How to Build Farm Metal Gates
Regardless of the size of a fenced area, somewhere a gate will be needed. Farm gates made of metal have a proven history of durability and ease of operation. Commercially available gates come in lengths 6 to 20 feet. If an even wider gate is needed you can buy two gates to span the space and hinge them on posts on either side of the opening. As handy as purchasing might be, gates can be constructed in a shop equipped with metal working tools. Let's build a 12-footer.
Use a hacksaw to cut one of the 12 foot pieces of 1 ½ inch square steel tubes into three equal lengths, each four feet long.
Lay the other two pieces of 11/2 inch square steel tubes parallel to one another, spread four feet apart on a flat surface such as a concrete shop floor.
Position one of the 4 foot pieces of 1 ½ inch tubes at each end of and between each of the 12 foot pieces laying on the floor to form a rectangle of 1 ½ inch tubes measuring 144 inches by 51 inches, outside measurements.
Position the remaining 4-foot piece of 1 ½ inch tube between the 12 foot pieces, centered exactly six feet from each end of the 12 footers. The resulting framework will be a gate frame, 12 feet long, 51 inches high divided into two equal sized rectangles.
Weld the top and bottom horizontal framework of the gate to the end pieces and mid-point support piece.
Build the Rungs
Use a hacksaw to cut the three pieces of 1-inch square tube into six lengths, each 70 3/4 inches long which should fit perfectly between the short sides of the two rectangles making up the gate framework.
Mark each of the 4-foot pieces of 1 ½-inch tubing at 12 inches, 24 inches and 36 inches from the ends.
Center one of the 70 3/4-inch pieces on these marks, parallel with the top and bottom gate-frame tubes and weld each end into place.
Cut the 2-inch piece of round tubing into two equal lengths of tubing--each slightly less than one inch long.
Mark one of the ends of the completed gate at eight inches from the top and bottom.
Weld one of the 1-inch pieces of tubing to the end frame at each of these marks to become the pintle of the hinge.
Screw hinge screw hooks into the gate post to fit the spacing of the pintles and hang the gate in the opening.
- A coating of rust-resistant metal paint will extend the life of the gate.
- Shorter, longer, taller or smaller gates can be made using the same materials by adjusting the lengths of materials used in construction.
- It's possible to use a stick welder to constrct a gate, but because of the thin gauge metal used, TIG or MIG welders are easier to use and not burn through the metal.
Mike Schoonveld has been writing since 1989 with magazine credits including "Outdoor Life," "Fur-Fish-Game," "The Rotarian" and numerous regional publications. Schoonveld earned a Master Captain License from the Coast Guard. He holds a Bachelor of Science in wildlife science from Purdue University.
- snow gate image by Keith Nolan from Fotolia.com