Q. The furniture on my garden gate always goes rusty, what should I do?
A. When fitting any gate furniture outside there is always the problem of the effects of the weather. To combat this problem you should choose gate furniture that has a galvanised finish. There are two types of finish available, 'zinc plated' and 'hot spelter galvanised'. If the item has been 'zinc plated', a thin layer of zinc has been deposited onto the base metal to give the item some protection. However, 'zinc plated' is not durable when exposed to outdoor conditions. If the item is 'hot spelter galvanised', then the base metal item has been hot dipped in zinc to seal all the surfaces and edges with a thick coat of zinc to give excellent corrosion resistance. 'Hot spelter galvanised' is the finish recommended for exterior use!
Q. I want to lock my garden gate, what should I use?
A. You could fit an ordinary bolt known as a 'tower bolt' but this could be operated by anyone who can access the bolt. Alternatively you could fit a 'pad bolt'. This is similar to a 'tower bolt' except that when the bolt is pushed across to locate in the staple, the handle can then be pulled down over a loop on the bolt. A padlock can then be fitted through the loop to prevent the bolt from being opened until the padlock has been removed.
Q. I have a small wooden gate at the end of my path which keeps blowing open, how can I secure it?
A. You could use either a 'tower bolt' / 'pad bolt' as described above or an 'auto gate catch'. The advantage of the 'auto gate catch' is that whenever you close your gate, the peg on the catch would automatically locate and secure the gate. A tower bolt would need to be operated manually. Using an 'auto gate catch' in conjunction with a 'gate spring' to automatically close the gate will give you a combination to keep your gate secure at all times.
Q. I have a pair of gates that I need to secure, what could I use to do this?
A. Because your pair of gates meet in the middle, you will need to use a bolt that can be secured to the floor. The best bolt to use would be a 'long drop bolt'. These are available in various lengths, so the longer bolt you get, the less you have to bend down to operate it! These bolts are supplied with a round socket which is normally cemented into the ground. When the bolt is located into the socket, the gates are secure. Remember, you will need to use one bolt on each gate. A centre 'gate stop' will prevent the gates swinging both ways and these can be folded down to prevent tripping when not in use.
Variations of the 'long drop bolt' are available, these are the 'monkey tail bolt' and the 'bow handle bolt'. They are available in various lengths but they do not come supplied with a socket for floor fixing. They are generally used at the top of tall gates or garage doors which are enclosed in a frame. The bolts locate into the frame and a friction spring pressing against the back of the bolt ensures that they do not slide open when located overhead.
Q. I want to keep my gate open and secure, what could I use?
A. There are two ways you could do this. One way would be to use a 'cabin hook' otherwise known as a 'hook and eye'. One part is fitted to the back of the gate and the other part would be fitted to a wall or post. When the gate is open, the hook locates into the eye and the gate is securely held open until manually released. Of course you may not have a handy post or wall to position a cabin hook so a 'gate stop' could be used as an alternative. These are weighted arms which are cemented into the ground and locate onto the bottom of the gate. They automatically catch the gate when it is opened and are simply released by tipping the arm with your foot.
Q. What type and size of hinges should I use to hang my wooden garden door or gate?
A. Garden doors or gates are usually hung using either "tee" hinges or "bands & gudgeons". Both these hinges have a long strap which is fixed across the face of the gate. The finish of these hinges is usually galvanised to help protect them against corrosion from rain and other weather conditions. Because gates are usually much higher and wider than ordinary doors, the strap fitted to the surface helps to support the extra weight. The size of hinge used depends on the width of the gate you are hanging, as a general guide we recommend the following:
1) For light domestic doors or wooden gates used infrequently the band width should be 33.3% of the width of the door.
2) For medium weight wooden doors or gates in commercial/industrial situations with moderate use the band width should be 50% of the width of the door.
Where any abnormally large wooden doors or particularly heavy wooden gates are to be fitted then technical advice should be sought. Any wooden door or gate measuring over two metres high but under three metres high must always be fitted with three hinges.
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