11:12AM | 11/18/10
Member Since: 11/17/10
1 lifetime posts
I'm installing a baby gate at the top of our stairs, which requires a little bit of extra work to get a flat surface for the hinges. To make a long story short, you can see in the attached picture what I'm trying to do.

The two pieces of wood I'm using to bypass the baseboard are oak, 3/4" deep each (for a total of 1.5"). I chose hardwood because the hinges use pretty small screws, so I wanted a strong hold.

Here's the problem: I tried using 3" wood screws to affix the wood to the wall stud, pre-drilling of course. But every time I drive them into the oak, they break! I tried replacing the screws with stainless steel and lubricating them with a bit of wax. Seemed promising at first, but ended up with the same dilemma. I'm worried that even if I do manage to lubricate them properly, in the future when I want to take the gate down, they'll break on the way out.

(1) Should I try a different wood? If so, what's a good compromise between strength (for the hinges) and ease of use.

(2) Should I use a shorter screw? I thought that having a 1:1 ratio, i.e., 1.5" outside the stud and 1.5" inside would be appropriate, but maybe I'm overdoing it.

(3) Is there any other technique I should use? I've never worked with hardwood before, so any advice is appreciated.

Thanks in a advance.


12:32PM | 11/19/10
Member Since: 07/22/04
530 lifetime posts
they need to be the next size up for hardwood.

In other words the holes are too small and not deep enough.

simple as that.


04:17PM | 01/08/11
Member Since: 11/25/10
10 lifetime posts

I really like using pine boards for doors and you could easily make a baby gate by using pine boards and a couple of good support hinges.


09:48PM | 08/30/11
Member Since: 07/22/11
28 lifetime posts
sounds like you need a different type of wood. hopefully that will work


09:01PM | 09/08/11
Member Since: 08/23/11
27 lifetime posts
pine boards work WONDERS. definitely go with that option


08:47PM | 03/05/12
Member Since: 02/20/12
7 lifetime posts
I have some furniture made of solid oak, and some from pinewood, and I think in your case the gate should be made of pinewood definitely. Give it a shot and let us know whether that helps!


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