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How to know what weight gate post and frame will support?

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  1. #1
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    Default How to know what weight gate post and frame will support?

    I have an old colorbond front fence which I've repainted. The gate is covered in the colorbond sheet as well. It goes above the frame about 30cm so it matches the height of the fence. The frame is 25x25 SHS. The post is about 50X25 RHS with two hinges. There is a large spring attached to the top hinge side corner.

    I wanted to make the gate a feature by covering the frame with wood, including a strip down the middle, then having two infill panels of colorbond to match the house roof and fence color. The local timber mill suggested using merbau decking but it seems really heavy to me. Can it rise above the gate frame the 30cm with a horizontal joining the two verticals or will the wood warp if it isn't directly attached to the gate frame?

    I want the gate to look good but as I am getting the house ready to sell I really don't want to spend too much on it.

    I have 50 x 50SHS leftover from installing a zincalume fence. If I concrete them in 600mm as per fence posts what sort of weight can be supported. I have some old SHS gate frames about 900 square. I need side gates that are approximately 1.2 metres high by 1.1 wide. Any ideas about what timber I can use? These can be just covered in palings but there are few options locally for exterior grade timber. That is why they push the merbau decking.

    Janine

  2. #2
    Senior Member DEMAK Timber's Avatar
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    Hi Janine,

    I think I think the short answer is, no.

    I would recommend a new post.
    DEMAK Outdoor Timber & Hardware

  3. #3
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    Does it make a difference if there is a galvanised rail welded to the post. The rail goes the full length of the fence on one side.
    The gate isn't aligned properly due to someone not aligning the hinges.
    My only options are exterior grade 'framing' (that's what I think he said) or merbau decking. But the decking would have to go slightly above and below the frame.
    Any other timber means a 3 1/2 or 5 1/2 hour journey for me.



    img_3084-copy.jpgimg_3085-copy.jpg

  4. #4
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    This is one of the sides. I put the 50X50 post where it is due to a drop of about 30cm on the new fence side. I had to drop the fence below ground level due to the neighbours concrete wall disintegrating when I was digging holes near it. They didn't want another one there. I still have to figure out how to build some sort of concrete wall right next to the fence so I can refill the area then lay pavers. The side of the house isn't an option for putting anything that goes into the ground as the foundation along the exterior walls is just a stacked wall of tiny stones without mortar. The rest of the house is supported by old mallee stumps.

    I need a wooden gate that can span to the fence, perhaps with a metal frame. It can be pickets but needs to withstand a couple of dogs trying to get out to eat the meter readers.
    Janine



    img_3086-copy.jpg

  5. #5
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    I like books that have a preview available on Google. It is amazing how much you can learn when you are too poor to buy one.

    https://books.google.com.au/books?id=oRicwlWz5GAC&pg=PA88&dq=pedestrian+gate+d esign&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiT7JPKu-7VAhXHTLwKHQZWCMEQ6AEITTAH#v=onepage&q=pedestrian% 20gate%20design&f=false


    https://books.google.com.au/books?id...q=gate&f=false

    Still trying to figure out what to do with this gate. Researching online isn't particularly helpful as it seems they advise getting an engineer to do the specs for the posts.
    I am thinking I will try the merbau and see what happens. So far I have decided to butt or mitre the joins of the merbau, with a metal key on the back of the joins to provide extra strength. I have no idea if I am using the right terms or not. If I put colorbond panels in I then have to figure out how to use something very light to cover the edges of it on the back.

    If the gate is too heavy I'll try something else.

    I am thinking about aluminium pool gates for the sides of the house. If they are designed to keep small kids out they should do for my dogs. I think they'd be cheaper than buying timber and making wooden gates. Wood isn't cheap and when choices are limited it seems to become more expensive than it should!

    Janine

  6. #6
    1K Club Member havabeer's Avatar
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    how thick is the 50x50 posts?

    i would think it'd be perfectly fine for taking that kind of weight. also merbau is probably going to be your best option (price wise) so just go with it
    Remember if you don't sin, then Jesus died for nothing

