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I Forge Iron

My first gate


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Hi all

Well, I'm working on my first gate! :blink::D

Here's the current design chalked out on the garage floor:

It's basically a stair gate for our verandah, to keep the dog from legging it around the neighbourhood. :rolleyes:

Dimensions are approximately 1m x 1m.

The original idea was to cut out the wave shape from thick sheet, and forge the upright bar catch to round. However my client (i.e. my wife, but client sounds better to us amateurs! :lol: ) wanted it to be 'see through' as the existing balustrade is steel posts with stainless cable (much like on a boat) & she thought a solid gate would look out of place.

So, where the original wave shape was, I assumed it to be an open shape, and added a couple of lines to fill out spaces where the dog could get through.

The hatched poles either side of the gate represent existing poles. The left hand one is 90mm square & part of the frame of our house. This is the one I'll hang the gate from.

At this stage I'm intending to do the wave in 20x5mm bar, and the scroll in 15mm. Material will be mild steel. May use 20x5 for the upright, or round bar textured for interest.

So, what do you all think of the design? Anything I could do better? The very light line below the upper edge of the wave will possibly be another 'line' in the final design, but I'm not sure of it. :blink:
Is my choice of material suitable, or would you use something else, & why?
Will 15mm be strong enough in the scroll to take the weight (around 14m of 20x5mm bar) or do I need to upgrade? (I plan to buy / make a form of hanger for the scrolls to hang in, thus forming the gate hinge.)

Thanks for looking. :)

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Hi Matt, I like your gate design, well done! My two bobs worth, I was concerned that the main part of the gate only hangs from two points on the scrolls, it may pay to add a peg style hinge at the bottom corner to bear some of the weight.I assume that the upright off the wave forms a spring loaded catch, this may be better made from an old coil spring straightened out as mild steel may succumb to some over zealous person bending it too far and it not returning. Lastly, I'm not sure how far from the water you are up there, but protecting mild steel from salt spray may mean painting with a good quality paint. You could use stainless but that would induce pain in your wallet and hammering arm :P . Most of all have fun making it. :)

Cheers Ian

PS See you at Get Hammered

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As a concept, I like it!
If it were me, I think I would do away with the right side verticle line as it is distracting. it doesn't roll like a wave.
Take pictures to share :D We love pictures B)

Thanks guys. :)

Fe-Wood, as Ian says the curved vertical to the right of the wave forms part of the latch. The vertical to the right of that is the end post for the balustrade. My newest plan is to extend the foot of the wave behind the post, and the upper part of the latch riser in front of it, using the post itself as part of the latch. I'm trying to avoid having any fittings on the balustrade post that someone could catch themselves / shopping etc. on.
Here's a photo of the dog, you can just about see where the gate is going at the top of the stairs:

Yes it doesn't form part of the picture too well, but I'm not sure how else to incorporate a simple latch that can be manipulated with full hands. I was thinking of the traditional British farm gate latches with this version.
I also need to have gaps small enough that the brown seagull chaser lounging in the photo above can't get through. Am worrying about the size of the centre of the wave now as the 'client' doesn't want the surfer.

Ian, I'm inclined to agree about the weight. However there is no frame, so I'm not sure about being able to utilise a bottom peg. I might be able to do it by extending the rear of the wave foot so that it's in line with the hinge, though.

Yes, corrosion is a HUGE challenge here. I was originally thinking 314 stainless as there's quite a lot of boat building around here & I can get some bar stock (at a cost!) locally.
However the 'client' wants black to match the railings, so I guess it'll be painted.

Yes, really looking forward to Get Hammered! :D
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Two things to think about,First is that the more elements within the gate are connected to each other the stronger the gate will be.Consider where you can eliminate gaps and join things for strength.
The second thing would be to consider all those areas that are capable of trapping a paw or collar.The dog will be jumping up on the gate and sliding it`s paws down it after.Any place that can trap a paw is asking for a trip to the vet or worse.

I like the spring edge/latch design and I also agree with the wife,lose the surfer.Maybe an abstract sea bird(2 bent line to form wings)or a sail to represent a sailboat may be a better choice and easier to fab too.

I would consider making the striker areas of the latch and the hinges from stainless(brush/blast and paint it black) as the paint will wear off them in no time and I would also use some type of galvanizing or heavy zinc paint as a base coat if using mild steel for the rest.
Powder coat alone will not hold up to humid salt air.

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  • 1 month later...

I've been thinking about the material. My local Stainless supplier reckoned that 32x8mm was the way to go, thinking that my original 20x5 would look too 'light'.
If I move up to 32x8mm I think it would make it easier to smooth out transitions & avoid paw traps as Bob suggested - good idea Bob, I can't believe I didn't think of that!
And it would also make traditional joints easier I think - particularly rivets & tenons?

So, does anyone have a suggestion for the ideal size of stock to use?

Here's the inspiration for the form, Hokusai's Great Wave.

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Here in Phoenix, AZ for a pool fence you can't have an opening in there any bigger than a 4" ball to pass through. That's to keep from strangling children. I have found that the same size works well for dogs. If they can't get their head through a 4" hole they can't get choked. I would put welded steel mesh for smaller dogs on the gate to keep them in, from a distance it is hard to see and still allows you to have a nice artistic gate a keep the dogs in. :blink:
Out here we have a lot of children drown each year and yet parents don't want to put up pool fences.

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Ratel, I agree that the bottom pivot would best be placed at the bottom of the gate, but my two bob's worth on the surfer is that it gives the design a whimsical element and changes the design from a nice set of curves to a wave.
Hokusai placed a boat in his design to show a relationship between man and the sea. The surfer also shows a relationship, but in this case one where man harnesses the sea, rather than being threatened by it.
Wow, that's deep! Maybe for my next post I'll analyse the psychological implications of an "S" hook.

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  • 2 weeks later...

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