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Old 07-29-2009, 04:35 PM   #1
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Driveway Gate Construction Questions

I'd like to build gate to span my approximately 10' wide driveway. Two gates would require less post strength but I will be using a gate opener which would be more easily done with a single gate. The gate frame will be constructed from welded together 2" square steel tubing and will have a wooden front constructed from fence pickets. I will be using 5" barrel hinges like the ones shown here: . Which thickness steel tubing would be adequate for this? Based on 41 lbs/ft3, I estimate that there will be 120 lbs of wood mounted on the frame. I would prefer to use no thicker than 14 Gauge tubing (.083" wall thickness) since I will have right at 50' of steel tubing in the frame and that would be a frame weight of approximately 108 lbs total (2.16 lbs/linear ft). I could increase to 11 Gauge tubing (.120 wall thickness) but that would increase the frame weight to 152 lbs or so. I'd like to keep my frame as light as possible so that I am imparting minimum leverage on the gate post. Assuming a 230 lb total weight gate (11 Gauge tubing), what size gate post would I need to set in order to ensure that it does not sag? I have been thinking about a 6" square by .25" wall steel tube concreted 4-5' into the ground. Would a 4" square by .25" wall tube be adequate for this or would the 6" be needed? What about the hole depth? Here are a couple drawings I made of the gate to give you a better idea:

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks so much,


Last edited by KP Texan; 07-29-2009 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 07-29-2009, 11:27 PM   #2
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My gut says definitely not less than 6". Will need to go at least 4' at a minimum. I would likely go 5' to ensure I have a solid post that is not likely to lean in any direction with that much weight hanging on it. If you can incorporate bracing to two posts 90 degrees from it, that would add a lot of stability and likely let you use a 4" post.

You also have to take into account of wind load on it.
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Old 07-30-2009, 12:45 AM   #3
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I did something similar once - I had a fence company make up the gate frames. They do this type of thing all the time and can size it properly and make it up for what should be a very reasonable price. They can also build in the hinges, drop rod, etc. that you may want.
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Old 07-30-2009, 08:45 PM   #4
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I have a very similar gate It has only one cross brace but it has a wheel installed on the end away from the hinges to hold the weight. Mighty Mule opener.
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