Steel-Rod Reinforced Brace for an Outdoor Gate

Advice on the joinery for burying a steel reinforcing rod within the curved wooden brace in a custom outdoor wooden gate. July 11, 2013

I am about to make an oak gate and I have made plenty of oak doors but never an oak gate. I am just looking for some direction in bracing the gate. The gate will have a curved brace within a square frame, each gate is 4ft x6ft 10" with 3/4 steel rod running through the curved brace.

Does anyone have any advice regarding the technique /method/jig used to drill the holes accurately in the curved brace to achieve this style of gate? Also, what would be the best method to attach the curved brace to the oak frame - a stub tenon?

Forum Responses
(Cabinetmaking Forum)
From contributor O:
I would make the curved brace in two parts to get to the thickness. If your finished size is 2" thick, I would make one side 1-3/8" thick and route the steel rod groove down through the center. The other side/face would be 5/8" thick and the same curve. Once the route is done and the rod fitted, you can glue the two (not quite) halves together, and you have it. An alternate way is to make four parts - two faces and two "edges" and assemble the whole shebang. More parts to make and handle, though. I don't see any way to reliably drill a curved hole.

From contributor E:
As for the holes you might make a piece that matches the top side of the curve then flatten the top of it at each rod location and segment into as many pieces as rods (remember to number and have register marks at each rod location). Then flip each piece over at the drill press. Take each of these segments to the arch to guide your hand drill through. Use tenons or through tenons for the joints.