, parallel and even before you lay your rails down. Once you lay your rails down to ensure proper spacing use a spacing tool. I used a chunk of wood. You can use anything...just make sure its even to get that best look!
Step 3: Assembly and Installation
Once you have everything in place all you have to do is either nail or screw everything into place! I used my air brad nailer which made final assembly a breeze.
Congrats you have just assembled your fence.
When you are installing your hinges make sure you mark and pre-drill to prevent splitting. Attach the hinges to your wall with included screws and then to your fence or vice versa. Whatever is easier for you. Again this was NOT a permanent fixture. So I didnt cut the frame to flush mount the hinges. I simply screwed the hinges in. So if and when you take them down. All you have to do is fill in the screw holes.
Ok that gap I was talking about.....if you look at the pics above you can see a small gap between the fence and the frame. I wanted to ensure that my toddler didn't get his lil fingers smashed. With doing so I had to get creative with the locking solution. So I took a small piece of wood attached it to the frame. Then attached the latch receiver to it and the bolt carrier to the fence. Make sure to take your time and mark out your drill holes to ensure proper alignment.
I hope you enjoyed this super easy build! Cost was about 2 bucks for the price of the paint from the clearance bin, mis-tinted. The wood was recovered from a dumpster and I already had everything else.
Please, comments are welcome......good, bad or indifferent. I am a novice so critiques and ideas are more than welcome