I want to attach a gate to a fence where the fence will be attached to a 2 3/8 in. metal post. What gauge should the post be for proper support?

The fence will be a six foot wooden fence, as will the gate. The gate will be no more than 36 in. wide.

  • 1
    I don't have the exact math for you, but if it's a metal fence post, I'm sure it's sturdy enough to handle a gate. More important would be what the post is supported with, IMHO (depth in ground, material surrounding the post, etc.)
    – DA01
    Apr 20, 2011 at 14:56
  • @DA01 - I'll be using an 8 ft. post set into the ground 2 ft. with some quikrete for good measure. My confusion is that I'm seeing several kinds of posts; "regular" - 16 gauge and "corner" - both 15 and 13 gauge.
    – uncle brad
    Apr 20, 2011 at 15:35
  • 2
    Is there a huge price difference? If not, pay a bit more for the heavier post. FYI, from what I know/heard, you want 1/3 of the post in the ground. So, a 6' fence should have 3' in the ground. That said, 9' posts are probably not that common, so you might be find with 2'. I'd have to defer to the experts...
    – DA01
    Apr 20, 2011 at 15:37
  • @DA01 - Yeah, it probably can't hurt to go with the heavier post for $4.00
    – uncle brad
    Apr 20, 2011 at 15:40
  • Is the post square or round? I could do some simple bending moment calculations for you if you'd like. Just give me the possible cross sections and mounting heights for the hinges, as well as an estimate of the gate's weight. Or you could sketch up the gate and specify what dimensional lumber you're planning on using. Finding the centroid and mass shouldn't be hard given the geometry.
    – Doresoom
    Apr 20, 2011 at 17:31

1 Answer 1


Assuming that they are round metal poles that are generally used for chainlink, the 'corner' poles are what you generally use for a gate. You pretty much use corner poles anytime you terminate a run of any kind, and a gate opening is a termination. The actual gauge isn't going to matter so much as the diameter of the pole, you need to make sure your gate hardware will fit the pole. Since your are going with wood, the extra few bucks for the thicker gauge is probably worth it, the actual diameter should be about the same either way.

Also, make sure you measure the opening correctly before concreting the poles in. Depending on the hardware you use you may need to leave extra space. For pre-fabricated chainlink gates, you need something like 39 inches for a 36 inch gate. Since you are using wood, I assume you are fabricating it yourself, but you'll still want to make sure you leave plenty of room.

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