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How to make a Sliding Gate
do-it-yourself wooden sliding driveway gate
woodworking projects from the do-it-yourself carpentery workshop
 




Sliding Driveway Gate Project
bullet Page one: Introduction
arrow Page two: The gate plan, wheels and the latch design
bullet Page three: Preparing the grade for the track
bullet Page four: Installing the track and measuring the gate height
bullet Page five: Making the gate
bullet Page six: Installing the gate and end stop
bullet Page seven: Fitting the Latch and guide rollers
bullet Page eight: Updates      User Photos/Comments/Help
See how the gate works
see the video of how the sliding gate works

The gate design (Scroll down for the latch design) end frame view of a sliding gate

Making a sliding gate solely out of wood was going to take a little bit of thought as my inquiries told me that most substantial sliding gates required a metal frame to prevent warping.
I was pretty confident that I could make a gate out of wood that would not warp but it would have to be a specific design.

I decided on a design not unlike an interior house wall, comprising of a 'wall frame' with lining (covering) on both sides of it. (Scroll down to see the frame plan.)

I also wanted some small windows with lattice in the gate, so it would not look too much like a solid wall.

I made a wall-type frame out of 2"x3" (75mm x 50mm) lumber and covered both sides with 1/2" (12mm) plywood.

The plywood (nailed and glued adequately) would act as a brace. I also incorporated additional diagonal bracing into the frame.

I figured that having both sides of the frame covered and braced with plywood would help to prevent warping, because any movement in the wood (such as shrinkage/expansion) should be equal on both sides, thus cancelling any forces that might cause the gate to warp. Anyway, that was my theory.

I also ensured that the frame was well fixed with nails and metal strap, the plywood was well glued and nailed, and that there was a good covering of paint.

Gate frame plan. Approximately 12ft (3600mm) wide x 6ft (1800mm) high
frame plan of the sliding gate
The gate frame was made out of 2"x3" (75mm x 50mm) lumber.
2"x4" (100mm x 50mm) lumber could also be used and would be just as good - if not better - as the wider the lumber, the more rigid the gate will be. However, the wider the lumber, the heavier the gate will be.

wheel for a sliding gate The wheels

The wheels were easily obtainable from any number of fence and gate companies. The wheels that I used had a loading of 440lb (200kg) each, which meant that the two of them together could support a gate that weighed up to 880lb (400kg).
My gate came well under that (I think).

The wheels had a 'U' groove, a diameter of 3" (75mm) and were 1" (25mm) wide.

Latch design. latch connection on a sliding gate

Because I couldn't find a suitable latch to suit my requirements, I designed my own, took the design to an engineer and had it made. The latch worked very well and was exceptionally strong.
It basically consisted of one piece (b) that was fixed to the top of the gate and another piece (a) that was bolted to the top of the gate post.
Piece (b) slid into piece (a) and clicked shut.

Below is the design I took to the engineers.

design of a latch for a sliding gate

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