As I just mentioned in the last post, Oliver is walking around like he's been doing it for years. The stairs to our basement are just around the corner from the kitchen and have no door. I could look down to cut a veggie and the next thing I know he's taking a long tumble, so the first big baby proofing project was gating this doorway and I'm pretty excited to share this little labor of love. I'm a mom who is not that into unsightly toys, and the same holds true for baby gates. There are so many ugly options, so I took it upon myself to design and create my own chic baby gate. This gate is actually inspired by a railing my friend, Michelle Adams has in her attic. Most people probably wouldn't even take notice, me, I took a photo and saved it to my project files. Now, before I started this project I was really intimidated, because it looks really complicated. And while, yes, this is A LOT more complicated than clicking a button and buying one from Amazon, it wasn't as daunting as I thought it was going to be. As I'll explain, there really wasn't too much measuring for lengths and angles, I took the mark and cut method and worked out.
Here is a link to the sketch above. It's much easier and less confusing to have a print out to refer to as you build.
Step 1: measure the doorway, you should make your gate about 1/4" less then the width of the doorway. My gate actually turned out a little smaller than I wanted it, so I had to fix an extra piece of wood to the door to make it function and lock properly. Lesson - measure twice, cut once. Then decide on your height of the gate
Step 2: Build the frame - cut the four pieces for the frame. Mine is 28" wide by 28", so the side pieces only need to be cut to 25". Sand and use the brad nailer and 2" nails to assemble.
Step 3: I didn't bother with complicated measuring and figuring out lengths, I found it best to mark, measure and cut as I went. so once I built the frame, I marked for the first diagonal piece. The only angles you'll be using are 45 and 90 degrees, which saves a lot of headaches. Each spindle will be 45 degrees on the outside and 90 degrees on the inside.
Step 5: mark, cut and attach with the brad nailer.
Step 6: mark and cut the second diagonal piece. Attach with brad nailer when possible, and a generous amount of nail glue when not possible.
Step 7: repeat step 6 and follow the drawing to continue to fill in all the bars.
these next three photos show the process I used for each spindle. I made the original cut at 45 degrees (as shown here in the top left), then I measured, so there was a consistent 2 5/8" between each spindle. That number isn't steadfast for your design, it can be more or less.
after measuring, you mark for the 90 degree cut.
Use the brad nailer to attach the spindle on the outside (45 degree angle side) and use the nail glue to attach the inside (90 degree side).
note: above when I said to "use a generous amount of nail glue," I would not call this photo below generous. Use a lot, you can always wipe it off.
Step 8: after all the spindles are attached, fill in any gaps with the nail glue. Again, don't be afraid to use a lot.
Step 9: wipe away excess and once dry sand where necessary.
Step 10: Sorry, I started slacking on taking photos here. Spray paint your gate. It took about three coats for me.
Step 11: Install the gate, using simple hinges and a gate lock. As you can see in the photo below, I also attached a piece of wood on the door jam as a stopper, and I used L brackets to fix that.
Download the sketch plan here. Let me know if you give it a try!