How to Make a Split Rail Cedar Fence Gate

What You'll Need
(2) 4x4 feet by 96-inch posts
Cedar rails
Circular saw
4d box nails
Framing square
Measuring tape
Gate latch

A split rail cedar fence is as durable as it is beautiful. Cedar is the perfect material to make a gate because it is a very strong wood that holds up to the elements and is resistant to insects and mold. A split rail cedar fence is not a complete job without a gate to go along with it. The type of gate you build will be determined by the type of split rail cedar fence you have. Some split rail cedar fences only require split rails directly on the posts at either side. You slide the rails through the holes in the posts. The cedar rails can also be nailed directly to the posts to create a gate. The following article will provide a general overlay on how to construct a split rail cedar fence gate.

Step 1 - Post Cutting

To create a split rail cedar fence gate you need something to affix the rails to. Place the posts on your work surface. Use your measuring tape and measure 2 inches from one of the ends and make a quick mark with your pencil. Place the tri-square on your mark and line it up and then draw a line across the width of the post. Repeat with the second post. Use the circular saw to cut along the line you made. Make sure that you use all safety precautions while operating the circular saw. Remember to always measure three times and cut once. The last thing you want to do is to have to redo the cedar rail fence gate again because the posts are wrong.

Step 2 - Cedar Rails

Measure the gate opening and write it down. Place the rails on your work surface and measure 2 inches narrower than the opening in the split rail cedar fence. Cut as many pieces as you need for the gate using the circular saw. Work slowly as the saw can cause the cedar rails to splinter. Put the rails onto the posts and separate the posts until a post is on each end of the cedar rail. Measure upward from the end of each of the posts. Nail the cedar rail in place on each end. Use the framing square along the post with the longer leg along the rail. Adjust as needed until square. Secure with more nails. Start adding the remaining rails spacing as you see fit.

Step 3 - Finishing the Split Rail Cedar Fence Gate

Carefully turn the cedar rail fence gate over. Use the tape measure and starting at the top of one post and pulling on the diagonal toward the bottom of the opposite post. Take down the distance and measure out a piece of cedar rail material and mark it off with a pencil to this size. Cut it with the circular saw. Lay the piece you cut diagonally as you measured and nail in place. Attach the latch to the gate.