Self Closing Yard Gate Upgrade - TruClose Hinges & MagnaLatch for Pool Safety

I wanted to upgrade my yard gates to be self closing to increase safety for our backyard pool. Our galvanized steel fence is 4' high, and the two gates to the yard were hinged with two pins into support plates and the latches needed to be manually opened or closed. With the kids going in and out of the yard all the time, it was not uncommon to find the gates left open, despite the warnings to the kids. 

So - it was finally time to take care of this project. 
The completed MagnaLatch and Truclose Latch and Hinge Installation
I decided to go with Magnalatch top pull safety gate latches, and their TruClose gate hinges. These are available at Lee Valley Tools, mail order, among other suppliers. This was going to take some work - because my gates did not have a full frame, the frame was open on the hinge side. So - I went to my local metal supplier and purchased a length of 1-1/2" galvanized square tubing, took it to a local welding shop, and had the tubes welded to the gates to close the frames.
Gates modifed with square tubing (on right side) to permit installation of the TruClose hinges.
Detail of the Welding.
With the gates modified, it was time to cut off the old hinge and latch hardware - first with a jigsaw and metal blade, then grind the remaining metal and weld off with a grinder.
Gate latches ground off.

Gate hinge and latch weldments cut off the gates and posts
I got to exercise a few new tools with this project, my Dewalt 20V angle grinder and reciprocating saw. I'm almost now fully converted to Dewalt 20V cordless tools - and have pretty much sold off most of my corded tools.
Dewalt 20V Grinder and Reciprocating Saw - They still have that new tool smell. 

The convenience of cordless is really apparent when you're working around the yard in various places.
Time to start grinding
With the gates squared away, I painted the areas affected by welding and where the tabs were ground off with some spray galvanizing compound. Then it was a simple matter to install the hinges and latches using the instructions provided. Sharp drills, using the hardware supplied, made for a very secure installation.

MagnaLatch top pull magnetic latch installed. 

Another view of the MagnaLatch top pull installed. The top pull was adjusted so that it was 54" above the ground for security.
All of the grinding, cutting and welding was touched up with cold galvanizing spray - it's a zinc rich coating that's designed to maintain the zinc cathodic protection on steel parts.

TruClose hinges installed. The cap with phillips screw removes to give access to the spring adjustment knob. You can easily increase or decrease spring pressure for reliable closing. 
The back fence isn't quite vertical - but I was able to increase the spring pressure of the hinges to firmly close this gate even with a slight uphill slope on the gate travel. The hinge adjustment is impressive. 


So - one more project completed. A nice feature of the MagnaLatches is that they are key lockable, so if I need to I can lock the gates closed. Very well made, professional grade hardware, I'm very satisfied with these latches.

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