Mark the Crosspiece to build a garden gate
Photo: Kolin Smith

Step 4: Mark the Crosspiece

Rip a 2½-inch-wide crosspiece from a 6-foot board and prime it. Mark a centerline at each end of the crosspiece, slip it under the frame running from the latch location to the lower opposite corner, and position the centerlines at the corners. Now simply trace the inside of each corner on the crosspiece, as shown.
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    Tools List

    • garden stakes
    • mason's line
      mason line
    • post hole digger
      posthole digger
    • tarp
      tarp to hold backfill
    • four-foot level
      4-foot level
    • 2-and-a-half-inch paintbrush
    • circular saw
      circular saw
    • drill
    • miter saw
      miter saw
    • combination square
      combination square
    • hammer
    • caulk gun
      caulk gun

    Shopping List

    6×6 treated posts Get two.

    self-adhesive flashing

    ¾-inch drainage stone

    fast-setting concrete



    5/4×6-inch deck boards to make the frame including the crosspiece, brace, and apron; 2×4s are cheaper but give you a thicker, heavier gate.

    3-inch stainless-steel screws to assemble the frame

    1×6 cedar for the brace1 5/8-inch stainless-steel trim-head screws to attach the pales to the frame

    1×3 cedar for the pales

    1 5/8-inch stainless-steel siding nails to attach the brace paint

    6×6 post caps Get two.

    adhesive caulk to attach the post caps

    reversible strap hinges Choose a size approximately one-third the width of your gate.

    latch hardware and stop