How to Build Your Own Sliding Gate with Little Effort

Upgrade your fence by building your own sliding date with this handy tutorial.
Christopher McFadden

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Have you got a fence that could do with a means of access and egress in style? Then why not install an awesome, and easy-to-build, sliding door?

Follow this guide to find out how to build one yourself with very few materials, and a little bit of effort. 

Happy building. 

sliding door retracted
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Like any project of this nature, you will need some materials and tools: 

With your materials in hand, it is time to get on with the build.

The creator of this video had already created the sliding gate frame previously, so you will need to catch up a little bit. Take you your cedar planks, measure and cut to size.

If you are attempting to replicate the same look, cut a groove through the centre of each plank ready to receive the galvanized mesh.

Cut the mesh to size, and complete the entire sliding door, as shown in the video. 

sliding door brackets
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that complete, you are all caught up. 

The next stage is to reinforce the corners of the sliding door using some stainless steel brackets. Ensure these are securely fastened. 

Next, grab your eye screws, you will need about 6 of them. 

Drill pilot holes, and securely screw them into place, as shown in the video. The eye screws should have a larger inner diameter than your chosen galvanized pole. 

The ones used in this project are about 1-inch (2.54 cm) in diameter. The galvanized pipe for this build is 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) in diameter. 

sliding door eye screws
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Screw one eye screw into every corner of the sliding door. But, make sure the distance between them is enough for the galvanized tube to span them and add the caps. 

Hand-tighten the caps so you can easily remove them later when adjusting. 

diy sliding door poles
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Next, grab your trolley wheels/casters, and attach the "bottom" of the sliding door. Casters will not only add stability to the gate but will also enable it to slide smoothly and predictably. 

A word of caution here though. Ensure that the casters you choose are suitable for outdoor use. Also, make sure you attach them using rust-resistant screws like stainless steel ones.

You will also need to pay attention to the height of the rest of the fence or railings that you plan to install the gate to. Make sure they will be of uniform height -- you don't want the gate to be shorter or taller. 

This is a matter of personal preference, but it will look more aesthetically pleasing, not to mention professional. 

sliding door casters
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Next, if needed, cut a hole in your fence or railing the same dimensions as the gate. If you are building the gate as part of the original design of the fence skip this part. 

sliding gate gap in fence
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Now, add more eye screws to the anchoring post of the fence. Ensure these match up precisely with the ones on your gate. 

These will be used to ensure the gate actually slides and doesn't just fall off its railings. As before, ensure you drill pilot holes first to reduce the chance of the timber splitting over time.

sliding doors anchorings
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Now, grab your gate, unscrew the pole caps and line up with the anchoring eye screws on the fence post. Slide the pole through the anchoring eye screw and reattach the end cap, as shown in the video. 

sliding door attach
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

Hand-tighten once again and give the sliding door a little test. It should be secure and freely move along the rail. 

For the other side of the fence, either build an end post (if needed) or modify the existing part of the fence so that the sliding door can be supported and, if wanted, locked. 

sliding door lock
Source: Interesting Engineering/YouTube

With that, your sliding gate is complete! Now you can take a step back and admire your handwork.

Well done, you!

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