How to Make an Arch Top Gate
An attractive yet functional addition to a garden, a gate provides access into the enclosed space, increases privacy and enhances the appeal of the landscape. Instead of using wood or metal, consider making a rustic gate with an arched top from natural material such as tree branches. Not only does the low-cost project use recycled material, but the end result provides an attractive focal point in the garden. Follow these directions to make a 5-foot high arch top gate with flexible, pliable wood such as willow, or alter the dimensions to your requirements.
Draw a rough diagram of the gate on paper in your desired dimensions. Design a simple 5-foot-tall, 4-foot-wide gate -- to fit in a 4 1/2-foot-wide opening -- comprised of horizontal beams and vertical uprights, and a diagonal brace that gives it structure and strength.
Clip off branch stubs, branches and leaves on the two upright and two horizontal beams -- for the gate's frame -- using pruning shears.
Lay the two vertical uprights parallel to each other on the ground. Adjust the lengths so their ends are in line with each other, spaced 4 feet apart. Lay a horizontal beam over the lower ends of the uprights.
Hammer two 1/2-inch nails into each corner of the horizontal beam to join it to the corresponding sides of the vertical uprights.
Lay the second horizontal piece over the upper ends of the two uprights. Hammer two nails per joint to secure each corner of the piece to the corresponding ends of the uprights. The gate frame is complete.
Lay the brace diagonally within this framework, from the upper left corner of the frame to the lower right corner. Use 8- to 10-inch lengths of 16-gauge black wire to attach the ends of the diagonal brace to the corresponding branches. The brace supports the framework and keeps it from appearing flimsy. Alternatively, nail the ends of the crosspieces in place.
Position one end of the flexible branch on the upper corner of the left vertical upright. Hammer the flexible branch in place using two nails. Grasp this branch and bend it slightly as you extend it to the top of the right upright. Hammer two nails to secure the flexible branch to this upright.
Hold the gate between the opening, 2 inches above the ground so it swings freely. Mark the locations for the two hinges on the fence post and extend the marks on the corresponding spots on the gate. Lower the gate and set it on the ground.
Nail the two hinges on the marked spots on the gate. Assign an assistant to hold the gate in the opening while you extend the hinges to the adjacent post and secure with nails. Nail the latch bolt to the opposite upright, and the clamp to the post.
Things You Will Need
- Measuring tape
- 2 4-foot-tall, 6-inch-wide oak, poplar or sturdy willow branches for the vertical uprights
- 2 4-foot-tall, 6-inch-wide oak, poplar or sturdy willow branches for the horizontal beams
- 18-inch-tall, 2-inch-wide flexible willow branch for the arch
- 4 1/4-foot long oak or poplar branches for the brace
- Pruning shears
- 1/2-inch nails
- 16-gauge black wire
- Wire cutters, optional
- 2 hinges
- Latch-bolt assembly
- You can alter the size of the gate to your needs.
- Add a rustic touch to the garden gate by attaching honeysuckle or wisteria to fill the framework.