Gate across garage door?

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Forum topic by Elizabeth posted 06-06-2013 09:34 PM 19366 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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823 posts in 4394 days

06-06-2013 09:34 PM

Topic tags/keywords: babyproof shop access brainstorm fence garage workspace

EDIT – problem solved! See update post downthread.

OK, this is a tricky one.

My shop is in a detached garage. I think the door is about 10 feet across, though I’ll have to check.

The garage sits facing a paved area next to our house, which has become our son’s play area. He is one year old. Here’s a photo of the area:

Not this summer, but in future summers when he is 2, 3 and maybe 4, I would like to be able to work on quiet things in my shop (bench work, scroll saw, mini lathe) with the door open watching him play, but without letting him get into the shop. So I’d like to put some kind of removable fence across the doorway. It would need to secure to the wood on either side of the door (there is room for permanent fixtures on the garage door surround, on the outside of the door). It would need to not fall over if he leaned on the middle of it. It would need to either be Oregon weatherproof, or easily removed and stored every time I am done using it. And if it were semipermanent and weatherproof, then in the event I need to get something large into or out of the shop it would need to be occasionally removable. It wouldn’t need to be terribly high, maybe three feet – just a deterrent for rambunctious preschoolers with poor impulse control and probably the occasional rolling ball that gets away.

I don’t want to drill holes in the concrete if I can avoid it.

So this is a call for brainstorming. What would you consider in trying to solve this problem?

22 replies so far

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4394 days

#1 posted 06-06-2013 09:37 PM

I’m semiconsidering one of those driveway barriers, of this style:

..but am not sure of the best way to attach, considering they work by putting poles into pipes sunk into the dirt on either side of the driveway. I’m also not sure they would survive a leaning.

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4394 days

#2 posted 06-06-2013 09:43 PM

And this would be awesome if it were wide enough:

View hobby1's profile


353 posts in 3548 days

#3 posted 06-06-2013 09:59 PM

one way could be, to take the plastic fence (shown in the picture) and attach two posts, 2”x2”, on the ends of the fence, and on the outside of these posts put in some screw eyes, and on the door frame put some eye hooks, to connect to the screw eyes, so the fence can be detachable and roled up when not in use, the eye hooks can remain on the door frame.

Make the fence length short enough to give it some stretch when putting it up, to make it stiff when its in place.

View Rob's profile


320 posts in 4237 days

#4 posted 06-06-2013 10:00 PM

If you went with that style of barrier, why couldn’t you attach a piece of PVC pipe to a 2×6 board with short lag screws and epoxy making sure the inside of the pipe remained open for the barrier pipe to slide into and then screw the boards into each side of the garage door frame. You could even paint them to match the color of your garage.

View brtech's profile


1171 posts in 4173 days

#5 posted 06-06-2013 10:01 PM

If it’s really in the range of 10’, I think I would get a couple of 10’ pressure treated 2×4s and build a frame, probably with stringers every 2’ or 3’, cover the frame with net or mesh and build some brackets to drop it into. That would be light enough for you to handle by yourself. You could remove it and lean it up vertically outside if you needed to get stuff in and out. I’d probably find a place to hold it up on the ceiling in the shop for the winter.

If that seems unweildy to you, you could hinge it in the middle with the hinges on the outside, so leaning wouldn’t allow it to bend at the hinge.

Another thought is that you could pretty easily drill smaller holes in the driveway to drop an iron rod (rebar) to anchor it into the ground. Do something like a door bolt with a couple of C-clips on a stringer on the frame. If you put one in the middle, that would significantly increase the leaning resistance.

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4394 days

#6 posted 06-06-2013 10:30 PM

A frame is probably my best bet so far. I could maybe lean it against the inside of the garage door when it’s winter.

Rob I am not sure that would work. I haven’t seen the driveway barrier in person but I think the rod that would need to slide into the PVC is actually underneath the barrier part. I’d need to sink the PVC into the ground to have it flush with the floor. Though maybe I could cut the rods off and devise some kind of mount for the two ends…

View bold1's profile


360 posts in 3097 days

#7 posted 06-06-2013 11:19 PM

Plastic mesh fence for construction site safety barriers. Strong, easily screwed fast, roll up to store. Can see and buy at most lumber supplies. May have to settle for safety orange color.

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4394 days

#8 posted 06-06-2013 11:23 PM

Hm. There’s a thought. Attach to a length of PVC at either end, drop into a lower bracket and clip into an upper one?

Safety orange is not a problem.

View waho6o9's profile


9079 posts in 3827 days

#9 posted 06-06-2013 11:29 PM

Some one makes a screen door for the front of your garage door, so you can open the door
and not let the bugs in and you’ll have a visual as well.

I’ll see if I can locate a link.


View JustJoe's profile


1554 posts in 3288 days

#10 posted 06-07-2013 01:16 AM

Fence schmence. You build walls, he’ll just want to climb them. A couple hours with one of these and he’ll be trained not to leave the workshop until he’s in his thirties:


-- This Ad Space For Sale! Your Ad Here! Reach a targeted audience! Affordable Rates, easy financing! Contact an ad represenative today at JustJoe's Advertising Consortium.

View Elizabeth's profile


823 posts in 4394 days

#11 posted 06-07-2013 03:13 AM

Waho, I had actually thought about one of those a few years ago, and have it bookmarked still…but I think it’s loose on the bottom and he’d just wriggle underneath.

View waho6o9's profile


9079 posts in 3827 days

#12 posted 06-07-2013 03:14 AM


View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


22460 posts in 4926 days

#13 posted 06-07-2013 04:58 AM

The underground pet fence should do the trick ;-)) ;-))

You could make a folding gate that looks like crossed lattice when it is open. WE had a small one for our kids in the house. Sorry I don’t have a picture or plan.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

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Jay Wells

58 posts in 3142 days

#14 posted 06-07-2013 10:27 AM

Volleyball net?

-- Find your limitations, and ignore them!

View MisterBill's profile


411 posts in 3502 days

#15 posted 06-07-2013 10:45 AM

Pool Fence? Just Google it….........

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