How to Strengthen a Gate

By Tracy Underwood

Making a wooden garden gate is within the capabilities of the average do-it-yourselfer. It is not difficult to achieve an end result that complements the backyard of a home. Time and gravity can take its toll, though, and cause a once-pristine gate to sag and scrape the ground. Fortunately, a homeowner can solve the problem without replacing the gate. The solution is to use the principle of triangulation to reinforce and strengthen the gate.

List of Items Needed

  • Bricks or wood blocks
  • Level
  • Chalk line
  • Rotary tool with router attachment and V-groove bit
  • Stranded, galvanized steel wire
  • Fencing pliers
  • Turnbuckle
  • Combination wrench set, or adjustable wrench
  • Paint and brush
  1. Place the level on the top board of the gate. Lift the unsupported end of the gate (opposite the hinges) until the bubble in the level is centered. Place bricks or blocks under the gate to hold it in position.

  2. Stretch the chalk line diagonally from the upper corner of the hinged side to the lower corner of the opposite side of the gate. Snap the line to mark the wood. Repeat on the backside of the gate.

  3. Use the rotary tool to rout a groove along the mark, everywhere the chalk line touched the wood.

  4. Slip one end of the wire through one ring of the turnbuckle and twist the wire around itself to secure it to the ring. Hold the turnbuckle in the center of the backside of the gate and loop the wire diagonally around the gate.

  5. Pull the wire 6 inches beyond the turnbuckle and cut it. Slip the end of the wire through the remaining ring of the turnbuckle and twist the wire around itself to secure it to the ring.

  6. Tighten the turnbuckle with the wrench. Remove the support blocks.

  7. Paint the wire and groove everywhere the wire contacts the wood. Leave the rest of the wire unpainted.

Tips and Warnings

  • It looks better if you repaint the entire gate.

© Demand Media 2011