Baby Gate

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Project by Picken5 posted 08-17-2020 09:13 PM 984 views 3 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was an interesting challenge. We needed a baby gate at the top of our stairs leading down to the basement and it would have to be in use for several years. At the same time, I wanted to avoid any damage (i.e. screw holes, notches, etc) to the existing white oak newel posts and railing that I had built and installed about 4 years ago. After all, I planned to remove the baby gate when it wasn’t needed any longer and was trying to design something that was sturdy and durable but would leave no evidence once it was removed. This was the result.

I built the gate entirely from red oak and stained it to match as closely as possible to the white oak newels, etc. The third photo shows the “wrap-around” I built to “sandwich” the newel. I used screws to fasten the red-oak sides to each each other and oak “buttons” to hide the screw heads. Once I had two of these on each newel (one upper and one lower), I had something I could attach a gate “frame” to and hang the gate. The gate itself was built using mortise and tenon joinery. I added a small “catch” to hold the gate in an open position when our granddaughter wasn’t here (photos 4 and 5). The “catch” was screwed to the underside of the railing which, I realize was an exception to my “no evidence” rule, but I decided that was an acceptable exception. Once everything was stained, I finished it with satin polyurethane.

It was a fun project — and now our house is a bit safer for our granddaughter.

-- Howard - "Time spent making sawdust is not deducted from one's lifetime." - old Scottish proverb

5 comments so far

View Madmark2's profile


2970 posts in 1751 days

#1 posted 08-17-2020 09:22 PM

Very nice. Looks like it grew there. Congrats on the baby.

-- The hump with the stump and the pump!

View BurlyBob's profile


9183 posts in 3428 days

#2 posted 08-18-2020 12:52 AM

That’s a very inventive design. It also looks really good.

View Ron Stewart's profile

Ron Stewart

307 posts in 3667 days

#3 posted 08-18-2020 02:40 AM

Great design and execution. It’s nice seeing non-destructive solutions like this. The catch is also a nice idea.

-- Ron Stewart

View RespiratoryFailure's profile


12 posts in 380 days

#4 posted 08-18-2020 04:22 AM

That looks great and will serve you well. I did something similar, but did not have to worry about damaging any beautiful woodwork. Brilliant work around!

View Grumpy's profile


26812 posts in 5014 days

#5 posted 08-22-2020 12:30 AM

Nice job and congratulations on your ‘Daily Top 3’ award.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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