woodworkers

frequently asked questions

Woodworkers FAQ sheets cover almost anything and everything you need to know about joinery. Please feel free to download and use them to get answers to all the questions you ever had about joinery. If you need further help send us your inquiry using the form on this page.

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18. GATES AND BATWINGS

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A BATWING AND A GATE?

gatesmortise-and-tenon-joints

Basically no difference. Batwings (usually) refer to a pair of gates that secure the entrance to a verandah or patio, generally at the top of the entry stairs or walkway. They commonly have a shaped or S-Top so that they (dubiously) resemble a bat or bird wing. Their traditional purpose was to provide a degree of security and privacy to houses with central hallways that needed the front door left open to ventilate. They have become integral to the Queensland vernacular style. Gates, on the other hand, refer to external joinery usually installed in the fences or pool perimeter potentially exposed to full weather. Woodworkers also manufacture balustrade gates which are constructed to match timber balustrades using simple batten screw construction. Balustrade gates are not classed as joinery gates due to their inferior construction. These are only suitable for small openings approx 1000 x 1000 (for a pair) & are covered in separate FAQ sheet No. 10 devoted to balustrading.

DO BATWINGS & GATES COME IN STOCK SIZES?

Yes. Our stock sizes for both gates and batwings are detailed on this FAQ. All other gates and batwing sizes need to be custom made. The construction of external gates is usually quite different to normal joinery as the horizontal rails need to be splayed to expel water. Because gates and batwings are exposed to much greater weathering than other joinery items it is preferable that mortise and tenon construction is used to provide long term strength.

CAN YOU MAKE OTHER DESIGNS?

Yes. We can make any design or style of batwing or gate within the overall size limitations outlined below. The following are examples of custom made gates for which we have patterns, or you can design your own.

TG1.jpg
woodworkers colonial dowel
TG1
TG1A.jpg
colonial dowel
TG1
TG11.jpg
sunrise
TG11
TG12.jpg
scallop crossbar
TG12
BV7.jpg
concave batwing
 
TG6
woodworkers victorian crossbar
TG6
TG6A
victorian crossbar
TG6
TG2.jpg
woodworkers edwardian courtyard
TG2
TG2A
edwardian courtyard
TG2

WHAT TIMBERS DO YOU USE?

For most protected situations requiring fully painted gates, red cedar is a suitable durable timber. For gates in very high exposure areas, New Guinea Rosewood is preferred. The cost difference is usually about 20% between species. Rosewood has higher durability and stability than cedar and greater rot and termite resistance. Where dowels are used they will be usually Kwila or Merbau. If you intend to clear finish external gates it is important that you advise our staff accordingly as items like fretwork motifs may be supplied in LOSP Pine unless matching timber within the gates is specifically required. With all gates it is imperative that all timber be thickly protected, particularly on the underside (which is often forgotten). If weather is able to penetrate the coating it will cause timbers to swell and move which can result in warp, rot and the structural weakening of the joints.

WHAT FINISHES DOES WOODWORKERS RECOMMEND?

Where painting is proposed, an oil based enamel system is essential. If clear finishing is required we recommend the Sikikens Cetol HLSe/Filter 7 system. A separate FAQ sheet No. 1 is available containing detailed recommendations on timber finishing. The undersides of gates must be completely sealed to protect their durability.

WHAT ARE THE SIZE LIMITATIONS OF JOINERY GATES?

Gates can be made to almost any size but they are unlikely to perform satisfactorily when widths exceed 1400mm per leaf. Any wide joinery item is likely to warp as its width increases and in pairs of gates this can become unsightly if the warp varies between each leaf. Woodworkers recommend that any gate beyond this width be reinforced with welded aluminium or galvanised steel frame fixed internally to support and stabilise the timberwork. This frame is commonly attached to the operating mechanism for remote control hinged or sliding gates. Where structural reinforcement is not an option, the thickness of gates should be increased to 68mm for widths up to 1500mm wide per leaf. It is important that driveway gate openings be minimised wherever possible to restrict the potential width of gates. You need to enquire about timber availability for thicker gates as 75mm dry timber is difficult to acquire and may require up to one year of controlled air drying before use.

STOCK TRADITIONAL GATES

TG15 archtop dowel & slat gates (stock)

high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG16 dowel & slat gates (stock)

TG16high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG16pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG16carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG17 scallop dowel & slat gates (stock)

TG17high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG17pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG17carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG18 archtop dowel & lattice gates (stock)

TG18high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG18pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG18carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG5 dowel & lattice gates (stock)

TG5high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG5pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG5carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG19 scallop dowel and gates lattice gates (stock)

TG19high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG19pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gates
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG19carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG3 archtop slat & slat gates (stock)

TG3high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG3pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gates
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG3carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG20 slat & slat gates (stock)

TG20high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG20pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG20carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG21 scallop slat & slat gates (stock)

TG21high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG21pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gates
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG21carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG22 archtop dowel & VJ plank gates (stock)

TG22high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG22pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gates
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG22carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG23 dowel & VJ plank gates (stock)

TG23high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG23pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG23carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG8 scallop dowel & VJ plank gates (stock)

TG8high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG8pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG8carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG24 archtop full lattice gates (stock)

TG24high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG24pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG24carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG25 full lattice gates (stock)

TG25high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG25pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG25carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG26 scallop full lattice gates (stock)

TG26high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG26pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG26carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG27 archtop dowel & diag. lattice gates (stock)

