Aluminum Driveway Gates | Custom Florida Keys Project | Palm Trees & Fence Design by JDR Metal Art

Aluminum Driveway Gates – JDR Metal Art

Custom Florida Keys Entry Gate Project

Palm Tree & Fence Design

 

These unique dual-swing, marine-grade aluminum driveway gates were custom designed, plasma cut, built and powder coated by JDR Metal Art.

They were then crated and shipped via FedEx Freight to a client in the Florida Keys.

Plasma Cutting The Artwork

Here is the plasma torch.

Plasma cutting palm tree from aluminum sheet metal.

Plasma cutting uses an electrical arc and a stream of air to cut through the aluminum like butter.

Plasma cutting sparks from aluminum sheet.

The CNC table is a computerized machine that the plasma torch is mounted to. The table follows the cut path exactly how the designer created the file. Once the design is programmed into a file, the file with all necessary parameters is loaded into the plasma table.Aluminum being plasma cut on a CNC plasma table.

Plasma cutting a section of fence for Florida entrance design.

Once the plasma cutting program has completed it’s course then the silhouette is removed from the table and cleaned up with a grinder and zirconia flap disc to remove the slight amount of dross that formed on the back of the metal while it was being cut.

Silhouette of palm tree plasma cut from aluminum.

Framing The Gate Panels Up

Laying out the frame on the back side of the plasma cut palm tree/fence silhouettes. The design hides the frame so it won’t be seen from the front by passersby.

Dual swing aluminum driveway gates 16' wide during layout of frame.

Plasma cut metal art palm trees and fence design.

Aluminum gate panel laying on welding table.

Palm tree driveway gate with fence accent design.

Aluminum gate frame prior to welding on fab table.

 

Aluminum metal art palm tree gate panel after welding.

Fabricating The Gate Posts

These dual swing gates will be hanging from aluminum gate posts. We build our own gate hinges. The hinge tabs are welded to the gate posts and the hinges are ready to bolt onto the posts at the time of gate installation.

Aluminum 4x4 gate post with hinge tabs welded on.

The gate posts are 4×4 aluminum with 1/4″ wall thickness. The hinge tabs are plasma cut from 1/4″ plate aluminum and welded to the posts by spray arc with an aluminum spool gun.

4x4 aluminum driveway gate post with hinge tabs.

Powder Coat Finishing

These gates are built from marine grade aluminum which, after fabrication is first de-oxidized  and conversion coated, then given two coats of a super durable grade white powder coat finish. The second coat adds several mils of thickness to the finish, bringing the total finish to between 6 and 8 mils thick which is much thicker than paint. Perfect finish for resisting corrosion in a salty environment.

Aluminum gate panel after it was powder coated white by JDR Metal Art.

 

Palm tree gate panel after white powder coat finish was applied.

Smooth white powder coat after it has been applied and baked at 400 degrees.

White powder coated aluminum plasma cut metal art.

Side shot of the gates and posts after powder coat finishing.

Side view of white powder coated aluminum drive gates and gate posts.

Thanks for reading our blog post. If you need a custom gate JDR Metal Art definitely has your solution, no matter if you’re located in the Florida Keys or anywhere else. Please don’t hesitate to reach out for a quote!

Driveway Gates Ocala Florida – Aluminum Horse Design

Driveway Gates for Horse Farm

JDR Metal Art builds driveway gates for horse farms and ranches nationwide. These 14′ dual swing driveway gates are going to an equine farm in Ocala, Florida.

These gates designed & manufactured from marine grade aluminum by JDR Metal Art.

Custom Aluminum Driveway Gates

Artwork Plasma Cut from 3/16″ Thick Aluminum Sheets

Here are some nice and shiny looking  6′ x 8′ sheets of 3/16″ thick aluminum that we’re using as the canvas for our metal art project. The sheets will be welded into a 2×2″ square tubing frame a little later.

Aluminum sheet for custom farm gate in Ocala, Florida.

Plasma Cutting Driveway Gate Designs:

The gate design is going to be cut out on a plasma table.

Plasma cutting is a process that we use to turn stock metals such as steel, aluminum or iron into intricate shapes for decorative driveway gates.

Not only will these gates be decorative, they will also be very durable since we are using 3/16″ thick aluminum which is much thicker than a typical  boat hull.

Plasma Cutting Aluminum

In this video clip you can see what it looks like when we’re cutting aluminum.

The light from the electrical arc in the plasma torch is very bright and hot, many thousands of degrees of heat and swirling plasma gas creates a clean cut directly through the metal.

Framing It Up Prior to Welding

These are dual or double swing gates. Each panel is 7′ wide. They are also 5′ tall on the ends and 6’4″ tall in the center. The gate frame consists of 2″ square tubing, 3/16″ wall thickness.

