Justin Newcombe puts in a new gate to keep neighbourly paths open.

Having just built a fence I want to make it quite clear to my neighbour that I'm not trying to block her out or anything, I'm just trying to tidy things up a bit. Over the years Lorraine, our lovely neighbour, has become an important part of our family. She's watched over our kids as they've grown up and has been a really good friend to us all, an honorary grandmother. We already have a gate which Lorraine erected herself. It's made out of some plastic mesh, a piece of reinforcing mesh, some old farm fence batons and a nylon shoulder bag strap.

It was an excellent effort which stopped us from having to jump the fence twice a day and lasted a good eight years.

Now it's my turn to make the gate and I'm determined to make a gate befitting our friendship. Firstly I don't want it too high, leaning height seems about right. Secondly I don't want to just repeat the fence which, like most fences, is more about utility than beauty.

The gate is actually a good opportunity to jazz things up a bit when you're building a plain fence and its worth going to a bit of extra expense and effort.


I've had a good look around the timber mouldings section at Bunnings and have chosen some balustrade mouldings for the internal part of the gate. The rest of the gate is essentially a rectangle with hinges and a latch attached. The gate is hung off the fence, but is the juncture between our new fence and the hedge so I still have to set a post.

It's always nice to pop over and see Lorraine, chew the fat and use her washing line. And now we'll have a nice gate too.

Step 1

Measure and cut the timber for the gate. Most gates have a diagonal brace, but because I'm using the balustrade posts, I'm not using one. Instead I am cutting a scarf at each end and using a two-pot epoxy glue to create a structural join.

Step 2

Clamp the upper and lower sections of the gate together. Using a skill saw, cut a 5mm bevel, the width of the balustrade post, through both sections, one for each balustrade post.

Step 3

Mix glue, then glue and screw the rectangle together. Fill any gaps with glue.

Step 4

Mix more glue and insert the balustrade posts. Use a flat piece of timber attached as a backing to hold the pieces in place. I've lined these with masking paper so the glue doesn't attach itself to the backing timbers.

Step 5

Sand, fill the timbers as necessary, then paint with at least four coats of paint. Lightly sand between each coat using 250 grit paper. Allow each coat to dry for at least 24 hours.

Step 6

Attach the hinges and hang the gate. Finally, attach the latch.