Gate Project Design 2

There were a couple of details that were bugging me about the design for the gate.  The lower hinge looked a little “off”, and the top latch bar was too long, and wouldn’t actually pivot up the way it was designed.  I corrected those points, although I think I’ll still make some more changes to the latch bar.  I also added a vertical element to tie the upper and lower hinges together.  I think that will  substantially increase the strength and eliminate any chance of the gate racking.

There are a couple of additional elements I want for this project.  One is a lighted street number, I have that designed and it looks OK to my eye.  I may tweak it or try a different design, but this is pretty close to OK.  It’s not the font I wanted for the number, so that might change.

Design for lighted street number

Design for lighted street number

The other detail is a pair of Greene & Greene style metal lanterns.  I did a quick rough mockup of those, but they aren’t “right” yet.  That’s generally how this process works for me.  I do a first design that is just about getting the shape and proportions for the piece I want to make.  Sometimes I’m pretty close, other times it takes two or three iterations to figure out what I don’t like.  Then I add in a few details to make sure it’s going to have the right effect.

Then I usually re-model the part so it has all of the detail I’ll need to make it.  In the case of the gate, for example, that step would be to model each board, mortise and tenon and then assemble it.  That way I’m sure of the layout when I get to the shop.  I’m not sure I need to do that in practice for the gate as I can pick up all of the critical dimensions I need from the model I have.  But for the lanterns and even the light box I need to have a little more information about the fabrication as I’m thinking about having some of the parts laser cut.  On the street number piece above I could have just the front panel laser cut and weld on sides, or I could model it with the sides attached and bend it on a brake – which would be a lot nicer.

Updated Gate Design -- The lanterns suck and need more work

Updated Gate Design — The lanterns suck and need more work

The lanterns are not at all right, I’ll have to look at some more pictures.  The base is too big, the body too small and the roof too  steep.  I can fix that now that I see what’s wrong with it.  Having an initial, albeit wrong design helps me find the right one.  This one, which is a commercial unit inspired by the Blacker House lanterns is pretty close to what I want.

Commercial Light by Wentworth Avenuw

Commercial Light by Wentworth Avenuw


Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Gate Project Design 2

  1. Hi Joe,
    agree with you on the font for the street number light. The whole thing says mission until you see the numbers. I especially like the clocked double screws on the top outside corners.
    On the gate detail – there is a misalignment on the stiles – is this deliberate, or a software glitch?

    • I’ve been poking around, looking at fonts. Trying to find one I like. This one from Font Haus called “Dekros” is in the running.

      The “misalignment” is a cloud-lift design, if you click on the image so you can see it full size. Well, full size for a computer rendering. I may need to tweak the shapes a little as I have the radius too even on the inside and outside corners, it should be more pronounced on the outside top curve.

  2. The numerals look much better
    I thought that that detail might have been a Greene and Greene thing. Do you think it will effect the structrual integrity of the gate?

    • Hi Ralph,

      I can’t imagine the cloud lift affecting the structural strength in any substantial way. Of course the board is cut down from it’s original size, so it’s clearly not as strong as it would have been if left unmolested, but it’s more interesting to look at I think.

      One of the things with CAD design is it’s easy to get fooled by scale. Before I make the actual gate I’ll need to verify the design at full scale, either by having it printed on a big roll-printer or making a section of it in scrap wood. I fully expect I’ll need to adjust some of the shapes and proportions when I do that.

      This is another of the fonts I’m considering. It’s the “Arts & Crafts Tall”, also from Font Haus:
      font 2

  3. Jose Santiago

    Hi Joe
    The plans look really good. Sorry but I didn’t catch what type of wood you’ll be using. More importantly, what type of finish are you looking at? Here in South Louisiana the sun beats us up most if the day with rain and moisture coming in a close second. We tend to use cypress because of this as it is resistant to decay (sort of). Otherwise we paint the exterior surfaces and often (every 2-3 years). We don’t usually deal with snow or freezing temperatures. (It actually, snowed a week after the Saints won the Super Bowl).

    • Hi Jose,

      I’m planning on using redwood for the infill panels, and alaskan yellow cedar for the framework. The finish will probably be Epiphanes spar varnish — it was rated as the #1 outdoor wood finish in a recent article on outdoor finishes. The materials for this gate will be a little spendy I think, maybe $7/bf for good quality, clear vertical grained heart wood — so I want some serious protection.

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