Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Wire Fence Gate

Around here, plenty of us make gates through our pasture or property fencing the cheap and quick way -- wire fence pass-through gates. They are simple, quick to make, and cheap. I find that this sort of gateway is fine when I'm not having to move livestock through it on a regular basis. But with livestock I prefer a rigid swinging gate because it's easier to prevent animals escaping past me. I have better control. But having said that, I do indeed use these cheap wire fence gates in my pastures. Ha, go figure. But where security is highly important, such as gates which provide exit from my property (that us, the driveway gates), I have rigid gates. Escaping livestock does not make for a happy farmer. 

Anyway, back to the wire fence gate. Below is my first attempt at making one. I started cross-fencing my pasture and needed a gate in one corner. So I cut the fence then added a brace to the t-post, and secured the end of the cut fencing to the t-post by wrapping about ten inches of fence around the t-post. Of course the fencing piece going from where I cut it near the t-post (on the left in the photo) going toward the perimeter fence (on the right of the photo) was now too short to be used for the gate. So I just cut it away. I then cut a new longer piece of fencing to make the gate. I secured the end on the right to the perimeter fence. The end in the left you can see that I nailed to a five foot high 3" diameter tree this case from an ohia tree which is fairly strong and rot resistant. 

Now how to make this floppy gate stay shut. Hhuumm. I've seen where other landowners make loops to secure the top and bottom of the gate post, in my case, an ohia post. So I used a piece of stout wire from the discarded piece of fencing. Forming a loop, I nailed it to the post using a large fence staple. I made the loop just large enough that it could fit over the top of the t-post snug enough to hold but not too snug that I would have difficulty using the loop. 

To secure the bottom of the ohia post I again used a piece of the discarded wire fencing to make another loop. Not the neatest job, but it was my first try at experimenting. 

With a bit of effort I came up with a loop that did the job. I could slip the butt end of the ohia post into the loop, then flick the top loop over the t-post. The gate was secure. I could readily open and close it, and it held the livestock in. So far none of the animals have put any effort into learning how to flip the loops open and escape. Good. 

The one big problem I've had with this gate arrangement is what to do with the floppy gate while it is open and I need to drive the ATV through. Laying the floppy gate on the ground has caused the fencing to bend and warp. As you can see in the top photo, my gate now has a decided curviness to it. Since the warping was getting worse, I decided I needed to address the problem. 

The answer was sitting right before my eyes. A wood pallet was sitting there that I used to set buckets, water jugs, and other assorted items on. By slipping the butt end of the ohia post into the slat, the fence gate stood upright. No flopping and twisting like when I was setting it onto the ground. Much, much easier to use this way. Again, a cheap and quick solution. Not the prettiest, for sure. But it works.

1 comment:

  1. You are so clever! Back in the day we called this a Portagee Gate. God knows why and he ain't tellin'. We have a portagee gate on one of my horse's enclosures. Made out of a heavy post and red brand fence section. He's old. He just needs a suggestion to stay put. As a matter of fact we have at least 3 of these gates on this place. They're cheap and easy for the right situation. Back to 108 degree heat......