All the ends of the aluminum tubing are miter cut to a 45 degree angle, then beveled prior to welding for maximum strength.

Aluminum is very lightweight compared to steel, not a huge amount of strength is needed at the weldments to ensure these gates will never bend or sag under their own weight.

Everything is welded together using an aluminum spoolgun, which is one of the more challenging welding process to become proficient with. With aluminum fabrication it is important to clean the metal prior to welding in order to achieve the highest strength. Any oils in the weld puddle can create porosity in the weld and poor fusion of the metals.

Horse farm driveway gate with plasma cut horse and fence design.

 

Ocala driveway gate with aluminum horse and fence design.

 

Aluminum driveway gate on welding table.

More to follow..

 

Oklahoma Driveway Gates – 15′ Single Swing Elk & Turkey Theme

Driveway Gates for Oklahoma Elk Ranch

These Oklahoma driveway gates were custom designed and handcrafted by JDR Metal Art for an elk ranch near Oklahoma City. We built three 15′ single swing gates with an elk and turkey gate theme that goes great with the client’s ranch property.

Elk Gate Design

We began with the customer’s design concept. After several drafts we finalized a design that the customer was comfortable proceeding with.

This is a driveway gate with an elk and wild turkey design.

 

Sawing & Plasma Cutting the Material

Once the design was complete we began cutting material. Here’s a clip of the square tubing frame being mitered on a horizontal band saw. Miter cut parts are significantly stronger when welded and transfer force more efficiently than overlapped & welded parts.

Plasma Cutting

In the picture below the 15′ sheet is loaded on the table, indexed and ready to plasma cut.

Turkeys

Below we’re cutting the turkeys. These silhouettes are cut from 15′ long, 3/16″ thick steel sheets.

 

Finished Plasma Cut Decorative Sheet #1

Here’s one of the 15′ sheets once plasma cutting has been completed.

From Plasma Table to Fabrication Table

Using a forklift to move the sheet to the welding table to be welded into a gate frame. It takes some creativity to make it happen with parts this size.

Fabrication of Panel #1 Complete

This gate panel is welded into the frame and ready for sandblast & powder coat.

 

Gate Installed in Oklahoma

This is the main entrance to the ranch. The client installed the gates after delivery. Two other gate panels are installed elsewhere on the ranch. Gate is hung from 6×6″ square tubing post and hinges are adjustable roller bearing hinges custom made by JDR Metal Art.

Elk and turkey design on metal farm gate in Oklahoma.

This was really a fun project to do…the customer was fantastic to work with every step of the way.

If you need a custom Oklahoma farm or ranch driveway gate be sure to get in touch with us! We make them any size, and design and deliver nationwide. We look forward to making your gate project a big success!

Ex.: Wildlife, Pets, Equine, Trees, Farm, Ranch, Residential, Simple, Traditional, etc.

Indianapolis Driveway Gates | Horse & Nature Design Theme for Residence

Indianapolis Driveway Gates

Plasma Cut by JDR Metal Art

These dual swing driveway gates were custom designed by JDR Metal Art for an Indianapolis area residential entrance.

Driveway gates in Indianapolis, Indiana with custom wildlife scene and grazing horses. plasma cut by JDR Metal Art in summer of 2018.

The gates feature arched top rails with steel plasma cut horses and an oak tree. The oak tree is roughly eight feet tall in the center. Each gate attaches to columns and are each 7′ wide and 5’6″ tall at the center of the driveway.

CNC Plasma Cutting Gates

The artwork is all cut with a self-designed & built CNC plasma cutting machine. It is far more accurate and repeatable than when I used to cut with a hand held torch for many years.

A computer running on the LinuxCNC program does all the motion movement controls as instructed by the gcode file that is created from the agreed design sketch. Exactly how the design looks is exactly what the machine will produce from raw material put on the cutting table.

Indianapolis driveway gate panel being plasma cut into metal art horses from an 1/8" thick sheet of 6' tall x 10' wide steel.

I like to use 1/8″ steel for the sheet cutouts because it is thick enough to be very durable over the long term while still retaining a more manageable weight for the gate opener to move over many thousands of open-close cycles.

Driveway gate panel with horse design that has been CNC plasma cut from steel sheet.

Plasma cut horse awaiting his newly framed home!

Custom Fence Panels

Custom metal art fence panels that are ten foot long by four foot tall grace the gates on each side. The panels feature a nature scene including deer, ducks, oak and pine trees, grass and an arched top to match the fall of the arch on the gates. Pictured immediately after the powder coat was cured in the propane fired oven at 400F.

