So you’ve had a baby. Congratulations! At first they mostly just lay there. Maybe an occasional roll over, perhaps a scoot. But overall they have very manageable mobility, usually contained in a few pillows..

But then the crawling gets a little stronger. They learn to move with more propose. And one day, after a few failed attempts, they take those first steps and you are so proud for your child doing something you forgot was you had to learn.

Sometime between their sluggish gyrations and them running through the hall like screaming temper of joy, you realize you live in a 3-story town house and that babies aren’t good at stairs. Guess it’s time to buy some tools, get some lumber, and you remember some of things your dad and grandpa taught you.. it’s time to build a gate.

Research and Design

Something your dad and grandpa probably didn’t have (unless this is the future) was access to easy 3D computer modeling software. The first step for making the baby gate was making some plans. I searched the internet for ideas and crafted up a little model to see if I liked it, being sure to keep it to the woodworking techniques I knew I could do (cutting and screwing).

The next step was tools. I gave away all my power tools when we moved cross country so I did some homework and bought some decent quality tools to get me going. I probably wouldn’t change much here, other than maybe buying a table saw sooner, but that’s something that should take more than a day of research to find.

Next was to lay out some wood, make the appropriate measurements and cut some boards.

I then presanded everything because I didn’t want splinters. I had also happened to chose some nice straight grain fir for this project

The pieces of 1×4 were all cut and ready for layout, drilling, and screwing. A speed square kept things square.

The gate is being installed on black painted railing, so it was stained with a dark oil stain to blend in. There was no conditioner, so there was some splotchiness with the stain. A spray polyacrylic was used to protect the wood.

Black hinges and black zip-ties attached the gate to the railing and we’re done!