Issue 50
Options for a Garden Gate

Garden Gate Options

In issue 50 of Garden Gate magazine, we show you how to build this warm garden greeting. The gate is simple to build, but if cutting the curves on the top rail, stiles and pickets seems like a little too much trouble, here are four designs that are even simpler.

You can purchase Issue 50 in Volume 9 online.

Arch top gateArch top: Retain the curved feel of the gate above using straight cuts only. Use a 1 x 4 for the top rail in place of the 1 x 8 and shorten each stile by an inch.

Create a template by drawing a curve onto half of a folded piece of paper. (Tape several sheets together for the 31-in. width.) Cut out the curve, unfold the paper and transfer the curve onto your laid-out pickets with a pencil before you cut the tops.

Swale top gateSwale top: Here, too, get a rounded look without the need for a jig saw. To create the upward curve of this design, you’ll need to make the length of the stiles and pickets 43 in. and the posts to 6-1/2 in. above the top rail.

Use the template idea above or have a friend hold the ends of a long, flexible, metal ruler in a curved shape on the gate while you draw the shape onto the pickets.

High-low top gateHigh-low top: This option includes one additional picket than the others. That will change the distance between them to 1-11/16 in. Cut four pickets 40 in. long and three, 43 in. If you like, small, 45-degree angle chamfers cut at the picket and stile tops add personality. Also, lengthen the stiles to 43 in. and the posts to 6-1/2 in. above the top rail.

Cap top gateCap top: The 37-3/4 in.-long pickets and stiles of this design have a 1 x 3 cap to dress up the gate with a little more formal look. Attach the cap by driving eight #8 x 1-1/2 in. screws through it into the top rails, four in each rail.