Baby Gates

  • Advertise with us
Project by Matt Przybylski posted 04-21-2013 07:29 PM 5142 views 4 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, my little girl is 17 months now and running all over the place so we needed some baby gates to keep her at bay. Since I started woodworking right around the time she was born and because of the non-existence of railings in our house (and the L shape portion going into the English basement) I figured this would be a great opportunity to create some custom gates to fit with the rest of the house. I set out to start and thought, “how hard can this be, its just rectangular pieces, right?”

Well, everything was going pretty smoothly originally. I bought some S4S poplar on sale at Menards and thought I’d save some time by doing this. I cut it all up and used my Festool Domino to create mortises in the spindles and the rails. I started to put it all together and this is where I realized that I should have surfaced the lumber myself. It was relatively warped and not everything lined up properly but I made it work rather well. I then decided to spray the gates with leftovers I had from my cake pop stands, Zinsser B-I-N to prime it and GF enduro water based white gloss poly. After spraying two coats of the poly I decided it was just not much fun to spray spindles (not to mention the jigging I had to do to even get this to sit in a way that I can spray both sides at once) so I sanded down all the runs I had and used a brush for the next two coats. I rigged up a lazy suzy and screwed in the games from the bottom of the lazy suzy into the bottom of the gates (nobody will ever see the bottom anyway) and had them steady while I was able to paint both sides and try to avoid runs as much as possible.

I used lift off hinges on all 3 gates so that they can easily be removed when not in use (it’s kind of a hassle to have to go through two baby gates just to go up/down the stairs, or when we’re entertaining) and barrel bolts to lock them. In this process I learned that my walls are absolutely not even close to even and ended up having to cut weird angles on my bandsaw and then join the bandsaw cuts to get it to fit relatively nicely. The L shaped gate portion that is not the gate itself but a railing is anchored to the wall and to the floor on the post side.

If I had to do it all over again I’d definitely try to buy the gates in the first place :) This took a lot more time than I wanted it to and I’m probably happier than my wife or little one that they’re finally out of my shop and I can move on to the next one.

The first pic shows the two bottom gates, one leading up the stairs and one leading down to the basement.

The second pic shows how they open and the third shows one of the gates removed using the lift off hinges.

The fourth shows a side view of the L shaped going to the basement.

The fifth is the top of the stairs with the little monster behind them.

The sixth is an angled shot of the top stairs with my little princess more interested in the Canon T3i than the gate itself (after the pic was taken she got real close to the lens because she thinks she can see through it).

Anyway, hope you enjoy the project and at least now we have a bit of peace of mind that she can run around freely (although she’s very careful anyway, kind of odd for a little girl).

-- Matt, Arizona,

4 comments so far

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 2751 days

#1 posted 04-21-2013 09:11 PM

Very nice work on those gates, they will definately save alot of worries with the little one being fully mobile now.

...and S4S doesn’t, by any means, mean the boards are ready to assemble, as you now know, we all learned this early on in our woodworking.

Best Regards. – Grandpa Len.

Work Safely and have Fun.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

580 posts in 2857 days

#2 posted 04-22-2013 12:10 AM

Thanks GrandpaLen. As for the S4S, I don’t think I was expecting it to be ready to assemble, I think I just wanted to take a shortcut and I should have known better. In the future I will surface all of my lumber myself and not worry about it much.

-- Matt, Arizona,

View SuperCubber's profile


1080 posts in 2763 days

#3 posted 05-14-2013 01:33 AM

I wonder how long until she can slide those barrel bolts on her own!

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View Matt Przybylski's profile

Matt Przybylski

580 posts in 2857 days

#4 posted 05-14-2013 01:46 AM

lol supercubber, that’s what I’ve been wondering too :)

-- Matt, Arizona,

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