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This gate is an automatic garage door.

This gate is an automatic garage door

After fencing their rear garden for privacy, Debbie and Daniel Nichols of Portland found that opening and closing the driveway gate was a frequent inconvenience. They solved the problem by replacing the gate with the automatic garage door shown above.

On this sloping driveway, the standard 7-by 9-foot metal door wouldn't have allowed enough overhead clearance when it was raised. Mr. Nichols added an 18-inch-high wooden panel to the bottom of the door, which let him raise the support framework correspondingly. The panel is made of two pine 1-by-10s attached with steel brackets bolted to the door. When the door is up, the rigid panel juts out at about a 45| angle.

The framework is made of Douglas fir 4-by-4 posts, 2-by-8 beams, and a 2-by-4 grid that supports the door opener mechanism. To compensate for the panel's extra weight, he doubled the number of springs on the door and chose a heavy-duty motor for the opener. A wrap-around sleeve of corrugated fiberglass protects the motor from the weather.

Photo: Touch of a button opens driveway door for Matthew and his tricycle. The closed door and adjoining ivy-draped fence enclose garden
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Date:Aug 1, 1984
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