Inspire yourself to get those annoying draggers off the ground
By Terryn Drieling
A poorly hung, saggy ol’ gate can be a real drag. Literally. Opening a dragging gate to pass through can make a person expend extra energy, and possibly, some colorful words. And twice, no less, because once you’re through, you’ve got to drag it back closed. Wouldn’t it be grand if you only had to expend that extra energy once – when you hang it?
To help our readers get motivated to hang a new gate, or rehang an energy-expending colorful word inciting dragger, we explored a few great sources online. And by online, we really mean YouTube. Because it’s true what they say – you really can teach yourself how to do just about anything by watching YouTube videos. Gate hanging is no exception.
Seriously, the tips and techniques in the videos we found will have you and your family enjoying the swinging gate experience for years to come.
Irish Farmers Journal
One cool video we found was uploaded by the Irish Farmers Journal and featured Damien O’Dowd of FRS Fencing. O’Dowd’s Irish accent is as fun to listen to as his tips are informative and actionable. In the short 7-minute video, he walks viewers through the basics of hanging a gate, starting with picking the right post for the job.
He briefly explains the differences in post materials (i.e. galvanized, steel, wood, and treated posts) and how they work in varying soil types. Then, he moves on to pairing hinges with posts and what tools are necessary for the job, before he gets down to it and actually demonstrates how to hang a gate.
O’Dowd suggests using straight edge, something like a 2×4 the same length as the gate, to make sure the gate will have complete clearance at level. He rests the end of the straight edge on the bottom hinge and swings it all the way around at level before setting the post. Then he sets his posts using a quick setting concrete called Postmix, which is Irish for QUIKRETE Fast-Setting Concrete.
Postmix – Irish for QUIKRETE
While we may not have Postmix Concrete here in the states, we do have QUIKRETE Fast-Setting Concrete – and that’s basically the same thing.
According to the QUIKRETE YouTube video on setting posts, you should dig your post hole with a diameter of 3 times the width of the post. In other words, the hole for a 4-inch post should be 12 inches wide. The depth of the hole should be one-third to one-half the post height above ground, or 2 to 3 feet in depth for a 6-foot tall post.
Once you’ve got your hole dug, add about 6 inches of QUIKRETE All-Purpose Gravel, or crushed stone, into the bottom of the hole to promote good water drainage. Tamp and level the gravel using a post.
Set the post and use a level to get your post perfectly vertical. Fill the hole with QUIKRETE Fast-Setting Concrete up to 3 to 4 inches below ground level. Pour about a gallon of water per 50 lb. bag into the hole, allowing the water to soak into the dry concrete mix.
The best thing about QUICKRETE Fast Setting Concrete is that while you can mix it as you would normal concrete, you certainly do not have to. It sets hard in as few as 20 to 40 minutes – no mixing required.
As we learned in yet another YouTube video, there is more than one way to use QUIKRETE Fast-Setting Concrete to ensure your gates will endure. What the gentleman in this particular video showed us was something of a concrete trifecta, if you will.
He set his wooden hinge post in concrete for added strength and stability. His latch post was a hollow galvanized metal post, which he filled with concrete to eliminate flexibility and bowing. Capping just the tops of metal posts with concrete can also prevent water corrosion from the inside out.
In addition, this clever gentleman also poured a small concrete pad for the gate to rest on when in the closed position, taking the pressure off of the hinges and reducing the chance of the hinges pulling away from the wood post.
We all know that jungle gym is a synonym for gate when it comes to ranch kids. That little strategically placed concrete pad is guaranteed to prevent the gate sag that comes after a run-in with a herd of rowdy ranch kids.