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When a gate post is too short

Those odds and ends around the yard can be put to good use

Once upon a time in our barnyard, we had a gate that wouldn’t stay on its hinges because the gate post was too short to support it. It was hung on a good solid railroad tie, but the railroad tie was set too deep in the ground for that particular gate. The post wasn’t tall enough to facilitate the top hinge on the gate.

It was a good solid gate and a good solid post so we tried several ways to keep the gate from falling off the hinge, but every now and then it still came off when we opened the gate. It was very frustrating trying to put a long, heavy gate (now lying flat on the ground) back on its hinges.

So we got creative and made the gate post taller. We used some metal that was in a shipping crate for a tractor loader that came from Canada — it was part of the support within the crate to hold the loader frame in position during transit. After we put the loader on the tractor we didn’t need that piece of metal and it sat around in the collection of odds and ends that accumulate on most farms and ranches, waiting for an opportunity to be recycled into something needed at a later date.

When we decided to make the railroad tie taller, we reconfigured that metal and added more pieces to fit and bolt to the post. This worked to extend the height of the post to accommodate the top hinge on the gate. We welded that piece of metal from the shipping crate to a piece of channel iron that could lie flat against the top of the railroad tie. It was made larger (to cover the whole top) by welding an additional flat piece of iron to it. Then to keep the structure solid and secure so it could never be pulled out of line by the heavy gate, we welded a piece of angle iron to the backside. The angle iron came down over the edge of the post to give additional support.

With the big all-thread bolt through the “post extension” welded to the gate hinge (with nuts to tighten and adjust the height of the gate on the swinging end), the gate is now secure, swings beautifully and will never fall off its hinges again.

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