Indianapolis custom fencing that was plasma cut using metal art design.

The semi gloss black powder coat is the top coat. Beneath the top coat is a layer of primer that consists of zinc rich epoxy. This zinc rich layer provides greatly enhanced long term corrosion resistance. The primer layer goes on first, then the panels are baked at 250F until the primer turns into a gel. Once the primer gels then the gates are pulled out and sprayed with the black top coat. Then back into the over to be baked at 400F for about a half hour. Once the gates cool they are fully cured and ready for many years of rust-free outdoor exposure. The finished product is much thicker than paint and smooths down any sharp edges.  It also helps to fill in small surface imperfections such as scratches in the metal that paint would not cover.

Black powder coated fence art panels.

Black powder coated fence panel plasma cut from steel with a 2x2 square tubing frame.

Need a Quote? Get One Here

Ex.: Wildlife, Pets, Equine, Trees, Farm, Ranch, Residential, Simple, Traditional, etc.

Boca Raton Florida Driveway Gates for Horse Ranch

Boca Raton Driveway Gates

 

Driveway gates for Boca Raton, Florida horse ranch that are custom built from aluminum by JDR Metal Art.

Boca raton driveway gates designed, plasma cut and built by JDR metal art in summer 2018.

Aluminum Square Tubing Frame

The frame consists of 2″ square tubing aluminum. The arches are rolled from tubing with 1/8″ wall thickness. The bottom rails, hinge rails and inside vertical rails are all 3/16″ wall thickness.

 

MIG Welded Aluminum Gates

In the picture below you can (somewhat) see the spool gun used to join the aluminum artwork cutout to the aluminum frame. Since the aluminum wire is so soft it can be fed only a short distance, hence the reason why the spool of welding wire is practically handheld.

Hinge Brackets

1/4″ thick aluminum C-brackets accommodate sealed bearing hinges. A 5/8″ thick grade 8 hardened steel bolt holds the hinges to the gate. Threaded rods protruding from the hinges go through the client’s aluminum posts and provide the means of adjustment to perfectly level the gates and also to adjust the center gap to the desired width (typically 1″).

Custom Ranch Brand

Also plasma cut into the 3/16″ thick aluminum sheet material.

Brushed Aluminum Finish

The powder coat finish will only be as good as the prep job. The entire gate has been brushed using zirconia flapwheels and washed using zirconium oxide cleaner/pretreatment. While both processes ensure long-term adhesion, the zirconium oxide also greatly enhances the corrosion resistance of the aluminum. Being that Boca Raton is a tropical area there will be a great deal of moisture trying to corrode the aluminum so it is imperative to do a great prep job.

Shop cat discovers an air leak in one of the in-line air filters I just refilled.

Hanging for powder coating

Horses hanging out upside down

aluminum driveway entry gate

 

Two Stage Powder Coat Finish

A two stage powder coat finish is far superior to the single stage finish offered by many gate manufacturers.

A single stage finish will often be applied too thin and will not “wet out” to fully cover the metal, resulting in pinholes that go clear down to the substrate. Such a finish is prone to be applied unevenly and will appear with a sandpaper texture (“tight orange peel”) while other areas are noticeably much smoother.

A two stage greatly enhances the final appearance of the gates. Powder coat can be applied far more thickly than paint without running or sagging. Minor imperfections in the metal surface that are noticeable after one coat of powder will be gone after the second coat.

First Coat of Powder

The first coat of powder gets electrostatically applied and then the gates get run up to a temperature of 250F in the powder coat oven…there the powder melts and becomes a gel coating. The gates come back out, the gel hardens. The gates look shiny here but will become a matte black after the second coat is applied and cured.

After Top Coat Cured

Now the next coat (the top coat) has been applied, the gates went back in the oven and baked at 400F for around 25-30 minutes. They are now a matte black. The gates are already fully cured and more durable than paint. The “super durable” exterior grade powder coat I use excels at abrasion and chipping resistance, UV fade resistance and corrosion resistance, all of which will be in play from the time of installation in Boca Raton until many years thereafter.

*Some of the pictures appear upside down because the gates are hung upside down to be sprayed.

 

Ranch Brand on Aluminum Gate

 

 

 

 

Bracket for Gate Operator Welded on Backside of Gate

 This rectangular tubing bar was placed on the back of the gate to accommodate an automatic gate opener with articulating arms.

Same bar is in the picture below. The brackets will likely bolt to the bar, which is actually a 2×1 rectangular tube with 1/8″ wall thickness.

Boca Raton Driveway Gates

Get a Gate Quote

Ex.: Wildlife, Pets, Equine, Trees, Farm, Ranch, Residential, Simple, Traditional, etc.