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Thread: Tri-fold Garden Gate

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    591

    Tri-fold Garden Gate

    Interesting gate problem, one I haven't encounter before. A homeowner wants a gate across a 101" opening between her fence and the wall of her house. It will be opened for pedestrian use, and closed to keep her pet dogs from gallivanting around.
    The gate cannot roll open in either direction, and it cannot be two gates, swinging on their own hinges, because of how doors and decking are located. This also rules out the gate as being one single long hinged gate.

    To my mind that means a tri-fold gate, that opens against the fence, is a good direction to explore.

    The gate would be about 36" tall, and each section would be about 33" wide.
    However, the homeowner also does NOT want any track affixed to the concrete driveway.

    The gate needs to be supported by two wheels I think. One wheel at the outer bottom corner of the gate section hinged to the gate post. If this is a fixed wheel that aligns with the arc of travel, I think that will help.

    The second wheel might go on the outer bottom corner of the middle section, and maybe this wheel should be able to swivel and find it's path as this section of gate turns through 90.

    The third section would swing without any wheels. I imagine this section would be most often used without the complete gate being opened, so of course I would have to have a cane bolt on section two to keep it stable while section three is opened.

    If you've read this far and have any ideas, or have spotted some glaring mistake in my reasoning, please tell me all about it.

    And if a sketch of some sort would help let me know that too.

    thanks, Mark

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    8,755
    I don't follow your plan, but remember that driveways are not flat. For instance, if you swing a gate section open, relying on a wheel at the opening end to stay on the ground, you're likely in trouble.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    8,755
    How about swinging the gate upwards? Picture a horizontal boom about four feet above the ground. Add another horizontal boom a few inches above the ground. Run vertical balustrades between the two booms every six inches or so. However, each balustrade is secured to the top boom with just one bolt, and to the bottom boom with just one bolt. Now add a gate actuator which opens the gate by swinging the top boom from horizontal up to vertical. The bottom boom, fastened to the top boom by all the balustrades, follows to vertical. Open, the whole gate stands upright, and is only a little wider than the two booms.

    When you bring the gate down, the ends of the boom catch in U-shaped pockets, so the closed gate won't move when Fido leans on it. And there's no tracks across the driveway.

    Gate actuators like this exist -- I've seen them in operation. You even get a remote control to open the gate without getting out of the car. You might be able to build the booms and balustrades from wood, or you might want to make some part of them from metal.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Orwell, NY
    Posts
    203
    Could you put an overhead beam of some sort over the gateway and have the gate hang from it, like the way a bifold closet door works? Seem to me this would be smoother to operate than wheels on the ground.
    Zach

  5. #5
    I've made a number of gates/fences the last few years. Most of my frame parts are made out of 2x2x.019 metal. For the interior parts I go to Tractor Supply and buy the 6 ga galvie feed lot wire in whatever pattern you need. Depending upon weight you could do a nice cedar or such interior fill. Add a couple 2" attachment leafs on the inside of the metal frame, send them to the powder coater, paint them or just let them rust and have a ball with the design of the interior section. I am not sure how you intend to support the hinged end but success will depend upon that hinge post. Any deflection on the post or hinge attachment and it is time to start over. Here again I use metal. I built a bi-leaf 12' gate and used 4x4x1/4" posts with 3" weld on leaf hinges and it has not moved at all. Swings true off those posts. With the metal frame you will not need a wheel to support the leafs. Well, unless people are hanging on the fence. It might be a good idea to have a foot support to set the other end on to accommodate abuse. My grandson is 8 and I found him and a friend swinging on my gate. He decided he wouldn't do that any more.

  6. #6
    northern tool has gate wheels..I use them on a driveway farm type metal gate with wood attached. The wheels have springs so they travel well on uneven surfaces.
    Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning, the devil says, "oh crap she's up!"


    Tolerance is giving every other human being every right that you claim for yourself.

    "What is man without the beasts? If all the beasts are gone, men would die from great loneliness of spirit. For whatever happens to the beasts will happen to man. All things are connected. " Chief Seattle Duwamish Tribe

  7. #7
    If an overhead beam is possible how about a barn door style gate? Simple to build and to use. Hardware is readily available from many sources.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Michigan, USA
    Posts
    342
    Mark,

    You mention there's not enough clearance on the house side to make it two gates swinging on their own hinges, but might two bi-folds work? Each panel would be about 2' wide, so you'd only need maybe 26" of clearance for them to open.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles
    Posts
    591
    Lots of good ideas and suggestions here, thanks everyone.
    The homeowner has changed her mind on this project and for now will get by with a fold-away wire thingie from the pet store. Them's the breaks!

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