I just finished repairing some heavy damage on my steel and cast iron front gate. I'm ready to hang it again but I'm having a little trouble because the pillars on both sides have a slight outward lean. The lean existed before the damage, and I can't / don't want to really fix it, but since it was already a problem pre-damage (the latch never engaged properly) I'd like to improve it while I have the chance.
I've exaggerated it in this drawing:
A top-down view is at the bottom to hopefully clarify.
I'm welding it all back together, so I'm flexible with component positioning (including mounting the lock box [this] at an angle if necessary, and the strike plate position and offset).
At its narrowest (on the bottom) the gate is about 3/4" narrower than the posts, so minimum 3/8" on each side if its centered. At the top the gate is 1 5/8" narrower than the posts, so maximum 13/16" on each side if its centered.
The gate is left-handed reverse, the current trim / stop piece is about 1-1/2" wide. The posts are 2x2" square tube, the gate frame is 2x1" square tube.
The hinges I have now are 5"x5" butt hinges (these).
The pillars are roughly 2'x2'.
I'm having trouble figuring out how best to mount this gate. My goals are pretty evenly spread between:
- A balanced swing (slightly out of balance is OK -- but just a little).
- Not overshooting the post when closing (good contact between trim and post when closed).
- Latch engaging properly (lock box holds a mortise lock, keyed on both sides, deadbolt + latch).
- Hiding the crookedness / looking nice.
So my question is; is there anything I can do to achieve all of those, or at least a good compromise?
If I could straighten the pillars I would, but they're crooked due to settling over the last 80-90 years (this is a brownstone in the city), and it's affected by neighboring structures. The masonry work on the pillars is in great condition, the crack from settling is on the ground directly centered between the posts. That's a long way of saying those pillars aren't budging at all.
The posts themselves also aren't going anywhere. They're bolted into the pillars in multiple places and also the bottoms are set 3" or so into the concrete floor. Straightening those isn't a project I feel comfortable taking on.
What are my options here?