James Freyr wrote:Cool, thanks for the reply. Is the gate still operating like it did at the beginning?
Eliot Mason wrote:The issue with trees of course is that they grow and get wider, and absorb bolts and nails and such. The fence lag bolts are relatively short and will eventually be absorbed entirely and then become the bane of anyone with a chainsaw or chipper.
Douglas Alpenstock wrote:The bolts/lags certainly could be backed off every year.
The only thing I worry about is the effect on the tree. Does opening the wound every year open the door to disease or insects? I don't know.
Mike Haasl wrote:Look at a pintle hinge. Either the screw in style or the long carriage bolt type. Not sure which would be easiest to adjust.
Rufus Laggren wrote:> adjust bolt....
Well, when one side of a gate moves (you adjust it at the hinge) the other side will move too (at the "latch"). That OK? How big do you think that tree will grow?
My take. Adjusting it may be possible, but it might not work as planned. IOW, a hassle. And a hassle that is like a "balloon payment" - everything nice for a couple years until... The other shoe falls. By which time you have forgotten your ingenious Plan. And by that time lots of things may have changed and "adjusting" may not be quite so clean and clear.
The more I think about the more I think it would be much better to use the tree as some kind of lateral support but not as the main structure for the gate post. That should allow setting a bi-pod (w/center post to mount the hinges) on the ground with relatively little penetration; then use the tree to take the torque of the hanging gate with a long rod, lag or bolt. Well, there's need for a force diagram and anchor design. But because of the speed w/which trees can "move" and the ease w/which we forget and stuff like that, my inclination is to keep that gate post away from the tree.
A note on those pintle hinges. They _really_ like to rotate (after installation). So keeping the bolt oriented in the plane of the closed gate will help keep the gate hanging more or less where it started out. As opposed to installing the bolt (into something) at right angles to the plane of the closed gate. That gate will sag instantly as the bolts rotate. Yes, I've done both. There is still sag when the gate is opened, but... Well, take your choice. I guess an argument could be made either way.
That other thing is cut one of the hinge pins 1/4-3/8" shorter than the other so you don't have to get them both in at the exact same instant when hanging the gate. OR set the top pintle that much higher than "right". That will let you set the top pin first, but it also means that top pintle carries _all_ the weight - and the bottom pintle is just there as a guide. Both the gate frame and the hinge post have to be ok with this.