  7. #7
    4K Club Member Marc's Avatar
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    Sapien ... your gate's weight relies on the hinges. The hinges are attached to the post. The centre of gravity of your gate is some 400 mm from the hinge and produces a force downward according to the gate's weight. if you increase the weight of the gate using wood, that force will be larger.
    Now the weight of the gate, providing it can not rip out the screws of the hinges, pulls the gate down and outward, towards the opposite side. That is why self standing, unsupported post are a real pain and flex at the slightest change in the gate's weight and need to be massive. In your case the question is simple. How strong is that weld that is bracing the post with that top railing pipe?
    If you trust that weld to stay put, you can increase the weight of the gate as far as the hinges can take it. If you don't trust the weld, make another brace with a flat bar or angle at 45, starting at the rail level and going down into the ground some 400mm and concreted in. You will have to bend the end, for the concrete to have a hold on the brace. Drill a hole through the angle and the post and bolt it in place with a 10 mm galvanised bolt and it will not move.
    Now when you open the gate things change a bit. If your gate is open at 90 degree, the force of it's weight will be pulling the post sideways and you have no bracing there. Nothing, zip, so the only thing holding the gate vertical is the two sides of your SHS post that is probably under 2mm thick, not much. The railing provides some lateral support. You can test this by pushing the post sideways and see how it holds up. If it flexes a lot don't worry, here is what you can do. Take one of your left over SHS post from the fence, dig a hole next to your existing post's footing, as close as you can without damaging it. Around 150mm is OK. Even 100mm will do.
    See if you can give the new post a slight bend at the top so that it sits parallel to the gate post and then goes at a slight angle down in the ground.
    You can do that if the post is long enough, placing it inside the fork of a tree and applying very measured force. Hammer straight if necessary and cut off the excess at the top. You new post does not need to go all the way up. Half way or 3/4 is good enough. Drill and bolt and you are done.
    Enjoy present pleasures in such a way as not to injure future ones.
    Seneca

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sapienreno View Post
    I have an old colorbond front fence which I've repainted. The gate is covered in the colorbond sheet as well. It goes above the frame about 30cm so it matches the height of the fence. The frame is 25x25 SHS. The post is about 50X25 RHS with two hinges. There is a large spring attached to the top hinge side corner.

    I wanted to make the gate a feature by covering the frame with wood, including a strip down the middle, then having two infill panels of colorbond to match the house roof and fence color. The local timber mill suggested using merbau decking but it seems really heavy to me. Can it rise above the gate frame the 30cm with a horizontal joining the two verticals or will the wood warp if it isn't directly attached to the gate frame?

    I want the gate to look good but as I am getting the house ready to sell I really don't want to spend too much on it.

    I have 50 x 50SHS leftover from installing a zincalume fence. If I concrete them in 600mm as per fence posts what sort of weight can be supported. I have some old SHS gate frames about 900 square. I need side gates that are approximately 1.2 metres high by 1.1 wide. Any ideas about what timber I can use? These can be just covered in palings but there are few options locally for exterior grade timber. That is why they push the merbau decking.

    Janine
    Based on your pictures, I'm a bit confused about which gate you are talking about and which location.

    1) If it's the gate in the picture you want to reclad, then I wouldn't bother. It would just draw attention to it. Paint it the same as the fence and leave it like that.

    2) If it is a new gate you are installing to block off the area down the side of the house, then perhaps you could attach a post to the house studs if you can't get a thick enough post.

  9. #9
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    The one that is already clad. The sheet metal keeps catching peoples legs and is bent by wheelie bins as the spring pulls it shut on everyone. The old letterbox has had it so I thought I could build one out of timber but didn't want it on the gate again.

    The gate frame was extremely rusty so I have cleaned up the back of it and painted it with rust eater. As I'd just concreted the steps I tried not to get any rust eater on them, but some dripped from the open ends of the SHS. I hosed the concrete off immediately then several more times, but it had already caused damage to one area. The surface flaked and is now a sulphur colour.

    The problem with the front of the gate is the metal colorbond being riveted to the frame. The metal is tearing away from the rivets. That side of the gate frame is also very very rusty.

    The white colour on the metal is left over from the rust eater.

    The side gates were problems for placement due to aircon units, gutters etc being in the way. I don't know how to attach a board to the exterior of corrugated colorbond and thought I'd have to a section out. That started seeming too hard.

  10. #10
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    Thanks Marc. I did try to wobble the post sideways and it didn't move. I didn't think to try the other way. I'll go out and have another look at it all.

  11. #11
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    Another question.....I asked at the hardware store about exterior timber and the bloke told me they mainly had merbau. The 'treatments' on other timbers were to termite proof them. I'm going to have to look up what dry rot is now. That is the main timber problem I have, particularly on exposed ends of timbers where they have dried and cracked.

    Can other timbers be used outside if they are completely covered in a paint like Solargard, including covering where fasteners have been used? The hardware bloke didn't seem to like Solargard much and said it shouldn't be used on any surface that is handled or touched a lot, like a garden seat or gate. is that true?

    I left some Solargard in a plastic bucket and it is unbelievable how it sticks when dry.

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