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heavy duty gate post

Sorry i know this is not the correct place but i have asked everywhere else i can think off.


I have some old heavy railway sleepers and I will be using them as driveway gate posts and they will hold a fair bit of weight. what cenment mix will be good? what size hole should i dig? i know im going down 2 feet and how long will the cement take to dry so can hang the gates back on and get the car in or out?


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095

    Kev I've just been doing a fence and I used a strong mix of 1 part cement, 1 and a half parts sand and 2 and a half parts gravel. For 3" (75mm) posts I dug holes approximately 10/12" square (25/30cm) and down to the depth required so I'd  suggest you'd want them a good bit bigger than that for stability maybe 15/18".  2' should be fine for depth as long as they're not higher than about 6'. You'll need quite a bit of concrete for holes that size. The concrete will go off overnight in this weather, so if you get them done one day they should be fine for re hanging your gates the following day. It's easy to see if the mix is dry but you can always leave them longer if you're worried about them. Very hot weather isn't really ideal for concreting as it can go off too quickly but I've not had any problems doing mine. If the weather's wet you can loosely cover the concrete with polythene to prevent too much water getting in- just fix it gently round the post and peg it down into the surrounding ground. Hope that's of some use. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Gid JoinerGid Joiner Posts: 33

    Hi Fairy girl is pretty much right but i would leave the concrete to cure for as long as poss, 5-7days, 

    By next day it would be hard but classed as 'green' meaning it has a green hue to it inside & is still fairly soft. if you hang your gates at that point it might crack & then would never be right,

     6 to 1 is right, if your using bags from the builders merchants, 1 bag of 20mm gravel, 1 bag of grit/sharp sand & a third of a bag of cement

    A quarter to a third of whatever is sticking out of the ground should be under, eg.. 6ft high post needs 18" below = 7½ post lenght but i go for 2ft as 8ft posts & 6ft high fences go well together. If your using sleepers they are normally about 9ft so I'd go the extra bit 2½ ft maybe, depends on how high,big & heavy your gates are.image

    I've been a joiner/carpenter 28yrs & before that 2yrs laying concrete image  I have a few pics on my Facebook page if your interested.

    I hope your build works/worked out ok image


  • kev vankev van Posts: 103

    cheers fairy girl. they are down 28-30 inch's cos the varying lenghts and 2 ft sqaure hole. each has 4 bags cement, 12 sand and 4bags 20mm gravel. im on holiday when they need to come out. the guy who picked up the cement mixer said they are firmly in there for sure. one sleeper went in friday the other sat so gonna put the gates up tomo as all that stops the idiots from getting in my garden and drive is a large tarp. gotta cut 2 sleepers to size but doing that for fun with a bow saw. 



  • kev vankev van Posts: 103

    Gid cheers, the gates i have are made from 4x1 and featherboard pretty light for large gates. i like your work on the FB page. i do hope these gate post last a long time so they gonna be a pain to get out

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,095

    Good stuff Kev! I know what you mean about keeping people out- that's why I 've been putting a fence up! I hate them but hedge/climbers etc will be going in as well to cover it.

    Great bit of info from Gid Joiner about leaving the mix to cure for longer. Thanks GJ - will remember that in future! I've probably never needed to worry as I've never put anything too heavy onto fence posts and when I did the (fairly heavy) gate recently the posts had been in a good while. Did a deck years ago with my ex husband and again the posts were in a while before the decking etc was laid. image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • kev vankev van Posts: 103

    gates are up and will be a refurb job as where i made them fit the old post where they were dropping and that i now have gap where people can see in and not happy with that. still cant belive how solid they are. i think decking will be next on list but shhhh i might not mention it

  • Gid JoinerGid Joiner Posts: 33

    Thanks folks, all sounds good, as you say you don't want to be digging them out because you rushed putting the gates on, I do it for a living so i have to make sure it is right & don't want to be going back to repair it, It's the ground around the hole that will hold the concrete & post up so you have to take that into account & try not to disturb it too much  image

    Decking can be no more than 50% of the garden & no more than 1ft above ground level but as long as you don't get any complaints within 5yrs the authorities will find it hard to make you alter it,

    I don't often concrete the decking posts in, i make the framework & legs solid so if it was just standing on its own it would stand like a big table. i dig to solid substrate then sledge hammer the legs in the compact it further. & put more than legs than i think it needs. 

    If the ground is still soft 2ft or so down i put a concrete foot pad for the leg to stand on,about 1ft thick & 18" round to stop it sinking,

    Just be respectable to the neighbours privacy,tell them what you have planned & there shouldn't be a problem image 

    Happy building people, it's a nice feeling when you've done. image

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