Topic-icon Hanging a gate - how difficult is it?

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23 Jul 2007 17:35 #10334 by hilldweller

OK I've read Trisha Fisk's instructions, but still not sure I want to attempt this. On the other hand, my new sheep pen is only half finished without the gate! Gate is wooden, 2m long, with normal hinge straps.

So, anyone want to offer advice or alternatively tell me to wait for an expert?


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23 Jul 2007 18:07 #161554 by Isla

I have an expert here. We can have a wee chat by email ... ;)

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23 Jul 2007 18:10 #161556 by LongRidge

Hanging a gate that already has the hinges welded in place is extremely difficult ....
Work out if you ever want to easily remove this gate. If yes,work out how high off the ground that you want the bottom gudgeon, and put it in. Put the bottom strap into the bottom gudgeon. Lift the gate up until it is near the post. Put the Top gudgeon into the hinge strap and work out the correct place to drill. Drill the hole, put in the gudgeon and hang the gate.
If not, put the gudgeon in place above the strap facing down and work out where to drill the hole for the gudgeon ABOVE the strap. Drill the hole, put in gudgeon facing DOWN. Take off the top hinge strap. Hang the gate onto the bottom gudgeon, put the hinge strap onto the top gudgeon then fiddle around with the gate to get the bolts back. Before the bolts go back is the time to adgust the gudgeons to get the gate to hang where you want it.

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23 Jul 2007 18:34 #161561 by Isla

The Staff does magic things with a spirit level, so the gudgeons are exactly in line with each other vertically. If you don't do that, the gate will rise or fall as it swings.

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23 Jul 2007 18:37 #161562 by cantyguy

You can buy Gudgeon Guides that are brilliant. They are dummy gudgeons that you chain in place and are hollow. You can test swing the gate adjusting as required then simply drill a hole through the dummy gudgeon and insert your gudgeons. Result is a perfectly swung gate every time. Worth thier wieght in gold :)

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23 Jul 2007 18:43 #161565 by FencerMan

HD, there and many different methods depending on what fencer you ask. This is the way i use, its not the fastest way, and takes a bit more f'ing around, but is generally easier and reasonably accurate for a beginner.

Use some blocks of wood on the ground to get your gate sitting exactly where you want it to be when it is shut. Have a friend around to help hold it, manouvere it around, swear at, etc.

Once you have the gate sitting exactly where you want it, hold the gudeon in the top bracket (hole) and mark on the post with a pencil where your hole needs to be drilled. Then take the gate away completly and drill the hole. Make sure you are using a gudeon which goes right through the post, and has a nut which screws onto the other end.

Then hang the gate on that top gudeon. Use your friend to hold the end of the gate off the ground and chock it up with blocks again, and using a spirit level make sure it is level vertically, and raised slightly (about 20mm) and the end of the gate, because it will drop so you want to accomodate for that.

When it is sitting right, put the gudgeon on the bottom bracket and once again pencil where the hole needs to go. This can be a short gudgeon...

Once again remove the gate, drill your hole, insert your gudgeon, and use your bored, tired, but trusty friend to help you hang the gate :) If it needs adjustment use the nuts on the top gudgeon to adjust as needed.

Its reasonably simple once your there in the paddock so give it a go. Worst case scenerio is you have have to take it out and try again...


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23 Jul 2007 18:48 #161568 by Isla

What he said. :D

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23 Jul 2007 19:38 #161584 by hilldweller

This is sounding like a major production! Of the required tools, I currently have the pencil LOL.

Common sense says wait for the fencer, or the BIL, or a kind neighbour, but where's the fun in that LOL? I have the gate, one short and one long gudgeon, and a day off work....


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23 Jul 2007 19:41 #161585 by hilldweller

quote:Originally posted by Isla

The Staff does magic things with a spirit level, so the gudgeons are exactly in line with each other vertically. If you don't do that, the gate will rise or fall as it swings.

Well the ground rises and falls so that may not be such a bad thing LOL, but yes I get the point. And after doing the posts and rails with a bottle of water to get things level(ish) I had pretty much decided a spirit level might be a useful acquisition anyway.


