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No drill child / baby proof gate with PVC pipes [Video]

Imagine this. Food is being prepared. It is hot and is kept on the counter to simmer.  Little L is so impatient she goes into the kitchen trying to reach her hot breakfast. On other days, she fiddles with the water can spilling water. She opens the cabinets and starts pulling out the utensils. Once it fell on her feet resulting in loud, helpless wails.  The stove is on most times and that is our biggest concern.   And then there are other looming dangers in an otherwise seemingly safe kitchen of ours. Sometimes Preethi wants absolutely no disturbance when she is busy and that is when Little L decides to get clingy.

So you now know why blocking kitchen entry became our immediate child proofing requirement. And the need for a baby fence arose. We once built a baby gate for my niece. However, in my case, the strictest condition that I had to work under was there should be no drilling anywhere. The kitchen being open has cabinets on both the sides and putting a hole in the cabinets is forbidden. Hence started the NO DRILL baby fence project.  

The Video guide to the PVC gate

I had bought PVC pipes for a clothes hanger project and this one took precedence. Which meant I already had the material needed for making my fence. Just had to walk across to the nearby hardware store to get the required materials listed below :

Materials Required
  1. PVC pipes  (3/4th of an inch)
    • I used 7 x 2ft PVC pipes. The number of pipes required may vary depending on the width of the walls gap that you are trying to prevent entry to
    • I also had smaller pipes cut for horizontally joining the joints.
    • Total cost – Rs. 325 /-
  2. T-Joints 
    • You need twice the number of joints as the number of pipes. I bought 14 of them 
    • Cost – Rs. 80/-
  3. PVC cement solution- Rs.20/-
  4. PVC coupling joints – One side would be threaded and the other side smooth. 4 in numbers costing Rs. 10/- each
  5. Height adjustable furniture legs – 4 in numbers costing Rs.18/- each
  6. Total cost of the project – Rs.530/-
Fixing the pipes

Just pour the solution around the circumference of the pipe where is joint would be inserted. Immediately insert the pipe into the T-joint. Ensure you use proper protecting gloves as it got a little itchy for me. Also, it is recommended that this be done in a well ventilated space, which I came to know of later.
Continue to fix the pipes vertically to the T-joint. 

Once the pipes for the vertical section of the gate is ready, cut smaller pieces of PVC (the length will depend on how long you want the gate to be) and start joining the pipes through the T-joint horizontally. At the end of it, you would have the gate in place with an open T-joint on all four corners of the fence.

How the tightening screws are fixed to the corner T-joints using height adjustable furniture legs, PVC couplers and small pipes, while explained in detail in the video above, I will also brief it here. You can remove the base of the furniture legs and insert the female portion of the legs into the threaded side of the coupler. The legs exist for a different purpose and hence will not easily fit into the coupler. You will have to work hard at it. Join a piece of PVC pipe using the cement solution on the other end of the coupler. It would look like below.

Now fix the PVC end of the above arrangement into the open end of the T-Joints in the four corners of the gate. The circular head acts like a screw and can be turned around to move in or out. This head acts as the tightening screw. As you place the gate between two vertical wall surfaces and open up the screw head, it will go latch on to the wall surface tightly and hold the gate in place.

Your gate is now ready. Install it between the two vertical surfaces and watch the fun.

We have more child proofing projects in the pipeline. Some of it DIY and some of it using off the shelf products Either way, we shall keep you posted of the details. Meanwhile, your inputs on this gate would be much appreciated. What other ideas would you be able to give us in making the home a safer haven for our little one ? Do leave your thoughts in the comment.

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