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The Leaf Gate

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This post is to show the process of building a custom project.  "The Leaf Gate" was a job we completed in January of 2017 for a customer in Loveland, CO.  The leave design was the customers original sketch, and the overall gate design was from our shop.  

Starting with the customers hand sketch, the first step I took for the construction of the gate was to create a CAD model of the design.  Using the measurements taken on site and basing the CAD model as closely as possible to the sketch, I created a frame and design that would work for the opening.  Having a computer model of any fabricated item ensures the design is thought all the way through before actually using any material.

Gate Design Photo

I then drew in a grid over the design, which was proportioned so that we could enlarge it on the shop bench and use this grid to create the leaf details accurate to the computer model.

leaf gate grid

Using the same portions as the CAD design, I created a grid on the shop bench and began by creating the outer curves of the leaf sections using 3/8” diameter solid rod.  The curves were done by hand using a simple steel rolling tool, usually referred to as a “bender/roller”.  Making rolled shapes from smaller sections like 3/8” diameter rod is relatively easy compared to bigger, structural shapes found in railings, large gates, and steel structures. 
Leaf Gate 12

leaf gate 3

I created the leaves to the same proportions shown in the CAD model by using the grid-lines as a reference to where the curves needed to be.  Once the outer framework for the leaves was rolled and correct, I filled in the veins using 5/16” solid rod.

leaf gate 45

The photo below shows the finished leaves against a white background.  The joints were then welded and ground flush.  

leaf gate 6


Next came building the frame for the rest of the gate.  The frame included balusters cut around the leaves to prevent the customers dogs from getting through the gate.

leaf gate 7


After the frame I created a custom latch that would appear as a continuation of the stem of the top leaf.  The photo’s below show the completed project after powder coating and installation.  

leaf gate 8

leaf gate 10

leaf gate 9