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23 Jul 2007 20:48 #161594 by LongRidge

For your high powered electric drill you need 2 bits/drills. The long one to go all the way through the post has to be the same diameter as the gudgeon. If the bit is too big then the gudgeon and the gate will flop around too much. If it is too small then the gudgeon won't go through the hole. If it is the correct size the gudgeon will need to be screwed through, so that it is a firm fit.
With the bottom bit, this must be a bit smaller than the gudgeon diameter so that it is a tight screw. To screw in this gudgeon I use a ring spanner that is slightly larger than the upright bit of the gudgeon. Put the spanner ring over the upright bit of the gudgeon and do a 1/2 turn, then swing the spanner round to do another half turn, etc ....

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24 Jul 2007 09:24 #161650 by Telly

I will have to give my other half a 'test' on this to see if he hung our gate properly last week.


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24 Jul 2007 09:28 #161652 by hilldweller

Ahh yes, my high powered electric drill LOL...

Oddly I was wondering about drill bits late last night. Thanks for posting. So any future adjustments are made using the nuts to move the long gudgeon through the post while the short one remains fixed?


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24 Jul 2007 09:41 #161655 by powerguy

Hi HD, I use a variation on FM's technique.

Firstly I make sure that I am using gudgeons of the same make so the offset from the bottom of the hinge portion to the centre of the thread is the same. I then figure out where I want the gate to sit and mark the bottom of the hinge location. I then measure down the amount of the offset mentioned above (from the lip where the strap hinge sits to the centre) and mark that. Then I measure from that mark down the distance from the bottom of the top hinge to the bottom of the bottom hinge and mark. Use a spirit level to line up from the top point and mark again on the bottom line. These then are the centres at which to drill your holes.

If you want the gate to open flat against a fence or rails, set the gudgeons at 45 degrees to the opening and the fence you want to open to when viewed from above.

I also strongly suggest using the through post gudgeon on the top and there are ones with a securing bolt hole to prevent lift off if you are running cattle. The screw in ones can pull out at the top after a few years with the weight of the gate. The bottom ones tend to have pressure trying to push them in so are less stressed and the shorter screw in type are fine. Also if you set it up so there is some thread left on the gate side, the upper gudgeon can be screwed in tighter to lift the end later if the gate sags.

If you are using gudgeons of different makes and offsets then it just involves more measuring and a greater chance of something going slightly amiss!


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24 Jul 2007 11:37 #161662 by LongRidge

hd, yes if you made the through-gudgeon hole slightly oversized. If you had to screw the gudgeon through the post, then to move the through-gudgeon you will need to remove the gate, screw the through-gudgeon then re-hang the gate.

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24 Jul 2007 12:33 #161669 by hilldweller

Progress so far:

Rain last night
Gate on back of ute this morning
Ute down track to pen
Gate off ute, propped in opening, all looks OK :)
Ute back up track
Ute stuck
Hilldweller useless ute-less, and therefore also powerdrill-less and spirit level-less :(

Fortunately it's good drying weather so should be able to retrieve ute tomorrow if not later today. KNEW it was a stupid decision :(


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24 Jul 2007 12:40 #161671 by LongRidge

Take a couple of biscuits of old hay down to spread on the skid marks, then reverse down and put the gate back on the ute. Race up the hill and put some other heavy objects onto the ute. Take the gate back to the yards, take off gate but leave other heavy objects on ute. Race back up the hill .... I'm nearly as good at getting unstuck as at getting stuck .... !!!

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24 Jul 2007 12:58 #161676 by hilldweller

Thanks LR. Tried with hay and the bushy ends of some dead kanuka. Didn't work:( Was wondering whether I should be aiming for heavier or lighter though, so good to have that resolved. ;). Think I'll let things dry out a bit before my next attempt though.

It's actually past the muddy bit (hay and kanuka did help with that), it's the steepness that's the problem.


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24 Jul 2007 22:47 #161801 by FencerMan

Highpowered drill? Maybe im a bit older than you LR (eh?) but i use a good old fashioned brace and bit.....

quote:hd, yes if you made the through-gudgeon hole slightly oversized. If you had to screw the gudgeon through the post, then to move the through-gudgeon you will need to remove the gate, screw the through-gudgeon then re-hang the gate

Maybe we are talking about different 'through gudgeons'? The ones you want HD have a screw thread the entire length of the 'shaft', and come with two washers, and two nuts. Screw one nut and washer all the way to the front before inserting through the hole, the other nut and washer on the end to hold it all together. Then it can simply be adjusted but turning the nuts with a spanner without having to remove the gate.

I would also advise have the hole size so that its snug, but not so tight as having to actually screw it through the hole, otherwise the thread is going to block up with wood and make putting the nut on the end a pig of a job!

