Driveway Gate Clad in Balau Wood

Driveway gate clad in balau
Click to enlarge

Here’s another driveway gate that we clad in balau in Umdloti, North of Durban. In the pics you can see the old gate which we left in place while we installed the new balau timber clad driveway gate and them removed it afterwards and scrapped it. Because this gate is right on the road facing the beach it had rusted beyond repair.

The steel gate was designed using 38mm x 76mm rectangular tube as a rectangular outer frame which then had a cross flat bar of 5mm x 30mm running horizontally across from one side to the other. At the top and bottom we welded flat bar on to the rectangular tube which had pre drilled holes in it to accept our deck boards. The horizontal cross flat bar was there to stop the deck boards bowing over time. It was all hot dip galvanised. I don’t recommend painting the galvanised steel. It can be done quite successfully but will always be a maintenance issue and will need re-painting every year or 18 months.

We set he track in concrete and attached the brackets which keep the gate plumb and then set the gate on its track. Only once it was on its track did we attach the deck boards to the flat bar on the top and flat bar on the bottom by lining up the board with equal spaces and drilling a hole through the wood. We used a 40mm galvanised hex bolt with a nut on the back-end and then finished it off with a stainless steel dome nut. It would be better to use stainless throughout, that is the bolt, washers nuts and dome nuts as they won’t rust.

Driveway gate clad in balau
Click to enlarge

We left the timber unsealed as the client wanted it to turn natural grey. It doesn’t really affect the longevity of the timber. Balau contains natural resins and oils which slow down the process of rot considerably compared to other woods.

The trick in setting these deck boards is to make sure that they are equally spaced. It is fairly simple because the pre drilled holes are calculated to be dead centre so theoretically each hole should be drilled through the centre of the board. Practically though you need to still be careful to get the space between boards equal even at the cost of not drilling dead center of each board. The time-consuming part of this job is pre-cutting the deck boards to exactly the correct length to fit snugly in below the top and bottom tube.

The flat bar on the top and bottom, to which the board is attached, is set off centre so that the steel on the front of the gate is flush with the deck boards once they are installed. i.e. the deck boards are recessed.

When measuring for the steel frame you want to get the whole frame visible when the gate is in a closed position. You always set your boards so that the good side is on the outside.

What goes very nicely with these types of gates is matching timber in fills on a masonry boundary wall.

Driveway gate clad in balau
Click to enlarge

For a free no obligation quote for driveway gates clad in balau or other timber, timber in fills on boundary walls and all your outdoor timber construction, please contact us on 031 – 762 1795 or use the contact us form below.

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