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Metal Pasture Gate

wire bracing on hinge post

A close-up pic of the 9 gauge galvanized wire I used for wire bracing on the hinge post.  My thinking here is that the top of the post will experience the outward pull/weight of the gate.  Using regular fence post staples, I looped the 9 gauge wire around the upper end of the hinge post and the lower end of the support post.  I then twisted the two wires, using my claw hammer, until I had a good tension on the wire.  Note how close the post is to the fence.  This will make it easy to staple the barb wire onto both posts so I don't have to retention the 150 yd run of wire.

lower gate hinge

At this point, I had to stop and make a trip to town.  I though I had a wood auger bit big enough for the hinge bolt but....well, I didn't.  I had a 5/8" bit and needed a 7/8" hole to properly clear the 3/4" hing bolt.   This is the place where you need to measure 4 times and drill once.  I drilled my hole about 12" up from ground level.  This basically put the bottom of my gate about even with the bottom barb wire.  I'm glad I picked up a 7/8" auger bit as it gave me a little bit of wiggle room when it came to hanging the gate and getting the bolts through the post. 

Make sure you get your holes straight through the post.  If you don't, you'll have trouble aligning your hinge bolt with the hole.  I got mine right on and it worked so well that I was able to hang the gate by myself (and some help from the front end loader on my Massey tractor).  So measure accurately and then measure accurately again several more times.  When you drill the hinge bolt hole through the post, make sure you drill straight and level!  Did I mention you really need to measure and get this right the first time? 

upper gate hinge

Here is the upper hinge bolt.  It is installed upside down so that it captures the gate.  This prevents an animal from rubbing/pushing up on the gate and lifting it off the hinge bolts.  It also prevents people from doing it assuming them don't have an adjustable wrench with them. 

tube gate hing bolts installed in hinge post

A full pic of the gate mounted on the hinge bolts.  I used a level on the top tube of the gate to make sure it was level.  Since my post was plumb and the holes were drilled true, it was easy to level the gate by moving the adjusting nuts on the bolts a small amount.  This will also give me some wiggle room for the latch spacing that will be mounted on the last post that I've not yet set.

big rock in the wrong place

I should have known that things were going way to well.  I had put two posts in the ground, braced them nicely, and hung a gate on them, all without a glitch.  Granted, I had to take a trip to town to get the 7/8" wood auger bit, but that really wasn't an issue as much as it was the lack of a $12 tool.  So I started on the 3rd post hole for the latch post.  I now knew exactly where it needed to be dug.  I was less than 6" down before I hit rock....and it was a good sized one.  My wife came out to look at it after I took a break and went to the house to get something cold to drink.  She suggested digging the hole on the other side of the fence.  Of course, this would make my gate look a bit crooked compared to the rest of the fence, but I didn't have a choice.  Luckily, the rock didn't extend to the other side of the fence and it didn't have any friends lurking there either.  I was able to sink another 3' deep hole without any further issues. 

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