I have a few more handy tips for later down the track so will hopefully get back tomorrow....


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24 Jul 2007 22:59 #161805 by Inger

Nah Fencerman, a high powered battery drill and some gudgeon guides are wonderful. The Other Half and I can hang 3 gates in an evening, after he's finished work (dependiong on how difficult the slope of the ground is). Some gradients are worse than others on our place. But you don't have to be an engineer to work it out, when you have gudgeon guides. :)


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25 Jul 2007 09:38 #161856 by LongRidge

Shaun ..... no, we are talking about the same thing. I wasn't able to test the drill bit before I bought it, so it is 1 mm too small diameter!!

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25 Jul 2007 11:39 #161872 by hilldweller

Ute unstuck, with lots of heavy objects and some gravel pinched from the driveway :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Now what was I trying to do.....


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25 Jul 2007 17:55 #161968 by downsized cocky

Sorry to upset anyone but i would very strongly suggest a small but critical change to FM's system. I personally prefer to do the bottom gudgeon first, but I am sure it can work both ways.Do as FM says but pleasae use a "double gudgeon" on the top, especially if you are not using a "spike" gudgeon on the bottom.The double one has a short non threaded extra piece straight below the thread, so you need to drill another hole part way through the strainer to take this, other than that it is just the same as has been described above. The purpose of the "extra" piece is to ensure that the "threaded gudgeon" cannot turn and allow you lovely expensive gate to fall off its hinges, and it is likely to do so once everything has shrunk, and of course it will be just at a time when you are by yourself in the rain on a sunday afternoon.

Now Hilldweller..............you started this job and hey once you have got it done all by yourself you will be so proud, so have another go, i am sure we have all provided enough info to totally confuse you, and if it still doesnt work, hell havnt you got any good old baling twine, or number eight wire !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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25 Jul 2007 18:12 #161973 by maggies mum

quote:Originally posted by hilldweller

Ute unstuck, with lots of heavy objects and some gravel pinched from the driveway :D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Now what was I trying to do.....

No! No! No!

They're all missing something very important....they forgot to mention regular wine breaks!:D:D

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25 Jul 2007 22:35 #162012 by LongRidge

I've got the 'double spike' gudgeons in my cattle yards, on the through-gudgeons, but I don't think that they have been particularly useful. But I do have the extra-length-with-hole-through-the-gudgeon on the double-spike-through-gudgeons, which are really useful to stop the cattle lifting the gate off the hinges .... except ..... I didn't use hardened bolts, so the bull lifted the gate off anyway. If only I had put the top gudgeon in upside down, the gate would have been far more secure.

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26 Jul 2007 08:19 #162030 by hilldweller

Right. Yesterday bought a big fat drill bit with a skinny shank (?) that fits my puny drill. Have printed off this thread and am heading down to the pen.

I may be some time....


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26 Jul 2007 08:29 #162031 by RKH

HD, just read this thread, we could've come up and pulled you out, sorry! If you get stuck again just give me a call we're only 2 minutes away. Good luck with the gate, sing out if you need an extra pair of hands, not sure how much help I'll be but I can help lift!


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26 Jul 2007 09:05 #162034 by LongRidge

Shaun, I use a brace and bit too, but when I went to buy a replacement bit for the through-gudgeons I was told that they don't make brace bits with the square piece on the chuck end. Had to buy one like hd has got with a round chuck end. As you can imagine, with a bit that size in the brace all that happens is that the chuck end slips. And .... it also slips in an electric drill. I guess I'm going to have to get the grinder out and square off the chuck end of my big drill bits.

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26 Jul 2007 11:27 #162051 by Isla

Hd? Hilldweller? Where are yooooooooooooooooou?

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26 Jul 2007 11:46 #162053 by RKH

I imagine she's being determined with that gate, good day for it, the weather has been amazing here recently!


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26 Jul 2007 11:56 #162054 by Isla

I know, but she left a couple of hours ago! She's a wonder, that woman, so I thought she'd be back for a cuppa with a report of success, by now! :D

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26 Jul 2007 13:19 #162065 by hilldweller

OK I'm back. This is going to take a while :). Puny drill ran out of steam halfway through the first hole :(. Waiting for it to recharge. With luck I'll get the first hole finished later today and maybe even the second one started if I'm really really lucky [:I]

Yes the battery was fully charged but it has always been particularly useless [}:)].

