Custom Gate Building and Staining in Albuquerque, NM
Here are some photos of a custom gate we recently built for a customer as a replacement for a 30 year old gate that had started to ware out.
The original gate had been designed by the homeowner in collaboration with the builder. With the exception of the tired appearance and the sagging joints, she loved it and essentially wanted as little change as possible. In keeping with that request we took care to only change things if it would improve the functionality.
One change that had to be made was the material. The customer was sure that the original had been western red cedar. This isn’t a species that is readily available or highly recommend for use in New Mexico. Western red is much better suited to high humidity. Our climate fluctuates so much in terms of both temperature and humidity that it tends to tear it apart even with the right maintenance and frequent application of a top quality exterior wood finish. So for the lumber we sourced some very nice Spanish cedar. After looking at some samples the customer liked the look better than the western red. A sentiment that I share.
A couple of other changes were made that would be harder to notice. First the original gate had simply been bolted together with long lag bolts. Ours was constructed with traditional mortise and tenon joinery. The original was 1&1/2 inches thick ours was 1&3/4. We reduced the size of the tongue and groove panel slightly so that the rails and stiles could be made a little beefier. All of this should really keep it from sagging for years. To the side you will notice the small doors which function as the mailbox. Another cool feature that the customer came up with in the original concept that we replaced to keep everything matching.
All of the parts were milled from rough stock in our woodworking shop. We pre-stained everything before it was assembled. The finished product came together really well and the customer couldn’t be happier