- White outdoor enamel paint
- 1-by-8 wooden pine planking
- Paint brush
- Circular saw
- Safety glasses
- Builder's screws (1 1/2-inch galvanized)
- Exterior grade spackling compound or caulking
- Three 8-inch wrought-iron T-hinges
- One wrought-iron gate latch
Traditionally, horse fences are long, wooden plank structures, which are painted white and gracefully stretch across the rural countryside of some of the country's most beautiful horse farms. Even if you can't afford a long, white wooden fence and you know your colt will never make it to Churchill Downs, you can still build a wooden horse fence gate on your property that will safely contain your herd of horses or just that one special colt.
Inspect the area where the gate will go to ensure that the ground is nearly level and that the post, which will support the gate, is sturdy, plumb and in good condition.
Measure the opening for the gate to determine how wide the fence will be. In most cases, horse fence gates are much wider than they are tall. Usually, they are at least 5 feet high and 6 to 8 feet long. For simplicity's sake, we will make a gate that is 5 feet high and 6 feet long, and the gate will be made from 1-by-8 sized planking.
Cut four planks at exactly 5 feet in length and three planks at 6 feet in length.
Make a simple rectangle from two 5-foot vertical pieces and two 6-foot horizontal pieces. Lay the grid out on saw horses, and when you have four square corners and two even-length diagonal measurements, screw the pieces together with the builder's screws (see Tip). Put at least four screws in each corner.
Add the third rail. This 6-foot plank runs parallel to the other two horizontal pieces. Place it midway between the top and bottom pieces and use the builder's screws to attach it.
Attach the other two 5-foot pieces at the outside edge, on top of the three planks. This will create a "sandwich" effect, where the three long, horizontal boards will be placed between two vertical (5-foot) planks, and then everything will be screwed tightly together with the builder's screws. Now you have the basic shape of your gate, but it still needs two diagonal pieces to be rigid.
Lay a very long plank across the front of the gate in a diagonal direction from one corner to the opposite far corner. Mark the two cuts, so that this plank fits perfectly between the two vertical boards. Screw the plank into place with the galvanized builder's screws.
Flip the gate over and repeat Step 7 for the other side. Run the second diagonal piece between opposite corners to form a giant X pattern.
Fill all screw head holes with exterior-grade spackling paste, or caulk. Then prime and paint with outdoor white paint.
Attach the three T-hinges to one side of the gate. Each hinge should be placed wherever there is a horizontal crosspiece.
Put the latch on the opposite end, and now the gate is ready to hang.
TIPS AND WARNINGS
- TIP : When inserting the builder's screws, use an electric screw gun, so that you can install the screw until the head rests a 1/4 inch below the surface of the board. This depression eventually gets filled with caulk or spackling paste.
Vertical pieces can be cut and fit in the center of the gate to simulate a vertical post.
Don't forget that the gate needs a second post where the latch is located.
- WARNING : Double-check the condition of the support post that holds the weight of the gate. Replace this if necessary.