Bespoke Victorian gates – how they turned out
We are here to follow on from part one of our look at some bespoke wooden Victorian gates we manufactured. If you’ve not seen the first part of the post, then it can be found here wooden Victorian gates.
Once the framework of the gates has been put together ‘dry’ with no glue, we can then work out all the sizes of the infill timbers; in the case of the Victorian gates, there are three different infill sections. The bottom section of the gates contain shaped panels, the middle section has rectangular panels and the top section boasts the more complex turned spindles (these are turned on a lathe). Below, some of the infill timbers are shown, the image shows the turned spindles whereas, below, these are the shaped panels for the lower section of the gates. (I’ve not shown the infill for the middle section of the gates as these are just rectangular timbers!).
The two components that make up the infill section in the Victorian gates
The turned spindles being positioned within the gates.
Once these infill timbers have been cut, machined to shape and sanded up, they can be glued into position in the mortices located in the relevent rails, above right and below left. Unlike our standard range of gates where the outer framework is put together and glued up first, with the Victorian gates, all the timbers that make up the decorative infills have to be glued into the rails first. It can be a bit of a race against time to glue these into place before glueing the framework of the gates together, although the glue won’t totally set during the time it takes to put the gate together, the glue will start to dry, meaning it can become difficult to move any of the timbers that are not correctly placed. However, the infills have to be fitted into the gates this way as there is no other way of fitting them afterwards and the rest of the Victorian gate framework has to go together at the same time so you can check that all the infills are sitting square with the rails!
Once the spindles and infill timbers are in place, the main part of the gates can be put together
The decorative panel that sits between the top rail and elongated hanging stile
Once the turned spindles and panels have been glued into the rails, the rest of the gate can be glued up. As with everything we manufacture, the gates are based on a through wedged morticed and tenon jointed frame (don’t settle for inferior ‘dowelled’ morticed and tenon joints or stopped morticed and tenon joint, you’ll only pay for it later when your gate joints start to open up and come loose!) for strength. After being left over night for the glue to dry, the capping to the top rail is then fitted, along with the little decorative curved panel (above right) that sits under this capping, alongside and it is jointed into the hanging stile (the long vertical upright of the main gate frame that the hinges will be attached to). Once all this is done, the gate is sanded up and ready for delivery to our customer.
See the Victorian gates video for more images
Got a bespoke gate design that you would like a price for? Then please contact us and we’ll be happy to take a look at it for you and provide feedback. If we feel a design is weak structurally, then we will suggest ways to improve the strength of the gates. As I mentioned in the first part of this blog post, the more information we initially receive the more accurate the costing we can produce for you.