I will built a frame for a wood gate like the one below (but mine will slide in a track instead of hang on hinges).

Wood  gate with metal frame

I was thinking on using C-channel instead of tubing for the frame, since it will make it easier to screw the planks to the frame and the screws will be semi-hidden. Also, the c-channel is thicker per weight, so easier to weld with stick eletrodes.

I never saw a gate frame using C-channel, are there any problems using it for that? Apart from the looks on the inside, will tubing provide any real advantage (considering similar weight materials)?

  • I'm no expert, but if it is the same strength, as long as it is stainless steel (or properly painted) you should be fine! Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 23:07

2 Answers 2


Square tube (or I-beam) is a trifle stronger than C-channel/C-beam. You may not need that additional strength, depending on exactly what you're building. C-channel is a bit lighter, which may not matter for your application.

(I'm using square-tube aluminum for the bike trailer I'm modifying. C-channel would probably have been fine for this application, but the weight and price differences were insignificant so I went for overkill.)


The major advantage of c-channel is that you can actually paint all of the surfaces so rust is manageable. With tubular, you can't protect the inside from rust and corrosion. I would use c-channel for that reason alone.

  • I understand that (I failed to mention it though in my post). I was (am) a bit worried about using it because I actually never saw a gate using c-channel. I think it might be because of the looks of it, but I'm not sure. Commented Dec 3, 2014 at 23:25
  • You'll want the slot pointing downwards as not to collect water Commented Dec 4, 2014 at 0:53

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