2012 Gate Project


While travelling in Nova Scotia in 2006 we spotted a great gate which I have wanted to build ever since. With a bit of guessing and figuring we managed to get it built.


Peeling one of the three cedar uprights.  They will later be shaped like big pencils. 


The three peeled uprights in the woodshed


Setting the main cross piece on the pivot pin (a 1 inch diameter steel rod) atop the pivot post and the resting post. The cross piece is an 18 foot length of cedar. 


Shaping one of the uprights using a draw knife.  The top 8 inches is rounded to a 3 inch diameter.   


The upright in place.  A 3¼ inch diameter hole was drilled through the cross piece and the upright was dowelled in place. 


The dowelled upright. 


3½ inch diameter holes were drilled through the uprights and then peeled saplings close to the same diameter were threaded through the holes.  Here one sapling is in place.


Both cross piece saplings in place and cut to length.


I needed a counterweight to balance the gate.  The gate we saw in Nova Scotia used large rocks in a metal basket which I originally thought I would do.  However, I remembered finding some old metal logging parts in our woods from the late 1890's and thought they might be interesting.  I dragged various pieces out of the woods, old gears and bearing racings but they weren't enough weight.  I had an old cast iron water heater that my father bought in the mid 1950's and attached it by a chain to the end of the cross piece.  I then filled the stove with the metal pieces from the woods and got the gate to balance.  The counterweight weighs about 150 pounds.  


An old gear covering the pivot pin.  The main post is capped by an old metal stove trivet.  The entire gate, weighing 300 pounds, rests and moves on the strip of curved metal seen on the bottom of the crosspiece. 


The gate can be pushed open with one finger and seems weightless.


© Kenneth McMillan 2016
Contact: Kenneth