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Old 06-23-2011, 04:32 PM
phreesh phreesh is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,671
How do you fix a leaning gate post?

I have a back gate anchored by a four by four on the hinge side with another four by four on the other 'open' side. Next to 'open' side is a hedge, so it's not part of the rest of the fence. And any work to that side of the post (the side that would be natural to pull from) will be impaired by the hedge.

My problem is that the top of the post is leaning in, making the top of the gate rub against it when it closes.

The post is in about three feet of concrete and is made of cedar. The lean is only about half an inch, if that.

What's the best way of straightening the post, remembering that it's set in concrete, has a prickly hedge right next to it and that I don't want to shave it down (Aesthetically I want a straight post, not a leaning post shaved at the top)?
Old 06-23-2011, 05:08 PM
Cat Whisperer Cat Whisperer is offline
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Location: Lethbridge, AB.
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Is the post rotted? I'm not a fencing expert, but if it's rotted, I'm guessing it's going to need to be replaced.
Old 06-23-2011, 05:12 PM
kanicbird kanicbird is online now
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Posts: 18,508
Perhaps you can saturate the ground so that the post & concrete can be shifted slightly with water while forcing the post upright and securing it in that position with ropes, boards or other method. Leave the ropes in place as the ground dries.

If you do this I would recommend a slight over correction

Last edited by kanicbird; 06-23-2011 at 05:14 PM.
Old 06-23-2011, 05:14 PM
phreesh phreesh is offline
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Posts: 1,671
Post is only a couple years old. Not rotted.

I've heard the 'saturating the ground and pulling' method. My concern is that it's set in a whole whack of concrete and that it won't move. That said, that's probably my first move if no great ideas pop up.

Also, what do I do once the ground is dry? Once I take the rope off, won't it settle back into the place it was in? I can't knock a wooden shim in next to the post as it's set into concrete.

Last edited by phreesh; 06-23-2011 at 05:15 PM.
Old 06-23-2011, 05:27 PM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
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Location: CentralArkansas
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Can you adjust the gate hinges? By taking out the screws and then reinstalling?

So the gate can clear the post? That means the top of the gate will angle back a few degrees, but it shouldn't be noticeable. At least not nearly as noticeable as shaving the post.

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-23-2011 at 05:29 PM.
Old 06-23-2011, 05:35 PM
Valgard Valgard is offline
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Location: SF Bay Area
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If the post is set in 3 feet of concrete and it's leaning over then you'll need to fix the lean in the concrete base. My guess would be that there's some kind of drainage issue by the base. I don't know how to fix that off the top of my head, you might have to do something like dig around and underneath and fill in with a gravel bed, something like that. If you just force it back to vertical but don't take care of whatever is making it lean it'll just start tilting again later.
Old 06-24-2011, 03:43 AM
aceplace57 aceplace57 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: CentralArkansas
Posts: 22,978
One option is to get some wire rope, turnbuckle, cable clamps, eyelet bolts, and a long wooden stake. About $10 to $20 at any hardware store. depending on the wire rope they stock. Aircraft cable is the best if you can find a short piece.

You've seen slanted guy wires on Utility poles?

Same idea, but smaller scale. You only need a cable/wire about 1/2 the size of a pencil.
Connect the cable to your gate post. You want the turnbuckle in the middle, expanded to their longest length.

Pull the wire tight in the opposite direction of the gate post lean. Drive the stake deeply into the ground at an angle. Use a screwdriver to tighten the turnbuckle until the post is straight. Not too tight or you might snap the wood post.

Maybe in a few weeks you can take the wire off and the post will stay straight. I'd prefer leaving the wire on there to support it. But, if it's in the way, then it has to come off.

Looks like a lot of steps. It's not. I just did the same thing last month straightening a small tree in my yard. Except I wrapped a piece of garden hose around the trunk so it wouldn't get cut from the cable.

cable clamps
wire rope

here's how to make a loop in wire rope. You'll need one on each end of the turnbuckle. One connecting to the stake and another connecting to the gate post.

eyelet bolt (with wood threads) connecting to the cable

Last edited by aceplace57; 06-24-2011 at 03:47 AM.
Old 06-24-2011, 10:54 AM
phreesh phreesh is offline
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 1,671
Thanks aceplace! Maybe I can combine the water soak idea with the cable idea and pull the post over.

I'll tackle it this weekend!


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