Baby Gate from White Ash

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Project by doakster posted 01-13-2014 04:03 AM 5008 views 6 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this back in April when my son started moving around, and we wanted to make sure his movements are only horizontal and not vertical. I actually wanted to avoid having to build something, since I have more than enough projects that need to be done around the house. We looked at several commercial versions and any of the clamp on ones were not rated for the top of stairs. The only ones that were rated for use at the top of stairs were ones that have to be screwed into the newel post, an option I didn’t like. So I designed this one that basically clamps onto the newel posts. I also made it out of white ash to match the stairs and railing, and eventually the floor (which I haven’t put down yet).

This is the first project I designed in Sketchup. What a difference! You can really plan things out to the last detail. I started by recreating the existing railing in Sketchup so I could play around with some designs. I decided on a basic design with slats mortised into a top and bottom rail.

I made the slats with a stop cove on the sides. I got a little burning at the start and finish of the cove. I found the best way to remove this was a sharp gouge, and just pair away the burnt part.

After cutting the mortises in the top and bottom pieces, it was handy to have my drum sander to make sand off the layout lines and ensure everything was still flat.

Assembling the gate.

This is the support system. The top and bottom of both posts have these pieces of ash that wrap around the newel post, with weather stripping inside for padding. This holds it very securely, and yet doesn’t mark the newel post.

The latch exploits the springiness of ash. It doesn’t need much explanation, the picture pretty much says it.

Sorry for the long post, just thought I’d show a few pictures of the construction.

-- If it ain't broke, you're not trying. - Red Green

5 comments so far

View Northwest29's profile


1688 posts in 3096 days

#1 posted 01-13-2014 11:41 AM

Great job! This has to be one of the nicest baby gates I’ve seen posted. The best part is that with your design you don’t damage the existing posts or railing. Looks great too -

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View becikeja's profile


1045 posts in 3419 days

#2 posted 01-13-2014 12:17 PM

This is great

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Mike_from_Buffalo's profile


101 posts in 2491 days

#3 posted 01-13-2014 01:34 PM

Great post, the details are nice to see. Nice looking gate too!

-- Mike from Buffalo "A man spends the first half of his life learning habits that shorten the other half of his life."

View BinghamtonEd's profile


2298 posts in 2975 days

#4 posted 01-13-2014 02:39 PM

Beautiful job. I made a gate for our daughter, and I think you’ll find it to be one of the projects that you find the most pride in. I love coming home every day and seeing her standing at the gate, holding on to the spindles with a big smile on her face. Nice work!!!

-- - The mightiest oak in the forest is just a little nut that held its ground.

View Woodbridge's profile


3710 posts in 3024 days

#5 posted 01-13-2014 03:35 PM

This post brings back memories. I made a baby gate many years ago when our kids were young. Yours looks great and matches so well with the existing railing. I like the wooden catch that you crafted.

-- Peter, Woodbridge, Ontario

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