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Gate ideas for winter use?

 
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I need to build a few gates around the property.  Some need to be 3-4' wide, others need to cover 9' (one or two doors would be fine).  My issue is snow.  I'd like a gate that can keep deer and rabbits out in the summer and yet open somehow with a foot of snow on the ground.

I'm thinking of designing something where the main gate/door is from 1' to 7' off the ground.  Then it has a one foot tall piece that hangs off the bottom of the gate that keeps rabbits out.  In the winter that piece can be unhooked from the main gate so that it stays buried in the snow and I just step over it to get into the area.

I'm planning on using cedar slab wood as the framework and cement remesh or chicken wire as the bulk of the gate.  

Any ideas or examples of this sort of thing before I reinvent the wheel?

Thanks!
 
pollinator
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I built some gate frames recently out of 1-5/8 chain link top rail.

Hinges are currently just clamps for the same. Will probably replace with something stronger but similar.

The gate can slide a bit vertically up as the clamps are loose to allow it to swing open/shut.

Another clamp, tight, keeps it from resting on the ground.

If I used a tension bar and more clamps to attach the mesh on the hinge side of the gate, I would have plenty of room to slide the gate above snow level. Right now the wire securing the mesh will stop me sliding the gate more than a couple inches up/down.


Hope that makes some sort of sense...
 
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What about a round wood lift gate of some sort. Viking looking thing with pulleys to allow easy lifting.

Or a gate designed to be lifted off it hinges when blocked by snow and placed to the side.
 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks gents!  While a gate that lifts up with pulleys and a dragon sounds cool, I don't think I have the headroom or structure for that

I can see how a gate that slides up on its hinges a bit would help for snow but I routinely have 18" of snow to work around.  If 12" of it drifts up against a gate in the night, I don't want to be struggling to lift it out of the snow and then hope it drops back down into the hole it left in the snow.  Unless I'm imagining your gate incorrectly Dillon?
 
D Nikolls
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I think I would be leaving the gate at snow-top level... and hoping it slides back down by itself if theres a big melt overnight.

I see the problem of getting it out of a big snowfall... hm.


The problem I see with the design you first describe is that it works well in exactly 1ft of snow... if I am picturing it correctly, though, in 10 inches its a tripping hazard and in 16 it's jammed shut...?
 
Mike Haasl
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I did some more sketches and I think I have a plan.  The gate posts will be on either side with a cross piece above.  The moving gate will be a frame of cedar with chicken wire or fencing inside the frame.  The gate will be an inch above the ground in the summer and a foot+ below the cross piece.  For winter I'll move the hinges up the post a foot to their "winter position".  I'll round up some scrap 2x6s and use a pair of them as the blockade down low.  I'll have to store the 2x6s and move the hinges spring and fall but it seems more likely to work.  

I'm fine with the tripping aspect if there is only 6" of snow.  And if there's 18" it's easy enough to pack down below 12" to get the gate to swing.   Need to remember to have the gate swing towards me though...
 
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If your goal is to keep bunnies out, I'd suggest hardware cloth or proper fencing rather than chicken wire. Unless you can get thicker than average chicken wire, rabbits can chew through it. There are places you can get thicker wire chicken wire, but we've pretty much given up on the crappy stuff which is all our local stores carry.
 
D Nikolls
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Depending on what you make/find for hinges, should be able to lift the gate out/off of the post-mounted half of the hinges and set it onto a second set of pre-installed hinge pins/sockets at winter height, this could be quicker to adjust than mine!

The catch is some animals could potentially accidentally end up knocking the gate off.. thinking farm critters with itches to scratch. Deer/rabbits seem quite unlikely to manage it.
 
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I use cheap pipe gates, then screw lengths of steel roofing to the pipe gate to keep out drafts/keep newborn lambs in. Because the ground freezes and heaves, I keep the gate off the ground a bit, and just use a 1 foot wide board propped up with rocks to stop the gap at the bottom.

While this picture was not for the gate in question, it can be seen what I am referring too. In this picture it is summer, and not lambing season so the gap at the bottom exists. When required, a propped up board eliminates this gap.
DSCN3770.JPG
[Thumbnail for DSCN3770.JPG]
Pipe Gate and Steel Roofing
 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks for the tips everyone!

Jay, I've done ok with chicken wire so far.  Maybe my goodies aren't good enough for them to bother chewing on metal.  I'll keep that in mind though...
Dillon, that's a good idea.  If I go with the pintle style of hinge I'll see how pricey getting a second set of mounting pins is.  It would be nice to not have to reattach hardware.  But not a huge deal breaker either way.  I'd move the hinges to save $10 per gate.  And I don't have animals that would lift it so that's not a problem for me.
Good point Travis, the gates could be set at the winter height all the time and just move the boards when I want to drive in.  I'd be stepping over them all the time though which could get old.  Some of these are for infrequent food forest access, others are for walking through several times a week.
 
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I have a spool that sits near my gate in the winter. It drifts the snow before it reaches my gate. That's how I solved my problem at least.
 
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