Step 2: Dry-Fit the Gate

person dry fitting the cut parts together to test the parts for building dog gate
Photo: Laura Moss
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Lay the crosspieces, legs, and spindles on edge, so that the crosspieces are sandwiched horizontally between the legs, and the spindles are sandwiched vertically—and an equal distance apart—between the top and middle crosspieces. Lay the panel between the middle and bottom crosspieces. Lay the rails and stiles on the flat at the border of the panel, flush with its outside edge and abutting the legs and crosspieces.
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    Tools List

    • miter saw
      Miter saw
    • circular saw
      Circular saw
      to cut the plywood panel
    • combination square
      Combination square
    • bar clamp
      24- to 36-inch bar clamp
    • pneumatic finish nailer
      Pneumatic pin nailer
    • drill
      Drill/driver
      fitted with an 11/32-inch drill bit, a 3/32-inch drill bit, and a 1-inch paddle bit for installing the gate's feet
    • paintbrush
      1-inch paintbrush to apply glue
    • allen wrench set
      Allen key or wrench
      sized to the insert nut and hex-head bolt for attaching the feet

    Shopping List

    1. Oak 1x2 Get at least eight 6-footers—enough to make legs, crosspieces, spindles, stiles, rails, and feet for the two-section gate shown

    2. ½-inch oak veneer plywood Get enough to make two 12-by-22½-inch panels

    3. Oak panel molding Get at least two 6-foot pieces to trim the panels

    4. 1½-inch finish screws to assemble the legs, crosspieces, and spindles

    5. 1½-inch pin nails to attach the panel, rails, and stiles to the crosspieces and legs

    6. 1-inch pin nails to attach the trim to the panels7. ¼-20 40 mm threaded insert nuts Get four, or enough to insert one into the bottom of each leg

    8. ¼-20 40 mm hex-head joint connector bolt Get four, or enough to attach one foot to each leg

    9. 1½-by-¾-inch butt hinges Get three per pair of gates

    10. Medium-grit and fine-grit sandpaper

    11. Stainable wood glue

    12. Stainable wood filler

    13. Finish of your choice (could be tung oil; sanding sealer with stain and shellac and acrylic clear-coat; or primer and paint)