Baby gates

  • Advertise with us
Project by djang000 posted 02-26-2016 08:31 PM 2138 views 7 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is my attempt at keeping our daughter alive :) After many weeks at looking at cheap plastic gates that you either need to screen into the post ramp or that just stay in place by friction, I decided to come up with my own version that would fit better in the house, and most importantly, would be bullet proof.

The design allow the gates (at least, the one to goes downstairs) to be open both ways, so you never have to back-off to open the gate before going through. The one downstairs is fix on the wall. I’ve screwed into the studs 2 wood slat with t-nuts so the gate is actually bolt on, which makes it really easy to remove it for any reason (never happen in the past year but you never know). The one that leads upstairs is attached to the post, so the hinges are a bit different in the sense that I can remove the pin to remove the gate.

The locking mechanism was just a test until I find something better, but I actually never changed it. She’s 2 now and haven’t decided to play with it yet, so it turns out well. It allows us to just push on the gate and it locks itself. Dummy proof mechanism.

The hinges work amazingly well. I’ve put low friction tape between the wood so the whole thing glide without a sound. Plus, I think they look cool. :)

The project proved to be extremely fun, although challenging. Lots of firsts and even more lessons learned, like:
  • First handcut dovetails. Even though my Veritas small dovetail saw worked quite well, the addition of the Veritas big tenon saw (that I bought for another project) was much better for cutting 1.5” deep dovetails
  • Attempting to freeform the locking mechanism with rasp alone and having something symmetrical proved to be time consuming as well
  • Always make sure you measure twice. Even though you see 2 gates, I actually built 3… The 3rd one being to inches too small to fit the gap in the star… I discovered it after it was done, when I brought it upstairs while calling my wife to proudly display that the project was “done on time” ... :D
  • Before starting the project, I was suspecting the hinges to be the most complex part. Once a small jig was made to center the rough cut pieces on the bandsaw to it, routing them has been a breeze (although a pain to sand). I ended up with 20 (I was actually planning to have lots of defect, and they all turned out well. Why I didn’t stop after having enough is something that I haven’t yet been able to answer) :D

It’s been in use for the past year now and I’m still convinced that they will outlive the stairs they’re attached to.

Thanks for looking, any comments, questions or feedback is more than welcomed!

6 comments so far

View JoeRPhilly's profile


176 posts in 3443 days

#1 posted 02-26-2016 08:42 PM

Phenomenal job! these blow the ones I made outta the water! very, very nice

View djang000's profile


67 posts in 3424 days

#2 posted 02-26-2016 09:57 PM

Thanks Joe! :)

View Violaine's profile


68 posts in 4113 days

#3 posted 02-26-2016 11:04 PM

fantastico! this is an heirloom!

View GregH's profile


37 posts in 2495 days

#4 posted 02-27-2016 12:22 AM

They look a LOT better than the plastic/aluminum one I just bought and installed!
I would like to know more about the locking mechanism, especially the two-way. I am saving this as a favorite and seriously considering tackling the project.
They look great!

-- I was in the market for a new obsession and wound up here.

View Gaffneylumber's profile


111 posts in 2120 days

#5 posted 02-27-2016 12:57 AM

This is not just a simple gate. Great detail and write up!

-- Grayson - South Carolina

View djang000's profile


67 posts in 3424 days

#6 posted 02-27-2016 02:57 AM

Thanks all for the kind feedback! :)

@Greg; You can see the mechanism on the 4th pict. Basically, there’s 2 stick and a 45° angle facing the outside. When the pin contact, it lifts the first of the 2 stick but the second stays in place. The first one then come back by itself and it self-lock. You just need to lift the stick father away from you to open the gate without backing off (or lift the 2 sticks). It’s pretty simple to do and works great. Let me know if you want more info; I can post extra picts tomorrow of how it works.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics