the Carpentry Way: A Bracing Situation                                                          

A Bracing Situation

    
Living in New England one constantly comes across all sorts of architectural woodwork, and it is interesting to compare approaches to the same sort of structural problem. Take gates and doors for instance. One area in which I notice considerable variation in the arrangement of parts is that of hinged doors with diagonal braces.

There is the 'X' form type:


There is the 'Down' brace type, this example fairly recently built and serving as the entrance to a graveyard:


Note that the brace travels down from the hinged side of the gate/door to the opposite corner. Here's a variation on that type:


And then we see the 'Up' brace type, in which the brace moves from the lower hinge on up to the opposite corner. Here's an example, taken from another graveyard entrance:


And a variation on that theme:


There are a few other variations to be seen on these three types of course, but they distill down to these three types: 'X', 'down', or 'up'.

The question is: which type of bracing, in a hinged gate/door, is the best from a structural perspective? Or doesn't it matter, is each method is as good as the other?

On the 12th of this month, or shortly thereafter, I'll return to this topic and explore these questions in detail.

Go to part II.

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