Here are instructions to make this wood garden gate from branches, pruned from a tree. You can start with the basic structure, and then add pieces, to make your own unique design.
Difficulty Rating: Easy
Time Scale: 3 out of 5
I used screws to put this together because I find it is easier than using a hammer and nails. Pre drilling the holes helps prevent the wood from splitting.
It is helpful to have two drills for this project. One for the drill bit and the other for the screwdriver bit. To fit pieces together, one hole is pre drilled at a time, and the screw is then put in.
Start by cutting a branch that is about 1.5 inches in diameter and 31 inches long. If you have a good set of large pruners use these, otherwise, use a saw. This will be the top cross piece for the gate.
If this is going to be a functional gate, make sure to use branches that are big enough around to support hinges. My wood garden gate is only used as a decorative piece, so using branches with a diameter of one and a half inches was sufficient.
Cut two branches 42 inches long for each side, close to the same diameter as the top piece. Lay the branches out with the top one lined up on the top ends of the side pieces.
Drill holes with a drill, using a bit that is slightly smaller than the size of the screw, about an 1/8th inch. Attach the top to the side pieces by screwing together. Use a screw that is long enough to go through the wood and into the other piece about half an inch.
Put another cross piece on the inside about 7 inches down from the top piece. Pre drill holes and screw this together.
Measure and cut a cross piece for the bottom and place it on the inside of the side pieces. The measurements for the wood garden gate will vary depending on the thickness of your branches, and also how straight they are. Square it up by eye. Hopefully, you have a fairly square eye! If you don't, my best suggestion would be to find someone that does. As for using a square, that will probably not be very helpful, since branches are not very straight. If you are using straight branches, and a crooked eye, you can use a square. Does that sound a little wonky?
Now, take a branch that has a fork in it and put it in the center of the wood garden gate and screw it on top of the second cross branch down from the top and to the bottom cross piece.
Use two more forked branches and criss cross them corner to corner and over the center branch. Screw these together. If the screws are going through the branches and sticking out the other side, use shorter screws. Having three different sizes of screws on hand, to choose from, makes it easier to pick the proper length. Some of this will be trial and error. Don't forget to pre drill all the holes, before putting in the screws, to prevent the wood from splitting.
Sometimes I put a screw in thinking it is going to be fine, only to discover it is a little too long. Out it comes, and a shorter one goes in. I know this doesn't sound very professional but it sometimes happens. (I'm also not a pro, so hopefully, I'm forgiven.) This really should be a project that you shouldn't stress too much over. It is suppose to be easy.
With branches that are about 1/2 an inch in diameter, spell out the word "GARDEN". For the D use a pliable branch to get the curve. Cut the branches so they fit in between the seven inch space at the top of the gate. Use small nails and nail in place. You can also use wood glue to secure the letters in place.
After you have this all put together, for a longer lasting wood garden gate, apply three coats of urethane.
Add hinges if you plan on using this as a functioning gate.
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Kids are back to school! Time to sit down and do something relaxing.