English 5 Bar Gate With Mods

  • Advertise with us
Project by MonteCristo posted 07-05-2012 06:36 PM 3115 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife is English (by birth) and the English have a thing for 5 bar wooden gates. This 14 ft Western Red Cedar gate is based on these English gates but I used a few ideas I gleaned from reading guys like Jim Tolpin and a few ideas of my own.

The second pix shows the intersection of the diagonal brace with the top rail. My first version of this gate was just made of spruce (not weather resistant) and the bracing was half-lapped into the bars. That was tricky to do and also exposed the brace and bars to excessive water penetration. On this newer (now 4 years old) gate I used some angle iron for bracing that is carriage-bolted twice to each bar. I know the bracing is opposite to what conventional wisdom would dictate, but it is well secured and (IMHO) looks more elegant this way.

The third pix shows (I hope) the crown on the top of the top rail that allows water to run off more freely. Maybe a bit steeper angle would have been an idea. There are saw buts on the underside of the top rail cap to act as a surface break so that water drips off and does not get to the top rail itself. The cap on the bottom rail is also crowned to allow water run off.

The fourth pix shows how the big strap hinge is buried in the gate framework so that things look more elegant. It lies ion a saw cut in the top of the top rail, just under the top rail cap. This hinge is attached to the gate post with a threaded bolt that allows for fine adjustment should any sagging occur. Much better that a lag bolt that is crude to adjust and could tear out over time.

Aside from the top/bottom rail caps (that are just screwed to their respective rails), all the joinery is mortise and tenon.

The fifth (last) pix shows the extra piece on the outside of the post that allows the wire fence to be attached. I wish the fence could have been wood too but with 1100 ft of fencing, I decided discretion was the better part of valour.

I probably should have cleaned the thing first but hopefully you’ll still like it.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

5 comments so far

View Bertha's profile


13635 posts in 4185 days

#1 posted 07-05-2012 06:41 PM

Very nicely done. I’m debating updating my gate. You’ve given me some ideas.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 3680 days

#2 posted 07-05-2012 06:50 PM

Thanks Bertha. Jim Tolpin is a well-known woodworker out here on the West Coast (I think he’s in Washington somewhere). He’s written some good stuff on how to make wooden stuff last outdoors.

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View Kelen's profile


270 posts in 3884 days

#3 posted 07-05-2012 09:17 PM

Very beautiful!

View ~Julie~'s profile


623 posts in 4526 days

#4 posted 07-05-2012 09:29 PM

Well designed… I had not heard of the “5 bar wooden gates” and I’m from British stock!

-- ~Julie~

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4525 days

#5 posted 07-07-2012 06:32 AM

Very Nice Project! Thanks for Posting!


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

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