Since we had a new baby last year, we knew that the time would fast approach when he would start learning to crawl up the stairs. However we didn’t want to go out and spend a bunch of money on a baby gate, that might not work anyway, but more because it’s our last child and didn’t want to get an expensive one just to give it away.
Instead, I found a 2×4 in the shop and got creative.
For this simple DIY Dad project the materials I used was one 2×4 and some 2 inch brad nails.
Since this is a custom gate, I went to the stairs before I started and measured the opening of where the gate would be at, in between the rails of the stairs. I also wanted to make sure that I could get it back out if need be. I measured and the opening was 2 3/4 inches wide and 48 inches long. I didn’t want it to be super tight fitting, so I accounted for that and took a 1/4 inch off the width.
I started off cutting the boards at 48″ long, which gave me two identical boards. I then took the rough 2×4 and ripped it on the Porter Cable table saw at 2 1/2 inches. This left a one inch strip of wood that I would use for the pillars in on the gate.
The strips that were left over I cut on my Kobalt Miter Box at 10 inches long. I wanted the gate to be tall enough for the baby to not get over and not too tall for me to get over.
Once I cut everything to length and ripped everything down, I laid the 2×4’s on the new ripped flat side, leaving the stock rounded edge in the front for a nice edge.
I then measure an 1/2 inch up and ran a mark all the way down the 2×4 as this is where the pillars would be aligned on. I didn’t want them to span the from the top to the bottom to account for the carpet on the stair and it just looked nicer.
I then took my Ridgid Pneumatic Nailer with some 2 inch brad nails and attached the pillars to the 2×4’s.
After it was put together it looked like a small ladder on its side. I tested fit and chose the correct spot for it. And that’s it. Seriously. It took me 15 minutes to make a custom baby gate and I have a little bit more peace of mind knowing my little man isn’t going to climb up the stairs right now.
Once completed you can stain it, paint it, or, like I did, just left it alone. My wife would want it painted, but I want to be able to use the wood again in a year or two for another project.