Xeric and stylish gardening in San Antonio, Texas

How (not) to build a cedar stave and hog panel gate…

Step 1: Measure and plan it out.  Then measure again…and one last time for good luck.  You need to do a few gate width measurements especially, as if you have rough cedar posts you will be affixing the gate to, you have to measure the width several locations across the full length of the fence posts as the posts may not be exactly straight or the exact thickness all the way down.  You want that gate to swing freely and not get hung up anywhere.  You also need to be sure and account for your gate hardware in your width measurement.  I didn’t – and had to trim ;)  The gate hardware takes up way more room than you think.  Inches!cut all 4 staves to width and height

Step 2- Cut all 4 of your staves to length – I used a reciprocating saw.  See how fat and unstable all 4 corners are?  You need notches.notches

Step 3- Now cut your notch on each side of both staves that run horizontal.  I used the reciprocating saw – I cut down the middle of the diameter, then ran the saw in from the side to meet the line.That fits together better!

See how that fits together much better now?Much more stable

This is much more stable and it is time to secure the hog panelling.

Step 4- Cut your hog panel to length and width using bolt cutters.

Step 5- Affix your hog panel using barbed staples to the two staves that run vertically.

Step 6- Then set your notched staves in place and bolt or screw your gate at all 4 corners.  I used wood screws and then reinforced the corners with galvanized wire as well.  If I could turn back time, carriage bolts would have been a better choice.

Step 7- Affix your gate hardware to the post and gate and attach.  This was the most annoying step.  Thanks to my patient husband for help here – this took forever!  I mean, how hard is it to build a gate?  HARD.  Harder than the fence that is for sure.cedar stave and hog panel gate

Voila!  You have yourself a gate.  A HEAVY, HEAVY gate.  Texas cedar is heavy – Even a stave with a fairly thin profile.  If I had it to do over, I would not make the gate this way.  In fact, this gate is so heavy I imagine I will have a chance to redesign sooner rather than later.  Next time, it’ll be 1×4’s and hog panelling.  The gate will be lighter, AND we can use better gate hardware.  Either that, or somehow I would try to figure out how to split the staves for half the weight.

Note: the ugly shed is gone – the hens have a lot more room now.

UPDATE!  The gate is working out beautifully.  The wood just needed to dry.  It was freshly cut and SUPER heavy.  Now that it has dried, the gate is SOOOOOOOOOOOoo much lighter and works really well.  PHEW! DUH!


  1. Shirley

    Your fence and gate did turn out well, you should be proud of yourself. Gates often have to be replaced before the fence and you now have the time to figure out another plan.

    • Thanks Shirley – it is disheartening though – URGH. Already planning to change it…and it just went up. :( Oh well, the chickens aren’t eating my plants…that is a positive. :) Happy New Year to y’all! – xericstyle

  2. Desert Dweller

    Not bad, and I bet more than one contractor has learned the same thing!

    • Who knew, right!?! ;) -xericstyle

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