Posts Tagged With: Driveway Gate

Gate Design

I spent an hour or two tweaking the design for the new driveway gate.   I have more to do before I start building anything.  The next thing I need to figure out is the design for the hinge mechanisms.  I think I have an idea how that should work, and my game plan is to build the bracketry, wood spacers and hinge leafs first, then build the gates to fit that.

The main changes in this revision were the shape of the “cloud lifts” and the brackets on the block wall.  The cloud lifts looked too abrupt in the previous version.  I increased the space between the beginning of the sweep between the top and bottom, made the sweep angled and increased the radius on the curves.  I also recessed the rails 1/8″ from the outside frame, and the stiles 1/8″ from the rails.  I started modeling the steel straps that will wrap around the cinder block wall, they need a little more work on the end details.

I also removed the latch that was at the top of the gate — I decided that while it looked neat it would be awkward to operate.  So I’ll need to design a normal latching mechanism.

Once I get the hinges and latch design sorted out I’ll order the steel, hardware and bearings for the those parts and start in there.

This weekend is going to be a “wash” though as I’m taking my son to the “Maker Faire” up near San Francisco.  One of the displays I’m eager to see is the CNC Pancake Maker.  I kid you not, check out the “pancake bot“.

Detail of restyled cloud lifts

Detail of restyled cloud lifts

Updated gate design

Updated gate design

Front-on View

Front-on View

 

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CAD Lantern

I re-modeled the lantern design I want to use for my driveway gate project last night.  The original model was just to simple solid — a cube sitting on a cube with a domed roof.  It was fast to model so I could get the visual look I wanted, but it wasn’t something that had the details on fabrication.

I drew it up again as a series of sheet metal pieces joined together with rivets.  This is pretty close to final, although I think I’ll do something to make the rivets on the faces of the lantern box symmetrical.

G&G Style Driveway Gate as a Sheet Metal Model

G&G Style Driveway Gate as a Sheet Metal Model

I need to order the low voltage lights for the two lanterns and the the street number so I can make sure everything is going to fit properly.  Monday I’m hoping to go to Alan Steel to pick up some copper sheet, I expect that to be an unhappy experience for my wallet.  I’ll probably only get enough to make the street number and finish that before I start making the lights.

For the main glass I’m going to use Wissmach Amber Iridized art glass:

Wissmach Medium Amber Iridized

Wissmach Medium Amber Iridized Glass

Here is an exploded view of the the lantern body, it will be a great opportunity to practice driving solid rivets!

 

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A Little More CAD Work

I spent some time adjusting the size and proportions on the lanterns for my gate project, I think I’m close with this version.  It doesn’t have all of the details because it’s just a mock up to get the overall feel right, I’ll model it as I’d build it next and add in most of the details as I do that.  The main glass panels will probably have an abstract/cloud design in them similar to some of the interior lamps from the Culbertson house.

Gate Lamp Mockup

Gate Lamp Mockup

I got a quote back for laser cutting the street number — it was about three times what I’d expected.  I’ll have to shop it around I guess.  Worst case I’ll have to rent time at the local “Tech Shop” and do it myself on their laser cutter.  By the time I made all of the parts for the lights and gate hinges laid out I’ll have a lot of laser cutting to have done — so I’d rather not do it that way.

Gate Mockup With Lamp

Gate Mockup With Lamp

 

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Back to work designing the front gate

Work and family continue to be nuts, and that’s enough about that — other than to justify why almost nothing has happened in the shop the past two weeks.

The ancient laptop I use for my CAD software was on it’s last leg, so I spent the morning setting up a new (ish) computer to run SolidWorks, and installed the latest version that my license allowed.  It was totally worth the effort, high rez renders complete in less than a minute (as opposed to medium res renders on the old machine that took 40 minutes if it didn’t overheat and shut down).

I re-worked the Arts & Crafts style street number I had designed previously.  I changed the font, changed the horizontal bars that hold the numbers, changed the shape of the border, and added rivets around the periphery.  I also laid it out so that the whole part could be laser cut, with tabs for the sides.  I can bend that on my brake.  I just emailed it off for a quote to have it cut from 16 gauge copper.

Final Design for Street Number

Final Design for Street Number

The main part of the assembly will be a sandwhich of the copper exterior, the glass panels, and a steel backer to hold the glass in place.  There will be a bracket that mounts to the wall, which will hold two small 12 volt lamps, and this assembly will attach to the wall bracket.

Exploded View

Exploded View

Next I need to work out the final design for the two metal lanterns.  I will probably tweak the gate a little, and I have to design the hinge supports still.

I’ve been a good boy this year, I’m hoping Santa brings me a hollow chisel mortiser for Christmas.

Updated gate model with new number plaque

Updated gate model with new number plaque

 

 

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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

 

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The Gate Project

I’ve been toying with the idea of replacing the driveway gate at my house for a while.  A lot over the past year, but it’s been on my mind – on and off – for the past 15 years.  Ever since I put in the original gate when we moved in here.  It was supposed to be a quickie job, just a quick fence to keep the dogs from wandering off.  It became more serious when a deer got trapped in the yard and smashed through the gate running at probably 40 MPH.  And then it happened again.  Later a delivery truck backed into it and bent one of the uprights.  Then my wife brought home a small dog (we have always had Greyhounds).  The problem with the small dog is she can go under the gate.  So my son tied the remains of a baby gate to the driveway gate.  It’s gone on and one like this, adding adjunct gate pieces and bunji cords.

It happened over such a long period of time that I’ve sort of gotten accustomed to it.  It’s a total white trash look, but it wasn’t until I took a picture of it to use as a guide to start sketching a new gate that I really noticed it.  It’s pretty embarrassing.  It’s just a cheap home center chain link gate.  I welded up some support extensions and bolted it to the existing block wall.  It looks worse from the inside than it does from the street, and we live in the woods so not a lot of people see it – but still…

Gate Closed, From Inside

Gate Closed, From Inside

Gate Open, From The Outside

Gate Open, From The Outside

So my plan is to build a wooden gate from Vertical Grain Alaskan Yellow Cedar and Redwood, make some giant steel strap hinges, some steel lanterns in the Greene & Greene style and do a little landscaping to clean this area up.  The hinges and drop-lock bar at the top will be steel weldments, powdercoated with a “oil rubbed bronze” color.  I need to design the wood stanchions and hinge parts that will go on the block walls, and the lanterns still, but this is a good step forward.  It’s probably enough to order the lumber.  As soon as I finish the hinge design I’ll have the parts laser cut and weld them.

Design For New Gate

Design For New Gate

 

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