Fixing gate hinges – how to fit the band and gudgeon gate hinges

The hinges we recommend (and supply) are cranked band and gudgeon hinges (pictured below the gudgeon is marked as ‘A’ and the band marked with a ‘B’), these come in two pieces – the band (or strap) which fits to the gates and the gudgeon (the hook or pin) which fits to the posts.

Fitting hook and band hinges to gates

As you can see the band hooks over the gudgeon enabling the gates to be lifted off if both hinges are fitted in the traditional way. If you are worried about the possibility of the gates being lifted off (which is unlikely, as once the hinges are fitted and bolted they tighten up quite considerably) then the top gudgeon can be fitted upside down – this has no detriment to the gates, as even with the hinges fitted the right way around all the weight of the gates is taken by the bottom hinges – the top hinge acts as a lever to pull the gate towards the post and stop the closing stile (vertical upright where the gates meet, opposite to the stile that the hinges are fixed to) dragging on the ground.

The band is fixed using screws (the number of screws required depends on the hinge length) and a bolt (both the screws and bolts are supplied with any ironmongery we have supplied you). The bolt hole is the square hole (the hole nearest the edge of the gates when fitted) and the rest of the holes are for the screws.

What size hinges for a wooden gate?

Hinge size is determined by the width of the gate you’ll be fitting the hinges to. For band & gudgeon hinges, the hinge wants to be one third the width of the gate – so for a 48″ wide (1220mm) gate you need a hinge that is 16″ long.

If you end up with a gate leaf size of say 51″ (1295mm) giving a one third width of 17″ then you have to go for the next nearest size up for the hinges which would be 18″ as the hinges are only manufactured in selected sizes.

Where to fit the band and gudgeon hinges? Front or back of the gates?

If you imagine you are standing at the rear of the gates (with the rails and braces visible) and want the gates to open towards you then you would fit the hinges to the rear of the gates (if you look at the picture on the left, the hinges are fitted on the rear of the gate – this gate will open towards you).

If you want the gates to open away from you then the hinges will be fitted on the front of the gates. (If you want the gates to open both ways then Field gate/wrap around hinges will need to be used.).

Rear view of gate showing side that hinges affix to

Also when fitted, the diagonal bracing on the rear of the gates should always point down (away from the top of the gates) towards the bottom hinge as in the picture on our Arched headed gate (pictured above).

Fit the hinges to the gates

1- Don’t worry to start with about positioning the gate or gates within the gateway that they will be fitted – it makes everything slightly more difficult!
Either lean the gates up against a wall or lie the gate down or a saw block or similar (one saw block at the top of the gate and one at the bottom.

2 – Hinges in almost all cases fit to the rails of the gates, top hinge normally to the top rail (in some cases,as with our curved top gates the top hinge fits to a specially jointed in hinge block).
Position the hinge on the rail/head or hinge block of the gate and line the hinge up so it runs parallel with the rail/head/hinge block (ideally try and centre the hinge on the rail- this looks better once fitted) – you can use a square to do this (as shown in the video). Taking you time over the positioning of the hinge will save you some hassle later in leveling the gate up (if you screw the hinge on running at an angle with the rails, not only will it stand out a mile and look awful when fitted but it will make life difficult in leveling up the gate later.

How to position the hinges correctly upon the gates

3 -With the cranked band and gudgeon gate hinges I’m using in the video, these should be fitted so the start of the cranked part of the hinge is inline with the edge of the gate.

4 – One the hinge is positioned on the gate, pre-drill a couple of holes (at this stage there is no need to fill every hole up with screws – just concentrate on at least two) for the hinge screws and then screw the hinge to the gate.
(If you’re unsure about the size of drill bit required to pre-drill the screw holes, then try a hole on a scrap piece of timber and then try a screw into it – if it doesn’t tighten up then the hole is too lose. If it’s too much of a struggle sending the screw home then try a slightly wider drill bit!)

Once screwed on, double check the hinge is sitting parallel with the rails

(DO NOT AT THIS STAGE DRILL THE BOLT HOLE – sorry for shouting, but at this stage don’t worry about drilling the bolt hole out in the gate. The reason for this is, if you need to adjust anything and the bolt hole has been drilled then you could end up with it showing and no way to hide it).

5 – Repeat the process for the rest of the hinges (remembering NOT to drill the bolt hole out on the gates – I cannot emphasise this enough).

6 – You’ve now fitted the hinges to your wooden gates! You now need to to hang the gates from the posts

Tools required –

Combination square or square (for lining up the hinge),
Cordless drill with small twist drill bit (approx 4mm) for pre-drilling holes,

Tools required to fit the gate hinges

Other hinge types

There are various different hinges, the method above assumes you’ll be using standard cranked hook and band hinges and can be followed if you use most hinges that are designed for wooden gates (straight band & gudgeon hinges, adjustable band and gudgeon hinges, reversible hinges and field gate hinges) with a few slight differences.

I’ve not mentioned Tee hinges, these are ok for light duty gates i.e. ledged & braced gates and are simple to fit.

I’ve also made no mention of butt hinges, these are not suitable at all for gates so avoid!

Picking the right gate hinges

Adjustable hinges

Adjustable band and gudgeon hinges are becoming increasingly popular, once fitted you’ve got a certain amount of adjustment on both the top and bottom hinges so if the gate has been fitted to the gateposts out of level then you can bring it back to level by loosening/tightening the bolt attached to the hinges.
Adjustable gate hinge

If using adjustable hinges to hang your gates, then position the hinge so that the the very end of the hinge is sitting flush with the edge of the gate (shown left). Now I mentioned (above) with the cranked band and gudgeon hinges to just attach the hinges using the screws and ignore the bolt hole for the time being – the adjustable bands see in the video have no screw holes (there are many configurations of adjustable bands, some with screw holes etc), so in the case of the configuration shown if you’re not confident of fixing the hinges to the gates using the bolts, then just attach with screws for the time being.

If you’re buying adjustable hinges with your wooden gates from elsewhere and you’ve been told “when your gates sag/settle you can adjust the gates back to level with these hinges” (this is true, as they will allow adjustment), then go elsewhere for your gates – if you buy a well made pair of wooden gates and they are fitted correctly they should not ‘sag’ or ‘settle’.

Field gate hinges

Fieldgate hinges wrap around the wooden gates. Commonly used if you want the gate to open both in and out (if you intend to open the gates both ways then you will need to fit the hinges to the posts within the opening – I’ll explain this in part two of our guide to fitting the gate hinges) and also found on gates that have been automated with underground automation.
Fieldgate hinge

If fitting these then the field gate hinge wraps right around the gate, so it can be seen from both sides of the gates.
Again in the video the hinge fits to the gates solely with bolts, you can for the time being just mount the hinge onto the gate using screws and when the gate is hung replace the screws with bolts.

More gate fitting info >> Wooden gate fitting guide
Next it’s on to how to hang your wooden gates >>