Gate Repair

This was a fun little project

The wood had rotted out at the hinges of this gate and it had eventually fallen right off the hinges. Normally the work would be too extensive to be worthwhile, you would be better off building a new gate but this piece would be difficult to reproduce. This is a before picture of the bottom hinge mount point.

As much as possible the rotten wood must be removed and you will probably ruin a $20 router bit just as I did. As you can see in the picture the rot is deeper than I am able to remove but it fortunately doesn’t go all the way through. I will be able to fill this with a 2 part resin to solidify the soft wood and fill the void.

I just need to clean up the surface a bit and clean the soft wood out of the void with my trusty chisel. I will end up with a very reasonable surface to work with in the end.

Luckily I save a lot of old lumber that might not be available when I need it. I found a couple of pieces that were a decent match for the tightness of the grain and density. I cut and shaped the pieces so that when glued and clamped they were slightly proud of the surface, then they could be sanded to fit.

Sanded Smooth, primed, and painted the repair looks pretty good. Once the paint was dry I needed the router one more time to inset the hinges.

The two gate doors are designed to meet precisely in the middle. I made this part easier by clamping the middle together with a spacer the right thickness and marking the hinge position for the router work. After routing at my shop I installed the hinges and took it back for a quick install.

The gate repair took about 13 hours to complete. The router bit was consumed in the process because of rusty metal embedded in the wood and a pint or so of 2 part resin was used along with a little primer and paint. The total cost of the repair was around $625.

Obviously, this is an expensive repair for a gate and is only worth the cost because starting from scratch and building a new gate was out of the question.