How to Build an Arched Exterior Fence Door
- 1). Lay eight planks of 72-inch 1-by-4 lumber flat on your work table. They should be side by side with no space between them, and all the ends should be flush. These are the door planks and make a door suitable for a larger privacy fence, with about 36 inches between gate posts.
- 2). Measure in 15 inches from each end of the door planks and place a 32-inch plank of 1-by-6 lumber across all eight planks at each 15-inch mark. These are the braces.
- 3). Drill two pilot holes through the braces into each of the door planks underneath; then secure the brace planks with 1 1/2-inch galvanized deck screws.
- 4). Place your 50-inch plank of 1-by-6 lumber diagonally across the door planks, so that it crosses the two braces near the ends. Mark the 50-inch plank where it crosses the brace planks. It should be a 45-degree angle. This is the diagonal brace.
- 5). Cut the diagonal brace plank at the angled marks you made, so that when you put the plank back across the fence door, it sits flush against the door planks, with the angled ends abutting the edge of the two straight brace planks.
- 6). Secure the diagonal brace in place with two 1 1/2-inch screws through the diagonal brace into each of the door planks.
- 7). Locate the joint where the middle two door planks meet, which is the center of the fence door. Place the point of a compass or a carpenter’s scribe at the center point above the first brace plank. Open the compass until the pencil end meets the side of the door; then draw an arch that goes all the way to the other side of the door.
- 8). Cut out the arch line using a jigsaw to create the arched top of the fence door.
- 9). Fit the long section of two T-hinges across the two brace planks, with the short section of the hinges falling off the door. Secure the long part of the hinge to the braces with 1-inch screws through the screw holes in the T-hinge.
Place the door portion of a door latch on the opposite side of the door to the hinges and secure it with screws like you did for the hinges.
Fit the door in between the gate posts and maneuver it so that the short portion of the T-hinges can comfortably sit against the gate posts, with enough room between the door and the gate post to swing the door.
Block the door between the gate posts at this position using scrap lumber. Shim the door about 2 inches off the ground with scrap lumber as well, using a level to ensure your door is straight.
Secure the short portion of the hinges, as well as the fence post portion of the door latch, to the fence posts with 1 1/2-inch screws. Remove the scrap wood to finish installing your new fence door.