Installing a baby gate for the front entry

Today I installed the baby gate on the front entry as a half-door.

Baby gate
Baby gate

This gate is an expansion gate designed to span a door way. This won’t quite work for the front entryway. The trim buggers stuff on on one end, and the whole thing can’t clamp down tight enough to hold it in place with any amount of sideways pressure.

So I made it a hinged unit. The baby gate now opens and closes with minimal fuss.

Open Baby Gate
Open Baby Gate

For the hinges, I used some cabinet hinges I found in one of my parts boxes. I don’t even remember why I had the hinges, but they will work well here. I screwed a small board to the wall so I had something to attach the hinges to at the correct angle.

Baby Gate Hinge
Baby Gate Hinge

As you can see, I needed to re-manufacture the hinges a bit.

Drilling new screw holes.
Drilling new screw holes.
Counter sinking the screw holes.
Counter sinking the screw holes.

I needed to stiffen and secure the gate so it wouldn’t lengthen or shorten while in use, so I used some zip ties. The natural colored ones are hardly noticeable, and look no worse than the gate itself.

Zip ties to stiffen the gate.
Zip ties to stiffen the gate.

The gate latch is where I think I am quite clever. The gate just needs to stop a baby/toddler from going down the stairs. It also needs to auto-close and be easy for an adult to use. I figure by the time Bella has enough coordination to manipulate my gate latch, she will be old enough to be mindful of the rules and able to handle the stairs, basement, etc. If this is not the case, the latch can always be re-evaluated in the future and adjusted as necessary.

I used velcro as the latch mechanism.

Velcro as the gate latch
Velcro as the gate latch

I cut a strip of wood to follow the contour of the end-post of the railing and zip tied it down. I didn’t want to put screw holes in my nice wood. A bit of velcro down the whole length, and my gate is complete!

Staples help keep the sticky-back velcro from peeling off
Staples help keep the sticky-back velcro from peeling off

I am pleased with the idea of the curved cut wood strip, but not exactly happy with the results of my first attempt at making it. When I find another piece of wood that I can butcher cut I will try my hand at re-making the strip so it follows a little closer.

The hole project put 5 holes in my sheetrock wall that needs paint at some point in the future anyhow, and 4 holes in the baby gate. Pretty non-destructive for such a modification to a commercial baby gate..

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