TG27high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG27pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG27carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG28 dowel & diag. lattice gates (stock)

TG28high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG28pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG28carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG29 scallop dowel & diag. lattice gates (stock)

TG29high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG29pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG29carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG30 archtop lattice & slats (stock)

TG30high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG30pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG30carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG31 lattice & slats (stock)

TG31high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG31pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG31carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG32 scallop lattice & slats (stock)

TG32high-fence-gate.jpg

high fence gate
1800 x 900 x 45mm

TG32pedestrian-gate.jpg

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG32carriage-gates-(pair).jpg

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG33 archtop dowel & crossbar gates (stock)

TG33-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG33-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG36 archtop dowel & fretwork gates (stock)

TG36-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG36-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG38 archtop full dowel gates (stock)

TG38-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG38-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG34 dowel & crossbar gates (stock)

TG34-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG34-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG37 dowel & fretwork gates (stock)

TG37-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG37-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG39 full dowel gates (stock)

TG39-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG39-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG35 scallop dowel & crossbar gates (stock)

TG35-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG35-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG42 scallop dowel & fretwork gates (stock)

TG42-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG33-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

TG41 scallop full dowel gates (stock)

TG41-pedestrian

pedestrian gate
1300 x 900 x 45mm

TG41-carriage

carriage gate
1300 x 1400 x 45mm

hardware kits
 
BV1

woodworkers s-top batwing fully latticed BV1 rebated

BV2

woodworkers s-top batwing fully slatted BV2

BV3

woodworkers s-top batwing half lattice BV3

diag batwing

woodworkers s-top batwing diagonal lattice BV15

BV5

woodworkers s-top batwing half V.J. BV5

BV10

woodworkers square top fully latticed BV10

BV11 slats

woodworkers square top fully slatted BV11

lattice slat gate

woodworkers half lattice BV12

BV13 diag

woodworkers square top diagonal lattice BV13

BV10 vj

woodworkers square top half V.J. BV14

contemporary gates

DOES WOODWORKERS AUTOMATE GATES?

No. There are numerous companies that install automated gates and Woodworkers staff can advise on companies with a proven record in automating timber gates.

DOES WOODWORKERS INSTALL ITS GATES?

No. Woodworkers can provide you with the name of an experienced BSA registered installer however who will contract directly with you for the installation of your gates and the fitting of any hardware required. It is always preferable that the installer confirms the sizes required before fabrication as it is common for external posts and framing to be less plumb and square than other carpentry in the house and this often necessitates greater fitting skills from the installer.

WHAT DIMENSIONS DO YOU NEED TO MANUFACTURE GATES?

The opening needs to be checked for squareness firstly, as it is common for quite large discrepancies to be recorded between dimensions taken at the bottom, centre and top of each opening. The dimensions used should be the maximum width or height recorded, working on the principle that it is better to make a gate oversize and shave it down as necessary than make joinery too small for the opening. For Batwing gates generally 3mm clearance is allowed all round each gate and 20mm at the bottom. If strap hinges are being used, much larger clearances will be required. A Batwing lockrail should align with the top of any adjacent handrail.

CAN GATES BE REMOTELY LOCKED THROUGH INTERCOM SYSTEMS?

Yes. Woodworkers hardware specialists can advise you on appropriate intercom activated systems and can build the necessary wiring into the gate or frame provided our sales staff are properly advised that this function is required.

WHAT HARDWARE CAN BE USED WITH GATES?

Unlike batwings, which are hung like normal doors on butt hinges, gates usually require more heavy duty hardware. Commonly they use gudgeons and straps which need to be carefully selected for the application proposed. The common options available are:

gates hardware 1gates hardware 2

IF I FIT A LOCK TO MY GATE, HOW WILL THE ELECTRICITY & GAS METER READERS GAIN ACCESS TO MY METER?

Special cylinders can be purchased for this. You as the owner will have your key which is unique to your lock. It will not open anyone else's gate and their key will not open yours, however the meter reader will have a master key allowing them access. Each region in Australia has a different wholesale electricity supplier, so will need to know what region you are in so the appropriate cylinder can be supplied. Woodworkers can supply cylinders for most regions.

WHAT WEATHER PROTECTION IS NECESSARY FOR EXTERNAL GATES?

Traditional lich gate

Wherever possible gates should be protected by an overhead canopy, lichgate or by a sloping or curved top capping mounted on the gates themselves to stop moisture being drawn into the gate stiles from above. Gates always need the protection of full paint finishing (either transparent or opaque) in oil based finishes (see FAQ sheet 1 Finishing) with particular attention paid to thoroughly sealing their underside. Acrylic finishes should be avoided as they can form a `plastic` bag around the joinery that stops the timber breathing and promotes rot by entrapping water within the plastic coating. Oil coatings must be recoated regularly to avoid deterioration and preserve the gate's durability. Shrinkage in full exposed external gates is normal and where crevaces in the structure appear these need to be filled and recoated promptly. Where V.J. boards or planks are used, they will be presealed on the joints to restrict water penetration and the spacings will be loose to allow for expansion and contraction. Where gates are made using floating panel or plywood construction, they will not withstand full weather exposure unless especially thick coatings are applied to prevent water penetrating the plywood housing in the rails, muntins and stiles of the gate. It is always preferable that every element in a timber gate can drain freely, and although Woodworkers can make gates to customer requirements, we cannot guarantee their suitability if the gate design requires non traditional gate construction methods.