Kid proofing the kitchen, with a wooden gate.

In 2006 I moved into our new house with a pregnant wife and two children, since then our family has grown to 6 children. The open design of this house looks great but is a nightmare as far as keeping the children out of the kitchen. I was faced with a problem as the walkway into the kitchen was over 1 metre wide and there was no commercially available kid safe gate wide enough to block the walkway.

One day I visited my brother’s house and noticed that he had built a picket fence style gate for his back veranda that leads down to a 3 metre set of stairs. I got some engineering advice from my brother and got down to designing my own gate.

One of the important things to consider when using timber is, the stronger the gate is the heavier it will be and the stronger the hinges and mounting bases will have to be to handle the weight. At first I attached the metal gate hinges to a narrow strip of timber that was screwed into the chip board of the kitchen bench. This worked for a while till one of my evil toddlers climbed the gate and it pulled out of the kitchen bench. I fixed this by reinforcing the gate mount with a narrow strip of timber on the inside and outside of the kitchen bench. I replaced the wood screws with three large bolts that went all the way through. The bolts were anchored with washers and nuts.

While the two kitchen benches on the sides of the walkway looked like they lined up they were out of line by about 5cm. I had to make a raised timber mounting plate to line the latch bolt to the catch squarely.

Tools used:

#Electric mitre saw or docking saw

#Set square

#tape measure

#hand saw


Timber (pine) sizes used:

1000mm x 90mm x 35mm x 2 rails (top and bottom)

1050mm x 90mm x 35mm cross brace

800mm x 40mm x 20mm x 11 pickets

800mm x 40mm x 20mm x 2 hinge mount reinforcement strips. 

With a quick paint the gate was ready for use. This gate has been in use now for two years and is still keeping the toddlers at bay.

Written by Mr Candy’s Family.

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