And yes I do know you're not supposed to blame your tools, but some tools just ask for it!

RKH - thanks for the offer. All was OK in the end and it didn't cause any problems luckily.


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26 Jul 2007 13:19 #162066 by hilldweller

quote:Originally posted by LongRidge

Shaun, I use a brace and bit too, but when I went to buy a replacement bit for the through-gudgeons I was told that they don't make brace bits with the square piece on the chuck end. Had to buy one like hd has got with a round chuck end. As you can imagine, with a bit that size in the brace all that happens is that the chuck end slips. And .... it also slips in an electric drill. I guess I'm going to have to get the grinder out and square off the chuck end of my big drill bits.

Just wondering, am I the only one with no idea what any of this means?


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26 Jul 2007 22:44 #162160 by FencerMan

I know exactly what he means and he's right lol. Do you know what a brace and bit is? (i bet your parents or your grandparents do lol)


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26 Jul 2007 22:45 #162162 by FencerMan

HD, have a look at this for a brace and bit...

http://www.britannica.com/ebc/art-62260


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27 Jul 2007 08:47 #162187 by hilldweller

Day 4

First hole completed yesterday afternoon and gudgeon put in. Looks OK. Battery recharged overnight. About to attempt second hole.

Thanks for the pic Shaun. Can definitely see the advantage in not needing a battery.


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27 Jul 2007 08:56 #162190 by kcouper

I would strongly recommend a brace and bit. I got one off Trademe last year $25 for brace and a box full of different sized bits. I find the the electric drills always run out of steam before the job is done, and I hate to wait for them to recharge.

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27 Jul 2007 09:18 #162191 by Inger

We use a Ryoby 3 speed gearbox with an 18 volt battery. We can do 4 or more gudeon hole per battery, depending on the condition of the wood. New pine wood is easier to drill than an old dried out Totara post. We also bought an extra 3 batteries, so we can have one on charge all the time. The shaft has a hexagonal end, so it doesn't slip in the drill chuck. We also use the bateries for an electric chainsaw. Handy for cutting off broken branches.

We can really recommend this drill. Our previous drill went up in smoke as it couldn't hack the pace of the number of gates we had to put in and are still putting in, as new fences go in and sagging old wooden gates get replaced. Mother has no problems opening and closing gates now. They used to be like weight lifting exercises for her. Worse if the grass had grown.


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27 Jul 2007 13:56 #162230 by hilldweller

It is done! Not perfect, but then neither are the posts nor the rails[:I], and it hangs and swings and sits where I need it to. I think it will work well :D.

Thanks heaps for all the advice. I didn't get a spirit level but a plumb line dropped through the hole in both hinge straps with the gate propped in position worked very well for getting the gudgeons vertical, and then a square off that line gave the horizontals. I otherwise followed all instructions to the letter! Top gudgeon is a through one, bottom one is short. I had purchased them before I started this post so neither has the extra spike.

Pen is 2.3x3.3m (ish) and I have a second gate that will swing inside it so I can divide the pen in two or confine a stroppy ewe in one corner if need be. That gate is a little metal one that must have been part of a set of interlocking gates at some stage and is very easy to hang on a couple of big screw-in eyelets :D.


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11 Oct 2018 08:35 #542732 by leenbruce

Hi- we are about to try and hang our first gate and have bought the 20mm drill bit but on reading your post now need to buy a smaller one for the bottom hole. Can you tell me what size I have to buy please? 18mm??
thanks heaps

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11 Oct 2018 11:29 #542735 by tonybaker

Buy the proper gudgeon drills at a farm shop, there are two sizes, one for screw in gudgeon and one for through the post type. It's a laborious process putting the bottom gudgeon in. I usually put a screw in gudgeon at the bottom and an adjustable, through the post type at the top.


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11 Oct 2018 13:13 #542740 by LongRidge

If both of the gudgeons are 20 mm through-post type, then only one bit is needed. But this is more expensive and not much advantage to having a through-post at the top, and an in- place screw type at the bottom.
My through-post auger is either imperial measurement (it is old), or the gudgeons are slightly bigger than the supposed 20 mm, but they often require to be screwed to get them through the hole. This means that the gate has to be taken off to screw the gudgeon to adjust it :-(
I suspect that the bit for the in-post gudgeon is 15 mm, because that is what I have and it works :-).
I use a 25 mm or so ring spanner to screw the gudgeon into the post.

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