Baby Gate

Submitted to Community Café

The little guy was getting close to crawling, so I had to get this built before that happened.

This is a very basic gate, but it's a lot sturdier than the store-bought metals or plastic gates with suspect hinges. I know that the little guy will not be able to open this one, or knock it over, on his own.

I used some old pine flooring that someone was throwing out (I feel like I start my posts like this quite often...) along with some 1x4s for the frame.

I don't know why I always think I can easily sand the finish off of these old flooring planks. It's like I completely block that part out so when I start another project, I think "Great, I can use these old flooring planks and I won't need to buy new lumber!" Wrong. They are a complete pain in the you-know-what to sand. If only I had a planer... I lucked out this time. My neighbor came by as I was cutting the planks early in the day, then walked by again late in the afternoon and said "You're still working on this?" Yes, I'm the idiot that thinks I can just sand off this finish in no time. Then he says, "I have a hand-held planer if you want to borrow it." Yessssss!!!! What a saving grace that thing was. Cut down the time to get the finish off from about 30 minutes a plank to about 2 minutes. Wish I had known that ahead of time, but glad I got to use it for the last 4 or 5 planks.

Assembly was pretty easy. No glitches or unplanned occurences (wish I could say this every time!). Installation was pretty straightforward too. I really like the cafe door hinges, although they came in a brass finish so I had to spray paint them. I wanted a gate that swung both ways for the times when I'm carrying my son and don't want to back track down the stairs to get the gate open. It works perfectly. 

I had planned on not drilling into the banister and use cable ties, but they didn't seem sturdy enough, so I went ahead attached it to the banister. I used a sliding door lock loop lock that also works perfectly. I used the ebony stain to try and match the railing. It's close, but not exact.

All in all, I'm very pleased with the gate. Now my son has learned to crawl up the stairs and makes a beeline for them as soon as he's put down. Next up will be a gate for the bottom of the stairs.